Since he returned from the disabled list, Miguel Gonzalez has been pitching well for the Orioles. Tonight, he gave up two runs or less for the fourth time in five starts, pitching the Orioles past the Angels 3-2 at Camden Yards.
Gonzalez gave up just four hits and one run over eight innings. His ERA is 2.85 over his last five starts since his return from the DL on May 21.
"Pretty comfortable, yeah, and pretty confident about it," he said simply about his last five starts overall.
"I made good pitches (tonight) when I needed to and we played a good game all around. We faced each other (he and Jason Vargas) in Anaheim and he pitched a good game and went nine innings. It was important to throw strikes and get ahead of guys and that gave us an opportunity to use my secondary pitches. We made some great plays all around - (Manny) Machado, (Nick) Markakis and Chris Davis."
Gonzalez didn't a get chance for the O's first complete game since last June 16 by Jason Hammel. He had 96 pitches after eight innings, but Jim Johnson pitched the ninth.
"That would have been fun, but Buck knows what he is doing and J.J. finished the game," Gonzalez said.
Now Gonzalez awaits his next start and also the birth of his baby girl.
"She is due the 19th and hopefully it will be one of these days," he said. "I will keep doing my in-between-starts work. I'm thinking about it all the time. I think about my baby girl coming sometime soon, so pretty happy about that."
Nick Markakis' two-run single in the seventh off Scott Downs broke a 1-1 tie.
"You want to be in those situations," Markakis said. "I've faced Downs enough to know what he will do. He tries to sink the ball on lefties' hands. I was just looking for a ball up in the zone. Anything up I could reach I was swinging and he left one up."
Markakis was asked about Gonzalez's outing.
"He was great. He was a bulldog," Markakis said. "He goes out there and pounds the zone and tries not to leave balls over the plate. He was working in and out, up and down and did a great job for us."
Meanwhile another Los Angeles center fielder robbed J.J. Hardy of another home run. He drove one to center in the first, but like Mike Trout here last year, Peter Bourjos leapt over the wall and took a two-run shot away from Hardy and the Orioles.
"They are both tied for first. I never think it's a home run, but thought it could get down for a double but he caught it," Hardy said.
What was Hardy's reaction at that point?
"Really. With a question mark," he said.
Tonight, the Orioles got their sixth quality start over their last nine games and maybe the starting pitching is starting to get on a little roll for the club.
"That's nice. That takes a huge load off our bullpen," Hardy said. "Miggy threw the ball great. It is what they are capable of doing and it'd be nice if they all keep doing it."