League's error scores Aubrey to give O's season-closing sweep

BALTIMORE -- In an otherwise meaningless game for the Baltimore Orioles, Melvin Mora bid an emotional farewell to the hometown fans and rookie Michael Aubrey showed why he deserves another look next year.

Aubrey scored the winning run on Brandon League's second throwing error in the 11th inning Sunday, giving the Orioles a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays and a three-game sweep.

Aubrey led off the 11th with a single and took second when League (3-6) threw wildly to first on a bunt by Lou Montanez. Jeff Fiorentino then laid down a bunt, and after League's low throw to first base skipped into the outfield, Aubrey scampered home.

"I was anticipating a bad throw, and it was," Aubrey said.

Obtained from Cleveland in late June, Aubrey hit two homers Friday and showed his alertness on the basepaths in the season finale.

"I think I put myself in a good position to where maybe these guys might realize there's something worth keeping. Then hopefully I go into spring with these guys and continue to make a statement," the first baseman said.

Mora, 37, almost certainly won't be back. The three-year extension he signed in 2006 expires after this season, and the Orioles will be striving during the offseason to add a third baseman with more punch in his bat.

Mora ranks in the top 10 on the Orioles' career lists for at-bats, runs, total bases, doubles, homers and RBIs. He was replaced in the sixth inning by pinch-hitter Justin Turner, who delivered a two-run single to give Baltimore a 4-3 lead. After the inning, Mora walked to the top of the dugout steps and received a warm ovation from the crowd.

"That's the one thing I'm never going to forget. It's kind of like the people appreciate what I do for the organization," Mora said. "It was emotional because I see a lot of people [in the crowd] around me crying."

Matt Albers (3-6) pitched a perfect 11th for the Orioles, who finished the season with a four-game winning streak, their longest since a five-game run in mid-June.

Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista and John McDonald homered for the Blue Jays. Ricky Romero completed a solid rookie season by allowing four runs and five hits in seven innings.

But the game came down to two errant throws by League.

"The first bunt play, the ball slipped out of my hand and I threw it over his head," the right-hander said. "I tried to shake it off, but the next one I threw the opposite way, right into the dirt."

It was a fitting end to a weekend in which several of the Jays spoke out against manager Cito Gaston and general manager J.P. Ricciardi was fired.

"We didn't play well over here. I guess it goes along with everything else that happened," Gaston said.

Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie attained several milestones, not all of them good. By pitching 7 2/3 innings, the right-hander reached 200 in a season for the first time. But he also yielded three homers, matching the franchise record of 35 in a season, and his two walks gave him a career-high 60.

"When we took him out, I thanked him and he said thank you and he was appreciative because he reached a milestone goal for himself with the innings pitched," manager Dave Trembley said. "He deserved it."

Nick Markakis hit a two-run shot for the Orioles, giving him 18 homers and 101 RBIs for the season.

Toronto went up 1-0 in the first inning when Encarnacion hit his eighth homer. In the bottom half, Brian Roberts singled and scored when Markakis hit a 3-2 pitch over the right-field wall.

The Blue Jays used successive doubles by Randy Ruiz and Travis Snyder to tie it in the fourth, and Bautista hit a shot to right in the fifth for a 3-2 lead.

Romero retired 13 straight before Fiorentino singled to open the sixth, which led to Turner's hit.

McDonald hit his fourth homer of the season in the seventh to tie it.

Game notes
Roberts' first-inning steal gave him four straight seasons with at least 30 SBs. ... Encarnacion finished with seven homers in his last 20 games. ... The Orioles finished 1-8 in Toronto and 8-1 in Baltimore. ... The crowd of 17,969 pushed the Orioles over 1.9 million for the 21st consecutive year.