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Schoop homers, Gonzalez gets 10th win as AL East champion Orioles beat Blue Jays 1-0

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TORONTO — Jonathan Schoop drove in the only run of the game with a solo home run, Miguel Gonzalez became the fourth Baltimore starter to reach 10 wins, and the AL East champion Orioles headed into the playoffs on a winning note, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 on Sunday.

Baltimore (96-66), which snapped a three-game losing streak, then learned it will face AL Central champ Detroit when the division series begins Thursday. The Tigers clinched shortly after the Orioles left the field.

Nelson Cruz went hitless in his final regular-season game but remained on track to finish as Baltimore's second straight American League home run champion. Cruz has 40 homers, one year after teammate Chris Davis led the majors with 53.

The Blue Jays (83-79) finished out of the playoffs for the 21st straight season, the longest active drought in baseball.

Toronto was 38-24 on the morning of June 7, six games ahead of Baltimore in the AL East standings. The Blue Jays went 45-55 the rest of the way, including a 9-17 slide in August that all but ended their postseason hopes.

"We didn't achieve our goals," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said before the game. "It's probably more disheartening this season just because I felt we were close."

Gonzalez (10-9) allowed five hits in five shutout innings for his first victory in three starts. He walked none and struck out three.

Ubaldo Jimenez, Andrew Miller, Tommy Hunter, Darren O'Day and Zach Britton finished out the six-hitter as manager Buck Showalter kept his relievers fresh for the playoffs.

It's the first time since 1997 that Baltimore has had four starters reach double figures in wins. The last quartet to do so was Scott Erickson, Scott Kamieniecki, Jimmy Key and Mike Mussina.

PHOTO: Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey throws against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Thornhill)
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey throws against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Thornhill)

Baltimore's Nick Markakis opened the game with a double off R.A. Dickey, but the Blue Jays knuckleballer didn't allow another hit until Schoop's two-out homer in the fifth.

Dickey lost for the first time in eight starts, allowing two hits and one run in six innings. He walked three and struck out two in his first defeat since Aug. 13 at Seattle.

LATE SEASON PICK-UP

The Blue Jays claimed RHP Cory Burns off waivers from Tampa Bay and selected 1B Matt Hague from Triple-A Buffalo, returning him to the 40-man roster. To make room, OF Melky Cabrera and RHP Chad Jenkins were transferred to the 60-day DL.

WEAKER ON THE WEEKEND

The Orioles went 58-23 in games from Monday through Thursday but 38-43 from Friday through Sunday.

CROWDED HOUSE

The Blue Jays drew 45,901 to their season finale, bringing total attendance for 2014 to 2,375,525.

UNDER FIRE

Fans booed loudly when a man wearing a Calgary Flames jersey caught a foul ball in the sixth and proudly held it over his head.

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