Rays win over Orioles completes historical dominance

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Rays complete 2021 series dominance vs. Orioles originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Orioles wrapped up their season series with the Tampa Bay Rays with a 12-8 loss at Camden Yards to end a historic season series between the two teams in 2021.

It has been an abysmal year for the Orioles. The Baltimore Sun's Nathan Ruiz pointed out two interesting, if unfortunate, stats against their AL East rival to sum up how lopsided the matchup was in favor of the Rays.

The Orioles went 1-18 against the defending American League champions this season. And the Rays' dominance was all encompassing as they outscored the Orioles 150 to 69. Tampa Bay averaged more than four runs per game. 

It isn't the first time Baltimore finds itself as a division rival's punching bag. In 2019, the New York Yankees went 17-2 against the Orioles with manager Aaron Boone's squad winning 16 straight to end the season series. 

However, what the Rays did this time was historic. Per ESPN, since teams began playing 18 or 19 intradivision games in 2001, those are the best records that one team had against another in a single season:

2021: Rays vs. Orioles: 18-1

2019 Yankees vs. Orioles: 17-2

2013 Indians vs. White Sox: 17-2

2013 Rangers vs. Astros: 17-2

2006 Athletics vs. Mariners: 17-2

The Rays' 18 wins surpassed what the Yankees did, and the current AL East leaders were more dominant than New York was vs. the Orioles in 2018 when they outscored them by 68 runs. In 2021, Baltimore was outscored by 81 runs. 

Rebuilds are tough to endure, especially in a 162 game season, unlike last year's shortened campaign. About the only light at the end of a dark tunnel for Orioles fans? The Houston Astros are on this list as they underwent a similar rebuild. Perhaps Baltimore will have similar fortune as the 2017 World Series champs, who returned in 2019 before losing to the Nationals in Game 7.