TORONTO — Kevin Gausman had that winning feeling again Tuesday night.
It has been a while for the Baltimore Orioles right-hander. He had not won since May 31, a span of four winless starts in which he had three losses.
Against the Toronto Blue Jays, however, he pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, leading the Orioles to a 3-1 victory in the opener of a three-game series.
“I felt like earlier in the season I got way too fastball-happy in some counts where I should probably be pitching,” Gausman said. “That’s really something I’m trying to do better, mixing up my pitches, moving up and down and in and out, just trying to keep these guys off balance.”
Mark Trumbo hit a two-run double in the first inning, and Adam Jones had an RBI single in the third. That was all Gausman (4-7) needed as he allowed four hits and two walks while striking out four.
“He’s got a great arm,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He was hitting his spots for the most part, just enough off-speed stuff to keep you honest.”
The Orioles (38-38) posted their third win in a row, while the Blue Jays (36-40) lost for the fourth time in five games and fell to 2-8 against Baltimore.
Brad Brach allowed Troy Tulowitzki’s fourth homer of the season with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning before earning his 14th save of the season.
Blue Jays starter Joe Biagini (2-7) allowed five hits, four walks and three runs in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out three and was charged with a wild pitch.
“It was kind of a weird night for him,” Gibbons said. “There were times when he was really good and dominated them, and then he seemed to lose the zone. He kept us in it, and then the bullpen did a nice job. Not many chances to get things going tonight … a lean night.”
Biagini was replaced by Dominic Leone in the sixth inning after Trey Mancini extended his hit streak to seven games with a single. Leone pitched around a walk to finish the inning.
“We didn’t beat (Biagini), we just figured out a way to scratch across some runs,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He was good. Three runs usually, in this park, you don’t like your chances.”
Mychal Givens took over from Gausman in the sixth after Jose Bautista singled with one out and Russell Martin walked.
“(Gausman) was really working the bottom of the zone,” Showalter said. “He pitched a lot with his fastball early and went to some other pitches the second and third time round the order.”
A wild pitch by Givens moved the runners to second and third. Josh Donaldson lined out to third. Justin Smoak walked on four pitches to load the bases for Kendrys Morales, who struck out on a pitch that was high and outside.
Givens completed a perfect seventh before being replaced in the eighth by Darren O’Day, who allowed only a single.
The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out single by Jonathan Schoop, a walk to Jones and a double by Trumbo.
A two-out double by Schoop and a single by Jones in the third produced a 3-0 Baltimore lead.
“After the first inning, I felt pretty good, I kind of settled in,” Biagini said. “I think there were a couple of balls up a little bit in the first inning, I had made an adjustment but need to make a slightly more quick adjustment on. I feel like it was kind of a struggle for me to make sure I was limiting the damage and staying efficient after the first inning. I felt like I battled well for the rest of the game.”