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Orioles drop 7th straight after 'pen implosion

Cashner turns in strong 6-inning start, but Angels score 5 runs in 8th
MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- The talk around the Orioles' clubhouse following Friday's deflating loss to the Angels revolved around the conviction that, despite a rough first 81 games of the season, the next 81 could very well go the opposite way.

"As tough or as bad as things have been for 81 games, they can be just as good the other way around," manager Buck Showalter said after Friday's 7-1 loss put the Orioles 35 games under .500. "You got 81 games that you struggle and now you can have 81 games that you go the other way. … There's some really good people in that locker room and I'd really like to see them get a return for what [they've put into it]. But you can't will it. You can't just hope."

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BALTIMORE -- The talk around the Orioles' clubhouse following Friday's deflating loss to the Angels revolved around the conviction that, despite a rough first 81 games of the season, the next 81 could very well go the opposite way.

"As tough or as bad as things have been for 81 games, they can be just as good the other way around," manager Buck Showalter said after Friday's 7-1 loss put the Orioles 35 games under .500. "You got 81 games that you struggle and now you can have 81 games that you go the other way. … There's some really good people in that locker room and I'd really like to see them get a return for what [they've put into it]. But you can't will it. You can't just hope."

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Not much has indicated that the longed-for momentum is coming, though Saturday's 6-2 loss to the Angels -- Baltimore's seventh loss in a row -- teased it momentarily. After holding a 2-1 lead through seven innings thanks to two first-inning runs and another solid start from Andrew Cashner, a bullpen collapse in the eighth squandered any hope the second half of 2018 would start on a high note.

Video: LAA@BAL: Angels put up 5 runs in the 8th inning

A scoreless seventh from Brad Brach momentarily continued the hope, but Mychal Givens and Tanner Scott teamed up to allow five Angels to cross home in the following inning. The defense didn't help, either, as Tim Beckham could have ended the inning with the game tied when pinch-hitter Chris Young tapped a one-out grounder to third with the bases loaded. But Beckham stumbled and hesitated after stepping on third, and first baseman Chris Davis wasn't touching the bag when he caught the relay on the bang-bang play.

"You can't really worry about what's going on, the negatives," Givens said. "You just have to pick each other up and that's the biggest thing. We've been a good team for quite a long time and there are going to be times and this is the year that we've struggled, so we just have to keep trying to pick each other up and try to grind through it."

Cashner set down 10 of the first 11 Angels he faced. But he lost out on another win in the best month of his rocky season, turning in his fourth quality start of June -- good enough for a 3.21 ERA but an 0-2 record in the month. Cashner has turned in eight quality starts in 2018, but he's only come away with two wins.

Video: LAA@BAL: Cashner K's 4 in 6 frames vs. Angels

"To say I'm not frustrated, I'd be lying," Cashner said. "But for me, wins and losses are out of my control, so for me, it's just show up and give these guys a chance to win every day, and compete. I think guys in the clubhouse know what I can do and wins and losses, I think they'll come."

Outside of Justin Upton cashing in on a one-out double in the fourth, Cashner ran into serious trouble just once, when the Angels loaded the bases with two out in the fifth. Cashner fell behind, 3-0, to Upton but recovered to strike him out swinging to escape the jam.

Video: LAA@BAL: Cashner K's Upton to end bases-loaded jam

On the flipside. the Orioles got to Angels starter Tyler Skaggs early. Beckham -- slotted into the leadoff spot for the first time since his return from the disabled list -- began a string of three singles to open the game, scoring a run. Danny Valencia's sac fly to deep center scored Manny Machado to give the Orioles more runs through one out on Saturday than they managed in 27 on Friday.

But Skaggs, who entered Saturday with a 0.67 ERA in June, was allowed to settle back in, retiring the next 11 Orioles. He was pulled after only 79 pitches in five innings, but the bullpen didn't provide much easier swinging for Baltimore.

After the three singles in a row to open the game, the Orioles mustered just three additional hits in the remaining 27 outs, one of which was credited to Machado after his grounder struck Jones as he was running to second to end the fifth inning.

Video: LAA@BAL: Jones out for interference with batted ball

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Valencia misjudges ball:  Valencia is a natural third baseman, appearing at the position 505 times in his 842 career games. But with the return of Beckham at third and the consistency of Valencia's bat, he's had to transition into the outfield, where he's appeared just 92 times. Hiccups are bound to happen, but none has been quite as consequential as misjudging Albert Pujols' fly ball in the eighth inning, which fell for a game-tying double instead of a crucial second out.

"You can ask a question about anything. There's a lot more that goes into setting up that inning -- if that's what people want to dwell on," Showalter said. "I haven't looked at it -- looked like it hit high on the wall in one of the deepest parts in the park other than center field. I don't know, I'll have to look at it. I'm more concerned about the other things that led to that situation."

Video: LAA@BAL: Pujols drives an RBI double to center field

SOUND SMART
The Orioles are 1-17 in their last 18 games at Camden Yards.

HE SAID IT
"Yeah when you only score two runs again, you're gonna have to pitch real well, which we really did for seven innings. So, I'll take that out of it. You can't ask much more of a starter than what Cash gave you on a real sticky, hot day. That's pretty draining. So, I was really impressed with him. Looked like he had a good (outing), we just couldn't get it done after that." -- Showalter, on what he takes out of a loss like this

UP NEXT
The Orioles will turn to Kevin Gausman Sunday to try and salvage a win on the homestand against Deck McGuire, who is making a spot start for the Angels. Gausman has spun quality starts in three of his past four outings, but he's still searching for his first win since May 11. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET.

Zachary Silver is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Baltimore Orioles, Andrew Cashner