Gonzalez to fix delivery before next outing
Reliever studies video; Trembley mum on when he'll pitch
BALTIMORE -- Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez made the half-hour drive home Friday night, with his second blown save still fresh in his mind. He went over the sequence of events that transpired in Baltimore's 7-6 loss to Toronto, and thought about the ninth-inning implosion that involved two runs over two-thirds of an inning.
"That's just not me," Gonzalez said. "I'm rushing the process when I go out there."
Former Braves teammate and current Rays closer Rafael Soriano told Gonzalez following Tuesday's blown save to slow it down, a tempo that hasn't work either.
"I need to go out there and be me," said Gonzalez, who has no excuses but admits that the pressures of being in the American League East and living up to his contract -- a two-year $12-million dollar deal -- has caused him to try to do too much when he takes the hill.
Gonzalez's skittish performance so far -- two blown saves and a 18.00 ERA in three outings -- has also caused him to pick up some mechanical flaws in his delivery. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz and manager Dave Trembley compared video of Gonzalez last year to what they're seeing now, and noticed a few differences pertaining to his arm angle and how he falls off the mound.
"I'm not feeling it when I'm throwing -- I just want to go in there and shoot it, you know?" Gonzalez. "Obviously, I didn't understand it, until I saw it myself [on tape.]"
Kranitz talked to Gonzalez on Saturday afternoon, and the pair will continue to work on cleaning up the lefty's unique delivery in their next few sessions. Gonzalez won't pitch in Saturday's game, and Trembley declined to say when he would next take the hill. It could be in a non-save situation.
"These guys that are closers -- the focus and attention is on them and rightfully so ... but I would caution everyone to start writing the epitaph of Gonzalez so soon," Trembley said, referring to the loud boos Gonzalez received in front of Saturday's sold-out crowd. "The guy has pitched and been good at it, and has wanted the ball."
"He knows he hasn't lived up to what everybody thought, but he's got a long time to catch up and make up for it. I certainly hope people will be patient and give him another chance."
Gonzalez made a career-high 80 appearances for Atlanta last year, and allowed just four earned runs in 32 1/3 innings after the All-Star break. While he was used in a myriad of situations for the Braves, Gonzalez was brought to Baltimore solely to close games -- something he hasn't done exclusively since 2006. He collected 24 saves that year with the Pirates, and last season saved 10 games in 17 opportunities for the Braves.
Jones receives Gold Glove before game
BALTIMORE -- Before he stepped out onto the field on Saturday, manager Dave Trembley wanted Adam Jones to recognize the magnitude of the moment associated with the Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
"This is a very historic day for the Orioles and for Adam Jones, and I told him in a nutshell understand the responsibility that comes with you walking out there [Saturday] and accepting the award," Trembley said.
Jones, who was presented with the award during a pregame ceremony, didn't need a reminder. The only Orioles player selected to the American League All-Star team last year and the first Baltimore outfielder to earn a Gold Glove Award since Paul Blair in 1975, the 24-year-old was mindful of how special Saturday's ceremony was.
"It's a tremendous honor, and it hasn't been done in this city, a historic baseball city, in 34 years for an outfielder," Jones said.
"I take pride in my defense, I work hard on it and last year I was fortunate enough to get the award, and the thing is you got to try to repeat. I try to play the best defense I can and let the rest take care of itself."
With mom Andrea in attendance, Jones was greeted with loud cheers from the Orioles' crowd in a short ceremony prior to Saturday's first pitch. He hugged first-base coach John "T-Bone" Shelby, and shook hands with several other league officials.
"I told Jones how proud we were of him," Trembley said. "I hope he understands the significance of the award that he's getting, not only for himself but for what it means to the Baltimore Orioles organization and also, to be very honest with you, what it means because he's an African-American."
Orioles to get Pie back in field for finale
BALTIMORE -- Orioles outfielder Felix Pie said Saturday his left shoulder is feeling much better and he will start in Sunday's series finale against the Blue Jays.
Pie participated in baseball-related activities on Friday and Saturday, and entered Friday's game as a pinch-runner in place of Matt Wieters. He scored the then-go ahead run by, legging out Cesar Izturis' single and rounding home all the way from first base.
Pie sustained a rotator cuff strain that stemmed from a throw he made to home plate in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. He hasn't played in the field since the injury, with Nolan Reimold getting the start on Wednesday and Saturday and Luke Scott assuming left for the two games in between.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.