Michael Gonzalez fans all four batters he faces

Zach Britton got the win Monday night – his first since June 8. He had been 0-5 with no decisions since then.

J.J. Hardy picked up his 24th homer, which ties him with Miguel Tejada for most homers in a season by an AL East shortstop since 2006.


And closer Kevin Gregg, fresh off an ugly implosion against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save.

But the story within the story was Orioles reliever Michael Gonzalez, you know, the guy Orioles fans most love to hate.

Don't look now, but Gonzo has been very good recently. Sure, it may be too little too late, but consider that he hasn't allowed a run in 15 of his past 16 appearances.

And consider that Gonzalez entered with the game on the line in the seventh Monday. With runners on second and third and two outs, he struck out Jason Kubel on a 96 mph fastball that Kubel tipped into Matt Wieters' glove.

Gonzalez struck out the side in the eighth to bridge the gap to Gregg.

So, in case you went to sleep Monday night, I'll recap it for you. Gonzalez faced four batters, struck out all of them. Really.

"Gonzo has been pitching well for a while now," Showalter said. "He is attacking the zone, he is pitching with a purpose and he has a good look in his eye, and hopefully we will benefit from it the next five weeks."