Gonzalez is the most nervous, though Showalter ranks a close second.
Showalter understands why Gonzalez will be leaving the team for a few days, but he’s dreading it if the right-hander’s turn falls during that span. The rotation is already missing Wei-Yin Chen. Steve Johnson is on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, and he’s shut down at the moment. Tsuyoshi Wada is getting lit up on his injury rehab assignment like the bank of lights in left field.
The Orioles need Gonzalez, and they will eagerly await his return. Whenever he finally leaves, which could be any day now.
Showalter joked earlier today about not seeing Gonzalez in the clubhouse and wondering whether he hopped on a plane to California without informing the team.
Gonzalez has made his presence known tonight, holding the Angels to one run and four hits over seven innings, with one walk and five strikeouts. He’s tied his season high with seven innings, and he’s only thrown 84 pitches - 58 for strikes.
Gonzalez has retired 11 of 13 batters since Mike Trout’s leadoff home run in the fourth. Howie Kendrick led off the fifth with a single and Albert Pujols walked to open the seventh. Gonzalez struck out Mark Trumbo and fielded Kendrick’s bouncer to start a 1-6-3 double play.
Peter Bourjos’ leaping catch in center field to rob J.J. Hardy of a two-run homer in the first inning looms rather large right now.
Gonzalez had allowed nine runs in the sixth inning this season, but he retired the side in order tonight. He survived the leadoff walk in the seventh, and with the bullpen quiet and his pitch count down, he’s coming back out for the eighth.
Update: Nick Markakis completed an unusual two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run single off left-hander Scott Downs to give the Orioles a 3-1 lead.
Jason Vargas retired the first two batters before three straight Orioles - Danny Valencia, Steve Pearce and Ryan Flaherty - reached on infield hits to load the bases. Yeah, that happens all the time.
Markakis greeted Downs with a sharp single into center field, and we’re no longer tied.
Update: Jim Johnson notched his 23rd save and the Orioles moved nine games above .500 for the first time this season with a 3-2 victory over the Angels.
Gonzalez was removed after eight innings and 96 pitches. He was sensational, allowing only one run and four hits, walking one and striking out five.
The Orioles’ last complete game was authored by Jason Hammel on June 16, 2012 in Atlanta.
Johnson has converted his last eight save opportunities. He hadn’t permitted a run since the meltdown in Toronto until Josh Hamilton doubled with two outs and scored on Albert Pujols’ bouncer up the middle.
Mark Trumbo struck out to end the game.