After one inning tonight, Brad Bergesen had thrown 20 pitches and allowed a homer.
We didn’t know then that he would need just 75 more pitches over the next eight innings and that he would pitch an at times dominant game vs. Toronto.
But Bergesen produced his second complete game of the year and third of his career, with a 95-pitch, seven-hitter as the Orioles beat Toronto 3-1 to complete a three-game sweep. He threw 68 of his 95 pitches for strikes, with no walks and three strikeouts.
“That one felt really good. Our team has been playing so well and it makes it so much better. Defense tonight was just outstanding, Izzy was phenomenal. Those were some of the best plays you can possibly make at shortstop. I tip my hat, he really helped me out tonight.”
The O’s defense turned two double plays behind Bergesen and, in addition to great stops by Izturis, Nick Markakis made a leaping grab at the wall to rob Aaron Hill in the second inning.
Maybe the game’s key at bat came with two on and none out in the Jays sixth. Yunel Escobar hit one back to the mound and Bergesen started a 1-6-3 double play.
“It was a huge play. If that doesn’t happen, this is such a deadly lineup, it could be a whole different ballgame,” Bergesen, who is now 7-10, 5.03, said.
Izturis was the middle man on the DP ball and agreed that it stopped some Toronto momentum at that point.
“I think so, that was a big, big play right there. He knew before the pitch that I would cover there and Bergy made a good throw.”
Bergesen used his sinking two-seam fastball, but also continued to show tonight a four-seamer that has more velocity. He just had several quality pitches working for nine innings.
“I was happy with it. I really relied on Wieters tonight, with what he was calling. I felt good about keeping the ball down, mixing my off speed in when I needed to and being able to throw it behind in the count as well.”
Bergesen has now pitched to an ERA of 2.39 over his last nine starts and has left eight of them with either a tie or a lead. In six of the starts he has pitched seven or more innings.
“I give a lot of credit to Kranny and AD (bullpen coach Alan Dunn). These guys are out there working with me every single day. To give me the opportunity to prove that I can pitch here and contribute is very uplifting.
“Every player in here wants to finish strong. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what my stats are but that’s always a goal, to finish strong.”
Bergesen out-dueled Kyle Drabek, who was making his Major League debut in a game that took just one hour and 55 minutes, the O’s fastest game of the year.
The Orioles starting pitching roll:
*ERA of 0.61 over the last five games.
*Starters are 5-0, 1.66 over the last nine games.
*ERA of 2.93 and 28 quality starts over the last 41 games.