Gonzalez pitches 7 2/3 stellar innings in O's win

Righty allows four hits, strikes out six in scoreless outing

Gonzalez pitches 7 2/3 stellar innings in O's win

ST. PETERSBURG -- Miguel Gonzalez gave the Orioles their fifth consecutive quality start with 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Saturday's 4-0 win over the Rays.

"I think from the get-go, my fastball was pretty good, both sides of the plate, and we played a really good ballgame overall," Gonzalez said. "Everything was great."

Pitching on three extra days of rest, due to postponements and Thursday's off-day, Gonzalez was able to use that to his advantage.

"He was carrying a couple extra clicks with the fastball," manager Buck Showalter said. "But to be carrying that extra fastball is one thing. It's having command of it. He got a lot of first-pitch get-me-over breaking-ball strikes, too."

Gonzalez allowed just four hits and exited after a two-out walk in the 105-pitch outing. He struck out six and improved to 4-2 with a 2.05 ERA at Tropicana Field. Since the All-Star break last season, Gonzalez is 9-5 with a 2.31 ERA in 16 games.

"That was awesome," second baseman Steve Pearce said of Gonzalez's outing. "You expect it out of him every time he pitches. He had good flow, good rhythm to the game, and you can see when he gets locked into the zone that he's tough to hit. You can see it in the opponents too, how frustrated they get when he's locked in."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.