Nolan Reimold knocked in 14 runs for the Orioles over his last 12 games this season and he saved one of the best for last.
His two-out, RBI double off Jonathan Papelbon in the last of the ninth tied the game at 3-3 and set the stage for Robert Andino’s game-ending single as the Orioles beat Boston 4-3. Minutes later, when Tampa Bay won, the loss ended Boston’s season short of the playoffs.
“It was exciting,” Reimold said of the dramatic finish. “We battled to the end. We weren’t playing for the playoffs, we were playing for pride and we showed it tonight.
“It was fun, glad I was able to come through. There were a lot of huge plays that decided the game, not just the hits by me and Andino. There was the defensive play, the relay and play at home plate. That was huge. It was a huge win for everybody,” he said.
The Orioles’ players often said late in the year they were not playing to spoil someone’s season, just to win games and get better. But their ninth-inning rally handed Boston a crushing defeat.
“We are going out trying to win,” Reimold said. “If we were playing somebody else (not a contender), we’d do the same thing. But having an impact on the playoff picture, that part was fun. It was a meaningful game for us and we were going to battle to the end.
“It’s a positive. We finished strong. It’s good to take a positive feeling into the offseason.”
Reimold finished strong as well as he tried to position himself for a spot on the club next year. He ended the year batting .345 with an eight-game hitting streak and hit .308 with four homers and 14 RBIs over his final 12 games. He said getting regular playing time helped get his bat going.
“That helps. I just had to find it again, what I had done in the past. I feel like I did towards the end of the year. Happy I kept improving. This shows what our team is capable of. We just need to do it over the course of the entire season,” he said.