Gausman, Jurrjens pitch for O's

DUNEDIN, Fla. - A year ago, it was all about Dylan Bundy. This year, Bundy's in the background, and Kevin Gausman has taken his place.

The two most recent top draft choices of the Baltimore Orioles hope to pitch in the majors this season. It's highly unlikely both will start the season in Baltimore. More likely, they'll begin in Double-A Bowie.

Bundy, who was the center of attention in 2012, has enjoyed fading somewhat in the background as Gausman eagerly accepts the attention this year.

A week ago, Adam Jones loaded Gausman's locker with 1,700 donuts, and the rookie from LSU eagerly showed the photos on his cellphone.

Gausman is noted for eating powdered donuts between innings, and Darren O'Day has nicknamed him Dunkin'.

On Sunday, Gausman made his first appearance in an Orioles uniform, and nearly finished the game. He came on in the eighth inning, allowed a run and two hits. In the ninth, he got two outs before walking a name from Baltimore's past, Adam Loewen, and being relieved.

"I was a little amped up there at the start. Obviously, I should be. It was kind of a big highlight in my life, so it was kind of cool," Gausman said.

His fastball reached 98 mph. Manager Buck Showalter liked some other things about the 22-year-old.

"I'm more impressed with his off-speed stuff, where he was missing," Showalter said.

Jair Jurrjens, yet another of the many candidates for the fifth starter job, went the first two innings in the Orioles' 5-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays before 3,802 at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. It was Baltimore's second straight win. Steve Pearce had a two-run home run off Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle.

Jurrjens was signed to a minor league contract on Feb. 15, and he raced through the first five Toronto batters before allowing a run on two hits and a walk. After making the National League All-Star team in July 2011, Jurrjens has been hampered by knee and groin problems, and Atlanta did not offer him a contract after last season.

After Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta each threw an inning on Saturday, Jurrjens was told he'd throw two. Showalter says that's his plan for the next few starters.

"Usually in spring training - my situation's a little bit different this time. When you have a job, you just come in and try to get in shape. Now, when you're competing for a job, you need to try to get in shape as quick as possible," Jurrjens said.

"Losing my timing in spring training is usually something that happens to me all the time. The more and more I get on the mound, the more comfortable I get and I think the more I start feeling where I need to release the ball. I can feel my timing coming back."

REIMOLD RETURNS: It was a happy 0-for-3 for Nolan Reimold. Reimold hadn't played since last April 30 due to neck surgery, and Showalter has been taking it slow with him.

Reimold was the only regular not to play on Saturday. He said he wasn't nervous.

"More excited. Happy to step in the box again. It's been a long 10 months, I think it's been, since I had an at-bat. I just felt good to have it behind me," Reimold said.

Showalter wasn't annoyed Reimold didn't get a hit, but he knows the outfielder will be.

"I know he's kind of not thinking about it. He's frustrated with the right things," Showalter said. "It won't be long. I'm not going to think about whether he's going to be ready until the last week of the spring."

COMING UP: The Orioles host the Yankees today in Sarasota. Brian Matusz, Tommy Hunter, Mark Hendrickson and Pedro Strop are scheduled for the Orioles. New York is starting left-hander Vidal Nuno.

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