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Orioles 3, Nationals 9: Not quite ready for prime time

On the second day of Gausmas the Orioles gave to me, two LaRoche bombs and an eleven earned run average.


You guys? Gausmania isn't going exactly the way I envisioned. Kevin Gausman got rocked tonight, giving up seven runs in four innings with no strikeouts and three home runs allowed.

Nationals rookie Nate Karns needed just eleven pitches to get three ground outs in the first inning, and it wasn't long after that the fireworks began. Gausman retired Denard Span to start the bottom of the first, but two singles brought Adam LaRoche to the plate. Gausman went 2-0 on him then Wieters set up low and inside. Gausman's pitch ended up a bit higher than that and LaRoche jacked a no doubter to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead.

The Orioles got one run back in the top of the second when Matt Wieters doubled in Chris Davis, who had singled. J.J. Hardy singled to put runners at first and third, but after Yamaico Navarro struck out for the second out it was up to Gausman to knock them in. He did not.

Gausman only faced three batters in the second inning, but it wasn't clean. He started 0-2 on Roger Bernadina then threw three straight balls before getting a ground out. He also went 0-2 on Kurt Suzuki before Suzuki worked a seven pitch at bat that ended with a single. Luckily for Gausman, this is the National League, and the pitcher Karns bunted into a double play to end the inning.

After a scoreless third inning, the Orioles tied the game with two solo home runs, one each from Davis and Hardy. But the tie was short lived as Gausman coughed it up in the very next half inning.

Gausman walked LaRoche, then two batters later Tyler Moore and Bernadina hit back-to-back home runs to make the score 6-3. The seventh run came in to score later in the inning when Span doubled in Suzuki. At that point the game was pretty unbearable to watch as the O's young rookie was getting knocked around good by a lineup that isn't all that strong to begin with.

Karns came out of the game after 4 1/3 innings and Zach Duke took over. He and three other relief pitchers combined to shut the Orioles out over the final 4 2/3. The Orioles bullpen was not as good. T.J. McFarland pitched two scoreless innings, but Troy Patton's struggles continued. He gave up LaRoche's second home run of the day and an RBI single to Bernadina after Ian Desmond doubled.

So the Orioles and Nationals split the first two games of their four-game home and home series. Tomorrow the teams will play again, this time at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.