Baltimore Orioles’ Steve Pearce rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run in the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles won their first AL East crown since 1997, using home runs by Steve Pearce and Jimmy Paredes to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 Tuesday night before a boisterous crowd of 35,297 at Camden Yards.
With their ninth win in 10 games, the Orioles clinched their second playoff appearance in three years following a run of 14 consecutive losing seasons.
Baltimore Orioles’ Alejandro De Aza watches his three-run triple in front of Toronto Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro in the seventh inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Afterward, the Orioles converged behind second base, fireworks soared in the outfield and
streamers sprayed throughout the crowd.
It was Baltimore’s ninth AL East title and only its second since 1983, when the Orioles last won the World Series.
The franchise has enjoyed a rebirth under the guidance of manager Buck Showalter, whose 1,254th victory thrust him past mentor Billy Martin into sole possession of 36th place on the career list.