Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles blank Tampa Bay Rays

By Greg Auman, The Sports Xchange
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman delivers a pitch. File photo by David Tulis/UPI
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kevin Gausman delivers a pitch. File photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Kevin Gausman has a 6.55 ERA against every other team in baseball, but he pitches well against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Orioles right-hander did so again Monday night, tossing six shutout innings in Baltimore's 5-0 win over Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field.


Gausman (7-7) allowed five hits and three walks while striking out eight. He helped the Orioles (48-51) open the three-game series with a victory while sending the Rays (51-49) to a season-high, five-game losing streak.

"Kevin was good," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after his team's second consecutive win. "Kevin was throwing strikes and working with tempo and command."

Gausman also threw seven shutout innings against the Rays in a win on July 2. He had spectacular defense behind him Monday, getting three inning-ending double plays, including one in which third baseman Manny Machado turned a potential double into a double play. Tampa Bay finished another inning with a bases-loaded groundout.


"Manny made a couple of plays -- nobody takes them for granted, they're so hard, and he's one of the few guys that can make them," Showalter said.

The Rays had the tying run at the plate in the eighth, but Brad Brach struck out Jesus Sucre to strand two more runners.

Darren O'Day, Brach and Richard Bleier each threw a scoreless inning to cap the six-hit shutout.

For the fourth home game in a row, the Rays gave up runs late in a close encounter. Down only 1-0 in the eighth inning, the Rays saw new reliever Sergio Romo allow both inherited runners and one of his own to score as Baltimore built a 4-0 lead.

It was the fifth shutout for the Orioles this season and the fifth time the Rays were shut out.

The slumping Rays spoiled a strong start from right-hander Blake Snell (0-6), who left in the eighth inning trailing 1-0 after the longest start of his young career.

"I was really challenging hitters and I was proud about that," said Snell, who remains winless in 12 starts this season. "It's what I've been trying to do for some time now. ... I can see that what everyone's telling me works, and it's true, so just keep battling and keep it going."


He gave up a single and a bunt single to open the eighth before he was replaced by Romo, who was just acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations.

Romo's debut didn't go well. Adam Jones singled to load the bases against Romo, and Manny Machado singled up the middle to bring in two runs for a 3-0 lead. Jonathan Schoop followed with a sacrifice fly to extend the margin.

Snell said he was glad he could come back out in the eighth inning, saying longer outings have been a priority in his development during a frustrating season.

"It felt good -- that's been my goal for the eighth and ninth, and I have to continue to do that," Snell said.

Baltimore added an unearned run in the ninth when Adeiny Hechavarria's throwing error allowed Welington Castillo to score with two outs.

The Orioles got the only run in the first five innings when Jones hit a solo home run in the third. His 19th homer held up early, thanks to solid pitching from Gausman, who consistently worked himself into and out of jams.


Rays catcher Wilson Ramos left the game after Ruben Tejada hit him on the helmet with his bat during his backswing on a groundout. The bat broke as it hit Ramos' helmet, causing a laceration that needed six staples to close.

Ramos was replaced by Sucre in the top of the fifth.

NOTES: To make room for on the active roster for newly acquired RHP Sergio Romo, the Rays optioned RHP Andrew Kittredge to Triple-A Durham. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the Rays released 1B Rickie Weeks after activating him from the disabled list, where he had been since June 9 with a shoulder injury. Weeks hit .216 for the Rays with eight RBIs in 97 at-bats. ... Orioles LHP Wade Miley (4-8, 5.58 ERA) and Rays RHP Jacob Faria (4-1, 2.52) are the probable starters for the second game of the series Tuesday night.

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