Orioles: Is this a takeout slide?

   In the aftermath of Tuesday night's 8-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays -- the Orioles' seventh loss in nine games -- it was tempting to read something positive into the late rally that made the game a little more interesting.

   Don't bother.

   There was very little positive about Tuesday night, other than the fact that the Tampa Bay Rays were polite enough to lose again so the Orioles could hold onto a share of first place in the American League East. Oh, and another nice performance by Adam Jones, who is fast becoming a one-man show.

    The Orioles are in a hard slide and another rocky performance by Jake Arrieta only increased the likelihood that there will be more hard times ahead. The division has now tightened up to the point where only 3 1/2 games separate first from last, which means they could tumble all the way to the bottom of the standings by the end of this tough road trip.

    Sure, it's tempting to think the offense finally snapped out of its funk after Matt Wieters lost his temper with umpire Doug Eddings, but that was probably a coincidence, but you can't read too much into a handful of runs scored off a beleaguered bullpen in a blowout game. Sorry, you just can't.

    Something good needs to happen very soon or this short era of good feelings could be over.

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