Orioles lose in 10, no postseason

Orioles lose in 10, no postseason
September 24, 2013, 11:45 pm
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Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10) reacts after striking out in the tenth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Blue Jays defeated the Orioles 3-2 in ten innings.

(Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports)

BALTIMORE – The end came quicker than they had imagined. Six days ago, the Orioles had beaten the Boston Red Sox and were getting excited about their postseason chances.

Now, they’re gone.

Six straight losses will send the Orioles home on Sunday, much earlier than last year. So much was different in 2013, and Tuesday’s 3-2 loss in 10 innings to the Toronto Blue Jays before 16,772 at Oriole Park typified the season.

The Orioles are 17-31 this season in one-run games. Last year, they were an astounding 19-9. They’re 8-7 in extra-inning games. A year ago, it was 16-2.

“We play from February 15 to get to the playoffs and play in October, and tonight knowing that we’re not going to be able to is disappointing,” Hardy said.

The Orioles (81-76) have tied their season-high by losing six straight. They haven’t scored more than five runs in 21 straight games, their longest stretch since Sept. 1992, and still must won one of their remaining five games to secure a second straight winning season.

“It’s a huge disappointment for us, to say the least,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Showalter saw all those one-run wins last year. Now he’s seen those close losses.

“It's a lot of close games. There's some things we did well and some things we didn't. There's a lot of good baseball ahead for this team and this organization,” Showalter said.

The end officially came at 10:23 p.m. A few minutes before, the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4.

Toronto (72-85) scored the eliminator in the 10th. Mark DeRosa’s inning single drove in Jose Reyes with the go-ahead run off Francisco Rodriguez (2-1).

Reyes led off with a walk. He moved to second on Munenori Kawasaki’s single. With Brett Lawrie at bat, K-Rod threw to second and appeared to have picked Reyes off, but second base umpire Gerry Davis called Reyes safe.

“This game's not always fair. Certainly not right now for our guys," Showalter said.

Lawrie hit into a fielder’s choice and Reyes moved to third, and he scored on DeRosa’s single to right.

Sergio Santos (1-1), who pitched a scoreless ninth got the win. Casey Janssen picked up his 34th save in the 10th.

Chris Tillman pitched brilliantly for seven innings, allowing one run on five hits, walking one and striking out nine. He was in line for his 17th win until the eighth inning when the Blue Jays tied the score on DeRosa’s RBI single off Brian Matusz.

Tillman has now pitched 201 1/3 innings, and may not make his final scheduled start on Sunday.

“We depended so much on him over the year and he very seldom disappoints. I'm real proud of him and what he's accomplished this season. It's a great milestone for a young pitcher to be somebody that his teammates can count on to take you deep in a game. He's been pretty consistent. That's hopefully a good sign of things to come. Tilly's been solid all year and he's really graduated to a guy who people can count on,” Showalter said.

Tillman, who made the AL All-Star team, could have won 20 if he had had more run support. He’ll go home with lots of goodwill and knowing that even though the team has been eliminated, he’s secure as the team’s No. 1 starter.

“We know where we want to be, playing games in October. And it’s disappointing that we are not there. We took some steps in the right direction, some not,” Tillman said.

The Orioles offense came from Brian Roberts and Nate McLouth who hit back-to-back home runs off Todd Redmond in the third. It was Roberts’ seventh and McLouth’s 12th.

“Being eliminated from the playoffs is a huge disappointment because that was what we had our minds set on and that was our goal this season. To realize that’s not going to happen is really disappointing, especially the way the last two games have gone. We feel like we could have or maybe should have won,” McLouth said.

Manny Machado sat in the dugout for the game, and was shown on the scoreboard, getting a big ovation. He was happy to be there considering how difficult the past day had been before.

After Monday’s scare, Machado feared the worst, but now hopes to avoid surgery on his left knee. He’ll speak with reporters on Wednesday.

“He's as upbeat as a young man can be considering what was potentially there for him. We've got some roads to cross with that yet,” Showalter said.

NOTES: The Orioles also lost six straight from May 14-20 and were last five games over .500 on May 29.

-Bud Norris (10-12, 4.12) faces Esmil Rogers (5-8, 4.52) on Wednesday.