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Gausman bruised but OK after collision

O's starter has facial injury after home-plate contact with Candelario
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

SARASOTA, Fla., -- Kevin Gausman had a bruised face on Monday, but his sense of humor was intact.

"Looks like I got in a bar fight," Gausman said with a laugh after a second-inning collision with Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario behind home plate during the O's 8-6 Grapefruit League loss.

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SARASOTA, Fla., -- Kevin Gausman had a bruised face on Monday, but his sense of humor was intact.

"Looks like I got in a bar fight," Gausman said with a laugh after a second-inning collision with Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario behind home plate during the O's 8-6 Grapefruit League loss.

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The scary play, which came with one out in Gausman's spring debut, came on Leonys Martin's liner. Gausman went to back up catcher Chance Sisco as Candelario, who was on deck, stepped up to tell Jason Krizan to slide wide to avoid a potential tag. Krizan's slide brought Candelario and Gausman together, with Gausman getting struck with Candelario's helmet just below his left eyebrow. Candelario -- who initially stayed in the game, but exited after hobbling to second -- is day to day with a bruised left knee.

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"You can see how it happens. Both guys are trying to get where they need to be. Focused on the play and not each other," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We hope [it's not a serious thing]. It's one of those things, kind of like a minor accident. [Gausman is] going to be sore in some places that he's not normally sore. But he got lucky with his eye … that's how quick things can change."

"Just came in here and went through the concussion protocol," Gausman said of what happened after he left the field on a golf cart with ice on his eye. "They asked me some questions, made sure I knew what day it was, that type of thing. Most days I don't. It just happens to be one of my buddy's birthdays, that's how I know it's the 26th. Any other given day, I might have messed that up."

Gausman, who wasn't sure if he would eventually need stitches or not, said he also got his neck checked out and iced his back -- which was a little stiff -- as a precautionary measure. The righty, who was charged with five earned runs over 1 1/3 innings, joked that he at least gave Candelario a run for his money in the exchange.

"Watching it on video, we kind of hit bodies first. And then my head hit his head," Gausman said. "At first it felt like I got the brunt of it. But when I watched it back, I knocked him down, too. So I'm excited about that."

Jokes aside, Gausman was able to take some positives out of the afternoon. After pitching around a leadoff single in the first inning, he struggled with his four-seam command in the second inning. But he was pleased with his sinker, which he's been working on this spring.

Gausman was able to take some positives out of the afternoon. After pitching around a leadoff single in the first inning, he struggled with four-seam command in the second inning. But he was pleased with his sinker, which he's been working on this spring.

"I didn't get a chance to talk to Chance when I came out of the game, but that's one thing I wanted to ask him. He was calling [the sinker] a lot. Usually when a catcher is calling something, it means you kinda got it that day," Gausman said. "He was calling my sinker a lot and calling my slider. Those are the two pitches I'm working on, especially this spring.

"[I] missed some pitches, ended up walking a guy. It's kind of a mulligan the first time out there. So, looking forward to getting back in here tomorrow, getting my workout in. Hopefully they'll let me do stuff."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Jeimer Candelario, Kevin Gausman