The Orioles dropped the final game of the regular season, 4-1 to the Rays. Fear not, O's fans, the Birds are still in the playoffs for the first time in 15 years, they just aren't assured of a home playoff game...yet.
The loss meant the Birds now fly to Texas to face the Rangers; had the O's won the Rangers would have come to Camden Yards...
The Rays pitching was insane for the third straight game...it was clear Tampa Bay was not mailing it in (like a certain Boston team that lost to the Yankees 14-2 and were outscored 28-7 in the three-game series). The Rays only allowed five runs over the series...the Birds gave up nine.
On Wednesday night, Chris Tillman didn't give up many hits (four) but three were solo homers. Tillman (9-3) walked none and struck out five in the five-inning effort. Jake Arrieta served up a solo shot to Evan Longoria in sixth inning...Longoria's third homer of the game.
The O's were kept off the board until Adam Jones' sac fly in the ninth inning, and managed just two runs on five hits over the last two games. The Rays finished the year with 90 wins and the best ERA in the Majors. The O's flip-flopped their record from last year...in 2011 they were 69-93...they finished 2012 with a 93-69 record, 2nd in the East.
Here's hoping the Birds' bats come back to life Friday night in Arlington. Either Joe Saunders or Steve Johnson will take the mound. Whichever team wins will take on the Yankees on Sunday...Let's Go O's!!!!