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Orioles close out 96-win regular season with 1-0 victory over Blue Jays

The Orioles stopped their skid in their last regular season game, taking down their 96th win of the year with a 1-0 win over the Blue Jays. Jonathan Schoop hit a solo home run for the game's lone run.

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

You could probably say that both the Orioles and the Blue Jays were looking to get their regular season finale over with as quickly as possible. The game was played in 2:26, very short for a game where the Orioles changed pitchers five times. The two teams combined for only 11 hits and one run. It was a meaningless game for both teams, but it was the O's who took down the 1-0 victory in the regular season finale, making sure that they won't head into the postseason on a losing streak.

All that really mattered is that no one else would get hurt. In that, the Orioles were successful. If you wanted to see some signs of life from the offense, well, you were disappointed there. The lone O's run scored on a solo home run by Jonathan Schoop, his 16th homer of the year. They went 0-8 with runners in scoring position in the game and only had five hits. It was still enough for their 96th win of the regular season.

For the O's, Miguel Gonzalez got things started with five shutout innings in which he only gave up five hits, with no walks. He could have gone deeper into the game, throwing only 62 pitches in those five innings, but O's manager Buck Showalter wanted to get a number of relievers work in the final regular season game to keep them as sharp as possible for the playoffs.

A parade of five relievers continued the shutout. That group included Ubaldo Jimenez, who struck out the side in his one inning of work. Does Jimenez's use in this game mean that he's likely to see action out of the bullpen in the playoffs? We will find out on Thursday. Others who shook off some rust were Andrew Miller, Tommy Hunter, Darren O'Day, and Zach Britton. Only Britton allowed a hit, one lone hit on the way to securing his 37th save of the season.

O'Day finished off the year with a 1.70 ERA and was still bested by Britton's 1.65 mark.

As a team, the Orioles finished their cruising victory in the American League East with a 12 game lead over the Yankees. It was decidedly a coast to the finish line. That's all they needed. They clinched ages ago. They earned the rest. Here's hoping that the rest will pay off.

The next O's game will be Thursday at a still unknown time. We do know their opponent: the Tigers, who clinched the Central with a win in their final game.