BOSTON (AP) — With Boston’s ace on the mound and the second half of a day-night doubleheader looming, Baltimore was in dire need of a quality start from Miguel Gonzalez.
The right-hander delivered his best performance of the season.
Gonzalez matched Jon Lester’s eight dominant innings Saturday, allowing one earned run in a 3-2 loss to the Red Sox that snapped the Orioles’ four-game winning streak.
Gonzalez gave up two runs on seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts in his deepest outing of the season, but left after throwing a season-high 113 pitches, one shy of his career high.
T.J. McFarland allowed pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera’s game-winning hit in the ninth.
“That’s the kind of Miggy that we’re going to need,” said Baltimore manager Buck Showalter. “This is the defending world champions and for Miguel to come into their ballpark and do what he did and give us a good chance to win, it’s hard to do.”
After allowing both runs in the second, Gonzalez retired 14 of the next 15 batters, and worked his way out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth.
“It’s a good feeling to be able to go a little bit more than what I’ve been going,” said Gonzalez, making just his fourth start since returning from the disabled list with a right oblique strain. “Under control a little bit more and just told myself, Try not to do too much and stay aggressive down in the zone,’ especially against a team like this that has a good lineup.
“We came up a little short. T.J.’s been throwing the ball really well. You can’t do anything about that.”
Boston’s sixth walkoff victory of the season snapped a three-game losing streak.
Pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes legged out a leadoff infield single off McFarland (1-2) before Ross bunted Gomes to second. Herrera then blooped a broken-bat base hit over second base to score Gomes.
Koji Uehara (4-2) worked a perfect ninth and Stephen Drew hit his first home run since the World Series for Boston.
The Orioles’ two runs came on Xander Bogaerts’ two-out error in the third inning of a game being made up after Friday’s was rained out.
Lester allowed two unearned runs and five hits in eight innings, striking out seven with no walks.
Drew ripped Gonzalez’s first-pitch fastball into the right field bleachers in the second inning, and Jackie Bradley Jr. later doubled and scored on first baseman Steve Pearce’s error.
The Orioles tied it in the third when third baseman Bogaerts booted Pearce’s two-out grounder, allowing two runs to score. The inning began with Pedroia’s poor throw to first, his first error since April 24.
The Red Sox were without designated hitter David Ortiz, who was returning from his native Dominican Republic, where he attended his daughter’s graduation.
With third baseman Manny Machado serving the last of his five-game suspension for throwing a bat in a game against Oakland last month, the Orioles were in the odd position of having 24 players for the first game and 26 for Game 2. Reliever Preston Guilmet was called up as the extra player allowed for the second game.
NOTES: Showalter said it was a “short evaluation” to hold RHP Ubaldo Jimenez for the nightcap once he saw Jimenez is 0-5 with a 10.55 ERA in five afternoon starts. He’s 3-3 with a 2.53 ERA in 12 night starts. John Lackey (9-5) will start for Boston. . The Orioles planned to recall RHP Kevin Gausman from Triple-A Norfolk to start Sunday’s series finale against Jake Peavy. . Boston manager John Farrell said OF Shane Victorino (hamstring, back) could begin another rehabilitation assignment in a few days. He had a long-toss in the outfield between games. . Baltimore RHP Bud Norris threw a two- to three-inning simulated game on the field between games. Norris is currently on the disabled list with a sore right groin, and Showalter said if Norris feels well after the session, he could be in line to start Wednesday against Washington. Baltimore traded its pregame batting practice for the right to use the field between games.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)