Pridie, Gonzalez and Markakis in a 1-1 tie (O’s win 3-2)

Miguel Gonzalez was charged with an unearned run in the first inning tonight when left fielder Jason Pridie dropped a routine fly ball with two outs and Munenori Kawasaki on second base.

Pridie was camped under the ball and it popped out of his glove. Very strange.

The Orioles tied the game in the bottom of the second on Matt Wieters’ 22nd home run, and his 11th from the right side of the plate.

Pridie followed Steve Pearce’s one-out double in the second with a single to put runners on the corners, but Jonathan Schoop grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Manager Buck Showalter wants to evaluate Pridie during this series and is giving him a start against Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle. Michael Morse is on the bench despite hitting from the right side.

Pridie drove home to Arizona, figuring his season was over, when he received a call from the Orioles telling him to get on a flight to Baltimore the following day.

“I figured there were six days left and I’d head home,” he said. “I figured at that time, to, if I was needed, it’s not like I had been off for two weeks. It had been a couple days. I worked out Saturday (in Sarasota). I still felt good.

“It’s funny because as I was driving, I got to Arizona and stopped and sent out a tweet, ‘It’s good to be back,’ and maybe a half-hour or hour later, I got a call from BG (Brian Graham) and then Kevin (Buck) and they were like, ‘You’ve got a flight tomorrow morning.’ It was awesome. It was a good feeling. I was 29 hours into a drive and it kind of gave me a little energy boost I needed to get the last three to Phoenix. I jumped on a flight and I’m here.”

The Orioles kept bypassing Pridie when recalling players or selecting contracts from Triple-A Norfolk, even while his average stayed above .300, but he never let it affect his performance or concentration.

“Out on the field, it wasn’t hard,” he said. “I’ve been playing for a little while now. I’ve had a couple years of adversity, kind of similar to this year, just when it wasn’t the right time or that spot wasn’t open. I know baseball, I know how it happens. It can be tough maybe at home thinking about it, maybe talking to the family and getting a little discouraged. Like, ‘I wish I could be there.’

“I was putting together a pretty good season, especially in the first half there, but I’ve learned that once you get out on the field, you’ve got to play. No one feels sorry for you. No one’s going to be out there and say, ‘Oh, he’s not getting his chance right now. I’m going to throw him some easy fastballs.’ No one feels sorry for you. And I’m not the only one in baseball who maybe was feeling a little discouraged or whatever, so get out there and play the game and do what you’ve got to do.

“Obviously, it happened a little later than I thought it was going to, but here I am. And that’s the goal. Five’s better than none. I’d rather be here than be in Arizona. It was tough at time off the field, but on the field you’ve just got to do your thing and play the game and be a professional.”

Gonzalez is looking to finish on a high note. In his 17 starts through July 20, he was 8-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 107 2/3 innings. In eight starts since July 21, he’s 2-5 with a 5.21 ERA in 55 1/3 innings.

Gonzalez posted 13 quality starts in his first 17, but only four in his last eight.

In his last start, Gonzalez tied his career high with five walks over six innings against the Rays. He walked Kawasaki with one out in the first inning tonight.

Nick Markakis is batting second for the first time this season, wedged between Brian Roberts and Danny Valencia. He grounded into a double play after Roberts’ leadoff single in the first. Valencia followed with a double off the left field fence.

Markakis began the night batting .269/.326/.353 with 10 homers and 58 RBIs in 156 games.

“I think the offseason will be kind to Nick,” said manager Buck Showalter. “I think he’s one of those guys that doesn’t talk about some things that may be challenging him physically until the year’s over. I don’t know of anything, but I think the offseason will be good for Nick.

“I know he’s got some drive to be ready for us next year. He’s held a high level of performance for a long time, and will again.”

Update: The Orioles scored twice in the third to take a 3-1 lead.

Roberts is 2-for-2 after reaching on a bunt single. Markakis doubled to score Roberts, Jones reached on an infield hit and Wieters drove in his second run with a sacrifice fly.

Wieters has 22 homers and 78 RBIs this season. For the haters, he’s also batting .235. I’ll calculate his on-base percentage later.

Update II: Gonzalez retired 13 in a row before J.P. Arencibia’s double to left field with one out in the seventh. He’s held Toronto to an unearned run and two hits in seven innings, with one walk and five strikeouts.

Way to finish strong.

Gonzalez had posted a 2.59 ERA and .221 average against in the first four innings this season, and a 6.67 ERA and .299 average against in the fifth inning and later.

Hunter will pitch the eighth inning, so Gonzalez’s line is official. He threw 106 pitches, 70 for strikes.

Tough night for Schoop. A double play, two strikeouts and an error.

Update III: Game over. The Orioles took the last two games of this series, winning tonight 3-2.

Tommy Hunter allowed a run in the eighth, but he struck out two to strand runners on second and third. He got one strikeout on a 97 mph fastball and another on a 98 mph heater.

Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his 48th save, allowing a two-out single to Ryan Goins.

The Orioles improve to 18-31 in one-run games and 4-5 when they commit two errors.

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