Miguel Gonzalez scheduled to start regular season finale in Toronto

Right-hander slotted to start Game 3 of AL Division Series

(Patrick Smith / Getty Images )
September 26, 2014|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

TORONTO – Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez is slated to start the Orioles’ regular-season finale against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter plans to give his relievers some work on Saturday and Sunday, with a three-day layoff looming before the playoffs start, so it’s unclear how deep Gonzalez will go.

“Obviously, Toronto will have something to say about that, but it won’t be a normal outing,” Showalter said. “I don’t want to get pigeon-holed into exact innings, but he won’t go his normal length.”

Pitching Gonzalez on Sunday slots him to start Game 3 of the American League Division Series next Sunday.

Showalter had previously said he was leaning toward starting Ubaldo Jimenez on Sunday and said Jimenez could still see work that day.

“I think there’s a chance you’ll see both of them,” Showalter said.

Showalter also said that his Game 4 starter – likely right-hander Bud Norris – would likely pitch a simulated game on Monday at Camden Yards. The other alternative was sending that pitcher down to Sarasota, Fla., to pitch against hitters in the instructional league, but that’s not likely to happen now.

“To take a chance with weather down there and travel back and forth … I think we’re going to keep them in a controlled environment,” Showalter said. “I think we’re leaning toward keeping them all with us. Instructional league games, you’re playing against another team, somebody runs up somebody’s back on a swinging bunt. The mounds, you don’t know if [they're] going to be [good]. There’s just too many chances taken by doing that.”

A simulated game on Monday would also allow the Orioles to have the Game 4 starter available in relief in Thursday’s ALDS Game 1.

“We’re going to use everybody,” Showalter said. “We are going to play every game with a sense of urgency, and maybe even our Game 3 starter because we have some wiggle room. As you’ve seen we’ve set up the rotation for that.”

Friday night’s starting lineup against the Blue Jays is absent of a lot of everyday starters. Showalter said he intends to get his starters time over the three-game series here, but will steer away from them playing all three games on the Rogers Centre artificial turf.

“I’m going to give certain guys tomorrow off and do the same thing today,” Showalter said. “I don’t want them to be on this turf for three days. Some of the guys were kidding today, if there was a guy you didn’t want to face before the playoffs, it would be R.A. Dickey. But the flip side of that is he has great command and if he hits you, you won’t wear it too much. There’s a trade off there.”

Here are both team’s starting lineups:

Orioles
Alejandro De Aza LF
David Lough CF
Nick Markakis RF
Delmon Young DH
Steve Clevenger 1B
Kelly Johnson 3B
Nick Hundley C
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Chris Tillman RHP

Blue Jays
Jose Reyes SS
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Adam Lind 1B
Dioner Navarro C
Dalton Pompey LF
Munenori Kawasaki 3B
Anthony Gose CF
Ryan Goins 2B
Drew Hucthison RHP

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