With a big eighth inning assist from Troy Patton, Miguel Gonzalez pitched the Orioles to a big win on Friday night, as they beat the Angels 3-2 to even the four-game series after the first two games. Gonzalez gave up just three hits and one run over seven innings. It was his first major league start.
Now, he may get a second.
Gonzalez improved to 1-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.93. He threw exactly 100 pitches, including 66 for strikes.
His outing was impressive in several ways:
* He outpitched C.J. Wilson, who entered with a record of 5-0 and an ERA of 1.35 over his last eight starts. Steve Pearce hit a three-run homer off the lefty in the fifth inning. It was his third O’s homer and second off Wilson.
* He beat an Angels team that had scored 29 runs on 44 hits in its previous three games against the Orioles. In six games this year vs. the O’s, Los Angeles was 5-1, scoring 43 runs on a team average of .324.
* He held Mike Trout hitless in three at-bats. Trout had been 7-for-13 in three games against the Orioles with six runs scored, three RBIs and three stolen bases.
* The Orioles team ERA this year against the Angels was 6.58.
* The win allowed the Orioles to erase the memory of Thursday’s game, when Jake Arrieta lasted just 3 2/3, and the Orioles blew leads of 4-1 and 7-3 in that loss.
* The win gave the Orioles a game-and-a-half lead on Tampa Bay in the race for the American League’s second wild card spot.
* The Orioles had won just three of their previous ten games and were 5-11 over the last 16 coming into this game.
Patton got a huge out in the last of the eighth, getting Kendrys Morales to pop out with runners at first and third not long after Mike Trout’s homer off Darren O’Day had pulled L.A. to within a 3-2 score.
Jim Johnson retired the side in order in the ninth to pick up his 26th save and end this game without any bottom of the ninth drama.
So, Pearce and Gonzalez co-star on a night the Orioles beat Wilson to get a huge win on the road. Game 3 of the series is set for Saturday night.