One of the highlights of this past Orioles season was how well they played against the Detroit Tigers. They also played well against the Oakland Athletics.
Tonight, those two teams play for the second consecutive year in the American League Division Series.
The Orioles beat the Athletics 5-2, and took the Tigers 4-2.
Perhaps the most exciting win of the Orioles’ season came against Detroit on May 31. Max Scherzer, who had given up three runs in eight innings, gave way to Jose Valverde for the ninth.
The Orioles trailed 5-3. Nick Markakis began the inning with a home run, and with two out and two on, Chris Dickerson hit a three-run home run for a 7-5 win.
The rest of the series was memorable, too. The next day, Jason Hammel allowed three straight home runs to Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila in the fourth inning. He hit Matt Tuiasosopo with a pitch and was ejected from the game.
In Hammel’s previous start, he beat the Nationals and ran his record to 7-2. He never won another game this season.
On Sunday, Kevin Gausman pitched his best game as a starter, but didn’t get the decision in a 4-2 win.
In mid-June, the Orioles took two of three from the Tigers at Comerica Park. That series featured Jake Arrieta’s last game with the Orioles. Scherzer won his 10th decision without a loss in that one.
Two days later, Chris Davis hit two long home runs in a 13-3 romp.
The Orioles thought they might have been back in October. Not so.
For the first time since 1998, the Orioles beat Oakland in a season series. The most memorable game of the seven was on Apr. 28 when the Orioles had a two-run lead of the fourth game, and looked as if they’d sweep the series.
Yoenis Cespedes tied the game in the ninth with a two-run home run off Brian Matusz, and Pedro Strop’s throwing error ended the game in the 10th.
In August, the Orioles took two of three from the Athletics in Baltimore.
Tampa Bay and Boston play in the other Division Series. Those teams are much more familiar to the Orioles.
And, a thank you to all who reminded me that the Rays and Red Sox have previously met in the postseason when Tampa Bay won the ALCS in seven games in 2008.