Nolan Reimold has opened the O's homestand with back-to-back multi-hit games and launched a tie-breaking three-run home run off the top of the right field scoreboard to carry his team to a 6-3 victory before 19,912 Friday night at Oriole Park.
The recent numbers aren¿t encouraging, but the Orioles believe right-hander Miguel Gonzalez¿s uneven performances recently are not a concern despite another abbreviated outing in Tuesday¿s 5-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics.
Counting Saturday afternoon's 3-2 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Orioles have registered six consecutive quality starts, padding their season high. That's a huge turnaround for a rotation that entered the week with the fourth-worst ERA in the AL.
While Ubaldo Jimenez delivered a quality start ¿ albeit a wobbly one in which he battled his control ¿ the Orioles still dropped a 4-0 decision to the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays in front of an announced sellout crowd of 44,031 at Camden Yards.
Chris Davis drove in three runs on a pair of opposite-field singles against the shift as the Orioles plated 11 straight runs in an 11-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in front of an announced crowd of 16,283 at Rogers Centre.
Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz is available for today's series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays after being bedridden the past two days with an illness that included a brief stay in a local hospital.
But the Orioles' faint postseason hopes died with their 3-2 10 inning loss combined with the Cleveland Indians' 5-4 walkoff win over the Chicago White Sox. It was the sixth consecutive loss for the Orioles, tying a season high.
Closer Jim Johnson blew his fourth save in his past five opportunities, allowing four runs, four hits and a walk in the inning as the Orioles were unable to preserve a three-run ninth-inning lead with a 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays.
Veteran pitcher Freddy Garcia was able to hold off that scary Toronto Blue Jays lineup for five innings on a bright Saturday afternoon when the ball was flying out of Rogers Centre, which is a testament to his ability to move the ball around and make the most of what¿s left in his 36-year-old arm. But don't give him too much credit.
Kevin Gausman, who made his major league debut on Thursday, will remain in the Orioles¿ starting rotation for the time being. If anything, the poise he showed on the mound in his first start gives the Orioles greater confidence that he can help the team win at the big league level.
The industry was watching what the Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays would do this winter because they are viewed as the potential new guard in the AL East with the New York Yankees aging, the Boston Red Sox rebuilding and the Tampa Bay Rays hampered by payroll.
As the regular season winds down, the Orioles insist they aren't sneaking glances at the out-of-town scoreboard in right field of Camden Yards to see how the division-leading New York Yankees are doing.
On Wednesday night, Jason Hammel shut down a Blue Jays lineup that has scored the fourth-most runs in the American League, dancing mid-90 fastballs through the strike zone and missing Toronto bats all night, leading the Orioles to a 3-0 win at Camden Yards.