The Baltimore Orioles offense continued to struggle as Tampa Bay Rays starter Alex Cobb shutdown the O's offense en route to a 5-1 win for the Tampa Bay Rays.
If not for a misplayed flyball in the ninth inning, Cobb (10-3) would have likely tossed a complete game shutout, but courtesy of a Chris Davis triple that was lost in the roof of Tropicana Field, Cobb was pulled after Adam Jones followed with a RBI single.
Baltimore's offense couldn't find an answer for Cobb all game as they managed just five hits (two in the ninth) and one run, but saw Cobb strikeout 12 Orioles hitters in the process. The loss puts the Orioles at 81-73 and essentially now put themselves in "have to win out" status.
Orioles starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez (10-8) had an OK day on the mound, but struggled with his control. Gonzalez walked five in just six innings of work, but only allowed three runs in the process on just two hits. The one pitch Gonzo would like to have back resulted in a three run home run by Desmond Jennings to put the Rays ahead 3-0 in the fifth.
The best opportunity to score for the Birds came in the first inning when Cobb walked two to put runners on first and second with two outs, but Nick Markakis stuck out to strand both runners.
Baltimore's offense continues to struggle as they have hit just .249 (prior to Saturday's game) with 68 home runs in 58 games, which is down from 132 dingers in 96 games prior to the All Star break.
Even more specifically, Baltimore has hit .237 in September with just a .292 OBP, both of which are season lows for a month this season.
The Orioles will look to begin to start a late season surge today as they send Scott Feldman (5-4) to the mound for the start against Tampa's Roberto Hernandez (6-13), Baltimore is in must win mode now and any loss from here on out could cost them any chance at making the postseason for the second consecutive season.
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