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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Orioles hit the road after loss to Rays

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Max Faulkner
The Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria connects on a three-run home run off of the Texas Rangers' Matt Harrison during the first inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Friday, April 27, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)

When the Baltimore Orioles left Baltimore for their final series of the regular season, manager Buck Showalter said that one of his team’s main goals was to make sure they hadn’t played their final game at Camden Yards of 2012.

The one thing the Orioles could control entering their regular-season finale against Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field was ensuring a home playoff game with a win.

They couldn’t control the events in New York, where the Yankees had to lose to the Red Sox Wednesday night to create a one-game playoff at Camden Yards for the AL East title.

After a season full of overcoming obstacles and resuscitating baseball in Baltimore — their 93-69 record was the exact reverse of last year’s last-place finish — the Orioles ended their regular season with a whisper.

The Orioles (93-69) managed just three hits – and just one through the first eight innings — against Tampa Bay pitching in a 4-1 loss to the Rays in front of an announced crowd of 17,909 at Tropicana Field.

The loss meant that the Orioles will have to go on the road for the one-game, winner-take-all, wild-card round of the playoffs to play the Texas Rangers, who were swept by the Oakland A’s to fall into the top wild card spot.

It’s not the scenario the Orioles would have wanted, not after finishing the regular season with 11 wins in their last 16 games and nearly chasing down the Yankees from their 10-game AL East lead in July. Also, the Orioles lost five of seven games against the Rangers this season.

The Orioles dropped just their second series in their last 12 dating back to when they lost two of three in Arlington on Aug. 20-22, when they were outscored 20-9.

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria recorded his second career three-homer game of his career, hitting a trio of solo shots, two coming off Orioles starter Chris Tillman.

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