Gausman struggles big in series opener (plus minor league results)

Coming off a start at Toronto where he allowed just one run over six innings, the Orioles felt right-hander Kevin Gausman could get their series in Cincinnati off to a good pitching start.

No one figured he’d give up more runs in 2 2/3 innings last night than he had allowed in his first three starts combined. But he did. Gausman tied his career-worst night, allowing eight runs while getting just eight outs in a 9-3 loss to the Reds. In his first three starts, he had given up seven runs over 16 innings. His ERA jumped up from 3.94 to 7.23.

Gausman’s start was the shortest by an Oriole in 2017. The previous low was 4 1/3 twice by tonight’s starter, right-hander Ubaldo Jiménez. The previous most runs allowed by an O’s starter this year was five.

In four games in Toronto, the four Orioles starters allowed five runs over 24 1/3 innings for a rotation ERA of 1.85 in that series. Cincinnati got four runs on one swing in the second inning when Adam Duvall golfed a low pitch from Gausman over the left-field wall to give the Reds a 6-1 lead with a grand slam.

kevin-gausman-orange-close.jpgGausman, who walked nine in 16 innings his first three starts, is struggling to gain consistent command this season. He’s walking too many batters (three more last night) and missing his spots at times within the strike zone. Captain Obvious said that must get better and soon.

The ERA of the O’s starting rotation increased by almost one full run in this game, going from 3.67 to 4.64. Through 12 games, Dylan Bundy and Wade Miley are the Orioles’ best two starters.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo, who entered with an ERA of 9.90, held the Orioles to three runs over five innings. According to Elias Sports Bureau, his win was the first by a Reds starting pitcher at age 40 since 40-year-old Boom-Boom Beck beat the Phillies 8-1 on May 31, 1945.

The Orioles began this road trip with an 8-1 loss at Boston. They went on to go 4-1 in the next five games, and they’ll try to play better and start to win again tonight in Game 2 of this series.

On the farm last night: Triple-A Norfolk lost 4-3 at Buffalo. The Tides’ (4-8) Gabriel Ynoa made the start. Over 4 2/3 innings, he allowed seven hits and three runs (two earned), throwing 85 pitches. Logan Verrett pitched 2 1/3 scoreless relief and Damien Magnifico pitched a scoreless eighth. Norfolk had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Pedro Álvarez and Robert Andino both homered. It was the second in two nights for Andino and No. 3 for both players, but Álvarez is hitting just .196 and had not homered since hitting two on opening night. Johnny Giavotella doubled - his league-leading sixth - and has an eight-game hitting streak. Alex Castellanos left the contest with a left leg injury in the seventh inning.

Tides catcher Chance Sisco, born on Feb. 24, 1995, is the ninth youngest player in the International League.

Double-A Bowie beat Richmond 4-1 at home. Baysox (8-4) center fielder Cedric Mullins hit a three-run homer in the last of the third. It is his fourth home run. Third baseman Drew Dosch went 3-for-4 with an RBI and is batting .424. Right fielder Jay Gonzalez went 3-for-3 and scored twice to increase his average to .364. Catcher Austin Wynns doubled in the eighth and has an eight-game hitting streak. DJ Stewart went 0-for-4 and is hitting just .132. The Baysox have scored 69 runs in 12 games.

Baysox starter Brandon Barker went six scoreless innings, allowing five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts, a team season high. He is 1-0 with a 4.85 ERA. Jesus Liranzo allowed a run over two innings and Ryan Meisinger pitched the ninth to record his first save and lower his ERA to 1.00.

Single-A Frederick won 4-2 at Winston-Salem. Right-hander Cody Sedlock got the victory for the Keys (5-7). The Orioles’ first-round pick last June, Sedlock pitched six innings allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) with one walk and four strikeouts. Sedlock is 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA through three starts in the Carolina League. Christian Turnipseed pitched three scoreless and hitless innings to get his first save and complete the four-hitter.

Keys shortstop Ryan Mountcastle went 3-for-5 and is batting .320. Center fielder Austin Hays went 2-for-5 with a solo homer and drove in two. That was homer No. 2 for Hays, who is batting .346. Yermin Mercedes, Steve Wilkerson and Alex Murphy added two hits each for the Keys, who totaled 13.

Single-A Delmarva won 13-3 at home versus Greensboro for their largest win margin of the 2017 campaign. The Shorebirds (6-7) had 14 hits and went 7-for-19 with runners in scoring position. Six players had multi-hit games including third sacker Collin Woody, who was 2-for-2 with four RBIs. Center fielder Ryan McKenna was 2-for-5 and scored three runs. Cole Billingsley and Preston Palmeiro drove in two each. Starter Matthias Dietz gave up three runs over four innings. Francisco Jimenez went three scoreless without allowing a hit in relief to get the victory and is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA.

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