He finally did it. It took two months, 13 starts and 75.2 innings, but Kevin Gausman earned his first win of the 2016 season from a great performance as the Orioles beat the Rays 5-0 in Game one of a doubleheader at Camden Yards on Saturday afternoon.
Gausman the great
The Rays offense is terrible, but Gausman straight up dominated those fools today. Over 7.2 innings, Goose tossed 113 pitches (tied his season high), allowed just four hits, struck out seven and didn't allow a single walk. On his 113th pitch of the game, he hit 99 mph on the gun. Yeah, he was feeling it.
Just look at the filth he was throwing, turned into GIF form by Camden Chat's own Nick Cicere:
Split-change part two: pic.twitter.com/jjphXKQCQn— Nick Cicere (@Swissere) June 25, 2016
The only real trouble he got into was in the second inning when J.J. Hardy flubbed a double play ball, but he was able to work out of it by getting Jaff Decker to fly out and sitting down Taylor Motter on strikes.
This was a huge performance in the first game of a doubleheader. It allowed the Birds to save their big bullpen arms for the night cap and puts the team in good shape to win the series.
Runs, no dongs required
Thanks to the great pitching, the O's only needed to score one run, but they went with five just in case. On the day, they had 11 hits and walked five times, but did strike out 10 times. It all added up to some good offensive output.
Jonathan Schoop began the Birds day at the plate with a double to lead off the second inning. Pedro Alvarez followed with a four-pitch walk. Hardy drove in Schoop with a single up the middle to atone for his error only minutes earlier. Two batters later, Adam Jones got a single of his own into center field, scoring Alvarez and making it 2-0 in favor of the good guys.
Over the next three innings, the Oriole bats went to sleep before waking up in the sixth. Again it was Schoop starting things with a one-out single. Hardy singled two batters later to give the Birds runners on first and second with two outs. Francisco "That's fun to say!" Pena singled (and bat-flipped) to score Schoop and make it a 3-0 deficit.
And they topped things off with two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Hyun Soo Kim led off with a double to right field. After a Manny Machado pop out, Chris Davis was walked intentionally. Then, Mark Trumbo was walked unintentionally, giving the O's the bases loaded with one out. Schoop then struck out to set the scene for Alvarez. At this point the Rays brought in the southpaw Enny Romero to face the lefty swinging O's slugger, but it proved to be a poor decision. Alvarez laced a 1-2 fastball up the middle to score Kim and Davis, making it 5-0 and solidifying the victory.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Machado hit a ball right back at Romero and it nearly struck him in the head. MASN's Gary Thorne revealed during the broadcast that the ball came off the bat at 109 mph. The replay seemed to show that the reliever got his pitching hand up in front of his face just before the ball reached him, thankfully. However, he still seemed shook up and his throwing hand may have been hurt in the process. Always a scary sight to see. Here's to hoping it is nothing serious.
Closing it down...sort of
Orioles manager Buck Showalter called on righty Oliver Drake to get the final four outs of the game. He looked pretty darn shaky, but was able to get it done. Over those 1.1 innings he walked two and struck out one while throwing 22 pitches. But most importantly he did not force Showalter to turn to the "high leverage" guys in a game where the O's dominated.
You have time to order a pizza and strap in for game two of the doubleheader. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m tonight. Baltimore is going with Chris Tillman (10-1, 3.11 ERA). Tampa will counter with Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 3.63). See you in a few hours!