The Orioles haven’t gone on a long winning streak. With five weeks to go in the regular season and a host of games to play against difficult opponents they’ll have to go on a lengthy roll.

They hope Sunday was its start.

With timely hits and aggressive baserunning the Orioles easily beat the Oakland Athletics 10-3 before 33820 at Oriole Park.

The Orioles (70-59) took two of three from the Athletics (72-57) and moved to within two games of the final Wild Card spot.

“Coming in today there’s not many days when I go ‘We need to play well today and see if we can get a W.’ This was one of those days” manager Buck Showalter.

Play well they did.

“So many things today I was so proud of” Showalter said.

The Orioles had three sacrifice flies. Twice runners moved to second. Five of their first six hits were to the opposite field and late in the game they added three home runs by J.J. Hardy Nate McLouth and Nick Markakis.

Markakis had a double which was his first extra-base hit since July 19 and his first homer since June 24.

“I’m just glad I hit the ball hard” Markakis said.

With a difficult nine-game trip to Boston New York and Cleveland at hand the Orioles are going to have to play more consistently than they have at any time this season. Sunday was a good start.

“The reason those games are so important is because each game is essentially a two-game swing in the standings. So with teams ahead of you and even teams close by or right behind you those are huge because if you win the game they lose a game plus you win a game. It’s a two-game swing so they are real important” McLouth said.

Scott Feldman (4-3) made it through a rocky five innings. He walked Oakland’s Coco Crisp to start the game. He moved to second on Feldman’s balk and scored on a two-out single by Alberto Callaspo.