Time quickly running out for reeling Orioles to make playoff run
BALTIMORE — Time is running out on the Baltimore Orioles in their bid for another playoff appearance.
It may already be too late.
Chris Tillman didn't make it out of the fifth inning, and Baltimore's bats again were rendered silent in an 11-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.
The Orioles have lost six straight and 12 of 13 to fall a season-high six games under. 500. They're still mathematically alive, but the second AL wild card spot is slipping away.
"We need to bring it and we need to bring it ASAP because it's getting frustrating in here," center fielder Adam Jones said. "I know the players feel it. I know the coaches feel it. You can hear it in the stands. They can feel it also. We just need to get back on the saddle and back to playing our style of baseball."
The Orioles are known for bashing the ball, and in this game Chris Davis hit his 36th home run with a man on. But it came in the ninth inning, after the outcome had long since been decided.
The one constant during the Orioles' horrid skid is their inability to score. They've been limited to three runs or fewer in all 12 of their defeats and have been outscored 78-35 over the 13-game stretch.
Baltimore hasn't abandoned its chances of reaching the postseason, but manager Buck Showalter conceded, "We are going to have to get hot in order to get in this thing."
Tillman (9-10) gave up seven runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings. He's lost three straight decisions after going 12 starts without a defeat.
With the exception of Davis' homer, the highlight of the night for Baltimore was the pregame ceremony celebrating the 20th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr. breaking Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played.
Unfortunately for Ripken, he stayed to watch the game.
Tampa Bay took control in the fourth when James Loney hit an RBI single, J.P. Arencibia singled in two runs and Grady Sizemore hit a run-scoring grounder.
In the fifth, Asdrubal Cabrera delivered a sacrifice fly and Brandon Guyer doubled in a run before Arencibia picked up two more RBIs with a single for an 8-0 lead.
Arencibia finished with six RBIs, Guyer had four hits and the Rays got a solid outing from left-hander Drew Smyly (2-2).
Smyly struck out 10 over seven scoreless innings. He allowed four hits, walked one and retired the final 10 batters he faced.
"It was fun to watch," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Smyly set the tone. He was outstanding."
In seven career appearances against Baltimore, Smyly is 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA.
"It was just a great night all around for the team," he said.
Rays: Tampa Bay added six players on a day when teams were allowed to expand their rosters. Included in the mix was Matt Moore, who was 17-4 in 2013 before undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2014. Moore was recalled earlier this season, but was sent to Durham after going 1-3 with an 8.78 ERA in six starts. Other call-ups were RHP Kirby Yates, LHP C.J. Riefenhauser, OF Mikie Mahtook, 3B Richie Shaffer and OF Luke Maile.
Orioles: Baltimore recalled RHPs Steve Johnson and Oliver Drake and activated RHP Chaz Roe from the DL.
Rays: After getting three hits for the second night in row, Logan Forsythe left in the fifth with left groin tightness. ... CF Kevin Kiermaier was held out with a mild right ankle sprain.
Rays: RHP Erasmo Ramirez (10-5, 3.68) starts the series finale Wednesday night. He has yielded nine HRs in his last 11 starts.
Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (2-6, 4.39 ERA) is 0-4 in his last five starts, allowing 18 earned runs over the span.