Orioles 2012 first-round pick Kevin Gausman gave up no runs and just one hit in his first six innings for short-season Single-A Aberdeen this year. But tonight, in his debut for Single-A Frederick, he gave up a homer to the first batter he faced. Then the same guy got to him an inning later for an inside-the-park, three-run homer.
Winston-Salem's switch-hitting center fielder, Keenyn Walker, led off the game and hit one over the wall in right-center at Frederick's Harry Grove Stadium. Then next batter doubled to center, but Gausman got out of that inning with a strikeout, a shallow fly ball out and a ground out to short.
In the second, there was a walk and a single to lead off the inning before Gausman got the next two outs. Then Walker came up again. He drilled one to deep center and the Keys radio announcers said Frederick center fielder Brendan Webb crashed into the wall trying to make the catch and fell to the ground. That helped Walker have enough time to circle the bases for the inside-the-park homer.
Even more stunning, Walker has just three homers in 24 games in the Carolina League. One came off Dylan Bundy on July 20 and two tonight came off Gausman.
Gausman retired the side in order against the Dash in the top of the third. That wrapped his night after 42 pitches with Eric Beaulac relieving in the fourth.
Gausman's line tonight: 3 IP, 4 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HRs.
Gausman made his Carolina League debut this evening against the team with the best record in that league. The Dash are 79-44 and has won six in a row. They lead the league in batting average, runs, homers and slugging.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette was in the crowd tonight at Frederick to watch Gausman make his third pro start.