Orioles

Quick Links

Kevin Gausman gets first win since May in Orioles 3-1 win against Blue Jays

Kevin Gausman gets first win since May in Orioles 3-1 win against Blue Jays

TORONTO -- In his final start before the calendar changes, Kevin Gausman made sure he didn't finish the month of June without a win.

Gausman won for the first time in four starts, Mark Trumbo hit an RBI double and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 on Tuesday night.

The Orioles won their third straight and improved to 8-2 against the Blue Jays this season. Toronto is 12-20 against AL East opponents.

The Blue Jays have lost five of seven.

Gausman (4-7) allowed four hits in 5 1/3 innings, his first scoreless outing of the season, winning for the first time since May 31 against the Yankees. The right-hander came in 0-3 with a 9.20 ERA over his previous three starts.

"He was really working the bottom of the zone," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He pitched a lot with his fastball early and went to some other pitches the second and third time around ."

Gausman said he's made an effort to mix up his arsenal in recent starts.

"Earlier in the season I got way too fastball-happy in some counts," he said. "That's really something I'm trying to do better, mixing up my pitches, moving up and down and in and out, just trying to keep these guys off balance."

Michael Givens pitched 1 2/3 innings and Darren O'Day worked the eighth. Brad Brach gave up a two-out homer to Troy Tulowitzki in the ninth but held on for his 14th save.

Gausman snapped his winless streak against his favorite opponent: he's 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA in four starts against the Blue Jays.

"He's got a great arm," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He was hitting his spots for the most part, just enough off speed stuff to keep you honest."

Jose Bautista reached on a bloop single to begin the Toronto first, but the Blue Jays didn't get another hit off Gausman until a one-out single by Kendrys Morales in the fifth.

"I get the best view of everybody who gets on that bump," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said, "and (Gausman) attacked that zone."

Gausman left after Bautista singled and Martin walked. Givens began his outing with a wild pitch, advancing the runners, then got Josh Donaldson to line out sharply to third. Justin Smoak walked to load the bases but Givens struck out Morales to end the threat.

MORE ORIOLES: 2017 MLB POWER RANKINGS

The Orioles did all the scoring they would need with a two-out rally against Joe Biagini in the first. Jonathan Schoop singled and Jones walked before Trumbo lined a two-run double to center.

Jones made it 3-0 with an RBI single in the third.

Biagini (2-7) allowed three runs and walked a season-worst four in 5 1/3 innings, losing for the fifth time in six starts.

Quick Links

Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

gausmanhalladay.png
USA Today Sports

Kevin Gausman changes jersey number to honor Roy Halladay

BALTIMORE  -- Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman will wear No. 34 next season as a tribute to Roy Halladay, who was killed in a plane crash last month.

Gausman announced the switch Thursday on his Twitter account. The right-hander wore No. 39 last year.

Gausman and Halladay are both from Colorado, and the Orioles pitcher said he followed Halladay's career closely and idolized him.

In a post next a photo of his new jersey, Gausman wrote: "Roy gave me the inspiration that I could fulfill even my biggest of dreams -- being a pitcher just like him."

Gausman concluded: "The loss of Roy is tragic and saddening, but I feel honored to have watched everything he achieved."

Halladay died on Nov. 7 when his small plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He played 16 big league seasons, winning the Cy Young Award in each league and being named an All-Star eight times.

Quick Links

Astros, Dodgers set Series HR record amid juiced ball buzz

usatsi_10381189.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Astros, Dodgers set Series HR record amid juiced ball buzz

HOUSTON (AP) -- Home runs kept flying over the wall at Minute Maid Park, on line drives up toward the train tracks, on fly balls that just dropped over the fence.

Seven more were hit in Game 5, raising the total to a World Series record 22 -- with two possible more games to play. Twenty-five runs were scored in a game started by the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and the Astros' Dallas Keuchel, Cy Young Award winners regarded as among baseball's best.

After a season when sluggers outpaced even their steroid-era predecessors for home runs, some are convinced that something is amiss with the baseballs.

"The main complaint is that the balls seem a little bit different in the postseason, and even from the postseason to the World Series balls," Justin Verlander said Sunday, two days before he takes the mound in Game 6 and tries to pitch the Astros to their first title. "They're a little slick. You just deal with it. But I don't think it's the case of one pitcher saying, `Hey, something is different here.' I think as a whole, everybody is saying, `Whoa, something is a little off here.'"

A record eight home runs were hit in Game 2, including five in extra innings, and Game 5's seven long balls would have tied the old mark. The 13-12, 10-inning Astros' win Sunday night was the second-highest scoring game in Series history.

Keuchel was quoted as saying after Game 2: "Obviously, the balls are juiced."

Not so obvious to everyone, even amid the power surge.

"I haven't personally noticed anything. I haven't tried to think about it either," Dodgers reliever Brandon Morrow said after giving up two homers in Game 5. "It's not something you want to put in your own head."

Same for Kershaw, even after giving up his record eighth homer of the postseason Sunday.

"I don't really pay attention to it," Kershaw said. "I just assume that both sides are dealing with it, so I'm not going to worry about it."

This year's long ball assault topped the 21 of the 2002 Series. Anaheim hit seven and Barry Bonds and his San Francisco Giants slugged 14 over seven games. That was the year before survey drug testing.

Speculation that something has changed includes a study claiming to have found differences in the size and seam height of balls since the 2015 All-Star break.

"I know there was talk about different sizes and some of the baseballs were slightly bigger and some were smaller. Some of the seams were higher, some of the seams were lower. But, no, it's been consistent," said Rich Hill, who will start Game 6 for the Dodgers. "I think that just has to do with conditions -- if it's colder it's going to be slicker. If it's a little bit warmer out or humid, I think you're going to find that you're going to have a little bit more of moisture to the baseballs."

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred insists nothing nefarious is going on.

"I'm absolutely confident that the balls that we're using are within our established specifications," he said Friday.

Verlander rejected that assertion.

"I know Mr. Manfred said the balls haven't changed, but I think there's enough information out there to say that's not true," he said.

Verlander also does not think it's an issue of how balls are rubbed up before games.

"I know baseball uses the same mud for every single ball for every single game that's played," he said. "I think there's a broader issue that we're all missing."

On the day he become commissioner in January 2015, Manfred said, "I'm cognizant in the drop in offense over the last five years, and it's become a topic of conversation in the game, and it's something that we're going to have to continue to monitor and study."

Offense started rebounding during the second half of the season, and a record 6,105 home runs were hit this year, 2.4 percent more than the previous mark of 5,963 set in 2000 at the height of the Steroids Era.

"I think it's pretty clear," Verlander said. "I think our commissioner has said publicly that they wanted more offense in the game. I'm pretty sure I'm not fabricating a quote here when I say that. I think it was already All-Star break of `15, or right before, when he said that."

San Francisco's Johnny Cueto and Toronto's Marcus Stroman also think the balls have changed, with Stroman blaming slick balls for a rise in pitcher blisters -- an affliction which has struck Hill a few times in the past couple seasons, too.

Houston's Brent Strom and the Dodgers' Rick Honeycutt, the World Series pitching coaches, both were quoted by Sports Illustrated on Sunday as saying the slickness of the ball made throwing sliders difficult.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I don't see a ton difference, but I'm not going to get in a verbal war with coaches and players who think otherwise."

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had a similar view but acknowledged the power records got his attention.

"The pitchers talk about it feels different in their hand. The one component is the slickness and guys at different ballparks rub it up differently," he said. "Sort of feels the same to me. But it's hard to argue the numbers. You know there's more velocity. Guys are swinging harder. I know in Los Angeles the air was light. It was hot. The ball was flying, carrying more than typically. But I hesitate to try to give you any insight because I really don't know."

RELATED: Nats set to hire Dave Martinez as new manager