Miguel Gonzalez talks about his outing (O’s win 8-0)


Score: Orioles 8, Braves 0

Recap: Miguel Gonzalez filled in for Chris Tillman today and looked like an ace, tossing six scoreless innings with three hits allowed, no walks and five strikeouts. He’s the first Orioles pitcher to complete six innings this spring. Chris Davis’ sacrifice fly gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead in the first and produced his team-leading 10th RBI. Braves starter Gus Schlosser retired 12 in a row after David Lough’s leadoff double in the first. Alex Gonzalez led off the sixth with a single, and J.J. Hardy singled in the seventh. The Orioles scored seven runs in the eighth inning.

Need to know: Zach Britton continues to work on a reliever’s schedule. He’s made seven appearances totaling 10 innings, including one scoreless today. Britton retired the Braves in order in rapid fashion, needing only three pitches to get the first two outs.

On deck: Saturday, at Rays in Port Charlotte, 1:05 p.m.

SARASOTA, Fla. - Miguel Gonzalez found out at 8:30 a.m. today that he would be starting in place of Chris Tillman instead of pitching in a Triple-A game at Twin Lakes Park.

The adjustment was seamless.

Gonzalez tossed six scoreless innings for the Orioles, who continue to lead the Braves 1-0 in the eighth.

“Same game plan,” he said. “You’ve just got to out there and make pitches, no matter where you’re at. I was thinking of going down there, but it worked out well.

“I was pretty happy about my performance. (Matt) Wieters was throwing out curveballs on the first pitch, and I thought that was pretty great. I was changing speeds on them. They have great hitting and it was a pitching duel and it was fun.

“I thought my off-speeds were there today. I was pretty happy about the results, just getting ground balls and giving my team a chance to win a ballgame.”

Gonzalez didn’t expect to go more than five innings, but his pitch count stood at 55 heading into the sixth.

“I was happy I was out there to extend my innings,” he said. “That’s what I need.”

Gonzalez probably will make one more start before breaking camp.

“It’s about progression and getting better and working on your weaknesses. That’s what I did today,” he said.

“I thought my off-speed was great. I was happy about first-pitch strikes and trying to get guys out as soon as possible.”

Zach Britton and Ryan Webb each threw a scoreless inning today.

Update: Chris Davis drew a bases-loaded walk off Anthony Varvaro with no outs in the eighth for his 11th RBI this spring, and Nelson Cruz followed with an RBI single to increase the Orioles’ lead to 3-0.

Nick Markakis followed with a two-run single off Ryne Harper for a 5-0 lead. Still no outs.

J.J. Hardy followed with an RBI double in the eighth. It’s 6-0 and still no outs.

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