By MARK DIDTLER

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Yarbrough came off the COVID-19 injured list and worked five scoreless innings as the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays handed the Baltimore Orioles their 14th consecutive loss, 8-4 on Wednesday night.

Baltimore, which also had a 14-game skid from May 18-31, joined the Boston Braves as the only teams to have a pair of 14-game or longer losing streaks in the same season since 1901. The Braves did it twice, in 1911 and 1935.

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“We’re just going through a really rough time in this rebuild right now,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said before the game. “We’re playing against teams that are postseason (contenders) and we’re a long ways away. They’re playing to win it and we’re trying to just do the best we can and stay positive with it.”

Cy Young was on the 1911 Boston team, going 4-5 in the final season of his 511-win career. Babe Ruth spent part of 1935 with Boston, hitting six of his 714 homers during his last season.

Yarbrough (7-4) followed opener Louis Head to start the second inning and gave up one hit in his first appearance since Aug. 6.

Brandon Lowe had a two-out RBI single, stole second and scored on Wander Franco’s double off Spenser Watkins (2-5) to put Tampa Bay up 4-2 in the fourth.

Franco had a run-scoring infield single during a three-run sixth that made it 7-2.

The Rays tied it at 2 on Ji-Man Choi’s first-inning two-run single.

Austin Wynns had an RBI single in the seventh and rookie Ryan Mountcastle connected on his 20th homer, an eighth-inning solo shot off former Baltimore right-hander Shawn Armstrong to get the Orioles within 7-4.

Cedric Mullins led off the game with his 21st homer and Pedro Severino added an RBI single in the first.

Watkins allowed four runs and eight hits over four innings in losing his fifth straight start,

GOT THEIR NUMBER

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The Rays’ magic number to eliminate Baltimore in the AL East race is eight. … Tampa Bay is 14-1 against the Orioles this season.

FLEETING GLORY

The Rays designated RHP Chris Ellis for assignment one day after he recorded his first big league win with four scoreless relief innings in his second career game.

FRESH START

Veteran reliever David Robertson, signed by the Rays Monday, worked a scoreless inning for Triple-A Durham. The 36-year old was on this year’s silver medal-winning United States Olympic team.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: 1B Trey Mancini (calf) and OFs Anthony Santander (ankle) and DJ Stewart (knee) were out of the starting lineup. Santander popped out pinch-hitting in the seventh. Hyde didn’t rule out Mancini starting Thursday. … RHP Hunter Harvey (right lat strain) allowed one run and three hits in one inning for Triple-A Norfolk.

Rays: RHP Chris Archer (right forearm) is expected back early next week.

UP NEXT

Baltimore RHP Jorge López (3-13) and Rays LHP Shane McClanahan (7-4) are Thursday’s starters.

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