Starters getting deeper in games (McLouth with the walk-off)

Center fielder Chris Dickerson isn’t the only Oriole going deep tonight.

Miguel Gonzalez has become the third consecutive Orioles starter to complete six innings. He’s held the Yankees to two runs and four hits, with no walks and five strikeouts.

Gonzalez has thrown 80 pitches, 54 for strikes. No one is warming in the Orioles’ bullpen, so he’ll return for the seventh with the score tied 2-2.

Gonzalez has set down nine Yankees in a row since Travis Hafner’s RBI single in the fourth inning. He struck out Hafner to end the sixth.

Chris Tillman and Freddy Garcia also made it through the sixth in back-to-back starts before tonight.

Gonzalez has allowed eight earned runs in 25 2/3 innings in four career regular season starts against the Yankees. He’s gone at least six innings in five of his seven starts this year.

We can assume that the blister isn’t bothering him tonight.

Update: Nick Markakis made a diving catch in right-center field with a runner on first base and two outs to keep the score tied in the seventh inning.

Gonzalez is done after a season-high seven innings. He allowed two runs and five hits, walked none and struck out five. He threw 92 pitches, 62 for strikes.

Gonzalez hadn’t pitched since May 3 and manager Buck Showalter won’t push him any farther.

Gonzalez retired 12 of the last 13 batters he faced and lowered his ERA to 4.25.

Tommy Hunter will pitch the eighth inning. He’s 3-0 with a 0.46 ERA and one save in his last 12 games and 19 2/3 innings.

Update II: Hunter retired the Yankees in order on a strikeout and two fly balls.

Hunter has allowed one earned run in his last 20 2/3 innings over 13 games.

Jim Johnson was warming in the Orioles’ bullpen, but he took a seat after Chris Davis struck out to end the eighth. Hunter is back on the mound for the top of the ninth with the score tied 2-2.

Update III: Yamaico Navarro struck out with the count full to end the bottom of the ninth and strand Dickerson, who reached on an infield single with two outs.

Dickerson has his second three-hit game with the Orioles, the other coming on April 30 in Seattle.

Hunter retired all six batters he faced, and Showalter has called upon Johnson to pitch the top of the 10th. If this doesn’t work out, there will be some major second-guessing with the way Hunter was pitching.

Update IV: Showalter let Nate McLouth face Yankees left-hander Vidal Nuno to lead off the bottom of the 10th inning, and his faith was rewarded in a big way.

McLouth hit the second walk-off home run of his career, the other coming April 20, 2010 with the Braves.

McLouth launched a 1-1 pitch, an 81 mph slider, into the seats in right-center field to give the Orioles a 3-2 victory.

The win goes to Johnson, who retired the Yankees in order on only eight pitches.

Isn’t baseball a funny game?

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