What they’ve seen so far today has mostly been good, but they’re playing from behind.
Making his first start of 2014 for the Orioles, Gausman retired the first seven Tigers before Bryan Holaday reached on an infield hit and Danny Worth singled into right field in the third inning. Ian Kinsler also reached on an infield hit with two outs, his ball deflecting off Gausman’s foot, and Miguel Cabrera singled to left field to give Detroit a 2-0 lead and give himself 53 RBIs in 51 career games against the Orioles.
Jonathan Schoop made a diving stop behind second base, but Holaday beat the throw by a slim margin.
Cabrera reached down for a changeup and lined it over the head of shortstop J.J. Hardy. There’s no way to pitch this guy without the catcher holding up four fingers.
The Orioles have totaled two runs in the first two games of this series, and four in their last three games. Now they’re trailing 2-0 to Justin Verlander.
What could go wrong?
Gausman threw 13 pitches in the top of the first inning, all of them fastballs ranging from 94-98 mph. He pounded the lower half of the zone while striking out Rajai Davis and Ian Kinser, and retiring Cabrera on a grounder to short.
Davis struck out on three pitches. Kinsler was caught looking at a 95 mph heater with the count full.
The Tigers went down in order again in the second on fly balls to left, right and center field. J.D. Martinez worked Gausman for eight pitches before being retired on a 97 mph fastball. Austin Jackson worked him for seven before being retired on an 80 mph slider.
Gausman started off Victor Martinez with a changeup and also threw a slider during the at-bat, ending his streak of 13 straight fastballs.
Don Kelly led off the third by lining to Schoop on a 96 mph fastball, the sixth pitch of the at-bat. Gausman mixed in one changeup. Holaday saw four consecutive fastballs and Worth saw five in a row.
Victor Martinez grounded out to end the third. Gausman threw three straight changeups and headed to the dugout with his pitch count at 56.
The Tigers are getting their second look at Gausman, who held them to one earned run over six innings in a June 2, 2013 start at Camden Yards. It’s his only quality start in the majors.
Update: Gausman has thrown 87 pitches in four innings, 10 more than he threw in any start at Triple-A Norfolk this season.
The Tigers scored three runs in the fourth to increase their lead to 5-0 as Miguel Gonzalez began to warm up in the Orioles bullpen. Gausman walked two batters, gave up two hits and threw a wild pitch. Holaday and Worth, the last two batters in the Tigers lineup, had RBI singles.
Gausman has allowed five runs and six hits in four innings, with two walks, two strikeouts and a wild pitch.
Schoop must have cut a finger on his throwing hand. Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells check on him, and he stayed in the game.
The deepest cut would be a three-game sweep by the Tigers.