On Friday morning, Orioles manager Buck Showalter wouldn't officially announce his starting pitcher for Game 3 of the American League Division Series, but right-hander Miguel Gonzalez is expected to start that game.
Both Gonzalez and right-hander Bud Norris will continue to be available out of the bullpen in Game 2 on Friday afternoon -- as they were in Game 1 -- but Showalter said he would only use Gonzalez in an emergency.
“[Gonzalez] is down in the pecking order of options out of the 'pen as opposed to Bud,” Showalter said. “It makes Bud available yesterday and today and really Sunday [for Game 3] for Monday. Everybody was spiked up last night. [Gonzalez] won’t be spiked up until needed.”
Showalter said there are several variables he has considered in decided whether Gonzalez or Norris would pitch Game 3.
Among those factors is likely day-night game splits. Game 3 is scheduled to start at 3:45 p.m., and Norris has struggled in day games over his career, going 11-21 with a 4.72 during the day compared to 42-36 with a 4.07 ERA at night. This season, Norris is 3-4 with a 5.57 ERA in eight day starts and 12-4 with a 2.99 ERA in 20 night starts.
Gonzalez has an identical 3.45 ERA in day and night games this season.
Still, Gonzalez has made just one career start at Comerica Park, which came in his first start this season. Gonzalez allowed a season-high seven runs and and nine hits over 3 1/3 innings. Gonzalez is 6-4 with a 3.27 ERA in 14 road starts this season.
Asked what he was most proud of in the Orioles’ eight-run eighth in Game 1 on Thursday, Showalter said he liked his team’s aggressiveness.
“We talked about, if you feel something, [go for it],” Showalter said. “Guys pushed the envelope a little bit on the bases, did some things we talked about before the series. … There was a certain relentlessness there that you’ve got to have.”
Getting a big lead also allowed Showalter to get closer Zach Britton out of the game after one-third of an inning and make him available in Game 2.
“Every run matters. 12-3, I tell you what,” Showalter said. “Scoring more runs there allowed me to back off of Zach and get Tommy [Hunter] engaged in the competition. You’d like to get everyone’s feet wet. It’s kind of like the start of the season, because you’re going to need all those people at some point.”
The Orioles will field essentially the same lineup as the ALDS opener, with the exception of Caleb Joseph catching instead of Nick Hundley.
Here’s the Orioles’ starting lineup in Game 2:
Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Steve Pearce 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 3B
Caleb Joseph C
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Wei-Yin Chen LHP