Gonzalez has stranded a runner in each inning while allowing one hit, walking two and striking out three. He’s thrown 63 pitches, 40 for strikes.
Nick Markakis has the only hit for the Orioles in three innings, a leadoff single in the first. Rays starter Jake Odorizzi has retired nine in a row.
Manager Buck Showalter had his reasons for pushing everyone back in the rotation after yesterday’s postponement instead of keeping Chris Tillman as today’s starter. Part of the decision centered on Tillman benefitting from extra rest and Gonzalez having too much of it.
“We base a lot of things, Dave (Wallace) and Dom (Chiti) and I, with how a guy’s workday goes. Gives you an idea of how they’re feeling,” Showalter said.
“Remember when you get something new for Christmas and your parents always said, ‘Well, let’s keep it new and see what it’s like three or four years later?’ Well, that’s kind of where I am with our pitchers. And also how it affect everybody else.
“Gonzo is sitting around ... When you’ve got a guy who really depends on touch and feel and command, sitting around for seven or eight days, not good for him. Unfortuantely, with the weather and off-days in April, it’s unavoidable. And I just thought Tilly could benefit, regardless of who we’re facing today or down the road. The thing that’s optimum is his health, and everybody’s. You can actually put somebody in harm’s way by having them sit too long. It was something we were thinking about anyway. The schedule allowed it.
“(Tillman) feels good for the most part, but you can tell by a guy’s work day how they’re feeling. You get to know each pitcher. Every guy’s a little different. Chris is never going to tell you anything but, ‘You tell me when to pitch and let’s go.’ A lot of those things you’ve got to take out of their hands. I’m sure very similar with what Joe (Maddon) is doing with (David) Price.”
Speaking of the postponement, Showalter said the club is considering two or three potential makeup dates. The Rays return to Baltimore in June and August.
The Orioles have a 7:05 p.m. game against the Red Sox Sunday night at Fenway Park, followed by an 11:05 a.m. game on Monday. That’s a tough turnaround, but Showalter is understanding, considering the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.
“I think especially this year, with what that day means to our country and to Boston, I think it’s an honor to be there for that. I really do,” he said. “Regardless of the competitive part of it. We’re both doing the same thing. For what that day represents to Boston and our country, I think we all considering it an honor to be lucky enough to have the schedule fall that way. We’re all looking forward to paying the respect due there.”
Update: Gonzalez has thrown 81 pitches in four scoreless innings, and the Orioles pushed across two runs in the bottom of the fourth to lead 2-0.
Nelson Cruz led off with a walk after Odorizzi had retired nine in a row. Chris Davis singled and Adam Jones reached on a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Matt Wieters flied to the center field fence to break the scoreless tie, and Davis scored on J.J. Hardy’s roller to the right side.
Credit Davis and Jones for tagging up on Wieters’ sacrifice fly.