BALTIMORE (AP) — Miguel Gonzalez pitched a four-hitter for his first career complete game, and the Baltimore Orioles hit three home runs off Dylan Axelrod in a 6-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
Gonzalez (8-7) had a season-high eight strikeouts, walked one and allowed only one hit through the first seven innings – a line drive single to Ryan Ludwick in the fifth.
The Reds added two singles in the eighth before leaving the bases loaded, and Jay Bruce singled with two outs in the ninth.
David Lough and Jonathan Schoop hit solo shots before Chris Davis connected with a man on in the fourth to make it 4-0. That was more than enough offense for Gonzalez, who has given up four runs over his last 27 1-3 innings.
In his previous 64 major league starts, Gonzalez pitched eight innings on four occasions. This time, the right-hander used 117 pitches to go the distance.
The victory was the eighth in 10 games for the AL East-leading Orioles during a homestand that concludes Thursday night, when Baltimore will attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the sinking Reds.
Making his third start of the season, Axelrod (1-1) gave up four runs and five hits in six innings.
Cincinnati has lost 15 of 21 and is 6-13 in interleague play, 1-8 on the road.
Axelrod retired the first eight batters he faced before Schoop hit his 14th homer, the second in two nights.
Lough led off the fourth with his first home run since June 7, Nelson Cruz doubled and Davis hit an opposite-field drive to left. Davis has 25 home runs and 71 RBIs this season, decent numbers except when compared his totals last year: 53 homers and 138 RBIs.
Schoop added a two-run double in the seventh off Carlos Contreras, who walked the first two batters he faced.
Reds: SS Zach Cozart will likely be sidelined until Friday with a sore right wrist. “He’s going to need a couple of days of letting it be,” manager Bryan Price said.
Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy returned after missing Tuesday’s game with back spasms. 1B Steve Pearce remained sidelined with an abdominal strain.
Reds: RH Mike Leake (10-11) makes his first career appearance against the Orioles in the series finale Thursday night.
Orioles: RH Chris Tillman (11-5) seeks his 17th consecutive start of allowing three earned runs or fewer. He’s got a 2.90 ERA at home.