The Orioles' right-hander entered the game with an 0-5 mark and was not trending in the right direction. He carried an ERA of 5.75 in four June starts into the game, with opposing hitters batting .356 against him.
Looks can be deceiving, though. Gausman's fastball hovered around 98 mph for most of his 7 2/3 innings, as he held the Rays to no runs on four hits en route to his first win of the season.
"[Gausman] was good," Evan Longoria said. "He varied his speeds better than I've ever seen him do. He was throwing me the fastball from 90-91 [mph] early on to 90 to 100 late in the game, which makes it really tough when a guy has an electric fastball like he does."
J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones had RBI singles in the second against Rays starter Matt Andriese. Francisco Pena added an RBI single off Tyler Sturdevant in the sixth and Pedro Alvarez had a two-run single off Enny Romero in the seventh to push the Orioles' lead to 5-0.
Andriese, who had been shifted to the bullpen prior to making Saturday's start, allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings, while striking out five, en route to his first loss of the season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Lucky No. 13: It took 13 starts, but Gausman finally notched his first victory of 2016 behind 7 2/3 scoreless innings. Coming into the game, the O's averaged only 2.91 runs scored per game he's pitched in, but Gausman didn't need much support on Saturday. The righty allowed just four hits and retired 12 straight at one point during the outing. When he exited with two outs in the eighth, the announced 18,229 in attendance rose to their feet to give him a standing ovation. Gausman got some help from his defense, with Hardy, third baseman Manny Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop all robbing Rays of base hits during the game.
"I was able to kind of mix and match," Gausman said. "Throw my sinker at 90 to 93-94 [mph] and then throw my four-seam a little bit harder. That's one thing, my best game that's what I'm able to do. Threw some real good breaking balls when I needed to and got some key outs and ground balls and double plays." More >
Bad hop 6-4-3 DP: The Orioles scored twice in the second, but Andriese did a nice job of limiting the damage -- and the right-hander was aided by Tim Beckham. With two on and no out, Andriese did his part by getting Francisco Pena to his a ground ball to shortstop. Just when the ball reached Beckham, it took a crazy hop. Beckham quickly adjusted, grabbing the ball and throwing to second baseman Logan Forsythe to start a 6-4-3 double play.
Hardy atones for error: Gausman induced a tailor-made, double-play ball in the second, but Hardy made a rare error on the flip to second. The bobble put runners on first and second with one out, though Gausman escaped the inning unscathed. When the O's came to bat in the bottom of the inning, Hardy stepped to the plate with runners at first and second and made up for his miscue. The shortstop lined a single up the middle to plate the Orioles' first run of the game. He added a strong defensive play in the sixth inning, when he robbed Corey Dickerson of a hit with a nice pick on a sharp one-hopper.
"That ball was smoked," Gausman said of Dickerson's bid for a hit. "I don't think you see many shortstops make that play."
Up 1-2 to Alvarez: Romero entered the game with two outs in the seventh and the bases loaded to pitch to Alvarez. After the Orioles' slugger took a ball, Alvarez swung and missed at a cutter before fouling off a slider to put him down 1-2 in the count. Romero tried to finish him off with a 97 mph fastball, but Alvarez laced a single into right field to score two -- essentially putting the game on ice for the Orioles.
QUOTABLE "The guys in here, we don't have a bad group of guys. This is a positive group of guys that believes we can win. It's just not showing up on the scoreboard, right now." -- Longoria, on the Rays' losing skid
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS In extending their season-high losing streak to nine, the Rays are in the midst of their longest losing streak since dropping 10 consecutive games from May 26-June 5, 2014.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays:Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 3.63 ERA) will start the nightcap of Saturday's day-night doubleheader at 7:05 ET. The right-hander has at least eight strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, but he has just one win in June -- coming on June 8 at Arizona.
Orioles:Chris Tillman (10-1, 3.11 ERA) will look to extend his winning streak to double digits when he gets the ball in Game 2 of the doubleheader. The O's ace is 2-0 with a 0.77 ERA in two starts against the Rays this season. His only loss this season came on April 14 at Texas.