ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Just five days remain before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, and the Orioles are seemingly undecided about their direction, so every game seems to take on added importance.
After winning six of their last eight games entering play July 25, the Orioles had hoped for another win, which would have brought their record within two games of .500.
Instead, left-hander Wade Miley allowed five runs in the second inning to the Tampa Bay Rays during a 5-4 loss before 12,471 at Tropicana Field July 25.
Manager Buck Showalter said the deadline doesn't inject an added level of urgency to the games.
"I don't think so," Showalter said. "If that makes you play differently or have a different feeling about it in Game 100, I'd find that hard to believe. I certainly hope not."
It was the 38th time an Orioles starter has allowed five or more runs this season. No other team has more than 31, according to ESPN. Miley, who didn't allow five runs in any of his first 12 starts, has given up at least five runs in six of his last nine starts.
Miley, who had a 2.82 ERA as recently as June 1, has seen it balloon to a season-high 5.69.
"April and May really weren't that good," Miley said. "It was more of a luck-based kind of deal. I was walking five, six, seven guys a game, and I was just kind of able to make a pitch here and there to get out of those jams. Deep down I knew that luck was going to run out eventually and it did, and I haven't been able to put a stop to it."
Miley allowed five runs on five hits -- all in the second inning.
"It was good after that," Showalter said. "One inning, sometimes at this level. ... Kind of snowballed on him. I know that the balls-to-strikes may not show it, but his command, I thought was better, and he really gave us a chance there. A lot of guys, the negative thought is, 'I'm not going to have a good outing,' but he figured out a way to keep us in that ballgame and kept us from using up a lot of the bullpen. We got back in it because Wade didn't give in."
The Orioles managed three runs on seven hits against Tampa Bay right-hander Jake Faria in 7.1 innings. In the eighth, they scored two runs against their former teammate, Tommy Hunter, as the right-hander, walked two, threw a wild pitch and allowed a two-run single to catcher Welington Castillo.
Hunter struck out pinch-hitter Hyun Soo Kim with two runners on base in the eighth and keep the score at 5-4.
NOTES: First baseman Chris Davis was out for the second straight day due to a viral infection. He hopes to return July 26 when right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez (4-6, 7.19) and Alex Cobb (8-6, 3.57) get the start at 12:10 p.m.
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