After five winless starts with the Baltimore Orioles, rookie right-hander Kevin Gausman is headed back to the minor leagues.
The 22-year-old allowed two runs to the Boston Red Sox on Thursday in 5 1/3 innings, his second-longest outing. He wound up with a no-decision in a game the Orioles won 5-4 in 13 innings.
The length of the game likely factored into the Orioles' decision to demote Gausman. Baltimore will need to fortify its bullpen following the long game heading into three more contests against first-place Boston.
Gausman was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after going 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA. The Orioles plan to make a corresponding roster move to add a reliever before Friday's game.
When Gausman reports to Norfolk, he will be making his Triple-A debut after joining Baltimore last month straight from Double-A Bowie. He was 2-4 with a 3.11 ERA in eight Double-A starts this year.
It's possible that an follow-up roster move could open a spot for Gausman to return before his next start. The Orioles could get that roster flexibility when starter Miguel Gonzalez departs the club on paternity leave in the coming days.
Otherwise, the promising rookie, selected fourth overall in the 2012 draft, would have to stay in the minors for 10 days following his demotion.