Wrapping up a 9-3 loss and series sweep

NEW YORK - Start spreading the news. The Orioles are seven games out of first place for the first time since the conclusion of the 2013 season.

A 9-3 loss to the Yankees today completed the sweep and pushed the Orioles two games below .500 for the first time since June 10. They've lost 14 of 19, but they're not in a panic. That's just not how they're wired.

Asked about the level of frustration and disappointment in the clubhouse, center fielder Adam Jones shot back, "We're not disappointed or frustrated. We got beat. Stop crying. That's what I'm sick and tired of, man. Stop crying. Nobody in the clubhouse crying. We got beat.

"It's a very good team over there. Go to Tampa and do what we've gotta go. There's 60-some, 70-some games left. Nobody's crying, man."

How can the Orioles spark a lethargic offense that produced solo home runs today from Chris Davis in the second inning and J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado in the eighth?

"A W?," Jones replied. "Just keep grinding. It's an up-and-down season. The other day we put up eight, nine runs and everybody's like, 'Hey this offense is clicking.' We come here and don't and it's, 'This offense is struggling.'

"It's an up-and-down game. You've got to ride the roller coaster but mentally stay the same course. Stay even keel, and that's what we're doing. We're frustrated because we want to win. We're not frustrated because we're just going out there to give it up. No. There's another team we're playing, also."

The other team included right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who seemed to finally tire in the eighth.

"You can't tell what a fastball or a split looks like. Then he's got a cutter," Jones said. "He dealt today, man. You tip your cap to him. He spotted up. I came inside a watched a couple at-bats. He spotted up. It's not like he just threw the ball down the middle and said, 'Hit me.'

"Cool, the series is over. That's the good thing. Let's get the hell out of New York and go down to Florida."

Better to put these three games behind them.

"What else are you going to do, dwell on it? No man. That's not good for sports. It's not good for your own mental," Jones said.

"So hey, we've lost three in a row before. Now let's go down to Tampa and clean it up."

Are the Orioles pressing at the plate, everyone trying to hit five-run home runs?

"I don't think so," Jones said. "We just got beat. It happens in sports. Somebody's gotta win, somebody's gotta lose. It's not like we're laying down. We're just getting beat. It happens."

jones-jog-close-gray-sidebar.jpgThe Orioles fell behind 3-0 in the first inning yesterday and 4-0 in the first inning today. It's no fun playing baseball in a hole.

"It doesn't mean the game's over," said manager Buck Showalter. "We've fought back from things like that, but any time you've had a couple tough games after a good series in Detroit, you get a little of that same feeling. But you can control that.

"We've got 27 outs, we just haven't done much offensively here lately. Tanaka pitched really well, obviously. All of their pitchers pitched well, but we've beaten good pitchers and that's what you have to do to get to where you want to go."

Ubaldo Jimenez lasted only 2 1/3 innings and was charged with seven runs.

"He'll be the first to tell you, especially with left-handed guys, he's defended himself better this year on that fastball that runs back on the inner half, but he was starting on the inner half and running back on the center of the plate and he paid a price for that," Showalter said.

"Sometimes, he'll struggle a little bit and you'll think he'll find his step, but he just couldn't really get into any consistent. ... Whether it's release point or delivery, I'm not going to get into all that, but he didn't get the ball where he needed to get it."

Jimenez has allowed 14 runs and 15 hits in his two post-break starts, covering only seven innings. He's also served up four home runs.

"His command's been bothering him a little bit," Showalter said. "He's been wild in the strike zone. It's not like he's walking a bunch of people. He's a pitch away from getting out of that first inning and we're on our way, but he got a fastball right on the center of the plate to (Chase) Headley and he paid a price. We just haven't swung the bats very well, either. They pitched well but it's been a combination of both."

Players talked about the importance of this series heading into Tuesday's game, and the Orioles were swept in a three-game set at Yankee Stadium for the first time since 2010. It's got to be disappointing to some degree.

"We had a couple one-run games and we played well in Detroit against a good team," Showalter said. "It didn't work out for us. We didn't do the things we needed. It's frustrating and we'll punch back if that's what we need to do. The season doesn't stop and the challenges don't end. There's another challenge around every corner and that's what professionals have to do at this level is put the good things like Detroit behind them and the bad things that happened here, you've got to keep pushing."

Showalter doesn't need his players to prove their resiliency to him during his difficult stretch.

"I don't look at that," he said. "They've already done enough the last three or four years, these guys. They don't have to do that all of a sudden. I know what's coming with these guys. There will be better days ahead."

Are they pressing?

jimenez-gray-fixing-hat-sidebar.jpg"I hope so," he said. "We've been pressing since the first game of the season. That's what you do. You push. You push and it's just a matter of what you do. Sometimes you can want something too much. It's tough to get in between there. It's not que sera sera. You push.

"You have expectations of yourself, your team and your teammates. That's normal. You're always pushing. Sometimes it can get counterproductive."

Showalter said the sky wasn't falling after the first game in Detroit following the break, and he still doesn't see any cracks in it.

"I don't get in that world," he said. "There's too many challenges, too many games. You learn from it. Our guys will punch back. They're frustrated at today's game. You had a couple of one-run games (where) you couldn't push through against very good pitching. We got it again today. That's why they're leading the division. They're pitching better than everybody else."

Jimenez knows he needs to pitch better.

"I was falling behind in the count," he said. "I kept throwing in the fat part of the plate, missing a lot right down the middle, and they took advantage of that.

"I put myself in trouble. I walked two guys and then I got two huge outs and I didn't get out of the inning. I think I put the split down the middle, and he put a good swing on it."

Jimenez has been a different pitcher in the second half.

"I was making, executing my pitches down in the zone, and right now I'm missing right down the middle," he said. "I'm missing right up the middle, and that's why they're putting better swings on the ball."

The results need to get better for the Orioles in a hurry.

"It's not good," Jimenez said. "We came over here looking forward to winning the series, trying to keep it close, and then we lost three games. It's hard, but we have to keep going."

Note: Due to a scoring change, Davis has been awarded a double on the ball that left fielder Brett Gardner lost in the sun.

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