Still in hunt, O's aim to 'turn the page' from skid

'There's a lot stacked against us and we know that,' Davis says

September 11th, 2017

CLEVELAND -- With their eyes set on the second spot in the American League Wild Card race, the Orioles entered Cleveland on Friday looking to cool off the red-hot Indians as the clubs opened a three-game set at Progressive Field.

But the Orioles too fell victim to the Tribe's historic winning streak -- which now sits at 18 straight -- as they were swept by Cleveland with Sunday night's 3-2 loss.

"It's definitely tough, without a doubt," Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. "We played a lot better tonight than we have the last couple of nights. We gave ourselves a chance, but these guys are rolling, and I think it's pretty obvious that we aren't the first team that they swept."

Wild Card standings

The loss on Sunday marked the fourth straight for Baltimore, and its seventh loss in its last 10 games. This rough stretch comes off the heels of a seven-game winning streak from Aug. 23 to Aug. 30, which put the Orioles right back into the mix in the Wild Card standings.

Despite the four consecutive losses, the Orioles are still in the hunt for the postseason. With Minnesota's 11-3 loss to the Royals on Sunday afternoon, the O's sit only three games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card spot.

"At this point, we need to win every game," said Davis, who hit his 24th homer of the season in Sunday's loss. "There's a lot stacked against us and we know that. We are still in the fight and we need to win every game. ... We have plenty of things to go off of and plenty of things that we do well, and that's where our focus needs to be."

"We still aren't out of it," Orioles starter added. "But it's not a good time to come in here and play these guys, that's for sure. We are going to have to get back in it."

Hellickson battled with Indians starter for six innings on Sunday, as the right-hander retired 15 in a row from the first inning until the end of the fifth. That ended when Hellickson left two fastballs over the middle of the plate to and in the sixth, as the two connected for back-to-back home runs to break a 1-1 tie.

"He pitched real well," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He gave us a great chance to win. I can't fault anything [he did]. That's a good offensive team. They just pitched better than we did the whole series."

The Tribe's pitching staff held the Orioles to four runs in the three-game series, which included a 5-0 shutout on Friday. Baltimore's staff gave up 12 total runs in the trio of games, 10 which were allowed by its starters.

"Of course it's [frustrating]," Showalter said. "Guys are trying so hard and pushing so much, [and] not getting a return for it. I see what goes on here from 12 o'clock to game time. The work they're putting in, they're just not getting return for it right now. There's not much time left, but we just have to turn the page."

As far as what the Orioles need to do in the final stretch of the regular season, Showalter's answer was simple.

"It's all about winning baseball games," he said. "You got to win the games for [the postseason] to even matter. We didn't do it here. We've got to win tomorrow night's game [in Toronto] and then keep plugging away and grinding games and see if we can put something together for an extended period of time and see where it takes us."