BALTIMORE -- The question seemed to pop up before every start Kevin Gausman made in June: Would he finally get a win? The Orioles' righty answered it in resounding fashion in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against the Rays at Camden Yards.Gausman hurled 7 2/3 scoreless innings, holding the
BALTIMORE -- The question seemed to pop up before every start Kevin Gausman made in June: Would he finally get a win? The Orioles' righty answered it in resounding fashion in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against the Rays at Camden Yards.
Gausman hurled 7 2/3 scoreless innings, holding the Rays to just four hits without walking a batter to earn his first victory of the season in the O's 5-0 win. He entered the day 0-5 in his previous 12 starts.
"I mean, every time you take the mound, you expect to win," Gausman said. "That's what I've done 13 times now. I've expected to win 13 times."
For much of the season, Gausman has been one of the Orioles' best starters -- he had a 3.45 ERA through his first 10 starts. But the O's offense didn't shown up in most of those starts. Gausman entered Saturday with the worst run support average on the staff (2.91).
"He's pitched well -- and that part of the stat column hasn't shown up yet," manager Buck Showalter said. "But it will. That's the one thing they control, if they continue to pitch well."
Gausman made sure it didn't matter against the Rays, commanding his fastball as well as he has all season.
"I was able to kind of mix and match," Gausman said of his pitch selection. "Throw my sinker at 90 to 93-94 [mph] and then throw my four-seam a little bit harder. That's one thing, [in] my best game that's what I'm able to do. [I] threw some real good breaking balls when I needed to and got some key outs and ground balls and double plays."
The 25-year-old retired 12 straight at one point in the middle of his start, getting some help from "some unreal plays behind me."
As good as the defense was, though, Gausman seemed to have everything working, too. He struck out the side in the third with three heaters, part of a seven-strikeout performance.
When he exited with two outs in the seventh, the Camden Yards crowd rose as one to give the hard-throwing youngster a standing ovation in what would soon become his first win of 2016.
Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore.