The Orioles could have the possibility to clinch the American League East subsequent week at Camden Yards. That’s largely because of how properly they’ve performed away from it.
Baltimore closed the street portion of its regular-season schedule Sunday with a 5-1 victory over the Cleveland Guardians. With the Tampa Bay Rays shedding to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Orioles’ magic quantity to clinch the division fell to 3. Regardless of how the Rays shut the season, three victories on the upcoming six-game homestand would give Baltimore its first AL East title since 2014 and first 100-win season since 1980.
The Orioles (97-59) have performed properly in Baltimore in placing collectively the AL’s greatest document, however they’ve been even higher on the street. Sunday’s victory left them at 52-29, matching the 1997 “wire-to-wire” membership for essentially the most wins as guests in franchise historical past.
“I just think we’re a really consistent team that shows up no matter where we are and plays good baseball,” beginning pitcher Kyle Gibson stated. “We do the little issues proper, and whenever you do the little issues proper, particularly on the street, I believe that’s a recipe for fulfillment.
“If we just keep taking care of business, it’ll be a whole lot of fun here coming up.”
Staked an early lead, Gibson ensured it held with seven innings of one-run ball, his seventeenth high quality begin and third in 4 September outings. Gibson, a 35-year-old veteran signed this offseason to be a stabilizing presence in a younger rotation, has pitched 187 innings this yr, essentially the most by an Oriole since 2015.
“He’s been huge, both as a player, as a leader, a guy in the clubhouse,” stated catcher Adley Rutschman, who reached base 4 occasions. “I think you add up all those things, [he’s a] massive part of what we’re doing.”
The solely run Gibson allowed got here within the fourth, when a pair of floor balls adopted a leadoff double. Baltimore had constructed a four-run lead by that time. In his first begin off the 60-day injured listing for a proper elbow sprain, Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie recorded 5 outs and issued six walks, together with 5 in a three-run second. Heston Kjerstad, Baltimore’s No. 2 general choice within the 2020 draft, opened the body with a free go, ultimately coming dwelling on a double from Jordan Westburg, taken thirtieth general the identical yr. Jorge Mateo introduced dwelling a run with a groundout, and Anthony Santander walked with the bases loaded for his seventh RBI of the four-game sequence.
“[McKenzie] is coming back off of injury and wasn’t himself, so we got fortunate with that a little bit,” supervisor Brandon Hyde stated. “Obviously didn’t have the command he normally does, but we did a good job waiting him out.”
Rutschman walked in every of the primary two innings, then doubled on the tenth pitch of his fourth-inning at-bat to attain Mateo. In the fifth, Aaron Hicks reached on an infield single, went to second on Austin Hays’ stroll, then got here dwelling on an RBI single from Cedric Mullins that ended an 0-for-18 skid.
Gibson got here out for the eighth inning, the second straight day the Orioles’ starter did so after John Means pitched 6 2/3 no-hit innings Saturday, however a leadoff double ended his afternoon. Danny Coulombe stranded the inherited runner, a facet of aid pitching he has excelled at this season, and DL Hall pitched a clear ninth as Baltimore’s run of 17 video games in 17 days finally ended forward of Monday’s day without work.
After lacking out on an opportunity to brush the Houston Astros with a walk-off loss Wednesday and two defeats to open their sequence towards Cleveland (74-83), the Orioles responded with consecutive wins to separate the matchup. Baltimore dropped solely seven of its 26 street sequence this season, by no means getting swept.
“To end this long stretch with a 4-3 road trip, I don’t think people understand how tough that is,” Hyde stated. “Shows the toughness of our team. They go 4-3 on this trip, two tough places to play after playing all these games in a row, just shows you a lot of the character of our club.”
The Orioles went 9-8 general throughout that stretch, inside it having a four-game shedding streak, four-game successful streak and three-game shedding streak in succession. But successful three video games amongst their two with the Washington Nationals and 4 with the Boston Red Sox will give them a division title, with any Tampa Bay losses lowering that requiring depend.
“It’s been probably about as much up-and-down baseball as we’ve played all year,” Gibson stated. “Losing 4, successful 4, shedding a pair right here, successful a pair, that’s sort of uncharacteristic of us. But I believe the one factor that stands true is that they have been all fairly shut ballgames. We have been in them. We fought again in a few them, took the lead in a few them and sadly gave it up, however then we sort of put a stamp on it right here as we speak and performed actually, actually good baseball.
“Everybody needs the off-day tomorrow, and we’ll come back home and enjoy a little celebration at home hopefully with the fans.”
Nationals at Orioles
Tuesday, 6:35 p.m.
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM