Orioles rookie right-hander Kevin Gausman's first two major league starts were marred by home runs and inconsistencies. After losses to Toronto and Washington, the rookie entered Sunday's matchup with Detroit — the best hitting team in the majors — with an 11.00 ERA.
But before the matchup with the Tigers — a 4-2 Orioles win — Gausman spent more time in the video room with catcher Chris Snyder looking over the Tigers' lineup from top to bottom.
"It's something I need to do anyway," Snyder said before Sunday's game. "But it's something that's good for him, especially as a young guy coming up trying to get a feel of how all that stuff in there works and how you can utilize it."
The study sessions appeared to pay off. The Tigers third, fourth and fifth hitters — third baseman Miguel Cabrera, first baseman Prince Fielder and designated hitter Victor Martinez — were 1-for-7 with two strikeouts against Gausman. The lone hit came on Fielder's solo home run in the fourth inning, and that was the lone run allowed by Gausman.
Solid outings by Orioles starters this week also provided a template for the 22-year-old. Manager Buck Showalter said Gausman intently watched right-hander Freddy Garcia's eight shutout innings against Washington on Thursday night and has been taking cues from other pitchers in the organization.
Sunday afternoon, it worked.
"He's watching the game," Snyder said. "He's paying attention. He's seeing what other guys do before him. And I think the good thing is he's been here now two weeks. He's kind of settled in, slowed down a little bit. Hopefully that can carry over today and he can get out there and slow the game down."