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Just like the way they drew it up (Kevin Gregg drama edition)

It's no secret that the best laid plans of Andy MacPhail haven't exactly come to fruition this season.

But when the club drew up its blueprint for finishing games, it probably looked a lot like what happened on Saturday night in the Orioles' 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Angels. OK, a lot like the blueprint with the requisite daily dose of Kevin Gregg drama.

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Jim Johnson entered in the seventh and needed seven pitches to get three outs. Koji Uehara came into the game in the eighth and needed nine pitches to get three outs.

Then Gregg, with AC/DC blaring, ran in from the bullpen in the top of the ninth.

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Let's suspend the play-by-play for one moment.

Raise your hand if you didn't feel comfortable with Gregg entering at that point. Raise your hand if you were wondering aloud why Uehara wasn't still in the game.

Manager Buck Showalter's hands are clearly down by his side. That's the spot for Gregg, who had allowed runs in four of his last five outings and gave up a grand slam to Vernon Wells the previous night.

"Oh sure, you're always tempted (to go with the hot hand), but we want them back tomorrow and we have an off-day coming up and then a pretty good stretch. But I know you get asked that question all the time and that's why you ask it," Showalter said. "But there's a reason why those three guys have stayed healthy this year and I try to keep that in mind with the amount of stress we put on the bullpen over the course of the year. The three guys who are pitching well, I'm going to do everything possible to keep them healthy because I really don't like the idea of life without them."

So Showalter summoned Gregg in the one-run game. And Gregg converted his 16th save in 20 tries. He got two groundouts – including one by Wells -- and a strikeout of Howie Kendrick to end the game. He also gave up a two-out double to Alberto Callaspo to put the tying run in scoring position.

"I think you guys know me well enough, I never give in to anybody," Gregg said. "So, you know, I was going to approach (Kendrick), I know how good of a fastball hitter he is. He doesn't seem to miss them. I went after him, missed with a couple pitches early but I was able to come back and get him on a slider low and away."

Gregg started the at-bat 3-0 to Kendrick and, with first base open, it looked like he might be pitching around the Angels' second baseman. But he threw two off-speed pitches for strikes and then fanned him on the slider.

"(Catcher Craig) Tatum asked me after the game, 'Were you pitching around him?' I said, 'No I was trying to get him to where I was comfortable,'" Gregg said. "You know, got to have a little chaos right there."

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