BALTIMORE — Before the Baltimore Orioles mounted their futile eighth-inning comeback attempt in a 3-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night, the in-game highlights shown to the announced crowd of 9,141 at Camden Yards told a sad story.
No defensive gems. No strikeouts. Just a few singles by Adam Jones and Caleb Joseph, and a towering home run by Jonathan Villar that landed in a section without a single fan seated there.
So when Breyvic Valera singled, stole second and scored on a single by Villar to pull Baltimore within 3-2 in the eighth, the quiet reception spoke volumes.
But with Villar on first with two outs and Trey Mancini at the plate, center fielder Ramon Laureano made a diving grab in the left-center field gap for the final out.
The Orioles have been playing out the string for a long time; only now, after a 1-8 road trip since they last appeared here and scored 29 runs in a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, it doesn’t seem like anyone is really playing along.
Tuesday’s loss was the Orioles’ fifth straight, their 11th losing streak of at least five games this season. They’re 1-9 in September, 41-103 overall and have lost all 90 times when trailing after seven innings.
Baltimore starter Alex Cobb struck out the first two batters he faced before a walk and a single forced him to strand two in the first inning. He got three outs on nine pitches in the second inning, but then left with blister issues.