O's struggling with runners in scoring position

O's struggling with runners in scoring position

TORONTO -- After getting four hits with runners in scoring position in Friday's win, the Orioles players requested to wear their black jerseys again on Saturday. It went up through the channels and got approved, but the luck didn't continue with the O's going 2-for-11 and missing out on a chance to gain ground in the AL Wild Card race in a 4-3 loss to Toronto.

"You're assuming we don't [talk about it]. We have advanced meetings every day," manager Buck Showalter said of the possibility of addressing his club's timely hitting as a group. "After a while, you just can't continue to beat a dead horse. You have an opportunity every day. It's hard to explain to those who aren't exposed to that arena every day. It's real easy from a distance, it's real hard up close."

Showalter, whose club went 13-for-63 (.206) with runners in scoring position on their most recent eight-game homestand, is used to the daily questions about his offense. He pointed across the field at Toronto's dugout prior to Sunday's game and said, "You don't think they'd sign up for our problems?"

The Orioles entered the day ranked fifth in batting average with runners in scoring position, at .268, but it has become a glaring issue at a pivotal point of the season. Over their last 21 games, the O's are batting .221 (36-for-163) with runners in scoring position and have a 9-12 record in that span.

"It's not like all year we've been bad. Comparatively speaking in the Major Leagues, we're close to the top," Showalter said. "But I know it's, 'What have you done for me lately?' I, as a manager, can't live in that world. You will lose guys in a heartbeat in that 'What have you done for me lately world.' It doesn't mean there's not a sense of urgency with it. It's not 'OK, sera, sera.'"

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.