Father to be Miguel Gonzalez comes up huge
BALTIMORE – Miguel Gonzalez admits he can’t get his mind off fatherhood. His wife is due to deliver a baby daughter this week, and Gonzalez is eager for the happy event.
In what’s most likely his last start before fatherhood, Gonzalez worked into the seventh inning as the Orioles beat Jon Lester, who used to torment them.
The Orioles’ 6-3 win over the Boston Red Sox before 41,311 at Oriole Park on Sunday enabled them to take the series three games to one.
They’re within 1 ½ games of the Red Sox for first place in the AL East, and at 40-30, are at a season-high 10 games over .500 for the second time this season.
“Anytime we can rattle off some wins against a division opponent it's a good thing, especially these guys, knowing they're in first place. We're definitely happy the way the series went,” Chris Davis said.
Gonzalez isn’t sure when his little girl will arrive. His wife, Lucia, is in California, and Gonzalez was planning on going to Detroit with the Orioles and waiting for the call.
“It gets me pumped up. I’m excited. I’m excited for her to come and obviously she’s taking a little longer than what we thought but just waiting on that day,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez allowed a three-run home run to Boston’s Will Middlebrooks in the seventh, and left after that. In his 6 1/3, he allowed three runs on five hits, walking two and striking out two.
“Very appropriate that the father to be had a good day on Father's Day,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Even though the Red Sox (42-29) were on his mind during the game, afterward, it was all baby talk for Gonzalez.
“My wife, I’m talking to her every day and she’s keeping me posted.
But it could be any day. It’s the first one and it’s always a struggle, you never know when it’s coming,” Gonzalez said.
Lester (6-4) had beaten the Orioles 14 straight times, and they’ve now beaten him two straight.
In the third, the Orioles scored three runs. Nick Markakis led off with a single, the first of his four hits. He moved to second on Manny Machado’s deep fly to left. With two outs, Adam Jones drove in Markakis with a double.
Chris Davis drove a home run to right field, his major league leading 23rd of the season, and the 100th of his career. It was his first hit after 14 hitless at-bats against Lester, and gave the Orioles a 3-0 lead.
“I didn't actually know that until after my first at-bat. Went in there and looked at some video just to get an idea of what he'd been doing to me the past. I know I hadn't had a lot of success,” Davis said.
Showalter was aware of Davis’s lack of success against Lester.
“I try to take the approach them, you’re due. You’re a good hitter, and things like that are in your favor. A lot of guys use it as an excuse to say it’s just one of those matchups,” Showalter said.
Machado doubled down the left field line in the first, giving him 32 doubles, best in baseball, and a 14-game hitting streak, the longest by an Oriole this season.
In the fifth, Markakis doubled and scored on Machado’s RBI single. Machado scored on Davis’ two-out single.
Gonzalez (5-2) allowed just two hits and two walks in the first six innings, and got the first out in the seventh. Mike Carp led off with a double. He advanced to third on Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s single and left with a tight right hamstring. Shane Victorino ran for him and scored on Middlebrooks’ ninth home run, which cut the Orioles lead to 5-3.
Brian Matusz pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 innings. Tommy Hunter retired the only batter he faced on one pitch. Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his 25th save.
The Orioles took a 6-3 lead in the seventh on Markakis’ double, a sacrifice bunt by Machado and a run-scoring single by J.J. Hardy.
NOTES: The Orioles open a three-game series in Detroit on Monday night. With Jason Hammel scratched because of a stomach virus, Jake Arrieta (1-1. 6.63) starts against Max Scherzer (9-0, 3.19).
-Dylan Bundy will throw two sets of 25 pitches on flat ground from 90 feet on Monday at Sarasota, Fla. Minor league infielder Jonathan Schoop, who’s out with a stress fracture in his lower back has begun throwing and jogging in the rehab pool. Steve Johnson is making “mild improvements” in his recovery from a strained left oblique muscle.
-The Orioles’ six doubles were one short of a season-high.
-The Orioles passed the 1 million mark in attendance on their 35th home date. They’re averaging 28,818 and are on pace to draw 2.33 million.