Orioles win division for 1st time since 2014, clinch AL’s top seed

Orioles win division for 1st time since 2014, clinch AL's top seed

The Baltimore Orioles are once again kings of the American League East.

Baltimore clinched the division title Thursday for the first time since 2014 and just the third time in the wild-card era with a 2-0 win over the Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards.

GO CRAZY BALTIMORE pic.twitter.com/ZhYuxEO0lO

— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 29, 2023

The Orioles also clinched the AL’s No. 1 seed with the win, giving them home-field advantage through the ALCS. They’ll face the winner of the No. 4-5 wild-card matchup in the Division Series.

It was also Baltimore’s 100th win of 2023, marking the sixth time that the franchise has reached the century record, and the first since 1980. It’s also the fifth time in franchise history that the Orioles have been at least 40 games over .500, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com. The team won the pennant in each of the previous four occurrences.

The victory caps a remarkable turnaround for the franchise, which lost over 100 games in three of the last six seasons during a painful rebuild. The downturn included a team-record 115 losses in 2018 and an MLB-worst 110 defeats two years ago before the team rose to a surprising 83 wins last summer.

Nobody gave us a chance…

We just won the AL East. pic.twitter.com/EiFO4vvnmT

— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 29, 2023

General manager Mike Elias orchestrated the rebuild from the ground up, and the results were on full display for Orioles fans Thursday. Starter Dean Kremer, acquired for star third baseman Manny Machado in 2018, was the winning pitcher on Thursday, while former Rule 5 draft pick Anthony Santander drove in the clinching run with a first-inning homer off Red Sox starter Chris Sale. Former first overall pick Adley Rutschman went 1-for-3 with a walk.

It was a banner night all around for the Orioles franchise. Shortly after the game started, the team announced an agreement on a 30-year lease extension to remain at Camden Yards. Then, just a few minutes after the big leaguers clinched the division, the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tides, wrapped up the International League championship with a 7-0 win over the Durham Bulls.

FINAL | Norfolk 7, Durham 0

YOUR NORFOLK TIDES ARE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!!!!!!! For the sixth time in franchise history and the first time since 1985, the Tides have won the Governors’ Cup!🏆🏆🏆#RisingTide pic.twitter.com/ZDseSoqXku

— Norfolk Tides (@NorfolkTides) September 29, 2023

Norfolk will now meet the Pacific Coast League champion Oklahoma City Dodgers in the Triple-A Championship Game on Saturday in Las Vegas.

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