Gausman halts Rangers, denies Beltre No. 3,000
arlington, texas — The Baltimore Orioles used right-hander Kevin Gausman’s best start of the season and the longest of his career, plus an early offensive outburst for a well-earned 4-0 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night before 44,658 fans at Globe Life Park.
Gausman pitched into the ninth inning for the first time in his career and was one out away from a complete-game shutout when a two-out walk and a blooper into center field brought in closer Zach Britton. Britton recorded the game’s final out to give Gausman the sterling line of 82/3 scoreless innings, striking out eight against three walks while allowing seven hits — all singles.
For the 26-year-old righthander, who was the team’s Opening Day starter but carried a 7.50 ERA into May and was still north of 6.00 in mid-June, Saturday marked his third straight quality start and his fifth straight win without a loss, bringing him to 8-7 with a 5.37 ERA on the season.
The only real trouble he had came early. A leadoff walk to designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo and an infield single by shortstop Elvis Andrus elevated the stakes in the first inning, but a difficult 3-6-1 double play and a putout by shortstop Ruben Tejada from deep in the shortstop hole ended the inning.
From there, Gausman cruised. After Choo singled with two outs in the fifth inning, Gausman didn’t allow another man to reach until he walked right fielder Nomar Mazara to open the ninth. But third baseman Manny Machado fielded a difficult shorthop off the bat of his counterpart, Adrian Beltre, to deny him his 3,000th hit and turn a crucial double play. Gausman issued a third walk with two down before a bloop fell in center field to end his day.
Over his past three starts, Gausman has allowed one run on 16 hits with eight walks and 24 strikeouts in 202/3 innings. His game score of 80 tied a season and career high, most recently done on July 2 against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Center fielder Adam Jones opened the game with a double in the first inning but was stranded there. In the second inning, rookie left fielder Trey Mancini hit a towering home run an estimated 459 feet, according to Statcast, a drive that cleared the Orioles’ bullpen. Catcher Caleb Joseph followed it up with a home run of his own that frame to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead.
Mancini grounded into a force to score a third run with the bases loaded in the third inning, and right fielder Seth Smith singled home another run with two outs to make it 4-0.