SARASOTA, Fla. – Has Miguel Gonzalez done enough to secure his place in the Orioles rotation?
Gonzalez came into Tuesday night’s game knowing that both Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright have outpitched him this month, and that he needed a much better performance than he’s offered in his early outings.
He allowed one run on seven hits in five innings in the Orioles’ 4-4 10-inning tie with the Atlanta Braves before 6,575 at Ed Smith Stadium.
It wasn’t dominating, but the outing enabled him to drop his ERA from 12.56 to 9.78.
“I know it’s toward the end and I wanted to get a good outing just to feel better and mentally and overall I did good,” Gonzalez said.
Manager Buck Showalter offered a tepid endorsement.
“He had good results. He had good results tonight. Good to see him get that. I know it’s been a challenge for him as far as results go,” Showalter said.
Gonzalez’s command was improved
“A little better. A little better. Not as good as I’ve seen him. But he had better feel for all his secondary pitches. That’s what allowed him to get some results, and some really good defense behind him,” Gonzalez said.
The decision on the final starter is one of many decisions to be made in the final few days of spring training.
Earlier in the evening, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette acknowledged that Hyun Soo Kim, who didn’t play for the third straight game, wouldn’t make the Orioles’ 25-man roster.
Showalter discussed a possible assignment to Norfolk with Kim, who cannot be assigned there without his consent, a few days ago. He and Duquette revisited it with the South Korean on Tuesday.
“I don’t know, yet. It’s kind of in his hands. I don’t know if he has agreed to it or not,” Showalter said. “Anyway, if that happens, it could give him an opportunity to get more acclimated and kind of get it going at that level and I know he’s considering going there. I’m not sure where that is…I think he’s contemplating his next career move.
A decision needs to be made soon.
“Who knows? He might decide to go to Norfolk and really get going and come up here and really be a contributor. I don’t know. I don’t think anybody’s that smart. I just knew there were some other guys here outperforming him and we’re trying to take our best 25, which he could still potentially be a part of at some point,” Showalter said.
With this effort, Gonzalez hopes he can stave off the young right-handers, both of whom pitched well on Monday.
“We’re all here to support each other and I know Mike and Tyler Wilson have been doing a really good job and I’m happy with them. They’re trying to get on the team and I’m going to do the best I can to help the team win and that’s what we’re here for,” Gonzalez said.
Manny Machado led off the first with a home run. It was Machado’s fifth of the spring, and the second straight game the Orioles began with a home run.
In his first game behind the plate since Mar. 12, Matt Wieters hit his first home run of the spring.
The third Orioles run scored in the sixth inning on Mark Trumbo’s RBI single. That scored Adam Jones, who led off the inning with a double.
Zach Phillips, who followed Gonzalez, had a rough outing. He allowed three runs in the sixth. With Brian Matusz starting the season on the disabled list, Phillips is trying to make the club as a left-handed situational reliever.
Darren O’Day and Zach Britton each pitched perfect innings, striking out two. Dylan Bundy Bundy allowed one hit in two scoreless innings.
Garabez Rosa continued his hot hitting with a ninth-inning RBI single to tie the score at 4.
NOTES: The Orioles optioned outfielder Dariel Alvarez to Triple-A Norfolk. He batted .182 this spring. There are 40 players left in camp. …Chris Tillman makes his final March start against Detroit’s Shane Greene at 6:05 p.m. on Wednesday. … Hunter Harvey suffered a groin injury in a minor league game on Tuesday. Showalter said it was a tweak. … The Orioles traded left-handed pitcher Chris Jones to the Los Angeles Angels for ou(tfielder Natanael Delgado and infielder Erick Salcedo. … The Orioles’ five-game winning streak came to an end. They are 10-14-5. The five ties are the most since 2012 when they had six ties.
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