O's righty allows 2 solo shots as offense comes up empty
By Christian Boutwell
HOUSTON -- Orioles starter Kevin Gausman pitched well. The Astros were just better.
Through Gausman's 6 2/3 innings, he held the Astros to eight hits and two earned runs with two strikeouts and zero walks in a 2-0 loss at Minute Maid Park. Both runs came on homers, the first by Houston's No. 9-hole hitter Jake Marisnick and the second to Carlos Beltran, who connected on his second career homer against Gausman.
"Yeah, he pitched well," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Gausman (2-4, 6.17 ERA). "He gave us a great chance to win, but their guys did a little bit better."
Gausman threw more than 80 four-seam fastballs of his 107 pitches, according to Statcast™, one of which he left in the center of the strike zone for the Astros' veteran designated hitter, Beltran.
Gausman threw fewer than 25 off-speed pitches, one of which Marisnick sent a Statcast-porjected 428 feet away from home plate.
"Trying to throw a fastball up and kind of left it middle of the plate," Gausman said of the home run by Beltran. "He's obviously been around for I don't know how long, but a long time, and he doesn't miss those pitches. Marisnick, trying to bury a slider with two strikes and left it center-cut."
Other than the two home run pitches, Gausman said he had control of his frequently used fastball. He has thrown consecutive quality starts for the first time since tossing five straight from Aug. 23-Sept. 14, 2016.
"My fastball was staying true tonight and wasn't coming back to the middle of the plate as it was earlier in the season," Gausman said. "I've felt really good in my last couple of starts that I've pitched. Definitely on the right track."
Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Orioles on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.