The Orioles registered their fourth series win against American League East teams tonight by defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 at Camden Yards.
That sound you hear isn’t champagne corks popping in the home clubhouse.
“We have a lot of bridges to cross, but I’d rather see that than the other way,” said manager Buck Showalter. “We’ve got a quick turnaround, a game tomorrow, and then head out to the West Coast for 11. There’s another challenge around the corner, and I’m proud of the way they’re taking on all of them. We know how good Toronto’s going to be, and Tampa and New York and Boston. You’ve just got to keep plugging along trying to do what you do best.”
What they did tonight was score four runs off knuckleballer R.A Dickey in the second inning.
“He was good again tonight,” Showalter said. “There’s no magic approach you take to those guys. How many balls did we square up off him? We were fortunate. I think our guys will be the first to tell you that. Nolan (Reimold) came close. I can’t really sit here and tell you we squared him up, but we put a bunch together.
“It’s hard to be selective because it starts out a ball and ends up a strike. It starts out a strike and ends up a ball. You just hope you get out of it with everybody not getting in any bad habits for the next day.
“We were fortunate. We got a well-pitched game. We talked about it before the game today. In order to compete against him, you’ve got to have a well-pitched game. We got that from Miggy (Miguel Gonzalez) except for one inning.”
Gonzalez was in total control until two outs in the sixth. He got the win, and notched another quality start, but Showalter once again had to address how the Orioles don’t have a starter who’s gone seven innings this season.
“You all ask whatever you want. I’m hoping we get to a point where we can kind of get another question,” he said. “Believe me, I was pulling for seven tonight. He had the stuff to do it. I thought about letting him start the next inning, but it set up so well for Brian (Matusz) and he had a long inning. First time Miggy’s pitching on four days’ in a while. It’s going to be a long road trip. And I liked the way it set up for Brian. He got some big outs. I thought he had just about struck out (Mark) DeRosa. Could have gone either way.”
The Orioles improved to 9-5 against division opponents. Would Showalter have taken that record through 14 games if offered it at the beginning of the season?
“I could say something tough guy and say we want to win them all,” he replied. “I’ve got the mathematics of it if it plays out the rest of the year that way, but does that mean you take some time off against Oakland and Los Angeles and Seattle? I’m OK with it. There have been some that could have gone either way.
“So far, so good. We’d like to win every game. That’s the way we set out, but I know the mathematics. I don’t think anybody’s ever gone 162-0, but that doesn’t keep you from trying. How many games do we have left? One hundred and forty two? Stay tuned.”
The Orioles will make a roster move later tonight or early Wednesday to free up a spot for starter Josh Stinson. It’s assumed that they will option reliever Alex Burnett to Triple-A Norfolk, since Tommy Hunter and T.J. McFarland are available.