Chi Chi Gonzalez was two outs away from tossing his second complete-game shutout in four career starts when he gave up a ninth-inning home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.
He ended up taking a loss that night, and his spectacular outing was left out on the curb to be forgotten. Now, he'll have a chance to redeem himself on Tuesday when he takes the mound for his fifth career start, and in the meantime he'll be looking to continue his outrageous start to a big-league pitching career.
Gonzalez, who was the Rangers' top draft pick in 2013 out of Oral Roberts, was brought up after a couple of failed attempts at starting from Phil Klein with little expectation placed upon him. All he's done is go at least seven innings in his last three starts and take a no-hitter into the sixth inning in his MLB debut.
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He doesn't do it with flashy stuff, as evidenced by his 10 strikeouts in 30 innings, but he just relies on good stuff, which has proven to be plenty good enough given his 0.90 ERA through four starts.
“We didn’t really know what to expect from Chi Chi,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister told reporters. “We expected a young guy who was going to come up, throw strikes, be able to move the ball around. We weren’t really sure how major league hitters were going to react to his stuff. He’s been a pleasant surprise.”
He can continue that run with a solid start Tuesday against a suddenly hot-hitting A's lineup.