Gausman came within one out of the Orioles' first complete-game shutout since Miguel Gonzalez against Cincinnati on Sept. 3, 2014. After Manny Machado turned a nifty double play to deny Adrian Beltre his 3,000th hit in the ninth, Gausman issued a walk and gave up a bloop single. With his pitch count at 118, manager Buck Showalter called on Zach Britton to get the final out. He did against Carlos Gomez, who grounded to second to end the game.
So Gausman went a career-high 8 2/3 innings, and allowed seven hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. He improved to 8-7 with a 5.37 ERA.
Over his last three starts, Gausman has allowed one run over 20 2/3 innings. He has thrown back-to-back scoreless starts versus the Rays and Rangers, and has not allowed a run in four of his past seven starts. In two starts this year against Texas he has given up one run over 14 2/3 innings.
The Rangers put the first two runners on base tonight but then he got a double play ball off the bat of Nomar Mazara. In the third, Adam Jones robbed Joey Gallo of a leadoff homer with a leap at the center field wall.
The Orioles had gone five games without hitting two or more homers. That changed in the second inning tonight. Trey Mancini led off with a 459-foot blast to center field. He hit No. 17 for a 1-0 lead off Texas right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx. Two batters later, Caleb Joseph connected to a similar spot in the ballpark. This one went 403 feet for his fifth homer and an early 2-0 lead, which matched the club's run total from last night.
In the next inning, the Orioles exceeded that total adding two more in the third. Jonathan Schoop doubled to left-center with one out for his 100th career two-base hit. After walks to Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo, Mancini's grounder scored a third run and a Seth Smith single plated a fourth. That gave Mancini a two-RBI night and 55 RBIs for the season and Smith drove in his 23rd run.
The game featured Texas third baseman Beltre pulling within one hit of becoming MLB's 31st member of the 3,000-hit club. He went 1-for-4 and his single to left in the fourth was hit No. 2,999. In his first crack at No. 3,000, he grounded to short on the first pitch he saw in the sixth. Then Machado denied him in the ninth.
A huge crowd of 44,658 cheered him on with each pitch he saw. The Rangers announced they sold 8,000 tickets since last night's game ended with Beltre two hits away.
The Orioles avoided falling seven games under .500, which would have tied a season high. They end a three-game losing streak and are 49-54. They were 1-8 their last nine games at Globe Life Park until this victory.
In the series finale on Sunday afternoon, lefty Wade Miley (4-9, 5.69 ERA) faces Rangers left-hander MartÃn PÃ©rez (5-8, 4.67 ERA).
Gausman on wanting a complete game: "I think I wanted it a little too much, maybe I was trying to guide the ball a little bit and one thing I loved about Buck tonight was he gave me a lot of chances in that ninth inning to get it. I think I threw 118, maybe 119 pitches. You walk the leadoff guy in the ninth inning, you're usually going to be out of that game. But I think he saw something in me tonight. I was throwing the ball well, so he stayed with the hot hand. Unfortunately, I was an out away but it was a win and a quality start and, more importantly, we only had one guy who had to throw three pitches tonight out of the pen."
Gausman on what stood out to him about his pitching tonight: "Early on, I could tell it was going to be a different type of atmosphere in the ballpark tonight. I was trying to just not give it up to Beltre. It was a lot of fun - every time he came up, everybody in the stadium was standing. That was pretty cool. I've been lucky to be part of some really cool things in baseball, but the biggest thing was trying to be a stopper today and throw deep into the game and try to give those guys a day off. But sometimes baseball happens like that."
Gausman on pitching well his last three starts: "Just focusing more on every single pitch, not trying to look at, 'OK, I'm going to go out there and throw seven innings tonight.' It's kind of more living pitch to pitch and trying to execute - execute my pitch and if I don't forget about it, on to the next one. I think that's been working for me really well."
Joseph on wanting a complete game: "Maybe more than he did. I've only had one. I think it was with Miguel Gonzalez [in 2014]. As it gets closer and closer, it's almost like a perfect game. Just the way the games are pitched now, the way everything works, guys come out after 100 pitches and six or seven innings. To get to the ninth, it's almost like there's something special building and I thought it was that way. I would have really loved to have gotten that last one for him. He pitched so well. That's a big deal nowadays in the stat era to have a complete game by your name. There's just not that many of them."
Manager Buck Showalter on how badly he wanted Gausman to finish: "I think everybody did. Should have figured out a way to catch a pop up. Big double play. Manny (Machado) and Jon (Schoop), my gosh, they turned a couple tonight. That last one. They make them look easy, I hope everybody appreciates how hard that is. Those are hard. The one thing that Manny does that nobody else does, is the amount of velocity he can create on the ball from a lot of different angles. It's like they tell the kids don't try that at home. But he deserved to finish. Like to see him get that last out but he was in the area. We had 110 on him tonight and you know, just trying to create margin of error there with Zach (Britton) hadn't pitched in a couple of days. It's unfortunate. We got to figure out a way to catch that ball."
Showalter on creating early runs and playing good defense: "Just to create a margin of error. Take the sting out of the way they jumped on us early. We go out and walk two again to start the game. Kevin gets back with a big double play. The 3-6-1 double play is as hard as there is. What did we have three double plays tonight and they were all textbook."