The home run bats have been there for the Baltimore Orioles over the last three seasons and they were on display once again on Wednesday night at Camden Yards. Jonathan Schoop (14), David Lough (3) and Chris Davis (25) all went deep as the Orioles added to their 2014 homer total. They lead the majors with 182 jacks.
As awesome as the big bats were, the story of Wednesday’s 6-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds was starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez. The 30-year-old righty baffled the Reds for nine innings as he pitched his first career shutout.
Gonzalez struck out eight and walked only one in an outstanding 117 pitch performance to improve his record to 8-7. He also lowered his ERA to 3.38 as the Birds maintained their 9.5 game lead in the AL East.
It has been an interesting season for Gonzalez, to say the least. He has spent time on the DL and has been optioned back minor leagues. Twice. Yet, he continues to persevere and deliver quality to the rotation for Baltimore manager Buck Showalter.
Over his last nine games, Gonzalez is 4-2 with an ERA of 2.00. His last four starts have been quality starts and his ERA in that span is an outstanding 1.27.
Not too shabby for guy that is often overlooked when the Orioles’ starting rotation is discussed.
Heading into Thursday’s series finale against the Reds, the Orioles boast a 81-57 record and are running away with their division.
The starting pitching has had a lot to do with their success. As the Birds march into the playoffs, Miguel Gonzalez is going to be a very significant part of what they are trying to accomplish.
That, of course, is winning the World Series.
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