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Kevin Gausman Pitches A Gem In Orioles' 4-0 Win

July 30, 2017
ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Kevin Gausman had never gotten an out in the ninth inning of a major league game, much less finished the ninth. He badly wanted to do that.
 
Only a bloop base hit with two outs in the ninth stood in the way of the right-hander, whose re-emergence over the past several weeks has been one of the most pleasing developments for the Orioles, earning a rare complete game.
 
Gausman threw 118 pitches and limited the Texas Rangers to seven singles in the Orioles' 4-0 win before 44,638 at Globe Life Park on July 29.
 
With a chance for that first career nine-inning complete game, Gausman walked Texas first baseman Mike Napoli with two outs in the ninth and allowed the bloop single to second baseman Rougned Odor. Manager Buck Showalter called on Zach Britton to get the last out.
 
Showalter badly wanted Gausman to finish the game.
 
"I think everybody did. Should have figured out a way to catch a pop up," Showalter said. "But he deserved to finish. Like to see him get that last out but he was in the area."
 
Gausman walked three and struck out eight.
 
Britton threw two pitches and on the second, center fielder Carlos Gomez grounded out to second, and Britton had his seventh save.
 
"I think I wanted it a little too much, maybe I was trying to guide the ball a little bit, and one thing I loved about Buck tonight was he gave me a lot of chances in that ninth inning to get it," Gausman said. "You walk the leadoff guy in the ninth inning, you're usually going to be out of that game. But I think he saw something in me tonight. I was throwing the ball well, so he stayed with the hot hand. Unfortunately, I was an out away but it was a win and a quality start."
 
Gausman had to face the hype of Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre, who began the game with 2,998 hits.
 
"Early on, I could tell it was going to be a different type of atmosphere in the ballpark tonight," Gausman said. "I was trying to just not give it up to Beltre. It was a lot of fun -- every time he came up, everybody in the stadium was standing. That was pretty cool."
 
After Beltre grounded out to Orioles shortstop Ruben Tejeda in the first inning, he grounded past Tejada in the fourth inning for his 2,999th hit.
 
Beltre grounded to Tejada in the sixth, and committed his first error the season when he threw wildly to first base on a grounder by Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.
 
He hit into a double play in the ninth. Beltre, whose error ended a career-long 62-game errorless streak, will try for hit No. 3,000 on July 30.
 
Gausman has won five of his last seven starts, and in his last three, he’s allowed just one run on 16 hits in 20 2/3 innings.
 
Texas never got a runner past second base.
 
The Orioles gave Gausman an early lead on home runs by left fielder Trey Mancini and catcher Caleb Joseph in the second.
 
Joseph wanted the complete game.
 
"Maybe more than he did," Joseph said. "As it gets closer and closer, it’s almost like a perfect game. Just the way the games are pitched now, the way everything works, guys come out after 100 pitches and six or seven innings. To get to the ninth, it’s almost like there’s something special building, and I thought it was that way. I would have really loved to have gotten that last one for him. He pitched so well. That’s a big deal nowadays in the stat era -- to have a complete game by your name. There’s just not that many of them."
 
Adam Jones made a spectacular leaping catch on left fielder Joey Gallo’s fly ball to center leading off the third. Positioned in front of the wall, Jones leaped, snared the ball as it was going over the wall, and posed after he caught it.
 
"When he hit it, I thought it was way gone. He hit it really high," Gausman said. "The way that Jonesy was kind of looking at it, I thought it was going to be way gone. Before I knew it, he went up there and reached it. Luckily, he's got a lot of pine tar in that glove. I think it stuck in there."
 
The Orioles are 49-54 and broke a three-game losing streak.
 
COMING UP: Left-handers Wade Miley (4-9, 5.69) and Martin Perez (5-8, 4.67) are the scheduled starters for July 30.