(AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles have lost 18 games in a row, and somehow that doesn't do their skid justice.
What's startling is how rarely they've come close to ending the slide.
Baltimore's losing streak is the longest in the major leagues since Kansas City's 19-gamer in 2005. The Orioles have been outscored during their slide by 102 runs—an average of 5.7 per game. Only one of their defeats has been by one run, and two others were by two. They've lost by seven or more runs seven times during this nightmarish stretch.
Baltimore's best chances to win came early in the streak. The Orioles led the Yankees 3-0 in the fourth inning Aug. 4 before losing 10-3. They led 5-2 in the sixth the following game, but Tampa Bay stormed back for a 10-6 victory.
On Aug. 8—in the fifth game of the slide—Baltimore led the Rays 5-2 in the seventh. But Tampa Bay scored six runs in the eighth and won 9-6. The Orioles had a win probability of 93.8% in the seventh inning of that game, according to Baseball Savant. That's the highest it's gotten during this skid.
Since that loss to the Rays, Baltimore has not led at any point after the fourth inning, and the Orioles have had a multirun lead only once. That was when they scored two runs in the top of the first at Tampa Bay on Aug. 18. The Rays immediately tied it in the bottom half and went on to win 8-4.
The Orioles are 38 games out of first place in the AL East — and 26 1/2 games out of fourth. Every other team in the division is at least six games over .500, underscoring the difficult task Baltimore has in the years to come. But help may be on the way.
According to MLB Pipeline, the Orioles have the No. 1 prospect in baseball in Triple-A catcher Adley Rutschman, the top pick in the 2019 draft. Baltimore also has the top-ranked pitching prospect, Double-A right-hander Grayson Rodriguez.
And then there's next year's draft. Thanks to this slide, the Orioles have a good chance to pick No. 1 again.
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