O's Gonzalez unlikely to start Sunday

Righty has strained right groin; Gausman set for another rehab outing Thursday

O's Gonzalez unlikely to start Sunday

BALTIMORE -- Barring any unforseen circumstances, Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will not make his scheduled start Sunday.

"I would say his start Sunday is definitely in jeopardy, which is a nice way of saying he isn't making it unless something really strange happens from the time he came in," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "Looks like we are going to need a starting pitcher for Sunday."

Gonzalez left Monday's 1-0 win in the fifth inning with a strained right groin muscle that he injured on the last out of the fourth with a pitch to Mookie Betts. He got the first out of the fifth, but walked off the field with head athletic trainer Richie Bancells following a Dustin Pedroia groundout.

Gonzalez spoke with reporters for a brief moment Wednesday before heading to the bullpen, and said he was still sore and would wait until 24 hours after the injury to get a true sense for its extent. The righty suffered a similar injury in 2012 to the same groin and missed just one start.

As for Gonzalez's replacement, Showalter mentioned Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson as potential candidates. Wright has made four starts, going 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA. He did not give up a single run in his first two starts.

Wilson, who has appeared in three games with Baltimore, carries a 1-1 record with a 3.38 ERA. The right-hander started his first game against White Sox ace Chris Sale and picked up the loss, allowing two runs on five hits in six innings.

In other O's news Wednesday:

Despite starting five games for the Orioles in '13 and 20 in '14, Kevin Gausman felt like a rookie again Saturday.

"I don't think I have ever had that much adrenaline for a High-A game in my life," Gausman said of his start for Class A Frederick. "I was pretty jacked up. I was ready to be on the mound and just compete."

Gausman strikes out Donaldson

Saturday was Gausman's first rehab start since being placed on the disabled list May 8 with right shoulder tendinitis, and the right-hander went three innings, allowing just one hit while striking out four in Wilmington, N.C.

Gausman, who appeared in eight games this season out of the bullpen, last pitched for Baltimore on May 6 and felt no soreness in his shoulder following his three-inning outing.

"My shoulder hasn't been this strong ever," he said. "I feel really comfortable. I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty easy down there in Wilmington and it was coming out good. More than anything, I was kind of interested to see how I was going to feel the next day. I wasn't sore at all, so that's a good sign and everything that was in there is gone."

The 24-year-old hopes to pitch five innings in a rehab start Thursday and will be held to 65 pitches. He said he thinks he will be ready to return to the O's after that start, but will probably need one more start to get his pitch count up.

It's uncertain if Gausman will be a starter or continue out of the bullpen when he returns. He was 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA before his injury and finished last season with a 7-7 record and 3.57 ERA in 20 starts.

Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.