"We're consistently inconsistent," third baseman Danny Valencia said of the Orioles, who dropped to 17-35 with the loss. "That's really what it comes down to. We'll play a few games real solid and we'll play a game where maybe we get away from our approaches at the dish."
Trying to win three consecutive road games for the first time all season, the Orioles found themselves in an immediate deficit as Cashner -- who exited with the bases loaded in the sixth -- ran into early trouble.
After surrendering Joey Wendle's run-scoring triple and Wilson Ramos' RBI double in the first inning, C.J. Cron's two-run double into the gap in the second frame put Tampa Bay up, 5-0.
"Just thought I was spinning out of my delivery a little bit. Not staying on the baseball," Cashner said of allowing early runs to a Rays club that entered the game on a 13-inning drought. "Didn't really execute very well with anything. A lot of bad misses and not a very good breaking ball."
Cashner, who walked four, worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, but didn't get a chance to do so in the sixth as manager Buck Showalter went to his bullpen.
Signed to a two-year deal this spring, Cashner has lasted less than six innings in three straight games and has had just one quality start in his past six.
"Just command and just not a real good feel for an out pitch," Showalter said of Cashner's struggles. "He kept searching for it. Tribute to him to get through five."
The Orioles' bats were asleep early, as Valencia's leadoff triple in the fifth was the team's first hit. Valencia was stranded there as Chris Davis and Joey Rickard struck out and Andrew Susac grounded out. Davis did pick up an RBI later, his first since May 9, driving in the O's only run off of Rays reliever Anthony Banda in the seventh.
"This is one of the more talented teams I've played on, and we've definitely underachieved to this point. There's no doubt about it, there's no secret to it," Valencia said of an Orioles offense held to three or fewer runs in nine of its past 11 games.
"We're hoping that as this season goes along, that we're going to start turning the page. And I think to our credit, we've played better recently. We haven't been going out there and getting crushed every single night, and we're in a position where we can win the series tomorrow."
SOUND SMART Right fielder Joey Rickard had three outfield assists, the most in a game since former Miami outfielder Giancarlo Stanton on September 12, 2017. He is the first Orioles outfielder to record three outfield assists since Joe Orsulak on September 12, 1991.
HE SAID IT "That's an obvious thing that we probably have done it enough that we really can't use that. We're just not swinging the bats well. We've scored three runs in two games and it's hard for any pitcher to basically have to have a 1-0 shutout to win today." -- Showalter, on if the Rays starting with a reliever has messed up his offense
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY The Orioles challenged the call that Adam Jones was not hit by a pitch to start the ninth inning. After a brief review, the call stood and the O's lost their challenge.
UP NEXT Kevin Gausman will take the hill in Sunday's series finale against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Gausman is coming off a tough-luck outing on Tuesday in which he matched a career high with 10 strikeouts against the White Sox. He threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings and walked one while scattering nine hits. Gausman will be opposed by Rays reliever Sergio Romo in the 1:10 p.m. ET contest.