Gausman looks for answers after tough start

Gausman looks for answers after tough start

CINCINNATI -- Orioles starter Kevin Gausman summarized his outing this way: "Overall today, it was bad command. Bad execution. Getting myself in some holes. It just wasn't good."

Gausman, the 26-year-old right-hander, lasted 2 2/3 innings. He allowed eight runs on eight hits in a 9-3 loss to the Reds at Great American Ball Park. The outing was just one out longer than Gausman's shortest outing in the Majors.

"It was just command," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He made some mistakes with breaking pitches. They got in a groove. You've got to tip your hat to them. He didn't present them with command or secondary pitchers that they could box out."

Gausman threw up to 98 mph.

"I think it's something mechanically," Gausman said. "I think my front hip is coming open to soon. I'm not really driving the four-seam down and away. Even when I'm throwing strikes, at least today and the first two starts of the season, I'm coming back to the middle of the plate.

"We're going to look back at my second half. My hip is leaking. I think that's why I'm a little sporadic."

Gausman got in a jam immediately. He allowed a hit to Billy Hamilton and then walked Jose Peraza, Peraza's first walk of the year. Joey Votto followed with a single to load the bases. Adam Duvall got in a run with a sacrifice fly. Zack Cozart's single made it 2-0.

"You've got to make quality pitches," Gausman said. "I was throwing the ball down in the zone. But then I got it too far down in the zone. I tried to bring it up. That's when I got hurt."

The second turned out to be worse. With runners at first and second and one out, Gausman got ahead of Votto 0-2, only to lose Votto to an eight-pitch walk. Duvall fell behind 0-2 as well. Duvall went down and got an 86 mph slider and hit it out to left for his first career grand slam.

"Every time he made a mistake, they made him pay for it," Showalter said.

"For a starting pitcher, it's about making adjustments on the fly," Gausman said. "You have to be good enough to make that adjustment. Tonight, I wasn't able to make the adjustment. I did on some certain hitters, which had me thinking I was going to get the ball rolling. But, like I said, I didn't make adjustments quick enough."

Gausman was coming off his best start of the year. He went six innings and allowed one in a 2-1 win in Toronto. He said facing an unfamiliar team in an unfamiliar park had nothing to do with it.

"The biggest thing is I don't know how many times I got in 1-0 or 2-0 counts," he said. "It doesn't matter if you're pitching to a National League or an American League team, if you put yourself in the hole, it's going to come back and bite you eventually. That's no excuse. It's still baseball."

John Fay is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.