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BAL@TOR: Gonzalez allows one run over six innings

Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez will make his first start since Aug. 7 after a stint with Triple-A Norfolk in Sunday's series finale against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won the first two games of the series.

Gonzalez returned to the team on Saturday, but he won't be officially added to the roster until before the game. He's 6-6 with a 3.80 ERA in 20 games this year. The right-hander threw a three-inning simulated game at Norfolk on Monday.

"Everyone's receiving me like it was my first time being called up," Gonzalez said. "It was fun. They're all excited to have me back, so I'm excited as well."

Gonzalez was optioned earlier this month to clear roster space for Ubaldo Jimenez, who has since been moved to the bullpen.

Cubs southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada will look to continue his strong rookie run and help the Cubs to a series sweep. In seven starts this season, he's posted a 3-1 record with a 2.75 ERA.Wada threw five scoreless innings against the Giants on Tuesday before the game was suspended after a four-plus hour delay, then picked up on Thursday.

"I think, obviously, the conversation shifted, but he threw well enough to keep us in there for those five innings," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said that night. "Worked a little bit of traffic, but he did a nice job. Another nice outing."

Wada was en route to his third straight quality start before Tuesday's game was suspended, and he picked up his third win. He's allowed two runs or fewer in six of his seven starts.

Wada was called up after of the Cubs' July 4 trade that sent top starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland.

Cubs: Renteria utilizing versatile position players
Renteria has exploited the versatility of the players on his roster this season -- a luxury, he noted, not available to every manager.

"It just depends on how you can incorporate those skill sets into the needs of your club," Renteria said. "The ability to be able to move guys around is important. If somebody goes down, you have someone who you feel like you could fill in to hold their ground."

Javier Baez has moved back to his natural position at shortstop while Starlin Castro is on the bereavement list. Arismendy Alcantara has done well in center field, a position he's played more at the Major League level (25 games) than he did in the Minors (11). Recent callup Matt Szczur can fill in at every outfield position.

"Their flexibility allows us to put them in the lineup a little more often, so it's helpful," Renteria said. "In the end, you would want, if you possibly can, as it all boils down, your steady core of players. You have those other guys who are going to be able to spell them. They're vitally important pieces."

Orioles: Machado out for season
The Orioles will make their postseason push without Gold Glove Award-winning third baseman Manny Machado, who will undergo knee surgery for the second year in a row. After a left knee injury ended his 2013 campaign, Machado tore the medial patellofemoral ligament in his right knee during an at-bat on Aug. 11.

"From the get-go, we knew it was partially torn, so [surgery] was in the back of my mind," said Machado. "Obviously, with the position we're in now, you don't want to hear about surgery. You want to try to get back out there on the field and be back with the team and help the team get to the playoffs and continue with my season, but it's been a couple weeks now, and the pain hasn't gotten any better, so I think it was just the best decision to get it done now rather than later and wait like we did last year. I think it got to the point where I just had to make a decision."

Machado's recovery time is expected to be 4-6 months. He is the Orioles' second starter lost for the season, joining catcher Matt Wieters, who underwent Tommy John surgery.

Worth noting
• The Cubs had a .992 fielding percentage in their 20 games since Aug. 2, tops in the Majors.

• The Orioles boasted a .591 winning percentage away from Camden Yards entering play Saturday -- their best since 1997.

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