The old saying goes, "there's a first time for everything" and Wednesday Night proved to be one of those nights for Baltimore Orioles right hander Miguel Gonzalez as he dazzled the Cincinnati Reds all night and earned his first career complete game shutout in the process leading the O's to a 6-0 victory.
Gonzalez (8-7) was brilliant from the first pitch to the last pitch as he was spotting his fastball, locating his breaking ball and his splitter was falling off the table all night. He had never threw more than eight innings in a start, and had just one career professional complete game shutout, which came in a minor league start way back in 2007. He set a season high with eight strikeouts, and he walked just one batter in the game.
He has now tossed four straight quality starts, which ties him for the second longest streak by an Oriole starter this season. Gonzalez has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his last nine starts and owns a 4-2 record with a 2.00 ERA over 63 innings pitched during that stretch. He improved his interleague record to 2-1 with Wednesday Night's win and owns a 2.36 ERA.
Gonzalez was phenomenal and is making a serious case to be in the Orioles postseason starting rotation.
The offense did its job as well as they launched three home runs in the game.
Jonathan Schoop got things going with a solo home run in the bottom of the third that per ESPN Stats, was the farthest home run at Camden Yards this season, measuring at 446 feet. Once he hit the home run, it was pretty evident the Orioles had a good chance at winning the game as they improved to 12-1 in games when Schoop homers. He also added a two run double in the seventh inning just for good measure.
Baltimore added to the lead Schoop gave them in the fourth when David Lough launched one to right centerfield for his third of the season, and Chris Davis followed a few batters later with one of his best swings of the season as he bombed an opposite field shot for a two run home run.
Davis's homer drove in Nelson Cruz, who doubled to get on and in the process, he made some history. The double was the 25th of the season for him and he became just the 10th Oriole to record a season with 35 or more home runs and 25 or more doubles joining Brady Anderson, Albert Belle, Chris Davis, Jim Gentile, Rafael Palmeiro, Boog Powell, Mark Reynolds, Frank Robinson and Ken Singleton.
As good as the offense was, the story was Gonzalez and rightfully so. It is a great story as he went from a guy pitching in the Mexican League to being signed by the Orioles prior to the 2012 season, and to see him get a complete game shutout for Baltimore was special.
Baltimore retained their 9 1/2 game lead in the AL East, and will look for the sweep tonight as they send Chris Tillman (11-5) to the mound to square off against Mike Leake (10-11) with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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