Orioles manager Buck Showalter dind't know who Wednesday's starting pitcher would be until late Tuesday night, but it didn't matter. Emergency starter Jimmy Yacabonis and his bullpen mates took care of the Toronto Blue Jays.
After taking a tie game into the bottom of the eighth, the Orioles were on the brink of disaster as reliever Darren O¿Day loaded the bases with no outs. Somehow, O¿Day escaped the inning without allowing a run, and the Orioles rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth to give them a 5-3 win over the Jays in front of a sellout crowd of 46,018.
Adam Jones and Nick Markakis have different personalities, but when the two take the field together -- as they have on most summer days for the past seven seasons -- they become unified partners for one purpose: capturing the Orioles' first World Series title in 31 years.
With their spot in the American League Division Series solidified, the Orioles have rested starters while auditioning players ahead of some tough playoff roster decisions. But they've also committed seven errors in the last three games — including three on Saturday — which is uncharacteristic for manager Buck Showalter's defensive-minded club.
The Orioles took one humongous step toward winning the American League East with their 5-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday, giving the club an opportunity to clinch the division title with a win Tuesday.
It ended 2-1 in the 12th when Steve Lombardozzi tripled with one out and then scored on David Lough¿s single to left against Todd Redmond (0-1) -- sending what was remaining of the announced crowd of 30,446 at Camden Yards home happy.
It took five games, but the new video replay system finally debuted at Oriole Park on Saturday night when Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged a ruling by umpire Chris Conroy that Edwin Encarnacion was pulled off the bag on a close play at first base.
Nolan Reimold hadn't yet faced an opposing pitcher in 10 months heading into Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Toronto Blue Jays. But Orioles manager Buck Showalter had already noticed the progress Reimold made this spring after season-ending neck surgery last year.
Several media outlets reported Wednesday that the Boston Red Sox have a two-year deal in place for right-handed slugger Jonny Gomes. The Orioles had legitimate interest in Gomes, but only on a one-year deal.