Baltimore Orioles fall in Pittsburgh

Kevin Gausman of the Baltimore Orioles struggled last night, in what could be his final start of the season in Pittsburgh. Gausman’s line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 5 K. The Orioles have another off day (tomorrow) this week, meaning that in theory Gausman wouldn’t need to start again Sunday in Tampa. However if I were manager Buck Showalter I’d send Gausman out there again to give him another shot at finishing the season strong.

Gausman allowed two runs in the last of the first on two consecutive RBI-doubles. One of those came off the bat of McCutchen, who ended up with eight RBI on the night overall. It’s tough to win when one guy drives in eight runs. However that sequence got started as Gausman made an errant throw on a pickoff attempt at first base. Gausman was charged with the error, but it looked like Chris Davis just whiffed on the throw when he tried to catch it.

McCutchen’s grand slam in the last of the second broke the game wide open, giving Pittsburgh a 6-0 lead. Pittsburgh would also pick up a run on a fielder’s choice in the fifth, although Chris Davis would smack his 26th homer of the year in the sixth to cut the lead to 7-1. But that’s as close as the Orioles got, as McCutchen smoked another homer over the wall in the seventh. This one of the three-run variety.

Buck Showlater said after the game that Gausman’s issues were command-related. And in fact, he was unable to put hitters away as he missed a lot of spots (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

I hate to keep … it’s a command issue. You’re trying to go down and away and you throw it middle middle, you’re going to pay a price to hitters at this level. Kevin’s shown that he’s very capable of pitching very solidly at this level. I’ve said many times, some of the best development of players happens in the off-season. You step back and you go, ‘OK, here’s reality.’ Because sometimes at this time of year reality doesn’t quite hit you like it will in about a month.

The Orioles will complete this short series in Pittsburgh this evening at PNC Park. Gabriel Ynoa gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Chas Kohl. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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