O's end frustrating day on offense with a walk-off, keeping a few streaks going

Sometimes you have a frustrating day with runners in scoring position but can still win. Sometimes you get a homer from your first and last batters of the game to win. Sometimes you have streaks riding, and it looks like they will end. But they don't.

Sometimes you see curious moves happen in an inning like the bottom of the eighth, but you still win. Sometimes a segment of your fans get frustrated and restless and are sure you will not win. But you still do.

The Orioles improved to 27-14 and avoided the season's first three-game losing streak with Wednesday's 3-2 walk-off win over Toronto.

Adley Rutschman's two-run homer with no outs in the ninth produced the team's fifth walk-off win of the year and his second career walk-off homer. He also hit one April 13 of this season versus Oakland. It was the O's first walk-off homer when trailing since Rio Ruiz on Aug. 11, 2019 against Houston.

The Orioles now have 12 comeback wins.

They went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. They still won.

"You normally don't win games like that when you leave that many guys on base and have that many scoring opportunities, but we did because of our pitching today," said manager Brandon Hyde.

"We have big-time character, and our guys definitely play to win. We don't make it easy on ourselves sometimes and we'd like to start cashing in some of these runs to start getting some leads and not play so many types of these games, but definitely take the win."

In the two-game series the Orioles went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Over the last seven games they are 8-for-48 (.167) with RISP.

Last year the Orioles batted .287 with RISP with a team OPS of .837 in such spots. Both of those numbers ranked first in the AL and first in MLB. This year with RISP they are batting .267 (5th in AL, 10th in MLB) and with a team OPS of .781 (5th in AL, 9th in MLB).

Rutschman's fly ball to right - per Statcast a homer in nine of 30 parks - produced his ninth homer of the year. He has hit four his last three games, the first Oriole with four over a three-game stretch since Anthony Santander from Sept. 26-28, 2022.

Rutschman, Ryan O'Hearn and Gunnar Henderson have all homered in three straight games during the season.

The win kept two impressive streaks alive. The Orioles have now gone 105 straight regular-season series of at least two decisions, without being swept. They were last swept on May 15, 2022 at Detroit so this run has now gone over two calendar years. And they have now gone 17 straight AL East series without losing one.

"I think it says a lot about our team," said Rutschman. "It's always guys just picking each other up and continuing to progress and just have each other's backs. It's a fun group to be a part of and it's like guys bring it every single day."

Since the start of the 2023 season, the Orioles are 39-22 (.639) in games against the AL East. They are now 12-0-5 those last 17 series without losing one in the division. In those 17 series they are playing .673 ball (37-18) against the East.

A team playing at that percentage over a full year would win 109 games. Yep, they have gone 17 series playing at a 109-win pace within the AL East.

Same thought applies as it did after the Yankees series: The AL East still goes through Baltimore.

Despite the O's not scoring as well as they did earlier this year, they are 10-4 the last 14 games. They have done that as their pitchers have an ERA of 2.13 in that span allowing 37 runs with a .181 average against and .551 OPS. 

Baltimore's team ERA is 3.26 for the year to rank third in the AL and fifth in the majors. This is the club's lowest ERA number since April 11.

In reading the comments section of this blog, fans are frustrated by players that get called up and don't play enough in their mind. By closers that struggle in the ninth. By an outfield which is not putting up big offensive numbers. By manager decisions they don't agree with.  

But while frustrated and nit-picking concerning things, we all should keep this fact in mind: The 2024 Orioles are playing at a 107-win pace. 

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