BALTIMORE – Buck Showalter hoped a shakeup, highlighted by Manny Machado’s first major league start at shortstop, would get the Orioles back on track.
It didn’t happen.
Machado was just fine at shortstop, but the rest of the Orioles were off, and they suffered their 11th loss in 12 games, 6-3 to the Tampa Bay Rays before 19,841 at Oriole Park on Monday night.
“Buck came up to me and showed me the lineup and told me, ‘What do you think about it?’ I see his point. We’re trying to win games here. We’re trying to see what’s working and everything’s going against us. Today, we played good and they just outhit us,” Machado said.
Machado had three chances, started a double play, and made a pretty backhanded play on Rene Rivera in the sixth.
“It came back pretty easy. I’ve been playing that my whole life. I didn’t play third base until I got up here. It just came natural. I was out there just trying to make the plays and as the game went on, I just started feeling more comfortable out there.”
As well as Machado played at shortstop, he’ll be back on third for Tuesday’s game. Paul Janish will play short.
“I thought he handled himself well. He had some really good at-bats, too,” Showalter said.
After their six losses in seven games road trip, the Orioles hoped they get hot at home, but they now have lost five straight here.
The Orioles continued their pattern. They have scored three runs or fewer in each of their 11 losses.
Wei-Yin Chen allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings as he lost for the first time in eight starts.
Chen (8-7) allowed a leadoff triple to Logan Fosythe, who had three hits, in the second. He scored on Tim Beckham’s sacrifice fly.
Asdrubal Cabrera’s two-run home run down the left field line, with two outs in the fourth, gave Tampa Bay (65-66) a 3-0 lead, and in the fifth, they added two runs.
Rivera scored when Joey Butler hit into the double play started by Machado, and Evan Longoria followed with his 15th home run.
Chen gave up nine hits to go with his five runs.
“I think it’s my command because you have to pitch to the corners because they are major league hitters,” Chen said through his interpreter. “If you keep pitching down the middle you will get hit.”
Chris Archer (12-10) was hardly at his best, but he left eight Orioles on base in the first four innings.
Machado led off with a drive to center that Kevin Kiermaier snared above the wall.
“Oh man, that’s just the icing on the cake. That’s just how things are going around here, but hey he made a nice play there,” Machado said. “This is how it’s going to start? That’s the beauty of baseball. As many plays as I make at third and short and get taken out, it’s just part of the game,” Machado said.
Two innings after Kiermaier robbed Machado of the homer, he left the game in the third inning with what was described as a mildly sprained right ankle.
The Orioles (63-68), who are five games under .500 for the first time since June 5, had runners on first and second with two outs in the second and second, but couldn’t score. They loaded the bases in the fourth, but Gerardo Parra struck out.
Beckham added his seventh home run of the year off Brad Brach leading off the sixth, and the Rays led 6-0.
Archer allowed four hits in six innings.
The Orioles scored three runs off Matt Andriese in the seventh. Caleb Joseph singled, Machado hit into a force play, and Adam Jones drove in the Orioles’ first run with an opposite field single to right.
Chris Davis struck out for the 175th time this season. Matt Wieters walked to load the bases, and Steve Clevenger hit a two-run single to left to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 6-3. Jonathan Schoop swung at the first pitch and ended the inning by grounding into a force.
“We did some good things getting some people out there. It seems like we're always a hit away. Had trouble grouping a whole lot together other than one inning,” Showalter said.
Alex Colome retired the Orioles in order in the eighth, and Brad Boxberger finished up in the ninth for his 33rd save.
NOTES: Miguel Gonzalez had a cortisone shot in his right shoulder. He’ll have an MRI on Tuesday. …Frederick RHP David Hess won his second Carolina League Pitcher of the Week award. … Drew Smyly (1-2, 3.82) faces Chris Tillman (9-9, 4.58) on Tuesday night. … The Orioles will honor Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streak before the game. Ripken will throw out the first pitch.