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Trembley responds to rough stretch

Trembley responds to rough stretch

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tough isn't fitting enough to describe the stretch run of this tumultuous 2009 season for Dave Trembley.

Not only does the Orioles manager have to deal with an 11-game losing streak, but his job possibly is on the line.

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, who made the trip to Florida while the Orioles play the Rays, has said for a while that the club won't make a decision on Trembley's 2010 option until either the final weekend of the season or shortly thereafter.

But in the midst of Baltimore's struggles, speculation that this could be Trembley's last year with the Orioles has been obvious.

That's not an easy type of stress to deal with, especially when faced with those questions after yet another bullpen collapse in an eventual 7-6 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field on Monday night.

"I've never put myself ahead of anybody," Trembley said when asked how tough it must be for his job to be up in the air while the losses mount. "I don't feel sorry for myself. We do the very best we can. If you've seen our club, my responsibility is to prepare them to play hard, be professional, be responsible, put guys in situations where I think they can be successful. And if anybody were to have the guts to step up and tell me I haven't done that, I'd tell them [it's not true]. And that's about as graphic as I've ever been in 35 years of coaching baseball."

With that, Trembley stormed out of his meeting with reporters.

On Tuesday, the Orioles will take the field behind Opening Day starter Jeremy Guthrie hoping to put an end to a losing streak that's their longest since 2004 and tied for the longest in the Major Leagues this season.

Baltimore, at 36 games below .500 for the first time since its 107-loss season in 1988, needs to go 3-3 to avoid only the third 100-loss season in franchise history.

But outfielder Nick Markakis wouldn't go so far as to say the burden of this rough season should fall on Trembley.

"He has what he has to work with," Markakis said. "You can put any manager in the situation he's in, and you can only do so much. With what we've had -- all the injuries -- it's tough as a manager. But he has what he has to work with, and it is what it is. I think he's done a good job."

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Jeremy Guthrie (10-16, 5.10 ERA)
Guthrie took the loss against the Blue Jays on Wednesday, giving up seven runs -- five earned -- on eight hits and two walks in seven innings. The 30-year-old, who posted a 3.63 ERA in 30 starts last season, has a 6.38 ERA in his past three starts. In 11 of his 31 starts this season, he has given up five or more earned runs. Guthrie is 2-4 with a 4.76 ERA in eight career starts against the Rays. He sports a 5.48 ERA on the road this season, and the O's are 6-9 in those contests.

TB: RHP Wade Davis (1-1, 4.07 ERA)
Davis will be making his fifth Major League start after taking a no-decision Wednesday night against the Mariners. He allowed two earned runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. Davis has great command of his pitches and isn't afraid to throw a breaking ball in any count. Other than a bad start in Boston, Davis has been everything the Rays hoped he would be. The 24-year-old right-hander faced the Orioles in his third start and pitched a four-hit shutout in Baltimore on Sept. 17.

Tidbits
Orioles pitcher Bob McCrory was sent back to Baltimore on Monday to get an MRI on his ailing right shoulder on Tuesday. McCrory, who hasn't made an appearance since Sept. 21, got up in the bullpen during the eighth inning on Sunday but deemed himself unavailable to pitch because his throwing shoulder was bothering him. Trembley said that was the first time McCrory reported the injury. ... Trembley said on Monday that he hadn't received the results of the MRI on outfielder Felix Pie, who hasn't played since Friday because of a strained left quadriceps. ... At a combined 162 inches, Monday's pitching matchup between Mark Hendrickson and the Rays' Jeff Niemann was the second-tallest in Major League history. No. 1 came on May 11, when the Giants' Randy Johnson faced former Orioles pitcher Daniel Cabrera to combine for 163 inches. ... Matt Wieters is batting .469 in his past 13 games.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• MASN 2

On radio
• 105.7 The Fan

Up next
• Wednesday: Orioles (David Hernandez, 4-9, 5.20) at Rays (James Shields, 10-12, 4.17), 7:08 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Orioles (Chris Waters, 0-0, 8.10) at Rays (Matt Garza, 8-11, 3.93), 7:08 p.m. ET
• Friday: Orioles (Jason Berken, 5-12, 6.51) vs. Blue Jays (David Purcey, 1-2, 5.28), 7:05 p.m. ET

Alden Gonzalez 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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