Pregame notes and Rays lineup

Kevin Gausman picked up his first Triple-A win last night with five scoreless innings for Norfolk, and the reports on him were quite good. Gausman’s fastball was 96-98 mph. One of his finest outings of the year.

The Orioles are expected to add Gausman to their expanded roster in September. He’s likely to pitch out of the bullpen, though manager Buck Showalter left open the possibility that he could make a start.

“He could do either, depending on what the need is, if he’s called up,” Showalter said. “We’re still in that process. We’ve got a few days.”

It’s pretty much a certainty that Gausman will rejoin the Orioles, but Showalter isn’t going to commit to it publicly at this date.

Showalter is toying with the idea of going to a six-man rotation next month, with only one off-day on the schedule.

“You could do more than that if you wanted to,” Showalter said. “I’d rather see how everybody’s pitching, see how they feel physically. It’s a moving target. See what the needs are physically and see who we think presents the best option. We’ll do some things matchup-wise. Some of the things we’ve done this month with the off-days are kind of trying to match up, and I think for the most part it’s helped us a little bit.

“We’re kind of doing that some now with a couple guys. It could happen. It could be a guy where there’s five days between when he pitches without an off day.”

Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland has pitched once since Aug. 3, and that’s a good thing in Showalter’s eyes.

“I’m glad that he hasn’t had the opportunity. That means our starting pitcher hasn’t spit the bit in the first or second inning,” Showalter said.

“We all know the situation that T.J.’s in, from his background and how he got here and how we keep him. It’s a challenge sometimes to get through that with - times in the season with (Ryan) Flaherty last season and at times with McFarland. But it will make us a better organization going forward. T.J. knows that and we know that. And he’s been instrumental in us staying healthy down there and not having to make a lot of moves. He’s been durable and given us length, and there’s a lot of things that he and Rick (Adair) and Billy (Castro) do so he doesn’t get too far away from having a ball in his hand. I think he’s handled it real well.

“We’re six weeks away from him being a prospect in the organization with three options and a left-handed starter. We’re going to feel real good about T.J. next season, having him in our system. It’ll be interesting to see where he falls on the prospect list. And that’s not to say he doesn’t start the season with us. A couple guys really think that, once he gets this part of his career behind him, the sky’s the limit for him. He’s got a lot of things he can do with the baseball. He’s athletic, he ain’t scared, he’s a strike thrower, his breaking ball’s gotten a lot tighter than it was when we first got him, changeup’s there for him, holds runners. He does a lot of things you look for in a left-handed starter.”

Chris Davis has hit 24 home runs at Camden Yards this season, one short of Rafael Palmeiro’s record set in 1998. The club record for most home runs in a season in Baltimore is 27 by Frank Robinson in 1966 at Memorial Stadium.

Davis is four doubles away from becoming the 12th player with at least 40 doubles and 40 home runs in the same season. He’d join Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Albert Belle, Todd Helton, Larry Walker, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano, Juan Gonzalez and Chipper Jones.

Belle, Gehrig and Pujols are the only players to do it twice.

Davis has 20 home runs against American League East teams. According to STATS, that’s the most by any player against his division, ahead of Edwin Encarnacion (19), Evan Longoria (17) and Miguel Cabrera (16).

The Orioles are listing their starters for the Oakland series that begins Friday as Bud Norris, Chris Tillman and TBA. The Athletics are listing Dan Straily, left-hander Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker.

For the Rays
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Evan Longoria 3B
Matt Joyce LF
Wil Myers RF
James Loney 1B
Yunel Escobar SS
Jose Molina C
Kelly Johnson DH

Alex Cobb RHP

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