Orioles need do-over in first inning (O’s lose 3-1)

Orioles starter Kevin Gausman will need to become more economical with his pitches tonight if he’s going to exceed the five innings he logged in his previous start.

Gausman threw 34 in the first inning while surrendering two runs to the Rays.

It got weird.

Maybe the umpires will review whether the game actually should have started.

Gausman struck out leadoff hitter Desmond Jennings on three pitches, but Ben Zobrist doubled off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field. Zobrist is 6-for-10 lifetime against Gausman.

A wild pitch moved Zobrist to third, and he scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Matt Joyce. Sounds routine, except Joyce hit a sharp ground ball to second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who was playing back to presumably concede the run.

Schoop decided to throw home and Joyce slid in safely. Not the right decision there in a scoreless game in the first inning. Take the sure out.

Amirite?

Evan Longoria and James Loney singled to, we assumed, load the bases with one out. Except Longoria kept running on Loney’s hit and ended up at third base with Joyce, who was held by coach Tom Foley.

A quick check of the rules reveals that you can’t have two players on the same base. Just too crowded.

The blunder, and there have been a few by the Rays in this series, could have bailed out Gausman, but Wil Myers looped an RBI single into right field with the count full.

Yunel Escobar grounded into a force on Gausman’s 34th pitch.

Time to get economical.

Update: Gausman’s at 57 pitches through two innings and he’s behind 3-0.

The run in the second was unearned following J.J. Hardy’s throwing error.

Jennings doubled with one out and Zobrist lifted a sacrifice fly to right field.

Including his previous start, Gausman has allowed six runs in his last seven innings.

Update II: Drew Smyly’s scoreless streak ended at 15 innings with Chris Davis’ two-out solo homer in the bottom of the second.

Davis has 23 homers this season, the latest clearing the fence in right-center field.

Update III: Gausman was removed after four innings and 80 pitches. He allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits, walked none and struck out four.

The four innings matches Gausman’s career low - four times overall, three this season.

Gausman retired seven of the last eight batters he faced, but manager Buck Showalter called upon left-hander T.J. McFarland.

Update IV: The Orioles lose to the Rays 3-1 and need a victory on Thursday to take the series.

The bullpen turned in five scoreless innings behind Gausman, including three from McFarland, who allowed only one hit and didn’t walk a batter.

The Orioles are 75-56 overall and 10-5 vs. the Rays.

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