It looked like the O's were going to pull out the old magic in the ninth inning Monday night, but it wasn't enough as the Birds fell to Tampa Bay 5-3 in St. Petersburg.
The Orioles went down 1-0 in the fourth before Matt Wieters' solo homer in the seventh knotted the game at a run a piece. A rare Manny Machado in the bottom of the frame led to three unearned runs, and Tampa scored again in the eighth to take a commanding 5-1 lead.
The ninth started off with some real promise...J.J. Hardy singled and wound up at 2nd base on a throwing error before Chris Davis launched his 32nd homer of the season to trim Tampa's lead to two. Adam Jones and Wieters both singled to bring the go-ahead run to the plate, but Jim Thome and Mark Reynolds struck out swinging before Endy Chavez grounded out to end the game.
Wei-Yin Chen (12-11) took the loss after allowing four runs (one earned) off six hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings, fanning four. Pedro Strop allowed a run on a hit and a walk in just 1/3 of an inning...his ERA stands at 2.45, which shows just how dominant he was in the first 3/4 of the season.
The Yankees crushed Boston 10-1, so the O's are now a game out of first place with just two games remaining. Miguel Gonzalez will take the mound on Tuesday night.