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Pinch-hit homer in decisive 7th sinks O's

Joseph hits 3-run double, but rally falls short
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- There will be growing pains, for sure.

As the last-place Orioles already gaze toward the future, a combination of injuries (Darren O'Day and Richard Bleier) and trade bait (Zach Britton and Brad Brach) put the club's bullpen in a precarious position. Some are being showcased, some are being auditioned for future roles. For rookie Tanner Scott, he's being thrust into a bigger role than most could have envisioned -- and experiencing the ups and downs that go along with it.

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BALTIMORE -- There will be growing pains, for sure.

As the last-place Orioles already gaze toward the future, a combination of injuries (Darren O'Day and Richard Bleier) and trade bait (Zach Britton and Brad Brach) put the club's bullpen in a precarious position. Some are being showcased, some are being auditioned for future roles. For rookie Tanner Scott, he's being thrust into a bigger role than most could have envisioned -- and experiencing the ups and downs that go along with it.

View Full Game Coverage

"There's some learning curves and pain along the way," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Scott, who served up a three-run homer to pinch-hitter Ryan Rua as part of a decisive four-run seventh that saw the Orioles fall, 5-4, to the Rangers on Friday night at Camden Yards.

Video: TEX@BAL: Showalter on Cobb's start, Joseph's growth

"Some nights, he's been as good as you want to see, and you see what he could potentially be. These guys get these opportunities, and hopefully they can take advantage of them. It's always going to be a learning experience at 23 years old, coming up here and facing the best hitters in the world. A lot of times it's about minimizing damage, too."

Scott, who posted a 3.72 ERA in eight May appearances, allowed eight earned runs over seven innings in 10 games in June. He has been equal parts dominant and troublesome, and on Friday it was more of the latter.

Scott, entering after starter Alex Cobb exited, was charged with two of Rua's runs and surrendered Nomar Mazara's double that made it 5-1. It marked the O's 17th loss in their past 20 games.

Video: TEX@BAL: Cobb tosses 6 1/3 innings of 2-run ball

The Orioles, who dropped to 26-69 on the season, had a few chances to pick up Scott, most notably when they left the bases loaded in the eighth. Baltimore didn't record a hit off Rangers starter Cole Hamels until the fourth inning and stranded seven runners on the night. The O's chased Hamels after loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, and No. 9 batter Caleb Joseph delivered a two-out, bases-clearing double off righty Jose Leclerc to bring the O's within a run.

But it was as close as they would get, saddling Cobb with his Major League-leading 12th loss and Scott with most of the damage done.

Video: TEX@BAL: Cobb starts double play to end threat in 3rd

"That's the biggest difference from the big leagues and the Minor Leagues, you have places in the lineup, you have holes you can kind of get out. Up here, there's not many holes, and there's another guy coming up who was just as good as the guy before him," Joseph said of Scott's troubles. "It all starts with getting ahead for Tanner. He's got great stuff. He's going to be fine. Tough growing pains though for sure."

Cobb went 6 1/3 innings and was charged with two runs on six hits, including a homer. Joey Gallo put the Rangers up briefly in the top of the fifth, lifting a ball into left field that had just enough on it to clear the wall. Adam Jones doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Danny Valencia to tie it in the bottom of the frame.

Video: TEX@BAL: Valencia drives in Jones with a sac fly

"I think just being able to mix pitches," Cobb said of bouncing back from a short start in Minnesota. "They're a pretty aggressive team. I tried to get ahead early, make them chase pitches that you want them to chase, and hopefully, they put it on the ground and find somebody. Not too many strikeouts, so you need to have the defense working behind you."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Zero in the 8th: The O's had some momentum going after a leadoff single by Jonathan Schoop and Manny Machado's walk. One out later, Mark Trumbo laced a ball into right-center field to load the bases on Rangers righty Jesse Chavez.

But Chavez struck out Valencia, and Rangers manager Jeff Banister brought on lefty Jake Diekman to face Chris Davis, who popped up to end the threat.

Video: TEX@BAL: Diekman retires Davis, leaves bases loaded

SOUND SMART
Baltimore is 0-60 when trailing after seven innings.

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Machado, Schoop and Davis turned Adrian Beltre's sixth-inning grounder into a 4-6-3 double play that defied belief. How much so? Well, Banister ended up challenging both ends of the play, to see whether Machado kept his foot on second base long enough, and if his throw beat Beltre to the bag. Both calls on the field were confirmed.

Video: TEX@BAL: Schoop, Machado turn DP, call confirmed

ROSTER SHUFFLE
The Orioles optioned catcher Chance Sisco to Triple-A Norfolk following Friday's game. It marks the second time the rookie has been optioned this season.

HE SAID IT
"He got a count in his favor and just couldn't execute the last pitch. There were a lot more things that went into the game than that, but that was your question. He got ahead there quickly and just couldn't execute a pitch. You see all the good things that he can potentially do, and tonight he struggled." -- Showalter, on Scott

UP NEXT
Yefry Ramirez will get his fourth start of the season and his Major League career against the Rangers on Saturday night. The righty is 0-3, but he has held his own, pitching to a 3.93 ERA in four games since his promotion. Rangers lefty Martin Perez will oppose the rookie, with first pitch slated for 7:15 p.m. ET.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Alex Cobb, Tanner Scott