BALTIMORE—Kevin Gausman has pitched well this season. He just hasn’t had many wins. In his 17th start, Gausman picked up his second win.
Gausman worked seven innings, and didn’t allow a run and only four hits in the Orioles’ 5-2 win over the Cleveland Indians before 31,946 at Oriole Park on Saturday night.
The win gave the Orioles (56-40) a 1 ½ game lead over Boston in the AL East. They Orioles are an outstanding 35-14 at home.
Gausman (2-7) gave up a double to Carlos Santana to start the game, but he was the only Cleveland (56-40) runner to reach scoring position in the first eighth innings. Mike Napoli walked, but Jose Ramirez popped to third to end the fist.
He struck out seven and walked three in throwing a career high 116 pitches. Gausman was helped out by three double plays in the fourth, five and sixth.
Gausman’s best inning was the seventh, when he retired Ramirez, Lonnie Chisenhall and Tyler Naquin in order. He struck out Naquin three times.
The Orioles have taken four of five against the Indians this season.
“It’s always good. But it’s more important that we won this series. That’s a very good team that we are playing. I think they have the most runs scored in the American League. It’s a good offense and I think me and [Dylan] Bundy both pitched well the last few days and really everybody has pitched well. I think that more than anything is big. Any time you beat a team in the American League, especially a team that is leading their division, it’s huge,” Gausman said.
Manager Buck Showalter has said he doesn’t care how many wins he’s starters have.
“I’m happy to see the Orioles get the win and so is Kevin,” Showalter said. “I’m telling you, it’s not a topic or a theme. I understand that that’s something that’s consistently appearing and I’m sure because we talk about it a lot in here, but I’m happy that he got a return for a really good outing.”
For the second straight night, the Orioles scored three runs in the first inning. Adam Jones led off with a single. With one out, Manny Machado patiently waited Josh Tomlin out and then tapped a single to right. Jones was running on the pitch and made it to third.
Chris Davis grounded to second. Machado was forced, and Davis beat the throw to first, allowing Jones to score.
Mark Trumbo hit his 30th home run to left field, and the Orioles had a 3-0 lead. Trumbo is just four games away from his career high set in 2013.
“He's been very valuable. He's been a real consistent human being. He likes to compete. He doesn't like to fail. It's an honor to be around him,” Showalter said.
At one point, Tomlin (10-3) retired 10 straight. He was removed after Pedro Alvarez hit a long home run to right field to start the seventh. It was Alvarez’s 12th of the season.
J.J. Hardy singled off Jeff Manship. He eventually scored on Jonathan Schoop’s infield single to make it 5-0.
Mychal Givens pitched a perfect eighth. Brad Brach allowed a two-run double to Lonnie Chisenhall with two outs in the ninth, and for the second straight night, Zach Britton recorded the final out and picked his 32nd save.
Britton tied a major league record for most consecutive converted saves by a left-hander.
“Just trying to roll with it, not really think about what’s going on just stay in the moment a little bit. I think it’s helping so far. Maybe in the offseason I can think about it a little more,” Britton said.
Usually, Showalter tries to limit Britton to no more than three consecutive games, but he’s only thrown 19 pitches in three days.
“If anything, the warmup is the hardest part of the last three days. If there’s an opportunity tomorrow, physically I feel fine,” Britton said.
NOTES: Showalter said that Darren O’Day will activated either Sunday or Monday. … It was the first time all season Brach had allowed more than one run. … Play was interrupted by rain for 14 minutes after the third inning. … The Orioles signed 34 of their 41 draft picks, including their first 17. The highest picked player not to sign was Tyler Blohm, a left-handed pitcher from Archbishop Spalding in Severn, Md. The 18th rounder will attend the University of Maryland in the fall. … Corey Kluber (9-8, 3.42) faces Vance Worley (2-1, 3.16) on Sunday. The first 20,000 fans 15 and over receive a Jim Palmer replica jersey.