Kevin Gausman on getting his first win (plus other clubhouse quotes)

As the Orioles blanked Tampa Bay this afternoon 5-0, Kevin Gausman made his 13th start and finally got his first win. Was he starting to wonder when that elusive first victory would come?

“Every time you take the mound, you expect to win,” Gausman said. “So, that is what I’ve done 13 times now. I’ve expected to win 13 times. There were some games that got away from me and I hoped the team would pick me up and they have before. You just try to be that guy every fifth day. As much as we can contribute, that is what you try to do.

“It is always big, especially with a doubleheader, to get that first win. I’m happy I got a win, but more so that the team got a win. With the way that (Chris) Tillman is pitching, he is going to come out tonight and pitch well, too.”

Gausman gave up just four singles over 7 2/3 innings with no walks and seven strikeouts as the Orioles recorded their fourth shutout. Just one runner reached second base against him. From the fourth through the seventh innings, he retired 12 in a row. He threw 113 pitches to tie his career-high for the third time. What was working today?

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“Really fastball command. I was able to mix and match. Throw my sinker at 90 to 93, 94 and throw my four-seam a little bit harder. My best games, that is what I’m able to do,” he said. “Threw some real good breaking balls when I needed to. Got some key outs and groundball double plays.

“The biggest thing is the defense really picked me up today. There were some unreal plays out there. Plus what I am most proud about is not walking guys. If I don’t walk guys, I’m going to give myself a pretty good chance.”

Gausman had an ERA of 2.70 his first six starts and 6.32 over his last six before pitching well today. This is his second scoreless start of 2016. He went eight without allowing a run on May 5 versus the Yankees.

The Orioles infield was outstanding behind him as Manny Machado at third, J.J. Hardy at short and Jonathan Schoop at second all made stellar plays.

“That were a lot of great plays behind me,” Gausman said. “J.J., that ball was smoked, and I don’t think you see many shortstops make that play. One stride that Schoop has made is going toward second. He’s always been good going toward first and this year he’s gotten even better going towards second base.”

MORE CLUBHOUSE QUOTES

Schoop on making good defensive plays: “I just want to get better. I see J.J. and Manny, they make good plays all the time. I just want to be a better player. I think my play was better than Manny’s. No, I’m kidding.”

Schoop on the offense: “We put some good at-bats together. J.J. had a big hit. Pedro (Alvarez) and (Mark) Trumbo. Everybody contributed and every day someone different can do it. We can get the longball or play small ball, too.”

Hardy on the win: “We got five runs without the home run. Gaus was awesome. Looked like he was spotting his fastball pretty well and mixing up his pitches. Wasn’t letting them hit the ball hard. Obviously that upper 90s fastball helps.”

Hardy on Tampa Bay struggling: “We’re just going out there trying to win every game. I didn’t even know that stat, that they’re struggling. So, we’re just trying for every win.”

Hardy on Schoop’s great defensive play up the middle in the seventh: “It is (a special play). He’s ranging a long way to get to those and they are definitely not routine. And then to get that much velocity on it falling away from first base is impressive.”

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