With the doubleheader sweep, the Orioles are 33-22 under manager Buck Showalter after beginning the season 32-73. According to Elias, this marks the first time since 1900 that a manager took over a team in August or later and won more games than the team had won when he arrived.
Also, the Orioles have surpassed last year’s victory total of 64.
Oh happy days...and nights.
“You’re always looking for improvement,” Showalter said. “When you step back at the end of the year, you want to feel like you’re in a little better shape than you were last year at the end of the season. Whether that’s the case depends a lot on what we’re able to do between now and next April.”
Showalter removed Jeremy Guthrie after 108 pitches, ending the right-hander’s shutout bid before the ninth inning.
“Jeremy should have had a complete game,” Showalter said. “We catch the baseball better and his pitch count’s...he should be going in that last inning in the high 80s. Very seldom do you look up there and see three errors and zeros on the other side and win a baseball game, and have some of the LOBs we had, but Jeremy and Koji (Uehara) made it matter. They were the difference.
“I actually, where they were in the lineup, thought about Gonzo (Michael Gonzalez) there in the eighth because they had all those left-handers lined up. But because he had had such a long inning, pitching change and a lot of baserunners out there, he sat around for quite a while between those innings. But I thought he emptied his tank and had gotten through (Johnny) Damon and that group there.
“Having Koji as an option makes it a little bit easier decision. The thing with Koji is, it’s a sharp knife. There’s not a lot of anxiety because, for the most part, he takes the base on balls out of the equation. It’s a huge thing in the American League closing ballgames. He’s not going to beat himself very often. You’re going to have to beat him.”
Uehara gave up Don Kelly’s two-out home run in the ninth, but he recorded his 12th save.