Gonzalez looks to hurdle recent sixth-inning issues tonight

If the Orioles win just one of the next three games against the Los Angeles Angels, they will have a winning road trip at 6-5. Two wins will make that 7-4 and three would produce a pretty impressive 8-3.

When Miguel Gonzalez takes the mound for the Orioles tonight in Anaheim, he will try to get past the sixth inning without struggling at that point, as he has his last two starts.

On April 23 at home against Toronto, Gonzalez took a shutout on 59 pitches into the sixth inning and then got the first two outs. But what followed was a walk, a walk and a three-run homer by Edwin Encarnacion.

Then Sunday at Oakland, Gonzalez took a two-hit shutout against Oakland to the sixth, but would get just one more out and allowed four runs over 5 1/3 frames.

This year, Gonzalez's ERA in the sixth inning is 18.00 (eight runs, 10 hits, four innings) while his ERA in all other innings is 2.49.

But before we jump to the conclusion that Gonzalez is going to have a problem hitting a wall in the sixth inning, his record last year shows no problem there at all.

Last season, Gonzalez allowed just one run in 15 2/3 innings in the sixth over all his outings for an ERA of 0.57 that inning. His ERA was 3.78 in the fifth and 5.79 in the seventh inning. So maybe by the seventh, there were some signs of tiring for him during 2012. In the sixth so far this year, he has allowed a .455 average and two of his four homers.

Gonzalez has delivered three quality starts on the season, the Orioles are 3-2 in his five 2013 starts and 14-6 in his 20 career starts.

His splits are a little strange right now as lefty batters hit just .218 against him, but right-handed batters are hitting .333.

Tonight, he will try to build on Chris Tillman's eight-inning outing last night, give the Orioles another solid start and pitch them to a 2-0 lead in this four-game series.

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