Kevin Gausman can't get any help from Orioles' offense and defense in loss to Marlins

Orioles starter Kevin Gausman was far from perfect in Friday night’s 2-0 loss to the Miami Marlins, but he deserved better.

Of course, since the Orioles were shut out for the eighth time this year, it wouldn’t have mattered if he didn’t.

Gausman (3-6) gave up two runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings, which might have been good enough to get him a win in any other season, but he threw too many pitches to go deeper into the game and left the mound without a victory for the sixth straight start.

“I just kind of told myself to give it all I’ve got for as long as I could,” Gausman said. “Some of those games kind of happen like that. I was fortunate to make some good pitches and get out of those situations, but too many pitches too early.”

Consistency has been a problem over that stretch. Three times in those six games he was knocked around for at least five earned runs. He lost all three of those blowups as well as Friday’s game and got no-decisions in the two others.

Those 107 pitches in 5 2/3 innings certainly didn’t help.

“Kevin gave us a really good chance to win,” manager Buck Showalter said. “I’m sure he’d like to take back some of the 0-2 hits he gave up, but two runs … I can’t fault him for that. It just gets magnified any runs our pitchers give up because we’re struggling so much to score runs.”

It has gotten to the point in this ugly, ugly season that it probably doesn’t much matter what Gausman does. That much was definitely the case Friday, when he worked out of a couple of early jams and fell victim to several questionable defensive plays as the Orioles dropped their season-high eighth straight loss to slip to 19-49.

He was still locked up in a scoreless pitching duel with Miami right-hander José Ureña when he allowed a leadoff double in the fifth inning, but appeared close to getting out of it when he made two nice plays on balls hit back to the mound. But Marlins right fielder Brian Anderson scraped a ground ball to third that bounced past Danny Valencia for a questionable RBI single.

Twice, Gausman allowed triples by speedy Marlins center fielder Lewis Brinson that were not played cleanly by center fielder Adam Jones. Gausman overcame the first one, but the other brought home the Marlins’ second run of the game.

He fell one out short of a quality start and he’s now 3-6 with a 4.48 ERA, but those numbers don’t tell an accurate tale. Before the current six-game winless streak, Gausman put together a string of seven starts in which he gave up three earned runs once, two earned runs or fewer the other six starts and pitched nine scoreless innings in a game against the Oakland Athletics that he didn’t win.

Over the course of his 14 starts this season, the Orioles have scored more than three runs only twice with him in the game.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

twitter.com/SchmuckStop

Read more from columnist Peter Schmuck on his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.

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