ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman will start this afternoon in the series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, his third start since being called up from Triple-A Norfolk earlier this month.
In his last two starts, Gausman allowed just two total runs in 13 innings, beating a pair of challenging lineups in the Toronto Blue Jays and the Oakland Athletics.
In two career outings (one start) against the Rays, Gausman has a 13.50 ERA in 5 1/3 innings. Tampa Bay batted .385 against him in those two games. Most of those unsightly numbers came from Gausman’s fourth major league start last June 8, when he allowed seven runs and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in an 8-0 loss to the Rays.
But Gausman appears to be much more polished this year. He has learned that he can’t win by blowing his high 90s fastball past hitters and has learned to use his slider, splitter and circle changeup well.
Steve Pearce will start again today, playing left field and batting second. He has homered in three of his last four starts in at Tropicana Field.
Caleb Joseph will start at catcher on a day after a night game. It will be Gausman's third straight start with Joseph behind the plate. Joseph knows Gausman well from working with him in Norfolk earlier this season, as well as at Double-A Bowie last year.
Here are the starting lineups: