Cincinnati Reds (66-73) at Baltimore Orioles (81-57), 7:05 p.m. (ET)
09/03/2014 10:48 AM
09/04/2014 10:27 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles hope to close out their successful homestand with a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds when the two clubs wrap up their series Thursday at Camden Yards.
The Orioles are 8-2 on their 11-game homestand and made it back-to-back wins over the Reds with Wednesday's 6-0 victory behind Miguel Gonzalez's four-hit shutout and eight strikeouts. He walked only one batter to move his record above .500 at 8-7. It was the first complete game of his career.
"(Miguel) is such a team guy, he's such a professional. That was a professional outing," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He had a lot of things working for him tonight."
Gonzalez fired 83 of his 117 pitches for strikes and his shutout was the first since Chris Tillman turned the trick on May 16 in Kansas City. Tillman gets the start Thursday versus the Reds. Gonzalez has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his last nine starts.
David Lough, Chris Davis and Jonathan Schoop all homered for the Orioles, who are 9 1/2 games ahead of the New York Yankees for the AL East lead and have an MLB-best 182 home runs this season. Schoop ended with three RBI.
The Orioles are 23-7 at home since June 30 and have gone 42-11 in their MLB- leading 53 multi-homer games. They will visit Tampa Bay and Boston next.
Meanwhile, Tillman is 11-5 with a 3.36 earned run average and is 4-0 in his previous nine trips to the mound. He did not record a decision in last Saturday's 3-2 win over Minnesota and tossed five innings of one-run ball. Tillman hasn't allowed more than two runs in a start since July 29.
The right-hander has never faced Cincinnati and is 4-5 with a 2.50 ERA in 15 home starts.
Cincinnati has lost two in a row and four of its last five games, and will close out its six-game road trip tonight.
In Wednesday's blanking at the hands of Gonzalez and the Orioles, Dylan Axelrod was saddled with the loss after he permitted four runs and five hits, including three homers, in six innings with four strikeouts and no walks.
"He made a couple of mistakes that got hit out of the ballpark," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Axelrod. "Unfortunately, we didn't have any offense."
Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton had his six-game hit streak come to an end after he went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts.
The Reds are seven games off the second wild card spot in the National League and will start a seven-game homestand Friday versus New York (Mets) and St. Louis. Cincinnati has lost nine of its last 10 road games.
Mike Leake will try to salvage this set for the Reds when he takes the mound Thursday and is 10-11 with a 3.33 earned run average. Leake is unbeaten (1-0) in his last three appearances and did not record a decision in last Friday's 2-1 loss at Pittsburgh despite throwing seven shutout innings.
Leake hasn't given up a run in his last two starts (13 2/3 innings) and is 5-5 with a 3.33 ERA in 15 road assignments this season. The right-hander will face the Orioles for the first time.
The Reds and O's are meeting for the first time since 2011, when Baltimore took two of three matchups at Camden Yards. Cincinnati, which is 3-5 all-time against Baltimore, is 6-13 against the American League this season, including a 1-8 mark on the road.
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