That easy, huh?
Fresh off a three-game sweep of the Angels, the Orioles won in walkoff fashion for the second consecutive night Friday, defeating the White Sox 2-1 in 10 innings. Adam Jones played hero this time, delivering an RBI single to secure the victory.
New skipper Buck Showalter is 4-0 to begin his tenure in Baltimore while the four-game winning streak matches a season-high for the club.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that he’s not surprised the Orioles are playing better under Showalter.
“Those guys are going to play better for him for some reason. Buck is
the type of guy who demands players, day in and day out, to play good
baseball,” Guillen said. “He only takes that job for a reason. He takes
that job because he’s a guy who maybe, hopefully can put those guys back
where they want to be.”
I only have my own experience to back this up, but I’ve found that the hiring of a new manager can often lead to a temporary spark, even for the worst of ballclubs. The Orioles have taken a rather significant step back this season, but they aren’t completely hopeless. They still have the same young talent they had a year ago. Let’s see if Showalter can make something out of them.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.
Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.
The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.