Poor play at home is one reason the Baltimore Orioles are likely headed for their eighth straight losing season.
Baltimore tries to win a series at Camden Yards for the first time in over a month when it completes a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The Orioles’ 35-38 home record is the second-worst in the AL, better than only Kansas City, which is headed for another 100-loss season.
Since sweeping a three-game series against Tampa Bay from Aug. 9-11, Baltimore has lost 11 of 15 at home.
“Luis came up big for us today,” interim manager Sam Perlozzo said. ”(It was) a clutch single. Just like we said over in Texas. He got the big hit, and we were hoping he’d come back and continue to carry it on—and he has.”
Despite their fifth win in seven games, the Orioles continued to struggle with runners on base. They left seven on in the first four innings and stranded 13 overall, the 15th time they’ve left at least 10 on since the All-Star break.
Star shortstop Miguel Tejada is nine RBIs shy of reaching 100 for the sixth consecutive season, but has been very quiet in the second half. Tejada has only three homers and 21 RBIs in August and September.
Baltimore’s Daniel Cabrera will try to win three straight starts for the second time this season.
The right-hander has pitched well in two outings since coming off the disabled list, allowing two runs and 10 hits in 12 2-3 innings while walking three and striking out 17.
Cabrera was 0-4 in six starts before going on the disabled list because of a strained muscle in his back.
Saturday’s loss was the fifth in six games overall for the Devil Rays, who are 1-7 at Baltimore this season.
“It was a good-pitched game on both sides,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “They pitched a little better. You get runners on, sooner or later you punch one in, and they did.”
Carl Crawford accounted for the Tampa Bay offense with his 15th home run Saturday. He is only the fifth player since World War II with 15 homers, 15 triples and 30 doubles in one season.