Gausman outduels Hamels, O's edge Rangers

Gausman outduels Hamels, O's edge Rangers

BALTIMORE -- In a clash of two first-place teams with potent lineups, Wednesday's game was more about the pitching than anything else.

Backed by seven innings from starter Kevin Gausman, Baltimore -- which jumped on lefty Cole Hamels for three first-inning runs -- edged Texas, 3-2, to secure a series win at Camden Yards.

"He's one of the best starting pitchers in the game, and for good reason. He's been great, really, his whole career," Gausman said of Hamels. "But when the guys put up three on him, I knew that probably wasn't going to happen again. Runs are at a premium in games like this, and you knew that he was going to lock it down and throw up some zeros for them. I just kind of tried to do the same thing."

The O's handed the Rangers, who started the day with the best record in the American League, their sixth loss in their past eight road games. Conversely, Baltimore improved to a Major League-best 39-16 at home.

Wieters' two-run single

Hamels went seven innings and didn't allow a run after the first, though Matt Wieters' two-run single held up as the difference. Carlos Beltran homered in the first inning off Gausman, who also got better as the game went along.

Hamels' solid start vs. Orioles

"We couldn't get enough going there to push any more runs across the board," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I felt like in the second, if we had gotten to Gausman there, we had a really good opportunity to put more runs on the board."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gausman rebounds: After laboring through the first two innings, including a 35-pitch second, Gausman was able to stick to his game plan and get through seven. On the heels of one of his worst starts of the season in Toronto, the righty held Texas to two runs in the quality start.

"They put up some good at-bats against him. They took some tough pitches and he was able to just keep going and keep throwing strikes and keep throwing strikes," Wieters said. "It's big. It was a big learning experience for him today. That's a good lineup that put together good at-bats, but if you make good pitches, pitching is going to win over hitting most nights."

Wieters gets rid of Odor

Spinning out of control: Hamels' start could've looked considerably different if first baseman Mitch Moreland would've converted a play Banister said he makes nine times out of 10. With one out in the first, Manny Machado hit a spinning liner to first for a potential inning-ending double play. Instead, the ball trickled off Moreland's glove into right field for a double. The Orioles went on to score all three of their runs in the frame. Hamels would settle in to allow just one hit in the next six innings, but the first inning proved to be his undoing.

Machado doubles down the line

"To put that type of English on a baseball is tough," Hamels said. "I did kind of miss my spot, but it was the right type of pitch to throw to him in that situation. It's just he was able to make it do something that you don't see too often with that type of crazy spin. More times than not you see that on crazy trick shots in billiards." More >

Beltran blast: After going hitless in his Rangers debut, Beltran made his presence felt in his first at-bat Wednesday. The designated hitter turned on a 2-0 fastball from Gausman and drove it over the wall in right field. According to Statcast™, the ball left the bat at 101 mph and traveled an estimated 376 feet. It was his 23rd homer of the season and first with the Rangers. He's now homered for seven different Major League organizations.

Beltran's solo home run

"The fact that I got my first hit here, it's good," Beltran said. "It's good to get it out of the way." More >

Home cookin': There's something about Camden Yards for the Orioles, who have not had a losing homestand all year. (Their worst was going 4-3 from May 12-19). The O's are 39-16 in Baltimore, and despite not going deep on Wednesday, they have hit a Major League-leading 86 home runs at their home ballpark. More >

QUOTABLE
"I think the step-ups come from our pitcher. You know those guys' runs are going to be at a premium. Our guys, you've got to be ready to go first inning. That's probably one of the few poor pitches he made all night. You can give in to what conventionality says it should be like, or you can compete and look at it as an opportunity to present yourself real well to your team and to the opposition, and one that may not look good on paper." -- Showalter, on Gausman settling down after allowing one run in each of the first two innings

WHAT'S NEXT
Rangers: A.J. Griffin (4-1, 3.99 ERA) will get the ball in the final regular-season meeting between these teams Thursday at 6:05 p.m. CT. The 28-year-old has held right-handed hitters to a .190 batting average this season, the second lowest among qualified AL starters. Griffin has struggled to pitch deep in games, though, as he hasn't pitched six complete innings in any of his seven starts since returning from the disabled list.

Orioles: Newly acquired Wade Miley will make his Orioles debut in Thursday's 7:05 p.m. ET series finale. Miley is coming off one of his best starts of the year for Seattle on Saturday, and is 7-8 with a 4.98 ERA on the season.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore and covered the Rangers on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.