Gausman and Showalter speak after 5-4 win

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Kevin Gausman came within an out of recording a save today in the Orioles’ 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Gausman left after Adam Loewen walked with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

“I knew that I was on a strict pitch count,” he said. “They were monitoring me for a reason. I wasn’t too (angry). I was more (angry) that he didn’t chase that pitch. I was pretty (angry) about that. That’s what I wanted to do there. I just thought in that situation, he would be swinging there.”

Gausman smiled through most of the postgame interview, which I mention to provide the proper tone. He was in a terrific mood as he stood outside the visiting clubhouse.

“It was good. I felt good,” he said after allowing one run and one hit, with two walks and two strikeouts, in 1 2/3 innings in his exhibition debut.

“I was a little amped up there at the start. Obviously, I should be. It was kind of a big highlight in my life, so it was kind of cool.”

The only hit came on a double by Ryan Schimpf, who’s no stranger to Gausman.

“He went to LSU,” Gausman said.

Small baseball world.

“I was more excited than anything today,” Gausman said. “I started getting warmed up about the fifth inning. I didn’t really know what was going to happen, if I was going to pitch after (Daniel) Schlereth or after Mike (Belfiore). I didn’t really know. I was kind of just anxious and I wanted to get out there.”

Gausman’s fastball topped out at 98 mph and sat at 96-97 mph, but his changeup might have been his most impressive pitch.

“My changeup was like it is all the time. It felt great. It was coming out of my hand real easy and had some good late sink to it. I was pretty happy with it.”

Gausman wasn’t afraid to pitch inside to the Toronto hitters.

“You have to go inside at the pro level,” he said. “You have to or else you’re just not going to be successful.”

Buck Showalter also complimented Gausman on the changeup “and where he was missing at.”

“He got squared up a few times,” Showalter added, “just enough to make him realize the level he’s pitching at.”

Jair Jurrjens started for the Orioles and retired the first five batters before allowing a run on two hits and a walk.

“Good first start,” Showalter said. “He was a little sloppy with his breaking ball, which happens with everybody early on, but I thought his life and sink facing a pretty good lineup ... good first day for him. We’ll see where it takes us. He’ll tighten some things up. See how he feels tomorrow.”

Showalter indicated that his other starters also will go two innings in their initial turns.

Ryan Flaherty was impressive at shortstop today.

“He’s had a real good start,” Showalter said. “It looks like he played in the big leagues last year. You saw him last spring. He had a play glove-side yesterday where he stopped, set his feet, his clock slowed down. Last year, he would have let that ball go as soon as it hit his glove. There was a chopper he stayed back on.

“At the end of the game yesterday, if you looked out there and said, ‘Who’s the big leader?’ it would have been Flaherty, just the way he’s carrying himself a little differently. You can tell he feels like he can do this and belongs. Nothing like starting a couple playoff games. That helps, too.”

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