The stats sheet says when Miguel Gonzalez takes the mound, the Orioles have a pretty good chance to win. Today, he will try to pitch the O's to their first four-game sweep at Oakland since May 22-25, 1987.
Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA over four starts in 2013. The Orioles are 3-1 in those starts and 7-1 in Gonzalez's last eight starts, dating to September.
Gonzalez has made 19 career starts in an O's uniform and the club is 14-5 in those games for a win percentage of .737.
Gonzalez was so big for this team late last year, going 5-2 with an ERA of 2.76 in nine August and September starts. During spring training, I featured him in this profile, where he talked about how he could have signed with other clubs last year and his amazing poise on the mound.
Gonzalez is 11-5 with a 3.41 ERA over 22 career appearances for the Orioles.
He was sailing along with a shutout on 59 pitches through five innings in his last start, Tuesday against Toronto, and got the first two outs in the sixth. But things changed quickly as back-to-back walks were followed by an Edwin Encarnacion three-run homer and Toronto moved within 4-3. But the O's went on to win by that score.
His mound opponent today, Bartolo Colon, is 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA over four starts. The seemingly ageless one went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts against the Orioles last year.
He has walked just one batter this season over 26 innings and it came in his last start. That walk ended a run of 32 consecutive innings and 121 straight batters faced without a walk.
Does Gonzalez have a good outing in him today? Will the O's emerge with the four-game sweep?
Update: The O's may on their way to that sweep, leading 5-0 in the sixth inning. Gonzalez allowed just two hits on 65 pitches over the first five innings. If the Orioles win today, they will improve to 8-1 in Gonzalez's last nine starts.
The Orioles scored four runs in the fourth and added one in the fifth. Chris Davis has a two-run double and Adam Jones has two RBIs. Jones has knocked in at least one run in 13 of the club's 25 games and now has six multi-RBI games in 2013.