Fall con­tin­ues as O’s lose 17th of past 21

Mi­ley strug­gles with con­trol once again in late-sea­son swoon

Baltimore Sun - - ORI­OLES - By Ed­uardo A. Encina eencina@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Ed­dieInTheYard

ST. PETERS­BURG, FLA. – An­other de­feat has made los­ing the norm this Septem­ber as the Ori­oles dropped a 7-0 de­ci­sion to the Tampa Bay Rays in this sea­son’s fi­nal series opener Fri­day night at Trop­i­cana Field.

The Ori­oles (75-85) lost for the 17th time in their past 21 games, as­sur­ing them of no bet­ter than a fourth-place fin­ish in the Amer­i­can League East with two games re­main­ing.

Ori­oles pitch­ers al­lowed just seven hits, but is­sued 10 walks and hit a bat­ter, with three of those free passes com­ing around to score. Mean­while, the Ori­oles man­aged just four hits in a game when Rays starter Jake was forced from the game after pitch­ing just four in­nings What might have been

fi­nal start with the Ori­oles showed flashes of the same pitcher the left-han­der has been dur­ing his ten­ure with Bal­ti­more, mo­ments of dom­i­nance along with un­timely con­trol prob­lems that com­bined for a lack of con­sis­tency.

Mi­ley (8-15) lasted just two bat­ters into the fifth in­ning Fri­day, mark­ing his third straight start where he’s been un­able to get at least five in­nings deep.

Mi­ley struck out five bat­ters in his first two in­nings, in­clud­ing open­ing the game by strik­ing out the side in the first in­ning, but his five walks led to a quick de­par­ture.

In the fourth in­ning, a lead­off sin­gle by — a ball that hit off the stair­case con­nect­ing two of the dome’s cat­walks and dropped in front of catcher

— started a two-run in­ning when Mi­ley walked in a run with the bases loaded and al­lowed a sac­ri­fice fly to put the Rays up 3-0.

He wouldn’t record an out in the fifth, al­low­ing a lead­off homer to and a dou­ble to be­fore he was re­placed by righthander

Since pitch­ing a qual­ity start on Sept. 2 against the Toronto Blue Jays in a game that dropped his sea­son ERA to 4.91, Mi­ley has a 12.56 ERA in the four starts since. He fin­ished with four earned runs on five hits with six strike­outs Fri­day. His15 losses are the most by an Ori­oles’ pitcher since AL-high 17 games in 2011.

Till­man threw two score­less frames be­fore un­rav­el­ing in the sev­enth, al­low­ing a lead­off homer to Mor­ri­son, hitting Puello and walk­ing Right-han­der al­lowed both base run­ners to score after a wild pitch and two sac­ri­fice flies.

The Ori­oles had just one ex­tra­base hit on the night,

one- out dou­ble down the left-field line in the fourth. lost an Mancini up to 17: Trey Mancini’s sev­enth-in­ning sin­gle ex­tended his hitting streak to 17 games and also gave him 158 hits on the sea­son, which tied him with Cal Rip­ken Jr. (1982) for the sec­ond­most hits in a sea­son by an Ori­oles rookie. Ed­die Mur­ray owns the team record with 173 hits in 1977. Beck­ham leaves with in­jury: Short­stop Tim Beck­ham left Fri­day’s game after pulling up while run­ning out a ground ball to sec­ond base to end the top of the eighth in­ning, an ap­par­ent ag­gra­va­tion of the right ham­string pull that kept him out of the pre­vi­ous three games.

CHRIS O'MEARA/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ori­oles start­ing pitcher Wade Mi­ley re­acts after his bases-loaded walk to Tampa Bay’s Daniel Robert­son dur­ing the fourth in­ning. Mi­ley lost his 15th game of the year and has a 12.56 ERA in his last four games.

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