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Rumors swirl as O's drop eighth straight

Rumors swirl as O's drop eighth straight

NEW YORK -- On the field, the Orioles lost their eighth consecutive game, a 6-3 defeat and sweep at the hands of the Yankees in front of a crowd of 44,927 at Yankee Stadium.

Off the field, swirling rumors about the pending job status of manager Dave Trembley put Thursday afternoon's otherwise forgettable loss in the spotlight as perhaps the final Orioles game with Trembley at the helm.

Unfortunately for the O's, it won't be reflected on too fondly, a statement that can be made for the entirety of a six-game road trip, where Baltimore was handed a series sweep in Toronto and again in New York.

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The O's scored just five runs on 17 hits for the series against the Yankees, while the hosts scored nine runs on 14 hits in Wednesday's game alone. New York scored 18 runs on 32 hits in the three-game set, an offensive output that is more than the Orioles have scored in their eight-game skid combined.

"We're the ones that throw the ball, we are the ones that swing the bats and catch the ball," Luke Scott said. "All the manager can do is put his best nine out there. I mean, it's not his fault. What can you say? It's a very difficult game. It's unfair in a lot of aspects [to put all the blame on Trembley]."

The Orioles have seemingly been playing under a black cloud for most of the season, and with Trembley's status looming large, some have speculated about the uncertainty affecting the players.

"It shouldn't have any bearing," Ty Wigginton said. "We should take it upon ourselves to prepare and get ready to go and go out there and compete."

Added Thursday's starter Kevin Millwood: "We haven't played good. I don't see it. I don't see how most of that is [Trembley's] fault."

Millwood allowed a season-high six earned runs -- five of which came in the first three innings -- but battled in his typical fashion to last until two outs into the sixth. Thursday marked his shortest outing since tossing 5 1/3 innings in April 27's no-decision against the Yankees.

"I thought he really had to battle to get outs," Trembley said of Millwood, who dropped to 0-6 on the season. "There were baserunners in a lot of the innings. I don't think it was Millwood as much as it was the Yankees' lineup."

Millwood surrendered 10 hits -- two of the long-ball variety -- and issued four walks against five strikeouts. He has been a victim of poor run support all season, getting just 18 runs scored in 79 2/3 innings on the hill, and the O's series finale in the Bronx was no exception.

The Orioles mustered just one hit off Yankees ace CC Sabathia in the first six innings, as Adam Jones homered to lead off the third. Sabathia cruised the rest of the afternoon before Wigginton broke through in the seventh for the O's second hit and Scott followed with a two-run blast over the right-field wall.

"Your bat is only so long, you can only cover so much ground," Scott said. "We [as hitters] make a living out of balls in the zone and [Sabathia is] very stingy out there. He's one of the best for a reason."

Sabathia hadn't been at his best as of late. The Yankees ace entered Thursday's game having allowed 10 earned runs in his past 11 innings and was marred in a five-game winless stretch.

Still, the Yankees' ace came out firing, retiring 19 of the first 21 batters he faced and finishing with seven strikeouts en route to becoming the 29th opposing starter to toss seven innings against the Orioles in the season's first 54 games.

The loss dropped the Orioles to a Major League-worst 15-39 and marked the 34th time the offense has scored three runs or fewer.

"It's discouraging and it's a difficult situation. It's tough to live it every day," Scott said. "I've never seen adversity come up against a team so much at any level. The good thing is, there's still two-thirds of the season left. We have good men here in this locker room, we have a good staff and it can turn around. It can turn around for us at any point in time, and that's how you have to look at it."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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