Dad-to-be Gonzalez, Orioles top Red SoxBy HARVEY VALENTINE
The Sports Xchange
June 16. 2013 11:57PM
BALTIMORE - Any day now, Baltimore pitcher Miguel Gonzalez will leave the team to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.
Sunday afternoon, however, the Boston Red Sox were the business at hand and the right-hander got the job done.
Gonzalez took a shutout into the seventh inning, Chris Davis hit his major-league-leading 23rd homer and doubled to drive in three runs, and Nick Markakis doubled twice, singled twice and scored three runs as the Orioles defeated the Boston, 6-3.
Baltimore (40-30) took three of four from the Red Sox and moved to within 1 1/2 games of Boston (42-29) in the American League East. The Orioles have won five of seven games against Boston this season and 14 of 19 going back to 2012.
"We pitched well this series. It's very appropriate that the father-to-be had a good day on Father's Day," Showalter said. "I had the trainers go up to him and see if there was any update (on the impending birth) and there wasn't."
Gonzalez (5-2) went 6 1/3 innings for Baltimore, allowing three runs on five hits, while walking two and striking out a pair."I'm excited," Gonzalez said of his pending birth of his daughter. "I'm excited for her to come and obviously she's taking a little longer than what we thought, but just waiting on that day."
In six starts since returning from the disabled list with a right thumb blister, Gonzalez is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA.
"Not a whole lot phases him," Showalter said. "He's a quite competitive guy."
Adam Jones added two doubles, and Manny Machado had a double and a single as the Orioles pounded out 14 hits off four Boston pitchers.
Will Middlebrooks hit a three-run homer and Jacoby Ellsbury had two hits for Boston. The Red Sox three thru five hitters - Daniel Nava, David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes - went 0-for-12.
"This is going to be a very highly competitive division throughout the course of the summer," Boston manager John Farrell said. "(The Orioles have) got good players. It's a very well put together team and they have good players. I think we do too."
Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his 25th save.
Boston's Jon Lester (6-4), who began the day with a 14-1 career mark against Baltimore - including 7-0 in 10 starts at Camden Yards - was roughed up for five runs and nine hits in five innings.
"This team counts on me to throw innings," Lester said. "I have not done that. I need to do a better job going deeper into the game."
Lester, 0-4 with two no-decisions since winning May 15, had eight strikeouts and no walks.
Baltimore stranded three runners in the first two innings before breaking through in the third.
Markakis singled and - rather than going halfway when Machado hit a deep fly to left - waited to tag up and went to second. After J.J. Hardy flied out, Jones doubled, scoring Markakis.
"It's an honor to watch him play," Showalter said of Markakis. "He gets it."
Lester then fell behind 3-1 to Davis, and Davis, who was 0-for-14 against the Boston left-hander in his career, hit the next pitch over the wall in right center.
"I didn't know that I didn't have a hit off him until after my first at-bat. I went back and looked at some video and knew that I hadn't had a lot of success and just basically tried to eliminate one side of the plate," Davis said. "I was able to get ahead of him 3-1 and he left a cutter out over the plate."
Davis has worn out Boston pitching over his last 10 games going back to 2012, hitting .343 (12 for 35) with seven homers, nine runs scored and 13 runs batted in.
In the fifth, Markakis doubled and scored on a single by Machado, who ended up on third after an error on the play. Machado later scored on a two-out double by Davis to make it 5-0.
Boston got to within 5-3 in the seventh when Mike Carp doubled, Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled, and Middlebrooks homered to right, ending Gonzalez's day.NOTES: Boston called up RHP Pedro Beato from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned RHP Rubby De La Rosa back down. ... 2B Dustin Pedroia was given his first day off of 2013. Jose Iglesias made his first start at second and extended his hitting streak to 17 games. ... 1B Mike Napoli, who's been experiencing dizziness and nausea, missed his fourth straight game for the Red Sox. ... Carp left the game in the seventh with right hamstring tightness. ... Machado extended his hitting streak to 14 games. ... Davis' home run was the 100th of his career. ... Oriole RHP Jason Hammel, today's scheduled starter, returned after being away two days with a stomach virus. Showalter said RHP Jake Arrieta will start tonight in Detroit.