Miguel Gonzalez had to know that the scouting reports from Baltimore Orioles’ opponents said that threw a lot of pitches in at-bats. Gonzalez generally keeps the Orioles in the game, however he ends up with shorter outings due to guys being able to make contact with his pitches and foul them off. So it couldn’t come as a surprise that Detroit hitters came out swinging. Whether or not they thought Detroit would do the damage that they did is another story.
Detroit of course came in as a team in transition, as prior to the game they dealt their ace starter David Price and close Joakim Soria (with Price going to Toronto). And any of those guys’ former teammates who were sad to see them go seemed to take their frustrations out on Gonzalez and the O’s. Gonzalez’s line: 3.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 1 K.
Wiz of Awes
Gonzalez started yielding base runners almost immediately, with the first three hitters reaching on singles. J.D Martinez gave Detroit a quick 2-0 lead with a two-RBI double. However Gonzalez showed signs of buckling down after that – albeit only a little. An inning later he loaded the bases with nobody down, and pitched out of it with a shallow pop up and a double-play.
However Rajai Davis’ two-RBI triple in the fourth gave Detroit a 4-0 lead, which was followed up by an Ian Kinsler RBI-single to run it to 5-0. That chased Gonzalez from the game, and he gave way to Bud Norris – who started things off by picking Kinsler off of first before even throwing a pitch. However before the inning was over, Norris had given up a two-run homer in his own right to Yoenis Cespedes.
The Orioles hadn’t even put a hit across on Detroit starter Alfredo Simon (himself a former Oriole), that is until the las of the second. After Nolan Reimold walked, Jones sent a deep shot to left which cut the lead to 7-2. However Detroit got their seven-run margin back in the sixth, when Cespedes added another RBI-single, and Martinez an RBI-double. But the last of the inning brought some relief to Orioles fans, as Chris Davis sent a two-run homer onto the flag court…which chased Simon.
And Simon leaving the game turned out to be a big deal. Detroit’s suspect bullpen became even moreso with the departure of Soria. Chris Davis clubbed a two-RBI single in the last of the seventh that brought the Birds to within 9-6. After Detroit changed pitchers, Buck Showalter sent Matt Wieters up as a pinch hitter. And Wieters sent a hot shot to the hot corner, which was bobbled by third baseman Nick Castellanos. The play was ruled an RBI-single, and the Birds were to within 9-7.
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The Orioles put one across in the last of the eighth on a fielder’s choice-RBI by Manny Machado, that was set up by a wild pitch. However the Orioles would go quietly in the last of the ninth, and Detroit took game one of the series. This game really shows what ills can happen if you don’t get solid starting pitching. Now granted Miguel Gonzalez in general is a solid starter, but he couldn’t get the job done last night. Even still, this was a valiant comeback attempt by the Orioles.
The series continues tonight at Camden Yards, but not before the waiver-trade deadline comes and goes at 4 PM today. Will the Birds make a move? My guy tells me yes; but it’s tough to say right now. Nevertheless, Wei-Yin Chen will head to the mound for the Orioles tonight, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Buck Farmer. Game Time is set for just after 7 PM.