Right-hander posts eight strikeouts, gives up just one run in four frames
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Baltimore's Kevin Gausman struck out eight batters in four innings, but Sunday's battle of talented 23-year-old right-handers ended in a deadlock after 10 innings as the Orioles and Pirates tied, 7-7, as at Ed Smith Stadium.
While Gausman unleashed his strikeout stuff after a shaky start to the first inning, Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out five.
Gausman gave up a leadoff homer to Starling Marte before walking Travis Snider and serving up a hard-hit double to Andrew McCutchen. But he bounced back immediately by striking out Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and Travis Ishikawa, stranding both runners and getting out of the inning.
"It's not going to be perfect always in the season," Gausman said. "It's good to get in those situations now, so that when it comes this spring or this summer, I have that experience in those situations."
Gausman was practically untouchable the rest of the way, holding the Pirates to just one other hit as he finished out his four innings of work. He walked Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez to lead off the second and sandwiched a leaping grab to his left between another pair of strikeouts.
Gausman ran up his strikeout total to six in the third inning, punching out Alvarez for the third out, then fanned Sanchez and Jordy Mercer in the fourth.
Cole also served up a homer to the first batter he faced, Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis. The Orioles scratched a run across in the second inning and reigning home run champion Chris Davis launched his fourth shot of the spring in the third inning to put the Orioles ahead by two runs.
The Pirates stormed back in the sixth inning, as Sanchez singled home a run, Mercer doubled in two more and Cole, batting in a game for the first time this spring, plated Sanchez with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Ryan Flaherty made short work of Pittsburgh's lead, though, bashing a two-run homer to center off Cole in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 5.
The Orioles then took the lead in the seventh on a Delmon Young single, but the Bucs answered in the top of the eighth when Ishikawa scored on Mercer's groundout to tie the game at 6.
In the top of the ninth, the lead changed again with a solo home run from McCutchen, but the Orioles tied the game at 7 in the bottom of the frame when Jonathan Schoop went yard, the O's fourth homer of the day.
Up next: Left-hander Brian Matusz is scheduled to get the start as the Orioles host the Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium at 1:05 p.m. ET on Monday. Boston will start right-hander Jake Peavy. Matusz has already faced the Red Sox twice this spring, giving up only two hits while striking out three over four innings. Matusz last pitched five innings in a Minor League game on Tuesday. Watch the game live on MLB.TV.