“I was a little surprised (Masterson was removed) with as well as he was throwing the ball, especially with the stuff he has and the groundballs he is capable of getting,” Markakis said. “But that was their decision and we got in the situation we wanted to and things didn't work out.”
Incredibly, it was the 49th time in 96 tries that the Orioles have been involved in a game decided by one or two runs. They dropped to 34-15 in those, and 15-9 in two-run contests.
Still, they had a chance to pull off a four-game sweep of the Indians in Cleveland for the first time since September 1971. In that series, Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson and Jim Palmer each picked up his 20th victory to join teammate Dave McNally as 20-game winners — something that hasn't happened since.
The Orioles did manage a noteworthy accomplishment on Monday, however. It was the club's sixth straight quality start, the first time the rotation has done that since May 10-15, 2011. And, after losing the first two games of this road trip in Minnesota, the Orioles finished with a flourish, ending the trek 5-3 as they head back to Baltimore still in second place in the AL East and still in the middle of the Wild Card hunt.
Although the lasting memory of this one — to the chagrin of Showalter — will be Markakis frozen on the third base line. So close to tying the game.
“It's 99.9 percent my fault. It happens. You're not perfect. Nobody's perfect. Mistakes happen and it just happened to be in a big part of the game,” Markakis said. “I'll put it past me. We had a good road trip. We take three here and we split in Minnesota, so you can't be too disappointed.”