Gonzalez hopes to go distance in Camden debut

Gonzalez hopes to go distance in Camden debut

BALTIMORE -- It took two weeks of games, but Miguel Gonzalez will finally make his home debut Thursday night against the Rays, marking the first time he has pitched at Camden Yards -- including the postseason -- since Oct. 2.

"I'm excited for it," said Gonzalez, who is coming off of a six-inning start Friday in unusually poor conditions in New York, as the 28-year-old struggled to grip the ball and issued five walks and a hit-by-pitch against the Yankees.

"You always got to be short-minded," Gonzalez said of shaking off the outing, in which he was also tagged with his first loss this season. "You always have an opportunity to come back and pitch another day; that's the good thing about baseball. Just throw it away and forget about it and try to do my best next start."

Gonzalez, 28, is 2-1 with a 3.49 ERA in five career starts against the Rays, and he will try to become the first Orioles pitcher to go seven innings this year. The team's rotation, which was inconsistent last season, has fared OK early on but needs to start going deeper into games.

"Same thing with us walking a lot of guys," Gonzalez said of a rotation that entered Wednesday with 73 of the team's 113 innings pitched, accounting for 32 of 38 walks. "I think we got to minimize that a little bit and be able to go more [innings] than that. Hopefully, we can start to go seven, eight, and try to have the bullpen fresh for other days."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.