Crucial four-game series for Orioles begins with 4-3 loss (updated)

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Orioles manager Brandon Hyde faced redundancy before the Rays.

More questions about the magnitude of the series. How his players would handle it, how he’d handle it.

“I just want our guys to enjoy it,” Hyde said during his daily media session. “This is what you play for all year. Play meaningful games in September. It’s something you always talk about.

“I really want our guys to just relax and enjoy all the moments.”

The fun times began with Cedric Mullins’ running, diving catch in right-center field to rob Taylor Walls in the second inning and likely save a run. They accelerated with Ryan O’Hearn’s leadoff homer in the bottom half and Gunnar Henderson’s 26th in the fourth.

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O's game blog: The Tampa Bay series begins

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The Orioles, who lead the American League East by two games and are 10-0-2 in their past 12 series in the division, host the Rays tonight to start a crucial four-game series at Oriole Park. 

The Orioles are 91-54 for the best record in the AL and second-best to Atlanta in MLB. They have won eight of 11, 14 of 20, 17 of 24 and 20 of the last 29 games. They are 43-27 at home and 37-19 in the second half.

Tampa Bay is 90-57 and looking to make the postseason for the fifth year in a row. The Rays have won five of six, 12 of 17, 16 of 22, 18 of 25 and 21 of their past 30 games.

Tampa Bay is 40-32 on the road, 32-22 in the second half and 71-22 when they score first. They are 19-35 when their opponent scores first.

The Orioles are 6-3 versus the Rays and one more win will give the Orioles the season series victory. They went 9-10 last season against the Rays and 1-18 in 2021.

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