ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Orioles entered their final series of 2017 hoping they could avoid finishing in last place in the American League East. When they found out the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays earlier in the day, perhaps it gave them a momentary rush.
Instead of moving ahead of the Jays, they remain tied after their 17th loss in 21 games, 7-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays before 21,142 at Tropicana Field on Sept. 29.
The Orioles' loss secured third place in the East for the Rays. Baltimore is now 75-85 with two games left.
In his final start of the season, and perhaps his final one for the Orioles, Wade Miley delivered another sloppy outing, allowing four runs and walking five in four-plus innings.
In their last four games, Miley and right-handers Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman and Gabriel Ynoa each failed to go more than four innings.
Tillman, who was a last-minute starter when Dylan Bundy was scratched Sept. 24, relieved Miley and allowed three runs. Miley, Tillman and Jimmy Yacabonis combined for 10 walks, one off the team’s season high.
"We walked the ballpark. Can’t do that," manager Buck Showalter said.
Miley has lost five straight games, and he’s 8-15 with a 5.61 ERA. That's the most losses by an Orioles pitcher since Jeremy Guthrie lost 17 in 2011.
"Not very positive. It’s hopefully one to put behind me," Miley said about 2017. "Go to the offseason and work on some things to get back and figure out how to mechanically repeat my delivery and spend a lot of time working on that. I think that's the big issue. I just fall out in the middle of the game, lose it for 15 pitches and walk three guys and then you get back to throwing strikes and they’re hunting heaters there. And that’s when the damage comes."
Miley has a $12 million option for next year, and he doesn’t know if he has a future with the Orioles.
"I have no idea. I’m just going to look forward to the offseason," Miley said. "It’s been a long year, no doubt. I hated that I didn’t perform here. Who knows what's going to happen? I competed; looking back, I gave it everything I had. It just wasn't very good. It's one of those things where nobody wants to go through that. I did and hopefully I can learn from it and move forward."
Tamap Bay starter Jake Odorizzi abruptly left after four innings with a sore right knee. He allowed two hits.
Four Rays relievers combined to hold the Orioles to just two more hits in the final five innings.
"We’re not swinging the bats very well," Showalter said. "That’s been obvious for a while here."
In his return to Tampa Bay, shortstop Tim Beckham was hitless in four at-bats, and left the game in the eighth inning when he pulled up on a ground ball to second.
Beckham had missed the past three games with a strained right hamstring.
"Didn’t want to end the season not playing and gave it a go," Beckham said.
"It ain’t worth blowing it out right now, pulling it and going into the offseason having to rehab a torn, maybe a pulled hamstring. Just trying to play it smart, man, and not doing anything that will hurt me in the long run."
NOTES: RHP Miguel Castro (3-2, 3.29) gets his first major league start Sept. 30 against Tampa Bay RHP Chris Archer (9-12. 4.18) at 6:10 p.m. Castro is being considered as a starter for 2018. "This is something he really wants," Showalter said. … 1B Chris Davis struck out three times. He’s struck out 191 times in 126 games. … LF Trey Mancini has a 17-game hitting streak. He has 158 hits, which is tied with Cal Ripken for second-most hits by an Orioles rookie. Only Eddie Murray (173 in 1977) had more.