TORONTO -- It was so fresh still, the sting of Tuesday's 5-2, 11-inning loss to the Blue Jays in the American League Wild Card Game. The Orioles' season ended quickly, on a walk-off homer by Edwin Encarnacion, and they struggled to sum up a year in which they exceeded others'
TORONTO -- It was so fresh still, the sting of Tuesday's 5-2, 11-inning loss to the Blue Jays in the American League Wild Card Game. The Orioles' season ended quickly, on a walk-off homer by Edwin Encarnacion, and they struggled to sum up a year in which they exceeded others' expectations yet fell short of their own.
"I couldn't be more proud of everyone in here," center fielder Adam Jones said.
"Disappointed that we aren't going [on] and aren't going to Texas, but to say that I'm not extremely happy that we played a [heck] of a season, got ourselves in here ... It says a lot about the character of this team, in this clubhouse, the tenacity we have from guy to guy. We grinded it out -- 162. It wasn't easy, it wasn't pretty, but we got ourselves into this position."
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The Orioles, picked to finish last by numerous media outlets prior to the season, rode a fantastic April to an early first-place slot in the AL East. And despite some rough patches in the second half, they came through when the pressure was on, taking series in Toronto and New York to punch their postseason ticket in the season's final weekend.
"It [stinks] ending this way, but the guys all had a good year," starter Chris Tillman said. "Fun to be part of. Good guys, a good team, good clubhouse. Couldn't be happier to play with these guys. We had a lot of fun."
It was a common sentiment in the clubhouse.
"I couldn't be more proud of the guys in there," said Mark Trumbo, who ended the season with a Major League-best 47 homers and plated both Baltimore runs on Tuesday with one swing. "That is what makes it so difficult, how good a team this really is -- not just on the field but the people. When you are in the foxhole with the guys the entire season and all the work that gets put on behind scenes, it is really tough right now."
It was a good run for the Orioles, thanks in part to a fantastic bullpen that held leads, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case on Tuesday, as Ubaldo Jiménez -- whose second-half surge help carry the Os -- gave up the game-winner.
"I thought we battled all the way through," said closer Zach Britton, who wasn't used despite the close game. "Tonight was kind of an indication of our season to an extent. Just never giving up. It's just frustrating to end it like this. But overall, we had a heck of a season. I thought individually and as a team, we had some really high highs and some really low lows, but we found a way to make it to this game."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.