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So close, yet so far as Orioles lose again

There are two ways to look at the Orioles' 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers tonight.

You can focus on Nolan Reimold striking out with a man on third in the ninth inning of a one-run game, or Adam Jones getting the game-tying home run taken away from him when Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson elevated over the wall to make a spectacular catch in the eighth inning. The Orioles also went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and certainly had chances to win the game.

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Or you can look at it sort of like I do, that the Orioles had no business to even be in the game. The Tigers had 19 baserunners and stranded 12. Orioles starter Alfredo Simon amazingly allowed 14 baserunners in 4 2/3 innings and only gave up the four earned runs.

"We were real lucky to even be in that ballgame," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter.

Whatever way you look at it, it's another loss. The Orioles are now a season-worst 26 games under .500. They have lost 11 of 14 games, and are now 2-6 on this home stand. Four of those losses are in one-run games after the Orioles began the year 10-1 in one-run affairs at Camden Yards.

"It is a frustrating time for us becaus ewe're just so close, but starting pitching has been a challenge for us and I'm real proud of the effort guys continue to play with," Showalter said. "When you're spending 20, 25 minutes out there between innings, I'm impressed with the intensity our guys brought."

Shortstop J.J. Hardy had another big day, going 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs. He has homered in four of his last six games and has five total homers in that span. Hardy now has 23 home runs and three multi-homer games this season. Hardy has also collected an RBI in eight straight games, tied for the fourth longest strong in franchise history and the longest since Miguel Tejada had an RBI in nine straight games.

Asked if this was his best stretch offensively of his career, Hardy said, "Yeah, maybe. I feel like in '07 I got off to a start like this and then '08, I kind of finished like this. This year, other than the month that I missed due to injury, has been pretty consistent, I think."

Vladimir Guerrero and Jones also had two hits apiece, and Guerrero collected his first RBI since Aug.3.

From a pitching standpoint, Willie Eyre made his Orioles debut and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, walking one and striking out one.

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