As Orioles head into regular-season finale, they still don't know ALDS opponent

September 28, 2014|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

TORONTO – We’ve reached the final game of the regular season, and we still don’t know the Orioles’ opponent in the American League Division Series.

Both the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals lost Saturday night, so Detroit goes into the final day of the regular season with a one-game lead. If the Royals win and the Tigers lose today, the teams will play a Game 163 on Monday to determine the AL Central winner. 

Before you ask, we also still don’t know the start time for the first two games of the ALDS at Camden Yards.

We do know that right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will be shortened up today. He likely only will throw four or five innings, but that’s partially because Orioles manager Buck Showalter wants him available in a pinch out of the bullpen for Thursday’s Game 1.

Closer Zach Britton, who threw a scoreless eighth inning Saturday, likely will see action today in order to get work on back-to-back days.

Expect relievers Darren O’Day, Tommy Hunter and Andrew Miller to also get work because Showalter wants to make sure they don’t go more than three days without pitching.

Alexi Casilla was supposed to start at third base again as the Orioles continue to see if the veteran infielder can help the team on the postseason roster, but he wasn't in the posted lineup.

Casilla didn’t have a great day in the field Saturday, throwing the ball away after making a nice diving play at third base. A sharp grounder also skipped under his glove in the first inning. It wasn’t ruled an error but that base runner eventually scored.

You could chalk that up to the fact that Casilla hadn’t played a major league game since 2012 -- it was just his third major league start there ever -- or his red-eye flight from Arizona.

One side note to consider as the Orioles attempt to avoid a sweep in Toronto today: It sure would have been nice to have Chris Davis here in Toronto. He mashes Blue Jays pitching.

Davis has hit 21 homers against the Blue Jays since the beginning of the 2012 season. In that span, Davis was hitting .348 with nine homers and 22 RBIs. But instead, he’s hitting in instructional league.

eencina@baltsun.com

twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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