Baltimore Orioles vs Detroit Tigers: Five players to watch

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 23: Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 23: Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman /
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Baltimore Orioles
BALTIMORE, MD – APRIL 23: Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman /

Kevin Gausman, RHP

After surrendering three home runs to the Minnesota Twins in his first start of the year, Gausman has seen increasingly solid results over the past few weeks. That upward trend crested with an eight-inning, two-run gem against the Indians earlier this week, putting him back on the shortlist of the AL’s most intriguing starters.

The Baltimore hitters were flummoxed by Carlos Carrasco, so Gausman didn’t earn a win for his efforts. He did, however, exit the game with one feather in his cap: the first immaculate inning of the 2018 season. In the top of the seventh, the Indians sent Yonder Alonso, Yan Gomes and Bradley Zimmer to the plate, and all three men struck out on three pitches. Gausman became the first player in Baltimore Orioles history to accomplish the feat since 1999, when B.J. Ryan pulled it off against — you guessed it — the Cleveland Indians.

Take a look at Gausman’s immaculate inning below:

The superb effort should give Gausman some momentum as he goes for redemption against Detroit. The 27-year-old righty faced the Tigers in his fourth start of the year, and while he fared well enough — two earned runs in six frames — Darren O’Day and Pedro Araujo combined to throw away the game in the later innings. Gausman will be looking for a strong rebound, especially against Miguel Cabrera and Jeimer Candelario, the two players who took him deep.

Gausman’s first-half performance could determine his future in Baltimore: will he become a lucrative trade chip this July, or does Dan Duquette covet more of his arbitration years? His next few starts could provide clarity.