After seeing starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez limp off the field with a right groin strain in the sixth inning Sunday afternoon the Orioles were able to finally grind out a win fitting of a playoff contender with their 3-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. The Orioles -- held without a hit after the fourth inning -- overcame several obstacles in front of an announced 22331 receiving 3 2/3 scoreless innings from their bullpen and holding an early lead created by the game’s only hit in 17 combined at-bats with runners in scoring position between the two teams. The win gave the Orioles a series win in Toronto to open their 10-game road trip. They'll travel to Boston to open a three-game series against the Red Sox on Tuesday following their final off day of the season. “You can’t get into ratios of two out of three” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “You’ve just got to win baseball games and today we scored more than they did in 27 outs so we get on the plane and try to get through customs and watch it rain in Boston tomorrow.” With 13 games remaining in the regular season the Orioles (79-70) now trail both American League wild-card spots by 2 1/2 games in an increasingly tight playoff picture. Six contenders for the two wild-card spots are separated by 3 1/2 games heading into the final two weeks of the season. The Orioles -- and their playoff hopes -- suffered two scares on Sunday. Not only did Gonzalez leave the game in the sixth after grimacing following a called strike-three pitch to Adam Lind but left fielder Nate McLouth exited in the top of the ninth when he was hit on the outside of the right knee by a 94-mph fastball from Kyle Drabek. Gonzalez who has pitched 158 1/3 innings this year in his first full major league season was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain. Showalter said the right-hander is in jeopardy of missing his next start but Gonzalez was optimistic he could pitch in his next turn in the rotation. “I thought I was feeling pretty good but it tightened up a little bit so I thought ‘You know what? Better to get out and get ready for the next one’” Gonzalez said. McLouth said X-rays on his knee were negative and he expects to be available Tuesday in Boston. “It was just strange because it went numb” McLouth said. “I don’t know why it did that but there’s not a lot there. It’s not like getting hit in the hand where there’s a lot of little bones so I wasn’t too worried about anything like that. I think I’ll just be sore for a day. It’s nice that we have a day off tomorrow.” The Orioles ended their series in Toronto just 7-for-30 -- a .233 average -- with runners in scoring position and were 1-for-8 on Sunday but their one hit was their biggest.
Orioles bounce back for 3-1 win over Blue Jays in series finale
Baltimore Sun | Sep 15