Baltimore Orioles, Miguel Gonzalez fall in series finale to Boston
In their final regular season home game at Camden Yards, the Baltimore Orioles couldn’t quite get over the hump in the road that was the BoSox. Let’s be frank; the Birds certainly wanted to send themselves off for the final time at home this year with a win in front of their fans. However this was a far cry from the O’s defeating Boston in the final game of the regular season in 2011.
Miguel Gonzalez got the star for the Orioles, and while he gave up multiple home runs for the first time in over a month, he left the Orioles in a position to win the game. Gonzalez’s line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 K. However Gonzalez was opposed by a pitcher in the form of Joe Kelly who was equally as good. In fact, he kept the O’s more in check than Gonzalez did with Boston. But that’s just how some games go.
The Orioles found themselves in a hole early on Betts’ solo homer to lead off the game. Boston would add to their lead in the fifth on a Cespedes RBI-single which scored former Oriole Jermile Weeks. An inning later David Ross would homer to run the lead to 3-0. However the Birds would mount a rally in the last of the sixth. David Lough‘s RBI-double combined with Nelson Cruz‘s fielder’s choice-RBI cut the lead to 3-2.
Unfortunately the O’s weren’t able to rally any further from that point, and they went down to a 3-2 loss. Prior to the game Nelson Cruz
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was named the 2014 Most Valuable Oriole, with Adam Jones finishing second and Zach Britton third. Speaking for myself I see that as about what I would have expected. The bat of Cruz single-handedly won the Orioles several games in the first few months of the season, and they wouldn’t be where they are today without having had it in their lineup. Ironically, David Ortiz lobbied for Boston’s brass to sign Cruz, but they opted not to do so.
The Birds ended up dropping two-of-three to Boston this weekend, however without several regular players in the lineup. And that’s the luxury that a team like the Orioles is afforded when they clinch their division as early as they did. However the O’s now have a seven-game road trip to close the regular season. I would submit that it’s important for them to start weaving some of their regulars back into the lineup this week, so as to keep the rapport that everyone has with each other going.
Ultimately my point is that you don’t want to go into the playoffs on a sour note, although the need for rest is certainly there. Buck Showalter said that both Steve Pearce and Nick Markakis would play this week in New York, which is a good sign. Showalter might also look to play a few games with the pitching rotation, as presumably he’ll want to line Chris Tillman up to be ready to start one week from this Thursday in the ALDS.
The Orioles will open a four-game set at Yankee Stadium tonight, a series of course that will feature the final home game for Derek Jeter on Thursday night. Wei-Yin Chen will get the starting nod for the O’s tonight, with Michael Pineda getting the nod for New York. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.