The last two Orioles starters had worked five and 5 1/3 innings. The bullpen was taxed. Miguel Gonzalez needed to step up tonight and get deep into the game. He needed to provide his own relief.
Gonzalez has completed seven innings, but he just allowed two runs to reduce the Orioles' lead to 3-2. He's surrendered five hits - including three in the seventh - walked none and struck out three.
Gerardo Parra homered with two outs to bring the Diamondbacks within a run. Wil Nieves followed with a single as Francisco Rodriguez warmed in the bullpen, and Didi Gregorius ran the count to 3-0 before flying to center field on a 3-2 pitch.
Gonzalez returned to the dugout with his pitch count at 97. He looks like he's out of gas and is done for the night, with Henry Urrutia pinch-hitting for him in the eighth.
The tank emptied in a hurry.
Gonzalez had a 7.02 ERA in the sixth inning this season, but he stranded a runner and maintained his shutout. Third baseman Manny Machado made a tremendous diving stop and throw to rob A.J. Pollock, with first baseman Chris Davis stretching for it and maintaining contact with the bag.
Aaron Hill tripled with one out in the seventh and scored on Martin Prado's grounder to short. The infield was playing back. The Orioles were willing to concede the run and avoid a bigger inning.
It almost got away from them.
Gonzalez had allowed five runs in the seventh before tonight. You can add two more to the ledger.
Gonzalez is looking for his first win since July 20. He's 0-2 with a no-decision.
Orioles starters have turned in six quality starts the last eight games.
Update: Rodriguez retired the Diamondbacks in order in the eighth inning, striking out two.
Here's Rodriguez's line over his last four appearances: four innings, one hit, no runs, one walk, eight strikeouts. He allowed four home runs over his first four outings with the Orioles.
Update II: Jim Johnson suffered his eighth blown save, surrendering a leadoff home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the bottom of the ninth.
The Diamondbacks put runners on second and third with one out, but they couldn't push across the winning run.
Free baseball. On the West Coast. Splendid.
That's two straight blown saves by Johnson after 10 conversions in a row. He fell behind 3-1 to Goldschmidt and hung a fastball over the middle of the plate.
The Orioles are 6-3 in extra innings.
Update III: Goldschmidt strikes again, leading off the bottom of the 11th with an opposite-field home run off T.J. McFarland to give Arizona a 4-3 victory over the Orioles.
McFarland, who hadn't pitched since Aug. 3, made it through the 10th before Goldschmidt ended it in the 11th.
The Orioles are 14-20 in one-run games and 6-4 in extra innings.