BALTIMORE -- Yogi Berra would call what's happening with the Devil Rays on the road, "Deja vu all over again."
Thursday afternoon's getaway game at Camden Yards saw the Rays take it on the chin for the sixth consecutive time in a 10-7 loss to the Orioles in front of a crowd of 22,393.
The Rays won just three road games in the second half of the 2006 season, and did not get their first road win of the second half until their ninth road game. While the 2007 Rays won their first road game of the second half, 14-4, against the Yankees on Friday night, they have dropped their next six to put themselves on a eerily similar track to the one followed by last year's team when playing on the road.
"The first half, we played relatively well on the road, and I thought we had that behind us," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I'm not saying it will start up all over again. I don't think it will. It's just that the Yankees are playing well, and these guys are a little bit toasty."
The Rays' path is not about to get any easier. The next trip will see them play four games against first-place Detroit, and then three at Texas, where they always seem to struggle, followed by three against the first-place Red Sox.
"We seem to always get the team that's in a playoff race in the second half," Carl Crawford said. "We just can't win in the second half, pretty much, for whatever reason."
Road games aside, the Rays return home on Friday night to play the Red Sox.
"You know their track record against us," Crawford said. "You know what they're trying to accomplish this year. So it's going to be tough. We've got to strap it up and try to find a way to get the intensity level back up."
On Thursday, the Rays got off to a good start when Carlos Pena hit his 24th home run of the season in the second inning, a 415-foot shot off Orioles starter Steve Trachsel to put the Rays up 1-0.
The O's answered in the bottom half of the inning when Chris Gomez's sacrifice fly off Rays starter Edwin Jackson tied the score at 1.
Crawford's RBI double in the third inning put the Rays back on top, 2-1, but the O's answered again when Paul Bako doubled to lead off the bottom half of the inning and Brandon Fahey followed with an infield single that ignited a five-run rally that saw Nick Markakis single home two, Kevin Millar double home two more and Gomez drive in his second run of the game.
"Today was a winnable game for us," Maddon said. "And when Edwin began today, he was throwing the ball really well, stuff wise. And his composure was good. Then they hit the ball, he wasn't getting the ball where he wanted to, he wasn't using his breaking ball as much as I would have like to [have] seen. Physically, stuff-wise, he was really good, he just got beat up a little bit."
Jackson sounded frustrated while trying to explain what happened in the third.
"Started [the third] off with an 0-2 count [against Bako], [I] went to 3-2, [then a] double, [an] infield single [by Fahey]," Jackson said. "After that, they just put the ball in play. [There were a] couple of times when I was ahead, I just didn't put hitters away. "
Ty Wigginton hit a solo home run in the fourth, and B.J. Upton and Delmon Young had RBI singles in the fifth to cut the O's lead to 6-5, while the collective bullpen effort by Scott Dohmann, Juan Salas and Gary Glover held the O's scoreless for 3 2/3 innings, leading up to Al Reyes pitching the eighth.
Unfortunately for the Rays, Reyes got torched for four runs. Brian Roberts delivered the big blow with a three-run homer that put the O's up, 10-5. The late rally sank any hopes of a Rays comeback, even though they managed to score twice in the ninth.
"Roberts is good," Maddon said. "He hits the ball out of the ballpark. That was a big play right there. I really felt we had a chance to come back before that. We're losing the battle of inches right now."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.