Orioles vs. Blue Jays: Baltimore clinches winning record with makeshift lineup


Orioles rookie Jonathan Schoop, left, greets teammate Ryan Flaherty after he scored on Flaherty's home run in the eighth inning against Toronto. (Patrick Semansky/AP)
September 25, 2013

— One day after they were eliminated from the playoff picture, the Baltimore Orioles fielded a starting lineup Wednesday night more fit for late February than late September.

But a batting order void of much of its star power managed to record its most productive offensive night in three weeks, snapping the team’s season-high six-game losing streak with a 9-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in front of an announced crowd of 23,698 at Camden Yards.

Still reeling from the disappointment of missing out on the postseason, the Orioles (82-76) still clinched back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1996 and ’97.

Orioles Manager Buck Showalter gave starters Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Brian Roberts the night off and placed starting first baseman Chris Davis at designated hitter, but the Orioles snapped a dubious streak of 21 straight games of scoring five runs or fewer.

The Orioles hit four homers — including a pair of two-run homers from third baseman Ryan Flaherty. The team has a major-league high 208 home runs this season.

Flaherty — making his second straight start at third for injured all-star Manny Machado — recorded his second career two-homer game and had a season-high four RBI.

Making his major league debut, second baseman Jonathan Schoop — the Orioles’ top position-player prospect — singled in his first at-bat and hit his first major league homer in the sixth inning, a solo blast to center field.

“We didn’t make it to the playoffs. That was our goal,” shortstop J.J. Hardy said. “I don’t know how much we look at it as, ‘All right, we got a winning season. Hurrah, hooray.’ But it was fun to watch Schoopy tonight.”

— Baltimore Sun

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