Jonathan Schoop homered, 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.
"I wanted our guys to have that feeling of winning the game coming off the field so I couldn't have drawn it up much better," the Orioles manager said.
Next up for the Orioles, a date with Detroit in the division series, which begins in Baltimore Thursday.
"We know what kind of team they've got," said outfielder Nick Markakis, who'll be making his playoff debut. "They've got a strong starting staff and they've got some guys who can swing the bat. We've just got to execute and do our thing."
The Tigers beat Minnesota to clinch the Central shortly after the Orioles blanked the Blue Jays.
"It's playoff time," Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said. "We're going to have to execute. We're going to have to make sure that when opportunities arise, we need to score that run."
Baltimore (96-66) snapped a three-game skid with its 13th shutout of the season.
Nelson Cruz went hitless in his final regular-season game but finished 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 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.
With Gonzalez joining Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris and Chris Tillman, 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.
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.
The homer was the 211th of the season for Orioles, the most in the majors. Baltimore, which went 79-33 this season in games where they hit at least one homer, has hit 200 or more in each of the past three seasons.
"One through nine can hit it out, that's what we have as a team," Gonzalez said.
Dickey (14-13) 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.
"I made a mistake to Schoop and he was the difference in the game," Dickey said.
LATE SEASON PICKUP
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.
The Blue Jays drew 45,901 to their season finale, bringing total attendance for 2014 to 2,375,525.
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.