Orioles clinch first postseason berth in 15 years

September 30, 2012|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Orioles are heading back to the postseason for the first time since 1997.

After beating the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Sunday afternoon in their regular-season home finale, the Orioles sealed at least an AL wild-card spot Sunday night after the the Los Angeles Angels lost to the Texas Rangers, 8-7, in the second game of a doubleheader.

The Orioles were in transit to Tampa Bay for their pivotal three-game series against the Rays, who are also in the wild-card chase. The team's charter flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Jacksonville after smoke was coming out of the oven in the kitchen area of the plane, but the team reboarded and was on its way after the aircraft was inspected.

With three games remaining in the regular season, the Orioles (92-67) are tied with the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East. The Yankees end their season with a three-game series against the Red Sox.

While clinching a postseason berth is an incredible accomplishment for an Orioles franchise that has suffered through 14 straight losing seasons, the Orioles control their own destiny in winning a division title. Winning all three games in Tampa Bay would at least earn a one-game tiebreaker with the Yankees for the AL East crown Thursday at Camden Yards.

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