ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. The Orioles captivating season may yet end with an American League East division title.Its just going to be a little bit harder now.Shortly after the Orioles lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 before 13,666 at Tropicana Field on Monday night, they learned the New York Yankees had regained a one-game lead in the East.Once the Yankees scored nine runs in the second inning against the Boston Red Sox, the Orioles knew the challenge was going to be more difficult.The 10-2 New York win was digested quickly."They win? That's a given. They're playing home the rest of their games, so you know that's a given. We'll do what we can do," manager Buck Showalter said.The Orioles (92-68) have two more games with the Rays while the Yankees have two more against the sad-sack Red Sox.We dont care. We didnt take care of our business. We cant control other people. We lost. Thats something we had control over. When it comes to the Yankees, you cant control them, cant control whether they win or lose, Adam Jones said. On Sunday night, the Orioles had clinched a postseason spot, but they now have to look to the Texas Rangers for help. The Rangers began a three-game series with Oakland, losing 4-3 on Monday night.The Orioles and Oakland are now tied for the Wild Card lead. If the teams finish tied, Oakland will host the game on Friday due to beating the Orioles in the season series.Wei-Yin Chen (12-11), who hasnt won a game since Aug. 19, looked to be in decent shape after he allowed just one run in the first six innings, a fourth-inning leadoff home run to Ben Zobrist.The Orioles did little against Alex Cobb (11-9). Through six, J.J. Hardys single was their only hit. Matt Wieters tied the score with an opposite field home run to left in the top of the seventh.Evan Longoria grounded to Manny Machado to lead off the seventh, but Machado booted the ball for an error.It led to three runs.Should have caught it, Machado said. Took a little side spin on me, ate me up. Shouldve taken a step forward, but I should have made the out. I couldnt find the ball and once it hit my glove it bounced up, I had no shot after that. Jeff Keppinger singled Longoria to third. Ben Francisco flied to left, but Nate McLouths throw wasnt close. Longoria scored to make it 2-1.Rich Thompson ran for Keppinger and took third on Sam Fulds single. After Ryan Roberts popped to short, Chris Gimenezs double scored both Thompson and Fuld for a 4-1 Rays lead.Luis Ayala replaced Chen, who pitched 6 13 innings, allowing four runs, three of them unearned, on six hits. He walked one and struck out four.
Chen is now winless in six starts.That's just stats. The only thing I wanted to prove to everybody is prove that I can pitch," Chen said through a translator.Jake McGee pitched a perfect eighth in relief of CobbThe Rays added a run in the eighth when B.J. Upton led off with a double off Pedro Strop. Upton moved to third on Zobrists infield out. Longoria walked and Upton scored on an infield out for a 5-1 lead.Chris Davis hit his sixth home run in the past five games, a two-run shot off Kyle Farnsworth. He has 32 homers.Fernando Rodney walked Jones. Wieters reached on an infield single, but Rodney struck out Jim Thome and Mark Reynolds before getting Endy Chavez to ground out to the mound to end the game. Rodney earned his 47th save.NOTES: -There was some concern Jones injured his ankle late in the game, but both he and Showalter dismissed that.-Davis, who was named AL Co-Player of the Week, is the first Oriole to homer in five straight games since Melvin Mora did it late in the 2005 and early in the 2006 season.Davis, who shared the award with Detroits Justin Verlander, batted .423 with five homers, 10 RBIs last week. Hes the second Oriole to win the award this season. Machado won it for his first week in the majors in August.-Wilson Betemit (right wrist) has been given clearance to begin hitting in five-to-seven days.-Miguel Gonzalez (8-4, 3.45) and James Shields (15-9, 3.62) are Tuesdays pitchers. Showalter has decided on a pitcher for Wednesday. He says he has four options.
-Tsuyoshi Wada, who had Tommy John surgery in May, began playing catch last week. Hes rehabbing in Sarasota, Fla., and will stay there through December when hell return to Japan for a month.