Orioles delight sold-out crowd with 5-2 win over Red Sox for 101st win in penultimate game of regular season – Boston Herald


The game wasn’t important, but that didn’t matter to the 43,150 fans at Camden Yards on Saturday.

The announced crowd was the sixth sellout of the season, as Baltimore fans showed out for the last night game of the 2023 regular season (and the hoodie giveaway, of course). Only three other games this season have produced more fans in the stands, including the traditionally sold-out home opener.

The fans were rewarded with a 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox, the American League East-champion Orioles’ 101st of their historic season. Kyle Gibson pitched five shutout innings and the offense got hot late to carry the Orioles to victory in their penultimate game of the season.

Attendance at Camden Yards this season has largely been positive, as the team has seen one of the largest increases in the majors this season. The total attendance of just over 1.9 million is more than 500,000 above their 2022 gate of 1.37 million, according to Baseball-Reference.

On a per-game basis, almost 7,000 more fans have attended games this year (23,752) compared with last season (16,893) — an increase of 40.6%.

The last time the Orioles had attendance this high was in 2017 when the club eclipsed 2 million fans — a benchmark when evaluating attendance, especially for smaller-market teams. However, attendance this season was worse than in every year between 2012 and 2017 — the last stretch in which the Orioles put a competitive product on the field. In 2014, the last time the club won the AL East, almost 2.5 million fans — over 30,000 per game — flocked to Oriole Park.

While the game didn’t matter for the standings, the win does clinch the Orioles’ winning record against the Red Sox this season. Baltimore has won the season series against every AL East team for the first time since 2014. They are 32-19 against division foes with one game remaining. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Baltimore (101-60) has gone 14 consecutive series against AL East opponents without a series loss — the longest such streak in Orioles history.

The pitching remained sharp, allowing three or fewer runs for the seventh straight game despite allowing 14 hits. In that stretch, Orioles pitchers have allowed just eight runs. After Gibson’s five innings, in which he scattered seven hits and struck out four, Baltimore-area native Bruce Zimmermann, who was recalled Saturday, pitched two scoreless. Converted starter Jack Flaherty and August waiver claim Jacob Webb each allowed a run in the eighth and ninth, respectively, but also escaped jams.

The bats, which were shut out Friday and scored just two runs Thursday, broke out in the seventh when Ryan Mountcastle drove in the game’s first run with an RBI double and Heston Kjerstad followed with an infield single that scored Mountcastle from second. Jorge Mateo drove in the speedy Jordan Westburg on a groundout in the eighth, and Anthony Santander gave Webb insurance with a two-run single.

If the Orioles win Sunday, it will be club’s 102nd of the season. The last time they won 102 games was in 1979. Only two other teams in Orioles history have won more: 1969 (109 wins) and 1970 (108 wins).

Around the horn

  • Before the game, the Orioles designated reliever Jorge López and recalled Zimmermann. Manager Brandon Hyde said López, who the Orioles claimed off waivers in early September for a reunion after trading him away last summer, because they needed bullpen “depth” and the right-hander wasn’t eligible for Baltimore’s postseason roster. He wasn’t in the organization by Aug. 31, the cutoff for playoff eligibility.
  • Hyde said ace Kyle Bradish is starting Sunday. Like Gibson, who threw just 80 pitches, Bradish likely won’t have a full start. He is expected to be the Orioles’ Game 1 starter in American League Division Series on Saturday.

This story will be updated.

Regular-season finale

Red Sox at Orioles

Sunday, 3:35 p.m.


Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM


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