Wieters and Showalter speak after 8-4 loss

Miguel Gonzalez will pitch in a simulated game Friday, throwing about 25 pitches in the bullpen and 25-30 in the game.

The Orioles want to control his environment - pitch count, pitch selection - and make sure he's available next week.

Gonzalez is eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday. He could start any of the next three nights after returning to the 25-man roster.

As for today's 8-4 loss to the Padres, starter Freddy Garcia lasted only 3 2/3 innings and was charged with four runs and seven hits.

"They hit some good pitches and then a couple pitches got up on the zone a little bit," said catcher Matt Wieters. "It was a good process with their at-bats today. They were able to battle off some tough pitches and then get some pitches to hit.

"Freddy's a guy who's going to have to mix pitches, he's going to have to move them around. And he did that. There were just a couple pitches that ended up more middle than he probably wanted."

Wieters grounded out to end the first inning and leave the bases loaded. He homered in the fourth.

"We had some chances to score and couldn't quite get it done," he said. "I could have broken the game open in the first and just couldn't quite get the big hit there. But it's going to happen and we'll have to be ready to go when we come back on Friday."

Manager Buck Showalter noted that Garcia wasn't as crisp today with his pitches.

"Location, and didn't quite have the finish that he had with some of his pitches, but he wasn't the only one," Showalter added. "We just didn't pitch well today. What did we give up, like 17 hits? It wasn't just Freddy. They had some good fortune, too, but they hit a lot of balls hard too. They came in here and swung the bats well.

"They had a good approach to him today, and to all our guys. They were patient on the right guys and aggressive on the other ones. You tip your hat to them, but we've got to pitch better. We pitched real well yesterday. Certainly a hiccup, pitching-wise today, but I've been proud of it for the most part. We're going start a stretch now, 17 games in a row again after tomorrow, so it's another challenge."

The pitching is a growing concern with Gonzalez and Wei-Yin Chen on the disabled list and that nasty stretch of games coming up.

"Pitching is always a challenge, but I look at it a little more positive," Showalter said. "We got a pretty good day out of Gonzo today. I look at it like, hopefully, we're going to get one of them back. Wei-Yin felt decent today. He was fine.

"I try not to get into that world, but it's easy to. I'm also realistic. What you're saying is right, it is a challenge for us. Like it was last year when we had guys go down. And like other clubs that have had a challenge, too. So it's opportunity for some people to kind of step forward for us and pitch well and establish themselves as somebody that we can count on."

Showalter jokingly downplayed Manny Machado's three-double, four-hit day as being "pretty good."

"He's fun to watch," Showalter said. "I like his selectivity. I don't know what's going on with him hitting into a double play today. No, I'm proud of him. He's handled himself well."

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