ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Orioles were an inning away from a most successful week. An inning away from three wins in four games at Tropicana Field.
Instead, the normally ultra-reliable Zach Britton allowed two runs, and the Orioles suffered perhaps their most painful defeat of the season on Sunday.
Zach Britton blew his fourth save of the season, and the Orioles lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6 before 17,301 at Tropicana Field.
Because Houston beak Oakland, the Orioles (73-76) trail the Astros by 5 ½ games with 13 to play.
"I don't get in that gloom and doom. You guys can. We don't do that. There's math there and good things ahead of us and we're going to try to win the rest of our games and make it tough on everybody. I know the world people choose to live in. We choose not to,” manager Buck Showalter said.
The Orioles nearly had their fourth consecutive series win, and things looked favorable after they took a 6-4 lead in the top of the eighth, but Mychal Givens allowed a run in the bottom of the inning.
Brandon Guyer homered off Britton (4-1) to lead off the ninth. Steven Souza struck out, and Evan Longoria, whose eighth inning error led to the Orioles getting the lead, tripled to right.
Logan Forsythe was walked intentionally. Richie Shaffer walked to load the bases. Joey Butler struck out and Kevin Kiermaier beat out a slow roller to second, scoring Longoria.
“I got the guy up there that I wanted in Kiermaier. Got him 0-2. Just didn’t execute an 0-2 pitch. And it’s an infield single but at the same time, I’ve got to execute a little bit better 0-2 and get us back in the dugout,” Britton said.
Showalter said the pitch to Guyer was the only bad one that Britton made.
Britton (4-1) has converted 35 saves in 39 chances, and the defeat was only the second by the Orioles when leading after eight. They’re 61-2.
“Where we are right now, every win’s big. To kind of get out of here with another victory would have been really nice. So yeah it’s going to be a frustrating flight back home, especially for me,” Britton said.
Now, the Orioles go to Washington to play three with the Nationals, another team whose playoff hopes have nearly evaporated.
"It's pretty tough. Any time you lose. Obviously, we wanted to win three, go to D.C. and kind of hit the ground running and then go into Boston, but I felt like we had a really good series and we put ourselves in a good situation there to win the third game,” Kevin Gausman said.
“You can't be upset when things like that happen. You're trying to get a ground ball, you get a ground ball like Britton did. It just happens to be one of the fastest guys in the league, so kind of unfortunate."
Kirby Yates (1-0), the seventh Tampa Bay pitcher, got the win.
John Jaso led off the first with a double. After an infield out, he scored on a wild pitch by Gausman.
Paul Janish doubled to lead off the third. He scored when Manny Machado singled to right. Chris Davis hit his 43rd home run of the year to left-center off Jake Odorizzi, and the Orioles led 3-1.
In the fifth, Gausman walked Grady Sizemore with two outs. Longoria singled, and Forsythe hit a three-run home run, his 17th to give Tampa Bay (72-77) a 4-3 lead.
The Orioles tied the score in the sixth on Janish’s RBI single.
Gausman gave up four runs on eight hits in six innings.
With the game tied at 4, Steve Pearce walked off Steve Geltz with one out. After Caleb Joseph struck out, Janish hit a hard grounder through the legs of Longoria for an error, allowing Pearce to score from first.
Janish scored on Gerardo Parra’s base hit for a 6-4 lead.
In the eighth, Givens walked Forsythe. James Loney singled as Forsythe took third. Asdrubal Cabrera’s sacrifice fly to right cut the Orioles’ lead to 6-5.
As the Orioles have sagged, Adam Jones has always provided perspective, insisting the season isn’t over.
“I have to be optimistic or what’s the reason for me coming here and playing? If I think we’re done, I should pack up my whole locker and go home. Until that day happens, I always think I have a chance,” Jones said.
NOTES: Davis’ home run was the Orioles’ 200th of the season. His 43 homers are tied with Rafael Palmeiro for fifth highest in club history. … Forsythe batted .393 (22-for-56) against the Orioles. … Ubaldo Jimenez (11-9, 4.31) faces Gio Gonzalez (11-7, 3.83) on Monday night as the Orioles begin a three-game series at Nationals Park.
One night after setting a dubious record for losses, the Baltimore Orioles were ready to savor a rare win against a division rival.
Rookie DJ Stewart hit his first major league home run and Baltimore used five pitchers to avoid a three-game sweep by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Wednesday night.
The Orioles bounced back one night after taking their 108th loss of the season, the most since moving to Baltimore in 1954. They remained three away from the franchise mark set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns.
"I was thinking about it tonight how many times I walked down that long hall to get here after a great win, trying to temper the enthusiasm," manager Buck Showalter said. "I still feel elated after we win a game and then I think about all the good things that went on, especially defensively tonight."
Jimmy Yacabonis started for Baltimore and threw four scoreless innings, followed by Mike Wright (4-2), who blanked the Blue Jays over two innings. Miguel Castro allowed a solo homer to Billy McKinney in the eighth that cut the lead to 2-1 before Tanner Scott managed the final out of the inning.
Mychal Givens picked up his eighth save for Baltimore.
Stewart, who was promoted Sept. 11 from Triple-A Norfolk, gave the Orioles the lead when he led off the third with a towering shot off Estrada that caromed off the right-field foul pole. He also had a double in the seventh and scored an insurance run on a single by Cedric Mullins off Tim Mayza.
"I've felt comfortable every at-bat pretty much," Stewart said. "I think there was one at bat I kind of went up there chasing a little bit, just trying to get that hit. I felt comfortable for the most part, but whenever you see one fall for the first time, it's a little bit of a relief that not only are you feeling well but you're seeing the results also. It was definitely big for me."
Toronto won the season series 14-5.
"Any chance you have to try and sweep a team is a big one," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "We have had a pretty tough year ourselves so you try to build and win as many games as you can."
The Blue Jays' Marco Estrada (7-13) bounced back from his previous outing when he tied a career-high by allowing eight runs against the Yankees. He was charged with one run and four hits with five strikeouts and one walk over six innings.
"It was a good outing. I made a lot of good pitches," Estrada said. "One got away from me and the kid hit it out, Congrats to him. Weren't too many hard hit balls."
The Blue Jays loaded the bases in the fourth against Yacabonis, who was making his fifth career start. However, he escaped the jam when Kendrys Morales hit a fly ball to Adam Jones, who threw out McKinney trying to score from third. It was Jones' 99th career assist and first in right field.
Blue Jays C Russell Martin has not played since Sept. 3. Manager John Gibbons wants to give Luke Maile and rookie Danny Jansen an extended look behind the plate.
Orioles: Rookie C Chance Sisco will not travel with the team to New York. He took a foul ball off his mask Sunday against the White Sox and is still waiting to be cleared from concussion protocol.
Blue Jays: Sam Gaviglio will start the opener Thursday in Tampa Bay. He has gone 1-8 since July 20 and lost both games against the Rays this season.
Orioles: Rookie Yefry Ramirez (1-6, 5.50 ERA) will make his 11th start Friday in New York. He tied a career high with seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings Saturday against the White Sox.
BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles lost their 107th game, tied for most in a season since their arrival in 1954, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0 Monday night.
Rookie Ryan Borucki pitched eight innings of three-hit ball for the Blue Jays, who have won 13 of 17 games between the two bottom teams in the AL East.
Toronto stands 25 games better than the Orioles, whose 43-107 record is worst in the majors. The only other Orioles team with 107 defeats was the 1988 club, which started 0-21 on its way to a 54-107 finish.
This Baltimore team has been blanked 15 times and owns a major league-worst 26-49 record at home. Only 8,198 fans showed up at soggy Camden Yards to watch yet another defeat.
The franchise record for losses is 111, by the 1939 St. Louis Browns. After going 54-100 in 1953, the Browns moved to Baltimore. The major league record is 120 losses, set by the expansion New York Mets in 1962.
Borucki (4-4) struck out seven and walked one in his 15th career start. The left-hander allowed two runners to reach third base, one of whom got there during a near triple play.
With runners on first and second and no outs in the Baltimore third, Austin Wynns hit a low liner to shortstop Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who gloved the ball and then let it drop to the ground. The ploy caught the Orioles flat-footed, and Toronto turned a 6-4-3 double play before Baltimore's Renato Nunez barely beat the relay to third base.
The Blue Jays got all the offense they needed in the third inning against Evan Phillips, who was obtained from Atlanta in the July 31 trade that sent Kevin Gausman and Darren O'Day to the Braves.
Making his first major league start, Phillips (0-1) retired the first five batters he faced before Kevin Pillar doubled, Rowdy Tellez hit an RBI single and Danny Jansen homered to left.
Pillar homered in the seventh, and Aledmys Diaz went deep in the ninth.
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