O’s game blog: Orioles play road opener at Detroit (O’s lose 10-4)

The Orioles play their road opener this afternoon in Detroit where Miguel Gonzalez will make his season debut. He went 11-8 with a 3.70 ERA during a very solid 2013 season.

Here is a good Gonzo stat: When he has started over the last two seasons, the Orioles have gone 26-17 for a .605 winning percentage.

Here is one stat that needs work: In the first four innings of his starts in 2013, he pitched to an ERA of 2.49. From the fifth inning on, that went up to 6.22. In 2012, that was not an issue for Gonzalez, who had an ERA of 3.02 from the fifth inning on.

The Orioles, already playing without Manny Machado, don’t have shortstop J.J. Hardy in the lineup today. He is dealing with lower back spasms, he told reporters at Comerica Park.

Today, the O’s will try to get their offense going against 2013 American League ERA leader Anibal Sanchez, who went 14-8 with a 2.57 ERA last year.

Sanchez ranked third in the AL in strikeout rate with 9.99 per nine innings and he was sixth with a .229 batting average against. He finished fourth in the Cy Young Award voting.

I’ll add some notes and comments here during today’s game and hope you do also. Post a comment or ask any question.

In the minors on opening night, Charlotte blanked Triple-A Norfolk 3-0. The Tides have lost seven straight openers. Eddie Gamboa got the start and gave up four hits and two runs over five innings.

Double-A Bowie bashed Harrisburg 12-6. The Baysox had six doubles, a triple and a homer among their 16 hits and set a record for most runs in an opener. All the offense provided Eduardo Rodriguez with a win, even though he gave up eight hits and five runs in five innings.

Single-A Frederick won 6-2 at Lynchburg as Branden Kline gave up one run over five innings to get the victory. Glynn Davis scored three runs and knocked in two, and Matt Hobgood pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

Single-A Delmarva lost 8-3 at Asheville. Starter Steven Brault gave up six runs over four innings. Catcher Chance Sisco went 2-for-3 with two doubles in his Shorebirds debut. Hunter Harvey makes his Delmarva debut tonight.

Adam Jones is team walks leader: Yep, you read that right. When Adam Jones drew a walk in the top of the first today, he took over the club’s team lead with two walks. The Orioles came into today with just four as a team and rank last in the AL in team on-base percentage at .248. But Jones, who certainly gets criticized for chasing pitches, took one on a 3-2 pitch from Sanchez to draw an important walk. He then scored on a Chris Davis two-run double as the O’s took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.

Ugly inning: Detroit scored three off Gonzalez to take the lead in the second. It was an inning where Gonzalez issued a walk, hit two batters and threw a wild pitch. He hit just three batters all of last season.

Rain delay: The game is now being delayed by rain in the last of fourth with Detroit leading 3-2. The Tigers have two on and no outs and there was an 0-1 count on Rajai Davis when play was halted by a downpour.

Anyone have a question, minors or majors, during the delay? Leave them here and I’ll try my best to answer.

Game on: That was quick. The game has resumed after a 34-minute delay. Seconds later, Rajai Davis hit a three-run homer down the left field line to make Detroit’s lead 6-2. Rough day at the office for Gonzalez.

That could have gone better: After the delay, Gonzalez faced three batters and gave up two homers. He allowed seven runs in 3 1/3 today. O’s starters on the year have pitched 20 innings, allowing 33 hits, 16 runs and five homers for an ERA of 7.20 with no quality starts.

O’s lose third straight: The O’s losing skid reached three in a row and they fell to 1-3 on the year with a 10-4 loss to the Tigers.

Baltimore’s offense scored twice in the first and twice in the ninth while being held to seven hits by the Tigers, who improved to 3-0.

Josh Stinson allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings in relief of Gonzalez before Ryan Webb went on to surrender Miguel Cabrera’s two-run homer in the eighth. That was Cabrera’s 2,000th career hit. Tommy Hunter recorded the final out in the eighth.

Steve Clevenger hit an RBI triple in the ninth for his first hit of the season. Jonathan Schoop drove him in with a single up the middle for his first RBI of the year.

Gonzalez took the loss in his season debut while Detroit’s Drew Smyly earned the victory with three scoreless frames.

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