Hearing from Gonzalez and Jones

The Orioles have taken the lead in the wild card race with tonight’s 5-3 victory over the Red Sox, and they’re in sole possession of second place in the American League East.

The Orioles are 4-0-1 in their last five series against the Yankees, Rays, Mariners, Royals and Red Sox.

Miguel Gonzalez registered his third consecutive quality start and has allowed three runs in his last 21 innings.

“I thought I threw the ball well,” he said after permitting two runs and six hits in six innings. “The sinker wasn’t going my way, but I think we played a great game all around. Couple mistakes, but just grinded it out and that’s what it’s all about.

“I’ve always had a good split-fingered fastball. Tonight it wasn’t great, but all the other pitches helped me out. Curveball was good, the slider, and I threw a lot of fastballs to these guys up and in, away, changing speeds. That’s what helped me out.”

Gonzalez defeated the team that released him in December.

“I don’t have anything against them,” he said. “They treated me well when I was with them, but I definitely wanted to win this game and things went my way. And obviously, we got the win.”

The Orioles were being no-hit until the sixth, when they scored five runs while Gonzalez watched from the dugout. J.C. Romero replaced him in the seventh.

“It was great,” he said. “Guys are battling. (Nick) Markakis got on, (Nate) McLouth came in and did his job. (Matt) Wieters and all the other guys did a great job, as well. I give them the props for what they did in the sixth inning. It went our way and it was great. It was fun to watch.”

Gonzalez is making a major contribution to a team in the thick of a pennant race. It’s an amazing story, considering that the Orioles signed him out of the Mexican League in March.

“It means a lot to me,” he said. “For them to give me the opportunity to pitch, to start, and just do what I had to do...”

Adam Jones will be remembered for lowering his shoulder and plowing into Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the sixth inning. Jones was out and he stayed in the game after the violent collision.

“It was fun, it was awesome,” he said. “It was much-needed.”

“The win is the most important thing. Now we have an opportunity for a sweep. Keep going after them. We know they’re tough. They can swing it, but we’ve got to go after them.”

Jason Hammel was supposed to throw another bullpen session tomorrow, but he took care of it this afternoon. Manager Buck Showalter said it was “OK,” not as good as Monday.

Hammel will take off two days before throwing another bullpen session, this time working up to around 40 pitches.

Down on the farm, Brian Matusz made his first relief appearance for Triple-A Norfolk and allowed two runs and five hits in three innings, with two walks and five strikeouts. He threw 59 pitches, 38 for strikes.

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