The Orioles today announced that they have signed free agent LHP MIKE GONZALEZ to a two-year contract through the 2011 season. Gonzalez, 31, went 5-4 with 10 saves and a 2.42 ERA (74.1IP, 20ER) in 80 games for the Braves in 2009. Gonzalez held opponents to a .209 (56-268) batting average in 2009 and held left-handed batters to a .194 (19-98) average. His 80 appearances, 74.1 innings pitched and 90 strikeouts each set career-highs and the 90 strikeouts were seventh-most among major league relievers. In four of the last five seasons, Gonzalez has struck out more than 10 batters per nine innings pitched. In 302 major league games over seven seasons, Gonzalez is 14-16 with 54 saves and a 2.57 ERA (280.2IP, 80ER). He set a career high with 24 saves for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006. In his career, Gonzalez has held opponents to a .209 (213-1017) batting average and has held left-handers to a .201 (66-328) average. He has struck out 330 batters in 280.2 career innings. Originally selected in the 30th round of the 1997 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Gonzalez made his major league debut for the Pirates on August 11, 2003 and was traded to Atlanta on January 19, 2007 along with INF BRENT LILLIBRIDGE for INF ADAM LAROCHE. With the addition of Gonzalez, the Orioles now have 39 players on their 40-man major league roster.
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