Remove Jeremy Guthrie after seven innings or send him back out for the eighth?
That was the decision facing new manager Buck Showalter, and he chose to pull Guthrie after 92 pitches and bring in left-hander Michael Gonzalez with the top of the order coming up.
Showalter wanted Gonzalez to face the two switch-hitters and a left-hander. Gonzalez responded by getting two quick outs, allowing a single to Bobby Abreu and inducing a grounder from Torii Hunter, who represented the potential tying run.
Guthrie gave up a run in his final inning, and a couple balls were hit hard, including one that Felix Pie ran down near the line.
The move worked. Showalter is batting 1.000 so far.
Update: Big night for Matt Wieters, too. He’s 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs. His bloop single scored Adam Jones, and he alertly took second on the throw home.
Showalter just came out of the dugout for a few seconds to confer with plate umpire Jerry Layne, and the crowd erupted. Layne smiled as Showater returned to the bench, obviously amused by the reaction.
Update II: Interesting that Showalter sent Gonzalez back out for the ninth and let him get the first two outs before bringing in Alfredo Simon. Also interesting that fans stood to applaud Gonzalez as he walked to the dugout. Also interesting that the Orioles had totaled five runs in Guthrie’s last three starts before scoring six tonight.
Gonzalez hit 94 mph with his fastball.