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 Posted: Tue Sep 24th, 2013 01:20 am
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After Manny Machado's injury, Orioles swept with 5-4 loss to Rays

By Dan Connolly The Baltimore Sun

7:08 p.m. EDT, September 23, 2013

The Orioles lost their fifth consecutive game on Monday, a 5-4 defeat to the Tampa Bay Rays that ended when pinch-hitter James Loney hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning against right-hander Tommy Hunter.

The Orioles (81-75) are free-falling out of playoff contention, and yet that no longer seems as big of a concern. That’s because the Orioles' 21-year-old third baseman, Manny Machado, was taken off the field on a stretcher in the seventh inning after stepping on first base awkwardly while beating out an infield single.

His left knee appeared to buckle before he collapsed and stayed down for several minutes, writhing in pain. While on the ground, he slammed his helmet onto the dirt as the athletic trainers rushed onto the field. Machado's left knee was immobilized before he was wheeled off to a standing ovation from the announced crowd of 17,830 at Tropicana Field.

Machado, the club's budding superstar, had started all 156 games this season and played in 207 consecutively since debuting on Aug. 9, 2012.

He said before the game that he was really hoping to play a full, 162-game season.

“That would be great. I’d love to play 162 games,” Machado said before Monday’s game. “That’s my goal, and that’s what they put me out there to do, go out there every day and show the world I can play and I can grind it out. It’s a long season and to play 162 games in the major leagues at such a young age is a great accomplishment that a lot of people can’t say that they’ve done.”

The streak obviously will come to an end Tuesday, but the Orioles are hoping the injury isn’t as serious as it first appeared.

As for the game, the Orioles scored three times in the fourth inning, including a two-run homer by Chris Davis. It was his major league-leading 52nd homer, which also padded his single-season franchise record.

Brian Roberts hit his sixth home run of the season to lead off the fifth -- the first time in this nine-game road trip that the Orioles had more than one home run in a game. Before Davis’ shot, the Orioles hadn’t homered in the four-game series at Tropicana Field.

In fact, they hadn’t really scored in any matter.

From the eighth inning of Friday’s 18-inning marathon through the third inning Monday, the Orioles had scored just two runs on 10 hits in a span of 32 innings. Then they scored four times against American League Rookie of the Year candidate Chris Archer in a span of nine batters.

Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen lasted 4 1/3 innings, yielding two runs, six hits and two walks. He hasn’t won since Aug. 21.

The Orioles took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh, when rookie Wil Myers broke Tampa Bay’s 0-for-18 skid with the bases loaded by blooping a two-run single into right field.

On the play, Alexi Casilla appeared to catch the ball on a dive but his head slammed into Nick Markakis’ knee and he dropped the ball.

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Of the temples of syrinx
Our great computers
Fill the hollowed halls
We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
All the gifts of life
Are held within our walls" 2112 By Rush!!