After strong performance Saturday, Kevin Gausman to start again this week

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said right-hander Kevin Gausman, who held the Oakland Athletics to one run and four hits in seven innings Saturday, earned another start with the Orioles. That likely will come Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards.

Gausman not only recorded his best start as a major leaguer Saturday, but he also threw 102 pitches — the most he has thrown as a professional — in the win.

The Orioles have adhered to some strict pitch limits this season with the goal of having Gausman available to contribute down the stretch. He hadn't thrown more than 75 pitches in any of his five April starts at Norfolk and threw more than 90 pitches just once in his four May starts.

Showalter said the team can loosen up the restrictions on Gausman now.

“We’re in good shape with Kevin with the diligence of the minor league department of keeping his innings to a point,” Showalter said. I was going over his three high inning totals and his three high pitch counts the day before yesterday. … It made me realize it was the second time he’s pitched into the seventh inning all year.”

Grand slam call reversed in third inning

In the third inning of Sunday’s game, the umpires reversed the initial grand slam call on Athletics designated hitter John Jaso’s hit to center field.

After a review initiated by crew chief Larry Vanover, it was ruled that the ball hit the top of the wall and bounced back into play. Two runs were taken away from the Athletics, and Jaso was credited with a double.

After the game, Vanover and third base umpire Angel Hernandez walked beyond the center-field fence to inspect the area where the ball ricocheted back into play.

Around the horn

Veteran right-handed reliever Heath Bell, who signed a minor league deal with the Orioles last month and was pitching at Norfolk, exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and became a free agent. Bell was 2-0 with a 4.22 ERA in 102/3 innings with Norfolk. … After Sunday’s loss, the Orioles are 9-13 in day games this year and 3-6 at home during the day. … The Orioles have made at least one error in five straight games, their longest streak since making errors in seven straight games from May 4-10, 2012. … With his first-inning single, Nick Markakis extended his hitting streak to 13 games. He is hitting .407 (25-for-59) in the first inning this season. … Chris Davis moved to third base in the ninth inning Sunday, marking his first appearance there since the final game of the 2011 season. … Brad Brach’s five walks Sunday were the most by an Orioles reliever since Eddy Rodriguez issued five on July 2, 2004.

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