Tampa Bay Rays defeat Baltimore Orioles, 5-2

Simon says: : In his first major league start in Game 2, Alfredo Simon, who spent most of the season in the Mexican League, pitched 7 2/3 outstanding innings.

Simon frustrated Tampa Bay with his heavy fastball, which helped produce 12 ground-ball outs and six strikeouts. In his most recent Triple-A start Sept. 1, Simon allowed seven runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Bullpen blues: : After Simon allowed a solo homer to Evan Longoria, Trembley brought in Jamie Walker to...

The Tampa Bay Rays know what it feels like to be the Orioles, and Rays manager Joe Maddon knows what it feels like to be Dave Trembley. Perhaps that should provide some consolation around here as the Rays prepare to pour champagne over one another and celebrate their first American League East title sometime in the next few days.

If you don't think so, you might want to set the Wayback Machine to one year ago today and take a look at the standings. You would find the pr...

As far back as a month ago, it seemed inevitable. Sure, the Orioles would probably finish in last place and extend their stretch of losing seasons to 11. But at the very least, they would finish with a better record than their 69-win predecessors, not expected after the offseason trades of Erik Bedard and Miguel Tejada.

After yet another late-season collapse, that is no longer likely. And frankly, the Orioles would probably settle for just winning one more game before t...