After right-hander Kevin Gausman allowed six hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings Thursday night against the Boston Red Sox, he was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
It had little to do with how he pitched.
The Orioles needed another arm in the bullpen after Thursday's 13-inning, 5-4 win. They used six relievers – and three threw more than one inning.
Gausman has options, and most of the relief corps doesn't (only Brian Matusz and Darren O'Day could be sent to the minors without passing through waivers).
Gausman could be back in 10 days -- or sooner if there is an injury. But for now he is going to Triple-A, where he has never pitched before.
The Orioles will announce their corresponding move Friday.
Thursday night, Gausman had five strikeouts and no walks in his fifth big league start. He allowed back-to-back solo homers to David Ortiz and Mike Carp in the fourth and left after allowing a one-out single to Dustin Pedroia in the sixth, finishing with 91 pitches (56 strikes).
"I felt good," Gausman said, speaking in the clubhouse before it was announced that he was being optioned. "I did a lot of looking at video and stuff, kind of thinking about my approach [against] these guys. And I think I did a pretty good job just kind of going at some guys and moving their feet and making sure they weren't too comfortable in the box. And so for that was more important than anything."
Gausman has been significantly better in his two starts at Camden Yards. In those outings against the potent Red Sox and Detroit Tigers, Gausman had a 2.38 ERA. He has a 12.15 mark in his three other big league starts, which came on the road against Toronto, Washington and Tampa Bay.
Overall, last year's fourth overall pick is 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA. He's given up 34 hits, six walks and 21 earned runs while striking out 20 batters in 24 2/3 innings pitched.
Gausman's split-changeup accounted for four of his five strikeouts Thursday.
"Really, the first time through the order I just try to do what I do. And that's fastball, changeup," Gausman said. "I was just seeing how they felt tonight and then mixing in my split-changeup and working both [sides of the plate] with my fastball....
"I was definitely trying to ... [turn in] a quality start and kind of save some guys in the bullpen. Obviously, that didn't really happen."