The Orioles clubhouse had all the joy of a hospital waiting room tonight after they blew a 5-run and lost to the Detroit Tigers 6-5. It was yet another one-run loss in a season full of them -- they've had five alone on this home stand -- and manager Buck Showalter looked like he was carrying a considerable amount of frustration on his shoulders when he spoke to the media.
"We're very close to winning some of these games, so of course it's frustrating," Showalter said. "But you're playing some of the teams we're playing, you can see there's a fine line there. As I've said before, no one is going to feel sorry for you."
It wasn't a surprise that the Orioles let a lead slip away, but it was a little surprising how quickly it happened. Starter Jeremy Guthrie appeared to be cruising along in the sixth inning, getting two outs fairly quickly by retiring Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks. At that point, Baltimore led 5-1 and it looked like the Orioles were about to get their first quality start since Aug. 6.
But things completely unraveled from that point for Guthrie. Magglio Ordonez belted the first pitch he saw for a double to left-center, and Miguel Cabrera followed it up with a home run to right center.
"[Guthrie] just centered a lot of balls," Showalter said. "He's got two outs and nobody on and pitching pretty well against a very good club, and that's hard to do at any time. You're a pitch away."
Guthrie simply couldn't make that one pitch that would get him out of the inning. Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta, Alex Avila and Ryan Raburn got consecutive 2-out hits, and by the time Showalter marched to the mound to get Guthrie, the lead had disappeared.
"I thought a portion of them were executed pretty well and they just were able to put a good swing on them anyway," Guthrie said. "But certainly there were some that caught a lot of the plate as well. ... It's difficult. We have chances to win the game, and for whatever reason we're not able to close it out."
Guthrie, whose record dropped to 5-15, has the most losses of any pitcher in baseball, and will need a considerable turnaround to avoid becoming the first pitcher to lose 20 games since Mike Maroth did it in 2003.
"You can't fear that," Guthrie said. "I haven't thought about that. I understand that if you execute pitches you can go on a nice streak and win games. That's what I try to do every fifth day."