Gonzalez leads Orioles to win over Blue Jays
Posted by Exchange37 on April 26th, 2013
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Miguel Gonzalez outdueled R. A. Dickey for six innings Monday night at Camden Yards, knowing full well he had the advantage once he turned the game over to his bullpen.
Gonzalez got his second win of the season, Manny Machado went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and the Baltimore Orioles beat Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-3.
The Orioles also picked up their 100th consecutive win when leading after seven innings. Baltimore will go for the three-game sweep Wednesday afternoon.
"I think all of us as pitchers like to see guys are hitting well and doing their job, " said Gonzalez, who improved to 2-1 with a 4. 13 ERA. "I'm happy with what (the bullpen) has done throughout the whole year. They've done a great job. "
Dickey, last season's National League Cy Young Award winner, recovered from a shaky second inning when he allowed all four of his earned runs. He settled down and lasted six innings with six hits, four strikeouts and five walks on 118 pitches. He took the loss and is now 2-3 with a 4. 66 ERA.
"He's a tough pitcher, " Machado said about Dickey. "That (knuckle) ball is real tough to hit. We did a great job as a team getting key hits. It came out pretty good for us. We're winning games and that's the whole point of this. "
Gonzalez started strong but began to fade near the end of his outing. He allowed three runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks also in six innings. He earned his third quality start of the season.
"We were fortunate we got a well-pitched game, " Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We got that from Miggy. I was pulling for him to go seven tonight. I thought he had the stuff to do it. "
The Orioles led 4-0 in the sixth before Gonzalez issued two-out walks to both Adam Lind and Jose Bautista. Edwin Encarnacion then hit a three-run homer that cut the margin to one.
Melky Cabrera followed with a sharp, sinking liner to right field and was on his way to a potential inside-the-park home run before being held up at the last moment by third-base coach Luis Rivera. Brett Lawrie ended the inning on a long fly out to left field.
Brian Matusz retired the side in the seventh and now has allowed just one run and two hits in his past 7 2/3 innings. He has also struck out eight and issued only one walk.
Pedro Strop entered in the eighth and issued a two-out walk to Encarnacion that put runners on the corners. However, Strop struck out Cabrera looking and survived the threat.
Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless ninth for his league-leading eighth save.
"We know who we have to beat, " Johnson said. "The way the playoff structure is, the importance is winning your division. "
Dickey faced the Orioles as a member of the New York Mets last year, and he threw a shutout, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out 13. This time, the Orioles jumped on him early, sending nine batters to the plate and scoring four runs in the second inning.
Adam Jones, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters opened the inning with consecutive singles for a 1-0 lead. Ryan Flaherty's one-out walk loaded the bases, and Nolan Reimold followed with a sacrifice fly.
Dickey walked Nate McLouth to load the bases again. Machado then inflicted more damage with a two-run single just past diving shortstop Munenori Kawasaki that increased the lead to 4-0.
"That second inning was a very quirky inning, " Dickey said. "Not a lot of hard contact. A night where I just got baseballed. That ball down the line and an excuse-me swing to left. A ball just out of the reach of Kawasaki. There were a lot of plays (that) were just a matter of inches. "
The Blue Jays threatened to cut into the lead in the third when Colby Rasmus led off with a double. Gonzalez, however, got Maicer Izturis to ground out, and after Henry Blanco singled, Kawasaki hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
"We fell behind big early, " Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We had some chances late. We just couldn't get that big hit. Dickey battled all night long. You wish you could take away that one inning but you can't in this business. The guys are battling and it's not happening right now. They're competing and that's all we can ask for. "
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