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Showalter keeping options open with Gausman

CLEVELAND -- Kevin Gausman tossed two scoreless innings of relief in Sunday's win in New York and Orioles manager Buck Showalter didn't rule out using the rookie right-hander as a starter in the season's final month.

"He can go either way," Showalter said of Gausman, who has thrown 118 1/3 innings already this season between the Majors and Minors. "We've massaged his innings so that he could pitch through the end of October and not have any problems, unless he pitches five nine-inning shutouts in a row. And then he's gets into a little gray area."

The fourth overall pick in last year's Draft, Gausman has tossed three scoreless innings since being promoted from Triple-A Norfolk and Sunday's outing was his first back-to-back appearances.

"It was something that was kind of different for me," said Gausman, who hadn't pitched consecutive days in a game since Little League. "I feel good about it, but now, I can kind of expect it and kind of know that feeling and get used to it."

The question now becomes what's best for the team. Gausman has pitched well out of the 'pen, but with some recent shaky starts and a September with no off-days, Showalter could put the young righty in the rotation down the stretch.

"His stuff plays, no matter what the whole statistical year says," Showalter said of Gausman, who had some rough starts in his first stint with the O's and owns a 5.70 ERA in 11 games (five starts). "He's had a lot of different things he's been challenged with, but I think it's a good step in the process that he's seen a lot of different levels and been in a lot of different roles and seen what this is about."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli.
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