The Baltimore Orioles are in the same position they were a week ago: two games below .500 and mired in fourth place in the American League East.

But the Orioles (36-38) at least managed to avoid setting an embarrassing Major League Baseball record.

Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones celebrates with third base coach Bobby Dickerson (11) after Jones hit a home run off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 24, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Heading into a June 24 matchup with the Tampa Rays, Baltimore had allowed at least five runs in 20 straight games. The mark matched a MLB record set by the Philadelphia Phillies more than 90 years ago, way back in 1924. 

Had the Orioles given up five runs in Saturday’s contest with Tampa, they would have owned the shameful record outright.  Instead, Baltimore held the Rays to just three runs in n 8-3 victory in St. Petersburg, Fla. 

Starter Dylan Bundy lasted seven full innings, surrendering five hits and three runs with eight strikeouts. Relievers Donnie Hart and Mychal Givens gave up just two hits and no runs to close out the game. 

Orioles team manager Buck Showhalter acknowledged his players’ efforts to identify a weakness and do something about it.

“It’s one thing to identify a problem, it’s another thing to solve it,” Showalter told reporters after the game. “We’re in the business of trying to solve issues. You can start by looking at them and realizing that you have them, but I don’t think anybody’s got to tell us we’ve had problems with our starting pitching.”

Still, the victory was only the seventh in Baltimore’s last 21 games. It will take many more performances like the win over Tampa to get the Orioles back into the AL playoff hunt. 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor