Kevin Gausman far from pitched perfectly last night for the Baltimore Orioles in Toronto. However he dealt hard enough to put the Birds in a position to win the game, and that’s all you ask of your starter. Gausman’s line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K.
Unlike previous Gausman starts and previous starts by other Orioles pitchers, Gausman pitched to contact last night. And Toronto right now it in a spot where the Orioles were a week or two ago. They’re trying to hit grand slams when nobody’s on base in effect. They know that they have the power to win games in a division that lives and dies by the homer, but at the moment they’re dying by it. The O’s just hope that trend continues until at least Friday.
The O’s did most of their damage right off the bat in the first inning. The had two runners on with two gone with Mark Trumbo striding to the plate. He sent a line drive to dead center, which went all the way to the wall. That ended up a two-RBI double, and it gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead.
Later in the game in the top of the third, Adam Jones smacked an RBI-single, and the Birds led 3-0. And the rest of it is pitching. Gausman looked good until the sixth inning when he was lifted due to a high pitch count. Obviously you want your starter to go a little longer than 5.1 innings if possible. However the Orioles will take an outing like that out of a starting pitcher everyday if they can get it.
The Orioles used Mychal Givens in relief of Gausman, and he actually got himself into some trouble early on. He didn’t seem to have much control, throwing a wild pitch and forcing the catcher Castillo to use acrobatics to prevent other wild pitches. He loaded up the bases with one down, and suddenly the Orioles’ lead appeared tenuous at best…
…however he induced Donaldson to line out to third, and Morales to strike out swinging. That ended the inning and the threat, and preserved the Orioles’ lead. Pitchers will often get themselves in trouble. It’s the nature of the position. But the good ones will also find their way out of trouble.
Toronto would get a run back with two down in the ninth on a solo homer by Tulowitzki, however at the end of the day that was all but meaningless. The Birds cruised to a 3-1 lead, starting off their trip to Canada the right way. The victory brings the Orioles back to the .500 mark on the season.