Gausman goes for series win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles wrap up their series with the Rays this afternoon before enjoying an off-day in New York. The schedule actually favors them for a change.

No 4 a.m. arrival. And, you know, an entire day and night in the Big Apple before another big series against a division rival.

Time to unwind, fellas.

gausman-pitching-glasses-orange-sidebar.jpgKevin Gausman makes his second career start and third appearance against the Rays. He allowed seven runs and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in a June 8, 2013 loss at Tropicana Field.

Ben Zobrist doubled twice that night and is 4-for-4 lifetime against Gausman. Yunel Escobar is 3-for-3.

Such small sample sizes.

Gausman has registered back-to-back quality starts since the Orioles recalled him, holding the Athletics to one run over seven innings and the Blue Jays to one run over six.

If you check the standings, you'll notice that those teams remain in first place in their respective divisions.

Alex Cobb is starting today for the Rays. Not a comforting thought for the Orioles, since he's 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA in four career starts against them, with 30 strikeouts in 26 innings.

Cobb has weird splits this year. Right-handers are batting .297 against him and left-handers are hitting .194. Pretty sure it's supposed to be the other way around.

The Orioles are 10-14 in day games. Can't blame the sun if they lose today. They're also 10-12 in the last game of a series and 6-4 on Wednesdays.

A win today would make the Orioles 7-1 versus the Rays this season.

Nick Markakis needs 116 more hits to tie Boog Powell for fifth place on the club's all-time list. I'd ask Rusty to keep count, but he's busy with my streak.

Chris Davis became the first Oriole to hit a grand slam on an 0-2 count since Joe Orsulak on June 16, 1991 in Toronto.

Nelson Cruz hasn't homered since June 3. J.J. Hardy hasn't homered since Sept. 5, 2013.

Steve Lombardozzi hasn't homered since Aug. 30, 2013, but he's still in Triple-A Norfolk. He's excused.

The Orioles have a six-man bullpen, which won't work if the starters exit in the early or middle innings. Miguel Gonzalez went five last night and manager Buck Showalter had to call upon Ryan Webb, Brian Matusz, Darren O'Day and Zach Britton.

How long will this arrangement hold up?

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