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Gonzalez goes the distance as Orioles top Reds 6-0

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 3, 2014 at 9:55 pm •  Published: September 3, 2014
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BALTIMORE (AP) — During a season in which he languished on the disabled list and jockeyed between the major leagues and minors for the good of the team, Miguel Gonzalez finally had his signature moment.

Not just for the year, but for his career.

Gonzalez pitched a four-hitter for his first complete game, and the Baltimore Orioles hit three home runs off Dylan Axelrod in a 6-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.

Gonzalez (8-7) had a season-high eight strikeouts, walked one and allowed only one hit through the first seven innings — a line drive single to Ryan Ludwick in the fifth.

The Reds added two singles in the eighth before leaving the bases loaded, and Jay Bruce singled with two outs in the ninth. Gonzalez then retired Ludwick on a grounder to complete the shutout.

"It's an awesome feeling," the right-hander said.

David Lough and Jonathan Schoop hit solo shots before Chris Davis connected with a man on in the fourth to make it 4-0. That was more than enough offense for Gonzalez, who has given up four runs over his last 28 1-3 innings.

In his previous 64 major league starts, Gonzalez pitched eight innings on four occasions. This time, he used 117 pitches to go the distance.

"When you have not too many pitches going out to the seventh, eighth inning I think that's what helps," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez missed 16 days in June with a strained oblique and twice was optioned to the minors because the Orioles needed roster room. Through it all, he never complained — a trait that endeared him to manager Buck Showalter.

That's one reason why Showalter stuck with Gonzalez in the ninth inning after his pitch count soared past 100.

"I don't want to say he deserves it, but Miggy is such a team guy," Showalter said. "He's such a professional, and that was a professional outing."

Every time Showalter called Gonzalez into his office to tell him about a pending trip to the minors, the manager expressed appreciation for the sacrifice and promised a rapid return.

"There's a real trust there," Showalter said. "He knows we like him and knows we're going to try to keep him in the best position to do good things for our team and do good things for his career."

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