O’s game blog: Gausman against Cobb in Tampa Bay series finale

The Orioles have not lost a road series to an American League East rival this year and they’d like to avoid doing that today.

They are 10-5 in American League East road games and 3-0-1 in four series. The Orioles went 2-1 at New York, 2-2 at Boston, 2-1 at Toronto, 3-0 at Tampa Bay and now are 1-1 in this series against the Rays.

When the Orioles made the 2012 playoffs, they went 9-3 in AL East road series and went 21-15 on the road in the division.

Kevin Gausman (2-1, 3.71 ERA) gets the start this afternoon against Rays right-hander Alex Cobb (2-4, 3.99 ERA). Gausman has beaten first-place teams Oakland and Toronto in back-to-back starts, going 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA.

Gausman pitched the Orioles to a series-opening win last Thursday at home against Toronto and will try to close out this series with another victory.

After that outing, Gausman was asked if he’d done enough to stay in the O’s rotation.

“I feel good about what I’ve done,” Gausman said. “I feel comfortable right now. It’s not my decision, so whatever happens will be for the club’s best interest.

“I threw a lot of fastballs in, especially to their big hitters in the middle of the lineup. That was something I wanted to do and did against the A’s, too. Tonight, I felt like my circle change was better than my split.”

Caleb Joseph caught Gausman in the starts against Oakland and Toronto and he is catching him again today. They’ve played together in the minors and have a nice comfort level with each other.

“We’ve played together for two years,” Joseph said. “Now we just have to adjust to the scouting reports accordingly. I know exactly what he does well and you add that to the advance reports, and I feel like we have a good plan each time. He’s a special talent and we’re glad to have him on our team.”

A win today would give the Orioles more wins than they had against Tampa Bay all of last year. They went 6-13 in 2013 and are 6-1 so far in 2014.

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