Gonzalez keys Orioles’ 4-0 win over Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Miguel Gonzalez helped the Baltimore Orioles get a strange home victory.
Gonzalez pitched four-hit ball into the eighth inning, Steve Pearce drove in two runs and Baltimore beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 Saturday night in a relocated Orioles home game.
”Command of the fastball and goes from there,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Gonzalez. ”He was carrying a couple extra clicks with the fastball. He’s a guy with a good feel for his mechanics.”
It was the second game of a three-game series that was moved from Camden Yards to Tropicana Field after rioting broke out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody after suffering a spinal cord injury.
Gonzalez (3-1) struck out six and walked one in 7 2-3 innings.
Brad Brach replaced Gonzalez with two on and two outs in the eighth and retired Steven Souza Jr. on a foul pop fly. The right-hander also pitched the ninth for his first save, completing the four-hitter.
”He had some live on that ball,” Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph said. ”Got a big out there with Souza.”
After Chris Davis had a two-out RBI single in the third, Pearce made it 3-0 on his two-run double off Chris Archer (3-3), who had allowed just one unearned run in 26 2-3 innings over his previous four starts.
”I don’t know if there’s anybody in baseball that threw any better his last four starts,” Showalter said. ”He threw well again tonight but just ran into Miguel, who was a little bit better.”
The Orioles went up 4-0 on Joseph’s sixth-inning solo homer.
Baltimore also beat Archer on opening day, the only other time he has given up earned runs this season.
Archer, 1-4 in seven games against Baltimore, gave up four runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked four.
”It was just one of those nights I didn’t have my best stuff,” Archer said. ”If I execute a better pitch to Pearce, the whole complexion of the game is different.”
Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado saved a run during the third when he barehanded a two-out bunt with a runner on third and threw out the speedy Souza at first base.
After a turnout of 9,945 Friday for Tampa Bay’s 2-0 win, Saturday’s announced crowd was 12,789. The Rays are averaging 17,545 in home attendance this year.
Rays: CF Desmond Jennings was a late scratch due to left knee soreness, which had sidelined him the previous five games. … LHP Matt Moore will throw batting practice for the first time Sunday since elbow-ligament replacement surgery last year.
Orioles: C Matt Wieters (elbow ligament replacement surgery) caught five innings in an extended spring training game and threw out a couple of runners. … 2B Jonathan Schoop (right knee) could start walking in a pool Monday. … SS J.J. Hardy (left shoulder) remains on target to join Class A Bowie Monday or Tuesday.
Pearce, from nearby Lakeland, Florida, is hitting .293 (17 for 58) with five homers and 11 RBIs in 18 games at Tropicana Field. He has three hits in eight at-bats with two homers and four RBIs off Archer.
PACE OF GAME
Saturday night’s game took 2 hours, 33 minutes. The last five games at Tropicana Field have all been played in 2:33 or less. The shortest game at the stadium last year was 2:34.
Orioles LHP Wei-Yin Chen (0-1, 2.78 ERA) and Rays RHP Nathan Karns (1-1, 4.76 ERA) will start Sunday’s series finale.