Making just his fourth start this month, Casilla hit his first homer of the season ¿ and his first since last August ¿ a three-run shot off Cleveland right-hander Justin Masterson in the seventh inning to give the Orioles a 6-3 win over the Indians.
The Orioles' improbable run to the postseason wasn¿t enough to earn Buck Showalter the BBWAA American League Manager of the Year Award, but his narrow loss to Oakland's Bob Melvin could take little from savoring a memorable season.
TORONTO -- The Orioles return home Thursday for what could be regarded as the most important homestand in 15 years. They open a pivotal four-game series against the New York Yankees Thursday, and then host the Tampa Bay Rays, who are just behind them in the AL East standings Tuesday through Thursday.
In what must register as one of the biggest, strangest surprises of the 2012 season, the Orioles will take a train to New York City on Thursday night with the chance to finish a three-game series this weekend in the Bronx as co-leaders in the American League East.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he doesn't pay attention to the standings until August. For the past 14 years, Orioles fans haven't had the need to, their team usually already long out of contention by this time of the year.
The Orioles are on pace to total 146 errors this season, which would tie them for the third highest total in club history (1959). Only the 1955 (167) and 1954 teams (147) committed more. Those were the Orioles first two seasons in Baltimore after moving from St. Louis.
This upcoming stretch will be a good test for the Orioles. The Washington Nationals lead the NL East, the Cleveland Indians lead the AL Central and the Los Angeles Angels are the hottest team in baseball since calling up Mike Trout.