As much as we’ve made about the Baltimore Orioles only being able to score with home runs, they won a game yesterday by manufacturing three runs that stood up. That, combined with Friday’s win – in which they manufactured the winning runs late – helped the Orioles to take two-of-three from Toronto. By winning the series, the Birds took their first road series in the AL East since April. Incidentally, none of this really matters short of the fact that the Orioles won yesterday’s game and the series. So far as most people should be concerned, you shouldn’t apologize for the manner in which you win games. If you have more runs on the scoreboard when the game’s over, you win. And it doesn’t matter how that comes about.
Miguel Gonzalez had an effective outing yesterday, however the main concern is that he was lifted after 5.1 innings with a groin injury. Gonzalez’s line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Adam Lind led off the last of the second with a solo homer, which ended up being the only run Gonzalez surrendered. Gonzalez recorded one out in the sixth, and then was replaced by Kevin Gausman. While the Orioles have various pitching options given the expanded roster, the last thing they want to do is lose someone to injury at this stage of the game. However only time will tell if Gonzalez misses any starts, and how many at that.
The Orioles failed to allow Toronto to get any momentum going after that home run, as they seized the lead for themselves in the third. The O’s loaded the bases, and Danny Valencia smacked a two-RBI double with two outs to put the O’s ahead 2-1 in the third. An inning later Chris Davis came up with the bases loaded, and drew a walk. Michael Morse came in to score from third, and the O’s had a 3-1 lead.
The Orioles however had to weather one more Toronto storm to get out of Rogers Centre with a win. With two outs in the last of the seventh Buck Showalter called for an intentional walk of Adam Lind. He then brought Tommy Hunter in to pitch, which made some fans nervous. Hunter of course had taken a few late losses for the Birds of late, however he rewarded Showalter’s loyalty by striking out Moises Sierra to end the inning and the threat.
Once again, Birdland held it’s collective breath in the last of the ninth as Jim Johnson came in to close out the game. However Johnson shut Toronto down, and the Orioles scored their 79th win on the season. Another area of concern for the O’s in terms of injuries could be Nate McLouth. Originally given the day off yesterday, McLouth pinch hit in the sixth inning. He was later hit by a pitch in the eighth, and was lifted for pinch runner Chris Dickerson. It’s unclear what his injury is (if anything), however the Orioles need all the pizzazz they can get. The O’s will enjoy the final off day of 2013 today in Boston, before opening up a three-game series with the BoSox. For the team’s sake, hopefully the day off helps McLouth to be ready for the next two weeks; they’re going to need him.