Throwing a second variation of a changeup in a game for the first time, Kevin Gausman pitched six strong innings today allowing just one run in a no decision against the Tigers.
He yielded only a Prince Fielder homer and five hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Gausman threw 96 pitches and was on the hook for a loss, but the Orioles rallied to beat Detroit 4-2.
Looking to improve his changeup command, Gausman added a circle change to his repertoire today and felt that was an important addition.
Gausman was excited to pitch well in his Camden Yards debut.
"I felt comfortable," he said. "Today was probably the most polished and calm I've been out there since I've been up. It was fun to make my debut here today and it's something I won't ever forget. The fans were awesome. It was a great atmosphere.
"I just fixed some mechanical stuff (from his first two starts). Get on top more, have more of a downward plane on my ball and get back to getting ground ball outs. That was something big for me. It's huge to get groundballs, double plays and quick innings."
He also got Miguel Cabrera out three times in three tries on a pair of double play grounders and a called third strike.
"Obviously, he's the best hitter in the game, so just trying to make my pitches and keep everything down," Gausman said of Cabrera. "It was a good battle, it was fun."
Gausman felt his secondary pitches today complemented his mid- to upper-90s fastball.
"They were good. I mixed in a circle change, kind of a straight change that I've been working on this week. Also, my split change that I throw. My slider was really good. I threw a couple of back-foot sliders to left-handed hitters and threw some good ones to right-handed (batters). Threw a great one to Cabrera that he fouled off and one he hit for a double play. That was huge for me," Gausman said.
Gausman was asked about his frame of mind and confidence level after pitching to an ERA of 11.00 in his first two starts.
"I knew I had to make some changes obviously," he said. "Me and Rick Adair sat down and talked about what I was doing, which was pretty much just leaving balls up.
"Buck (Showalter) and Rick did a good job of kind of consoling me and making sure I knew that I could play here. It was great to sit down with Rick and figure out those mechanical things and I feel good going forward about it.
"I just tried to put my team in a position to win. Just tried to keep the ball down. This was a big series win for us.
Elsewhere in the O's clubhouse today:
Chris Davis on taking two of three in series:
"That was big for us. That's a great team with a stout lineup. Was big to bounce back after a loss yesterday."
Davis on the O's ability to pull out comeback wins:
"I just think the trust factor. We trust each other know that no one's going to give up and everyone will pick each other up. You won't have your A game every day and somebody has to be there to pick you up."
Danny Valencia on his key hit on an 0-2 pitch off Phil Coke:
"Just put the ball in play, to be honest. He's got good stuff and I saw both his pitches with a fastball the first pitch and slider on the second. Just tried to get that run in."
Valencia on the latest comeback win: "We don't quit. We have a lot of confidence and know we'll swing bats. There is a lot of right in this clubhouse."
* The Orioles are now 9-4 in the last 13 games and 6-3 in games that decide a series. Since July 29, 2012, they have the best winning percentage in baseball at .619.
* The Orioles turned a season-high four double plays today.
* Valencia's single was just the O's second pinch-hit of the season. O's pinch hitters are now 2-for-19 with two RBIs.