After a season where he dealt with some injuries, it was satisfying for Steve Pearce to have a big night tonight, driving in three in the O’s 6-5 win over Boston.
“It was almost hard to picture anything good coming out of this year on a personal note,” Pearce said. “I was fighting a wrist injury. Considering the kind of spring training I had, the start of the year, and I had setbacks all year, so on a personal note, it’s definitely gratifying.
“It’s definitely something I can build on. I’m healthy right now, and hopefully the wrists stay good and I can come into spring training next year ready to compete. That’s where I stand right now, but it’s definitely a great taste going into the offseason.”
Wei-Yin Chen’s season ended with a no-decision and he gave up three runs over 5 1/3 innings tonight and pitched to an ERA of 6.62 over his last seven starts.
“There is a lot of stuff I need to work on,” Chen said through his interpreter. “I need to work harder and become stronger next year. Next spring I have to go deeper as a starter and lower my pitch count.”
Kevin Gausman got the win in relief, with two strikeouts in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
“We are trying to end on a good note,” Gausman said. “We had a meeting as a pitching staff before Toronto came in. We thought about, an 85-win season is a lot better than 81. We wanted to finish strong and go into spring training with a good mindset.
“I had my struggles as a starter but found my second life out of the bullpen. Now I just have to stretch it out and be a starter the way I am out of the bullpen.
“I think I’ve definitely learned how to pitch out of the bullpen in the big leagues. There were a lot of things thrown at me this year. I did some things new to me.”
Gausman was asked about the atmosphere tonight in the stands with 36,556 here and even before the game.
“I think you could tell with how many people were here during batting practice, it was a great atmosphere,” Gausman said. “It was fan appreciation day. I was up there for about a half hour doing the speed gun with little kids. They were throwing 35 miles per hour and just letting it eat. That was really cool and the atmosphere was electric.”
Jim Johnson tonight recorded his 100th save over the last two seasons. He becomes one of four pitchers in big league history with 100 saves over a two-year span. He joins Eric Gagne, Francisoo Rodriguez and John Smoltz.