Orioles come up short in series opener against Rays

For the Orioles, it was one frustrating night. In the first of an 11-game homestand, they got poor pitching early in the game and some non-productive at-bats later.

It all added up to a 7-6 loss to the Tampa Rays in the opener of a four-game series. The Orioles fall to 80-66. Should New York go on to beat Boston, they will have missed a chance to tie for first in the American League East. But, a Boston loss would keep them a game off the pace in the division.

In their final frustrating at-bats of the night, Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis struck out versus Rays closer Alex Colome with runners on first and third and one out in the last of the ninth. The tying run was 90 feet away, but never scored.

A wild first inning ended with the Orioles leading 4-3. In the top half, O's starter Yovani Gallardo, taking the mound on eight days rest, walked the first two batters and then yielded a first-pitch three-run homer to Evan Longoria. Longoria hit No. 33 to quickly make it 3-0. Gallardo began the night with a first-inning ERA of 8.10.

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In the home first, three of the first four batters reached. With two outs, Matt Wieters' two-run single made it 3-2. Wieters is now 6-for-13 with the bases loaded. J.J. Hardy's two-run double off the wall in center made it a 4-3 Orioles lead.

That lead did not hold up. Gallardo allowed single runs in the second and third and was yanked in the fourth. In that inning, Longoria greeted reliever Tommy Hunter with a two-run single for a five-RBI night and a 7-4 lead,

Gallardo went 3 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and six runs with two walks and seven strikeouts. He threw 80 pitches and fell to 5-8 with an ERA of 5.77. This was his second-worst start of the year in terms of runs allowed, topped only by the eight runs he gave up in 1 1/3 innings Aug. 26 at New York.

The Orioles failed to score from the second through the seventh innings. With first and third and one out in the fourth, Nolan Reimold bounced into a double play. With second and third and no outs in the fifth, Manny Machado struck out, Trumbo fouled out and Davis grounded to the pitcher. In the seventh, center fielder Kevin Kiermaier ran down a drive by Machado that looked to be a run-scoring double.

The O's finally got two runs in the last of the eighth. Dana Eveland came in and walked Davis and then Wieters followed with a double. RBI grounders by Hardy and Michael Bourn off reliever Danny Farquhar made it a 7-6 Rays lead.

But the O's could not get the tie or lead run and fell by one run tonight. Tampa Bay had been 0-6 this year at Camden Yards and 4-11 versus the Orioles in the season series, but the Rays get the victory in the series opener. The Orioles went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

On Friday night, right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (7-11, 5.98 ERA) faces right-hander Chris Archer (8-18, 4.05 ERA) at 7:05 p.m.

Showalter speaks after 7-6 loss
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