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Orioles split twinbill with Toronto to cap 31-game rise Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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BALTIMORE. While the Toronto Blue Jays were casually celebrating their victory on the field, Camden Yards fans weren’t quite relaxed after a pleasant season in Baltimore.

They gave the Orioles a round of applause and eventually the players came out of the dugout to confirm it.

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“I thought it was a really cool moment, but thanks to all the fans for their support this year,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t finish the game with a win in this last game of the year. We really appreciate the way they came out this year and we know this team is moving forward with excitement.”

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The Orioles lost 5-1 to Toronto in Game 2 of Wednesday’s doubleheader, but they won Game 1 5-4 in come-from-behind style. They finished the season with an 83–79 record, 31 games better than in 2021.

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Toronto had a more modest one-game improvement to 92-70, but the Blue Jays can now focus on the playoffs. They are the AL’s top wild card and will host Seattle in a best-of-three series.

Otto Lopez hit a two-run tiebreaker in the seventh inning of Game 2 on Wednesday. Terrine Vavra hit a three-way homer in the bottom of the eighth to lift Baltimore to victory in the first game.

Lopez had three hits in the first game and two more in the second game. Both teams rotated profusely, teaming up to use 49 players in a twin bill. Toronto George Springer was the only active player to have a whole day off.

“The whole team of pitchers went according to plan, as we planned,” said Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider. “I came out healthy. All in all a very good day.”

With the second game tied at 1 in the seventh, Toronto put the men in first and third with one out due to a pitcher’s throwing error. Sionel Perez. After Bradley Zimmer stole second place, Lopez’s single brought home both runners.

Zimmer added a two-run single in the eighth.

Yusei Kikuchi (6-7) sent off all five of his hitters to earn the win for Toronto. Yennier Kano (1-1) were defeated.

The Blue Jays loaded the bases in the first game and took a 1-0 lead. Danny Jansenearthling. The Orioles tied him for sixth in an RBI double. Kyle Stowers.

Baltimore rallied after a 4-0 deficit in the first game thanks to Vavra’s career-first homer.

“These are the moments you kind of think about when you come in and play this game at the lower levels,” Vavra said. “To be able to do it at an important moment, it was pretty cool and I will remember it forever.”

Gabriel Moreno hit his first career home run for the Blue Jays, a three-run shot in the sixth, but Mitch White (0-5) allowed five runs and seven hits in four innings.

“It would be nice to get off deck one through five and then go on a cruise. That’s what I hope for from time to time,” Hyde joked. “We like to do it hard and then give up jams and then put one out later to get the win.”

DL Hall (1-1) took his first career victory in relief, and Brian Baker worked out a perfect ninth for his first career save.

Lopez opened Toronto’s scoring with an RBI single in the second. After Moreno crossed to the right center, the score became 4:0, Austin Hayes hit a double run in the bottom of the sixth for the Orioles.


Baltimore George Matthew led the AL in stolen bases with 35, one more than a teammate Cedric Mullins.


Baltimore drew 1,365,900 people to Camden Yards this season, the highest attendance since 2018. The team drew 1,307,807 in 2019, its last home season before the coronavirus pandemic.


Orioles: Baltimore could start Jordan Lyles he had a regular rest on Wednesday but decided to end the season after a career-high 32 starts.


Blue Jays: Alec Manoa is about to start Toronto’s first postseason game against the Mariners.

Orioles: Baltimore’s first spring practice game is Feb. 25 against the Minnesota Twins.

KANSAS CITY, Missouri. Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas City Royals Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a sluggish 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals exercised their option on Matheny’s 2023 contract during spring training when the club hoped he would go from underdog to contender once again. But due to poor pitching, struggling with young players in the positions, and failed experiments with veterans, by mid-summer, the Royals were virtually out of the playoffs.

A disappointing product led owner John Sherman to fire a longtime front office executive last month. Dayton Moore, creator of the American League Champions and 2015 World Series Champions. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, JJ Piccollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours into the season.

Matheny became the fifth major league manager to be sacked this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who miraculously took the Phillies to the playoffs as a wildcard team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was replaced by John Schneider on July 13, and Rangers’ Chris Woodward was replaced by Tony Beasley on August 15.

Also, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he would not be returning next season.


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