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Gonzalez shaky in shortest start of year

Orioles righty exits after allowing 5 runs over 3 1/3 innings

BALTIMORE -- Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez has gone through some rough starts but is usually able to get into some sort of rhythm. In Thursday night's 9-8 loss to the Tigers, he was not able to find it.

"He just wasn't very crisp. Sticky night, good offensive team and he paid for his mistakes," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Sometimes, like a lot of pitchers, you see Miguel scuffle a little bit the first part of it and get back in step, but he never really found his step."

Gonzalez turned in his shortest outing of the season -- and second-shortest of his career -- against Detroit, lasting just 3 1/3 innings while giving up a season-high-tying 10 hits. He allowed five runs and one walk, striking out one.

The Tigers, who had scored just eight runs across their previous four contests, came out swinging the bats, collecting four hits in the first inning, including a two-run double from J.D. Martinez. Gonzalez threw 30 of his season-low 66 pitches in the first, and he gave up three consecutive singles to begin the second before escaping that threat with a shallow fly ball and a double play started by shortstop J.J. Hardy.

"They definitely came out and swung the bat pretty good," Gonzalez said. "They were aggressive since the first inning. Things didn't go our way. They found the hole a lot."

Gonzalez got through the third with a 1-2-3 inning but ran into trouble again in the fourth, when he issued a leadoff walk to Nick Castellanos and gave up a single to James McCann before allowing a two-run triple to No. 9 hitter Rajai Davis.

Video: DET@BAL: Davis plates a pair with a triple, pads lead

"I think my off-speed slider was a little flat," said Gonzalez, who picked up his first loss since the All-Star break. "I'd like to take back one pitch, Rajai Davis, the slider I threw to him. It was in a good spot, it was just flat. And that's really it. I made some good pitches, throwing in to guys and keeping them honest, but things just didn't work out."

Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for
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