The Orioles got out of Canada with a very welcome series win, taking the finale against the Blue Jays by a score of 3-1. Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez pitched 5 1/3 innings with just one run allowed before exiting with a right groin strain. The bullpen pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings and the offense worked around a 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position to get the win.
The only run against the Orioles came in the bottom of the second inning courtesy of Adam Lind. Lind has been an Oriole killer this season, hitting .407/.448/.648 against them this season. And that was before today when he homered as part of his two hit (and one walk) day. It was the 23rd home run that Gonzalez has given up this season and it put the Orioles in a 1-0 hole.
The deficit didn't last long, though, as the O's scored twice in the top of the third to take a 2-1 lead. With two outs and runners on first and second, Danny Valencia came through with a double down the left field line. Both Adam Jones and Nick Markakis scored on the play. The Orioles added one more in the third inning thanks to a bases loaded walk by
Adam Jones Chris Davis, but stranded three runners when Jones grounded out to end the inning.
Gonzalez didn't allow another run after the Lind homer, but that's not because the Blue Jays didn't have their chances. He gave up a double to someone called Ryan Goins later in the second inning and allowed multiple baserunners in both the fourth and fifth innings, but the Jays couldn't take advantage.
The Orioles didn't have such problems, but that's because after the fourth inning they didn't really have baserunners. They didn't reach base in innings four through eight, and their only baserunner in the ninth was Nate McLouth, who was hit by a pitch. Nate had to come out of the game as the pitch hit him right in the knee. After the game McLouth said he'll be fine to play on Tuesday against the Red Sox.
As for the other injury on the day, Gonzalez had to come out of the game with one out in the sixth inning thanks to a right groin injury. It has been classified as a grade one strain and Buck Showalter says that Gonzalez may miss one start but they're not sure yet.
Kevin Gausman came in to pitch after Gonzalez and he, Francisco Rodriguez, Tommy Hunter, and Jim Johnson pitched the rest of the game without allowing a run.
Hunter was impressive today and pitched well in a jam not of his own creation. After K-Rod retired the first two batters of the seventh inning, he gave up a single to Brett Lawrie and a double to Edwin Encarnacion that bounced into the stands for an automatic double. Lawrie would have scored easily if the ball hadn't gone over the fence. With runners on second and third the O's opted to intentionally walk Lind, a move that I endorsed. Hunter came in with the bases loaded full of K-Rod's runners and struck out Moises Sierra to end the inning. He then pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. Johnson got the save in the ninth after giving up a leadoff single.
The Orioles have their final off day of the year tomorrow before beginning their final thirteen games of the year against the Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, and Red Sox again.