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Gausman sharp in Orioles' victory

The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- The Detroit Tigers got a first-hand look at the enormous upside the Baltimore Orioles see with their rookie pitcher Kevin Gausman.

Gausman allowed just one run in six innings, and Chris Davis hit his league-leading 20th home run of the season to lead the Orioles to a 4-2 victory over the Tigers before an announced 39,182 Sunday at Oriole Park.

The Orioles took two games in the three-game series and moved into a second-place tie with the New York Yankees in the American League East, two games behind Boston.

Gausman made tremendous strides from his previous two starts, when he allowed a combined 11 runs and didn't make it out of the fifth inning. The highly touted righty gave up just one run on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks in six innings Sunday.

"I felt comfortable today," Gausman said. "I thought today the most polished and most calm since I've been up here. I don't know if it had something to do with [pitching at home] or I was just comfortable with my mechanics and all that. Obviously, it was fun and I made my debut here today so that was something I'll never forget. The fans were awesome. It was a great atmosphere."

Davis went 2-for-4 and raised his average to .357. Prince Fielder got his 11th home run for the Tigers.

Detroit starter Rick Porcello had an effective outing before appearing to tire in the seventh. Porcello allowed two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and a walk through six-plus innings.

Porcello cruised through much of the game and retired nine consecutive batters before allowing a two-out single to Nick Markakis in the sixth. The Orioles trailed 2-0 before Davis hit a solo home run to lead off the seventh.

Chris Dickerson and J.J. Hardy followed with back-to-back singles that ended Porcello's day. Phil Coke entered for Detroit and allowed a game-tying single to pinch hitter Danny Valencia. Nate McLouth then provided the Orioles first lead, 3-2, with an RBI single up the middle.

"[Porcello] was kind of running out of gas and that was obviously a good chance for us to get into the bullpen," Davis said. "He had pretty much been dominating us the whole game. He threw me some good pitches to hit earlier in the game and I wasn't able to get to them, and I just thought I'd be a little more aggressive that at-bat. And he threw a hanging changeup and I hit it out and we started rolling after that."

Alexi Casilla added an insurance run for the Orioles with a two-out double in the eighth. Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save. Brian Matusz got the win for the Orioles despite allowing a run in the seventh.

"[Porcello] was pitching terrific but the way the lineup set up, I should have made the move in the seventh," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I didn't make it and it cost us. I put this one on me, solely on me. He was pitching terrific, and I understand that. If it was a different way the lineup was setting up, it would have been OK. But the way it set up I botched it. It was my fault. Nobody's fault but my own."

Baltimore bounced back from Saturday's 10-3 loss when starter Jason Hamel allowed three consecutive homers in the fourth inning and was then ejected for hitting the next batter. The Orioles won the series opener 7-5 on walk-off homer by Chris Dickerson in the ninth on Friday.

Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the fourth a two-out, solo homer by Prince Fielder. It was the eighth Tigers' homer in the three-game series.

Jhonny Peralta opened the fifth with a single and took second on a wild pitch by Gausman. He took third a fielder's choice by Alex Avila. However, Gausman got out of the inning unscathed by forcing ground outs to Ramon Santiago and Avisail Garcia.

"He's talented," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said about Gausman. "As much as you talk about a lot of other factors that affect guys, he's talented. He's got a good hand, which allows him to do some things with the baseball. I got a lot of confidence in him."

The Tigers boosted the lead to 2-0 in the seventh when Fielder led off with a double off Matusz and scored on a single by Peralta.

Notes: Miguel Cabrera entered the game leading the major leagues with 82 hits, three more than Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. Cabrera went 1-for-4 and hit into two double plays Sunday. Machado went 1-for 3... Peralta has hit safely in 38 of his last 45 games...The Tigers have Monday off before enjoying a six-game homestand against Tampa Bay and Cleveland... McLouth stole the Orioles' 15th consecutive base without being caught in the third inning. Markakis was the last to get caught on May 18...With Davis' homer in the seventh, Baltimore has homered 28 times in the past 13 games and have scored more runs (125) on homers than any other club in the major leagues.
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