Kevin Gausman takes another crack at his first major league win on Thursday when the Baltimore Orioles begin a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards.
Gausman, the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft, has struggled since being recalled, going 0-3, while pitching to an 8.84 ERA. Gausman was at his worst on Saturday against Tampa Bay, as he was lit up for seven runs in 4 1/3 innings. He also surrendered seven runs in a loss to Washington back on May 28.
"Obviously, this hasn't gone the way that I would have hoped," said Gausman. "I wanted to come up here and hit the ground running and win my first four starts. But it hasn't been like that. I'm just trying to battle every day and trying to get back to what I've been doing. ... These guys are pretty good, but there's definitely a learning curve there."
Baltimore had a three-game winning streak stopped on Wednesday, as it dropped a 9-5 decision to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Chris Davis and Adam Jones both had solo homers and drove in two runs for the Orioles, who enter this series trailing the Red Sox by 3 1/2 games for the American League East lead.
Boston, meanwhile, earned a series win over Tampa Bay on Wednesday, as Alfredo Aceves turned in six strong innings in an emergency start to help the Red Sox record a 2-1 victory.
Boston had a three-game win streak halted with Tuesday's 8-3 loss to the Rays, but bounced back behind Aceves' effort and a two-run homer by Daniel Nava that accounted for the deciding runs.
Pressed into duty after originally-scheduled starter Franklin Morales was forced to throw the final two innings of Monday's 14-inning victory, Aceves (3-1) held the Rays to one run on four hits before four Boston relievers protected the lead with a combined three scoreless frames. Andrew Bailey fanned two in the ninth to notch his seventh save of the season.
"He was just great tonight," Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said of Aceves. "Fastball was sharp, curveball was sharp. We were able to use everything for strikes."
Hoping to deliver the Red Sox their 14th win in 20 tries on Thursday will be lefty Felix Doubront, who is 4-3 with a 4.84 ERA. Doubront lost to the Angels on Saturday, as he gave up three runs and six hits in six innings.
Doubront is 0-2 in six games (3 starts) against the Orioles with a 3.13 ERA.
Baltimore is 2-1 against the Red Sox this season after taking 13 of the 18 matchups a year ago.