Joseph on play at plate, Jones on season, Markakis on his future

KANSAS CITY - In Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, the Orioles gave up just two runs in their loss to the Royals. Both scored on a play at the plate in the last of the first inning. With runners on second and third and one out, Eric Hosmer hit a grounder to first and Steve Pearce threw home in time to get an out, but the ball got away from catcher Caleb Joseph as two runs scored. The Royals went on to win 2-1 to sweep the ALCS and end the Orioles' season. "I had to make a do-or-die play there," Joseph said. "Kind of catch it and sweep over because he was coming in so hard and late. Lost control of it right at the last second. Kicks it and the ball ends up in the other batter's box. That's how it was going for them." joseph-playatplate-ALCS-sidebar.jpgDid Alcides Escobar kick the ball out of Joseph's glove or was the ball coming out before that? "I felt like I had it, but I haven't looked at it," Joseph said. "It could have been jumbled up right at the last second. It was going to be a play where I needed to catch it and tag as fast as I could. "You don't know. Any other play, the ball doesn't go in the other batter's box and maybe Miguel (Gonzalez) works out of it and they get just one run. But of course, that's how it happens for them." There was also disappointment that the Orioles were held to just one run on four hits on offense today after getting one run on three hits yesterday. "We hit a lot of balls hard, lot of balls on the screws," Joseph said. "Alex Gordon was making plays left and right. We squared up some balls today. It wasn't like it was a disaster offensively, we just couldn't put together that one big inning. That five- or six-run inning that we've done many times that takes the wind out of teams' sails." Adam Jones was asked if after two playoff appearances in three seasons, the Orioles now expect to be playing October baseball every year. "You know, '12 was unexpected, '13 we had expectations and here we were doing something that hasn't been done in a long time," Jones said. "I think expectations have risen a bit in Baltimore and that's good. Come back to spring training ready to get back to this position. It's a great position to be in the ALCS. Adam Jones-postseason-glasses.jpg"We played a good team and a good team on the road. We fought all the way to the ALCS and we're one of the last two teams standing. "The Orioles fanbase, they get it. They've seen some good baseball and some bad baseball. They get the style of our team. We live and die with the effort we give and how we play. They've been our supporters since the day I got here. The fanbase is increasing more and more with us playing good baseball. Let's get back to the drawing board and get us back in this position. Ain't nothing better than being one of the last two (AL) teams playing baseball." Nick Markakis was asked about the ending and four-game sweep. "It's tough. Not everybody can win," he said. "Everybody gave everything they got throughout the season. Proud of everybody in this clubhouse." Now Markakis faces an uncertain future with the Orioles. There is a mutual option on his contract next year that the team is unlikely to pick up. It's possible he played his last game with the team today. "I don't know, you never know," Markakis said. "Baseball is a funny game and anything can happen. Take some time off and see where that ball goes."

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Orioles swept in ALCS

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