Orioles RHP Miguel Gonzalez to start fourth game of regular season

The Baltimore Sun

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Miguel Gonzalez said he has been tabbed to start the fourth game of the season April 4 in Detroit.

“I’m ready, ready to go. I’m excited for spring training to end and start the season,” he said. “I think it’s the first one at Detroit. So I’m excited for that.”

But Gonzalez’s final tuneup wasn’t particularly smooth in a 5-4 win Wednesday afternoon against the Boston Red Sox. He allowed four earned runs, seven hits, two walks, two homers and a hit batter in five innings. He struggled with his command on the windy, brisk day, throwing just 47 of his 79 pitches for strikes.

“My first inning was good, but I started struggling a little bit toward the end,” Gonzalez said. “But I made some good pitches when I needed to. It was a rough one out there.”

Gonzalez allowed consecutive homers in the fourth to Boston’s left side of the infield, Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks. But he retired six consecutive batters after that to complete his outing.

“The fastball was cutting a lot, I couldn’t really find it. Toward the end was a little better,” he said. “The last two innings were better, even though I gave up a couple home runs.”

In six spring appearances, Gonzalez has allowed eight runs in 20 1/3 innings (3.54 ERA) while giving up 24 hits, three walks and striking out 10. He is expected to stay in Florida for a workout day on Saturday before joining the team for Monday’s Opening Day.

Last season, Gonzalez was 11-8 with a 3.78 ERA in 30 games (28 starts) for the Orioles.

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