The Orioles placed one pitcher on the disabled list today. They didn't need to lose another one.
Miguel Gonzalez stayed in the game after J.D. Martinez's sharp bouncer struck his left forearm with two outs in the sixth inning. Martinez reached base and Gonzalez reached for his left arm, flexing his hand as head athletic trainer Richie Bancells came out to the mound.
At least he didn't reach for the ball with his bare hand.
Gonzalez retired Carlos Pena on a fly ball to center field and was back in the dugout with his pitch count at 95, including 66 for strikes.
One of MASN's cameras showed manager Buck Showalter, pitching coach Rick Adair and a few teammates checking on Gonzalez, who had a big smile on his face.
No wonder he's happy. He held the Astros to one run and five hits in six innings, with an intentional walk and seven strikeouts.
Gonzalez has allowed two runs or fewer in three of his four starts since coming off the disabled list, and his ERA is down to 4.05.
Of the 29 runs surrendered by Gonzalez this season, nine have scored in the sixth inning. It wasn't a danger zone today, except for Martinez's bouncer up the middle.
J.J. Hardy is 3-for-3 today and 7-for-12 in this series. He's collected 10 hits in his last five games, and his average is up to a season-high .263.
Chris Davis has two more hits today and is batting .412 in his last 26 games. He's batting .358 this season.
Down on the farm, Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Lew Ford underwent surgery on his groin and tweeted the following:
"Surgery went well. I am alive and not out for the season. Thanks everyone for the prayers and thoughts!"
Update: Darren O'Day tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Gonzalez, striking out two, and Brian Matusz stranded a runner in the eighth by striking out Jason Castro.
Left-handed hitters are 6-for-46 with 17 strikeouts against Matusz this season.
Hardy is 4-for-4 today and 8-for-13 in this series. He has 11 hits in his last five games and is batting .266 this season.
Update II: The Orioles have won another series after today's 3-1 victory over the Astros.
Jim Johnson collected his 20th save and converted his fifth straight opportunity. In five innings, he's allowed no runs and two hits, walked none and struck out five.
The Astros put two runners on base with one out after Ryan Flaherty committed an error and Johnson hit Chris Carter with an 0-2 pitch. Tense situation, but Johnson coaxed a double play grounder from Carlos Corporan to end the game.