Mission completed. Baltimore needed a victory in four games against the Boston Red Sox to secure the AL East crown for the first time since 2014. And they did it. Plus, some good outings for starters who'll back for action on Saturday in ALDS against the winner from Rays-Rangers wild card series.
Orioles split four game series against Red Sox to end season
Clinchmas: BOS 0-2 BAL
The most beloved day of their season so far. Baltimore won in their 'Match Point #1' to seal the AL East and the best record on American League. A great outing by Dean Kremer (5.1 IP, 2 H, BB, 8 K) and the bullpen (3.2 IP, H, 2 K) who stepped up and finished Boston in a historical day for the Orioles. The post about this night is here.
Hangover: BOS 3-0 BAL
In a special day for Orioles legend Jim Palmer, who celebrated his 60th anniversary with the franchise. The offense went quiet against Nick Pivetta and the Red Sox, who paid it back from the first game of the series. John Means was great (6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 K) and likely put his name in postseason starter mix alongside Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodriguez.
The first one (on FOX): BOS 2-5 BAL
The Orioles hadn't won a game on FOX* in 2023 until last Saturday. Adley was back, Henderson tied the extra-base hit record by an Orioles rookie, and the offense made their best game on the series. Kyle Gibson, who was hit in the leg, pitched five innings and exited for precautionary reasons. A win for Felix, who'll have a Tommy John surgery announced by Mike Elias before the game and will return in 2025.
Focus on the playoffs: BOS 6-1 BAL
Kyle Bradish threw only two innings and finished the season with a 2.83 ERA. The last sub-3.00 ERA by an Orioles starter was Mike Mussina in 1992. Baltimore had more errors (3) than hits (2) in the game. The first hit was in the sixth inning by Santander, and Adley put the Orioles on the board in the eighth. The final score doesn't matter because they clinched the second-best record in all baseball.
They finished with a 101-61 record, tying the 1971 team with the fourth-best season in franchise history. Now, it's time for the playoffs and the OPACY will rock with this squad.
*AL Division Series will be broadcast on FOX