Gonzalez left tonight’s game with one out in the fifth inning and the bullpen completed a 1-0 win over the Red Sox before 28,460 at Camden Yards. Closer Zach Britton recorded his second five-out save in a week.
With a six-man bullpen, the Orioles could DL Gonzalez and bring back left-hander Cesar Cabral, who doesn’t need to stay down the minimum 10 days if he’s replacing an injured player. Cabral could be optioned on Sunday and Mike Wright recalled to take Gonzalez’s next turn. Brian Matusz comes off the suspended list Sunday, making Cabral expendable.
I’m assuming that’s one of the scenarios being discussed. It makes sense.
“Miguel had this before (in 2012) and missed a start, but I think we were working with an off-day there if I remember,” said manager Buck Showalter after the Orioles improved to 2-20 when scoring two runs or fewer.
“It’s the same groin. I was talking to him before I came down here. Very similar. I don’t think it’s something real long, but we’ll have to make a decision between now and tomorrow. We’ll talk about it some more after we get done here.”
Gonzalez felt the discomfort while throwing his last pitch of the fourth inning. Pitching coach Dave Wallace immediately noticed it.
“He could tell there was something different going on there in that next inning,” Showalter said.
Following the game, Gonzalez told reporters, “It’s a little sore, but I can walk and move around. So it’s not as bad as people probably think.”
T.J. McFarland replaced Gonzalez and tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings as the Orioles notched their first 1-0 win since the final game of the 2014 season. Chaz Roe picked up his first victory with the Orioles with 1 1/3 scoreless and hitless innings.
“I wanted to stay away from Brad (Brach) tonight because we have a left-handed starter tomorrow (Wei-Yin Chen), and they’ll be a lot more right-handed tomorrow,” Showalter said after the Orioles won for the fourth time in their last five games. “Mac’s back tomorrow. Mac can pitch every day. That’s one of the reasons why we wanted to keep him. But we were discussing some of the options. Some guys haven’t been down 10 days. Everybody’s in play if you DL somebody. We’re trying to get to Sunday.
“It may be forgotten, but Mac gave us a couple innings and Chaz has been pitching real well for us. With a six-man ‘pen, we have to approach things a little differently now until we get full. A little different dynamic of trying to put it together each night. That’s part of the penalty you get for having somebody suspended.
“We’ll be fine for tomorrow physically. Everybody will be available tomorrow. It’s just whether we want to continue down that path right now, and are we going to know a whole lot more in one day? It’s going to be a real challenge for us to get to Sunday without making a pitching move. We all know that, especially with the teams we’re playing.”
Roe has been charged with one run in 12 innings with the Orioles.
“He really got everybody’s attention in the spring as a backup on road trips, the way he approached it,” Showalter said. “Some of the guys figure out what’s going on. He’s kind of at that stage of his career. You’ve heard me talk about those 28-, 32-year-old guys. He’s been on both sides of the mountain. He knows when something’s green and not green. He boarded every bus we took, it seemed like, and got everybody’s attention.
“The good thing about it, there are other guys in Norfolk and Bowie doing the same thing.”
Britton threw 28 pitches to record five outs and notch his 16th save. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last 10 appearances.
“They’ve all been under very similar circumstances,” Showalter said of the five-out saves. “This would have been his fourth day without pitching. He would have thrown 14 pitches in four days. You won’t see that all the time, but he was equipped to do it today. That’s one reason why we did the sixth and seventh inning the way we did it. We got enough outs to set up the right situation for him.”
Former Orioles farmhand Eduardo Rodriguez struck out seven batters in six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits, to lower his ERA to 0.44 in three major league starts.
“About what you expected,” Showalter said. “He’s solid. Got a lot of balls deep in the zone on some good fastball hitters. It was impressive. We’ve seen it many times. Same delivery, same side of the rubber, same stuff.
“I’m sure there’s some guys if they could pick a scenario, they like him, good kid, that he would pitch well and we’d win. I don’t wish bad on anybody. I know one thing, the Red Sox will trade with us again. If you always make a pretty even trade, they like working with you.”
Rodriguez said he didn’t take special meaning in facing the Orioles.
“I just try to do the best I can,” he said. “I just try to, don’t get too much out of control, you know? (Keep it) in the zone.”