Orioles suffer 15th straight loss, 7-2 to Rays, breaking tie for second longest losing streak in franchise history

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Jorge López clearly wasn’t right Thursday afternoon. The Orioles right-hander’s velocity was well below his season averages, prompting a first-inning visit from manager Brandon Hyde and head athletic trainer Brian Ebel. López argued to stay in, an effort exemplifying that the Orioles, as Hyde said the day before, are trying to win.

But trying isn’t enough, and the Orioles haven’t won in 15 games. The Tampa Bay Rays completed a four-game sweep of Baltimore with a 7-2 victory as the Orioles’ losing streak marched on. This streak stands alone as the second-longest in franchise history, with only the 1988 club’s going longer without a victory when it lost its first 21 games. It has carried them from 38-67 to 38-82, ensuring their fifth straight losing campaign. Their record is the worst in the majors.

López had surrendered two runs when the mound visit came, allowing the first four Rays to reach base ahead of a run-scoring double play. He returned for the second, with Brandon Lowe (Maryland) continuing to dominate the Orioles with a two-run home run. López did not come back out for the third, with his fastball more than 5 mph below his season average and his curveball nearly 8 mph slower, according to Statcast.

As they had in each game of this series and frequently in building a 15-1 record this season against Baltimore, the Rays broke the game open in the middle innings. After pitching a scoreless third, Fernando Abad loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, and Marcos Diplán allowed each of those three runners to score. The Rays outscored Baltimore 34-8 in the series, with 26 of their runs coming between the fourth and sixth innings.

During the losing streak, the Orioles have been outscored by 96 runs. The 1901 Cincinnati Reds (90) are the only other team with a negative run differential greater than 85, according to Baseball-Reference’s Stathead database.

Although the Orioles’ losing streak continued, a couple of their young batters extended their hitting streaks.

Jorge Mateo’s hitting streak reached 10 with his single to open the second, giving him hits in 12 of his 13 games after the Orioles claimed him off waivers, though he was subsequently picked off first base. He added a double in the seventh and is hitting .347 with Baltimore. Ryan Mountcastle led off the sixth with a single, giving him an 11-game hitting streak that has bookended his stint on the concussion injured list.

But it was Ramón Urías who contributed to their two scoring efforts Thursday, doubling and scoring in the fifth and homering with two outs in the ninth. Rays left-hander Shane McClanahan, who was born in Baltimore, struck out eight in five innings before the Tampa Bay bullpen added six more punchouts.