Orioles manager Buck Showalter wanted to avoid using a couple of relievers tonight, which explained why he sent Kevin Gausman back out for the eighth inning. He noted how Francisco Rodriguez struggles to hold runners, which explained why Gausman stayed in the game to face Alfonso Soriano.
In the end, the Orioles suffered a 7-5 loss to the Yankees at Camden Yards and remained 1 1/2 games behind the Rays for the last wild card spot.
Darren O’Day has pitched twice since Aug. 28. He’s apparently not 100 percent physically, though Showalter doesn’t broadcast his injury report. He’s not eager to let the opposing manager know the status of his bullpen.
Tommy Hunter pitched last night, and Showalter often avoids using him on back-to-back nights.
“We had a couple guys unavailable tonight and Gaus is pitching on normal rest like a starter,” Showalter said. “He’s pitching well. He had some good pitches. Just some balls that they were able to get their arms extended on. He continues to present himself well. Just wasn’t his night.”
Rodriguez didn’t enter the game until Alfonso Soriano belted a two-run homer off Gausman.
“There’s always after the fact and before the fact and whatever,” Showalter said. “I think Frankie’s inability to hold runners is a challenge for him in that situation. It’s a challenge for him with that, so that’s one of the factors. But Gaus was carrying good stuff and sometimes you’ve just got to tip your hat to them. He pitched real well against them last time.”
Showalter expressed confidence that Gausman will be fine, without any sort of carryover effect.
“He’s had a couple of those this year and bounced back real good,” Showalter said. “He’s going to be a real good pitcher for us. I’m excited about him.”
The Yankees are excited about Ivan Nova, but the Orioles scored four runs off him in the fifth inning.
“We scored enough runs off them, we just couldn’t shut them down there toward the end,” Showalter said. “I thought our guys did a pretty good job. He’s a good pitcher. He’s going to be a good pitcher for a long time. It’s not just us he’s picking on, even though it seems like it.
“I think you’re seeing the curveball kind of making a comeback, in our league anyway. I’ve seen more good quality curveballs this year than I have in a long time and that’s a big separator for him. He’s got a great angle. That’s why we have high hopes for guys like Gaus and some other guys, but Nova, he’s solid. They’ve got to be excited about him now and in the future.”
Miguel Gonzalez allowed three runs in six innings, including home runs to Soriano and Mark Reynolds in the sixth.
“They were solos, which kept us engaged,” Showalter said. “We just couldn’t stem the tide. They throw a lot of weapons at you, and Soriano has been a great addition for them. (Alex) Rodriguez did some things that hurt us tonight.
“We’ve got a couple of pieces missing in our bullpen tonight, which was a challenge for us, but Gaus came close. But there were a lot of other things that happened in that game. I thought Miguel handled it well and gave us a good chance to win.”
For everyone asking, Manny Machado was yelling at plate umpire Jim Joyce in the fifth inning because he kept calling time and Joyce didn’t hear him.