"I think you give the team respect," the manager said. "You respect their effort. I think you understand what everybody is going through, and try to do what you can to make them comfortable and come out tomorrow and win the game."
Baltimore's losing streak, which started against Tampa Bay nearly two weeks ago, has known no boundaries. The Orioles lost four consecutive games at home, and now they've lost eight in a row on the road. They've scored three runs or fewer in eight of the losses, and they've also managed to lose five games by two runs or fewer.
The O's have two road games against the Rays to try to end the skid, and then they'll go back to Camden Yards to finish their season with a three-game series against the Blue Jays. Baltimore is trying to avoid its first 100-loss season since 1988, and it will take victories in three of the remaining five games to do it.
"You don't come into the season expecting to go through streaks like this. [But] it happens, [and] a lot of teams have to deal with it," said veteran Ty Wigginton. "I think you try to be aggressive and maybe change your luck. Hopefully tomorrow everything is better and we can end the season on a winning streak."
BAL: RHP David Hernandez (4-9, 5.20 ERA)
Hernandez had really struggled of late, but he threw his second consecutive quality start on Friday. He gave up two earned runs in six innings while striking out six and walking just one against the Indians. September had not been kind to Hernandez until his past two starts. He is winless in the month, but it was two positive outings nonetheless. He is 0-1 with a 15.00 ERA in one start against the Rays.
TB: RHP James Shields (10-12, 4.17 ERA)
Shields took his 12th loss of the season on Friday night after giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out seven in seven innings. The right-hander has been a hard-luck pitcher all season, but he remains the best battler on the starting staff. Shields is most effective when he's locating his fastball, which sets up one of the best changeups in the Major Leagues. He is 5-2 with a 2.89 ERA in 14 career starts against the Orioles.
Baltimore's 12-game losing streak has been matched five times in franchise history. The Orioles last lost that many in 2004, and you have to go all the way back to 1988 (21 games) to find a longer skid. ... Matt Wieters is batting .463 (19-for-41) with seven multihit games in his past 10 starts. Wieters leads American League rookies with a .294 batting average. ... Brian Roberts set a big league record for doubles in a season by a switch-hitter with his 56th on Tuesday night. Roberts broke Lance Berkman's record of 55, which had stood since 2001. ... The Orioles are 6-28 on the road against American League East teams this season. ... Baltimore is 39-36 when it scores first and 21-61 when its opponent draws first blood. ... The Orioles are 54-38 when they score at least four runs and 6-59 when they score fewer.
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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
Saturday: Orioles (Mark Hendrickson, 5-5, 4.38) vs. Blue Jays (Brian Tallet, 7-9, 5.32), 7:05 p.m. ET