Gausman expected to start Sunday (and other notes)

PITTSBURGH - So much for Kevin Gausman making his final start last night.

Gausman is expected to pitch Sunday against the Rays at Tropicana Field to wrap up the 2017 season. He’d be working on regular rest after allowing six runs last night in four innings.

“He’d like to pitch one more time,” said manager Buck Showalter. “We’ll see how we get through. That’s one of the things we’re contemplating.”

kevin gausman black uni.pngGausman has equaled his 2016 innings total with 179 2/3. He’s made 33 starts, three more than last season, but his ERA has climbed from 3.61 to 4.81.

Asked what Gausman has to gain by making another start, Showalter replied, “Kind of keeping his inning and his starts very similar to last year. I’d like for him to finish on a little more positive note than that one, but Tampa may not allow him to.

“We look at what would be best for the organization for Saturday and Sunday to happen, so that’s really where we start with it when we decide who’s going to pitch.”

Showalter said Gausman didn’t request the Sunday start.

“This is something that we know that’s his normal day and like always Roger (McDowell) talks to them about what they’re feeling and what they’re thinking, and that just presents itself as an option for Sunday.”

Left-hander Wade Miley will open the series on Friday. Showalter hasn’t decided on a Saturday starter, but Miguel Castro is a consideration if not used in relief tonight.

Pedro Álvarez was on the field early today taking ground balls at first base. Chris Davis is fine physically, but Álvarez is starting tonight against the team that made him the second-overall pick in the 2008 draft.

“This is a big place in his life, memories and stuff, and people like him here,” Showalter said. “I can tell how he must have treated people here. I know they have a little something planned for him. I was trying to pick a spot last night, but (Steven) Brault didn’t really cooperate.

“Pete played first base pretty well down in Norfolk and he’s been swinging the bat a little bit for us. Just kind of run some people out there that we want to see.”

Shortstop Tim Beckham’s hamstring is improving and he could start Friday night against the Rays. Showalter said he’s hoping to get center fielder Adam Jones in the lineup this weekend.

Showalter has flipped Jonathan Schoop and Manny Machado in the lineup for both games of the series. Schoop is batting second again tonight ahead of Machado.

“Some of it’s trying to get Manny potentially some more RBI situations, trying to see if he can get fortunate and get some people out there and get a knock.”

The Orioles didn’t need to add another reliever tonight, but they could on Friday or Saturday. If Saturday’s starter comes out of the bullpen, it’s more likely that the Orioles would summon a pitcher from minicamp.

I wrote this morning that the candidates include Alec Asher, Stefan Crichton, Chris Lee and Yefry Ramirez.

For the Pirates
Adam Frazier 2B
Starling Marte LF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Josh Bell 1B
David Freese 3B
Gregory Polanco RF
Elias Diaz C
Sean Rodriguez SS
Chad Kuhl RHP

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