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Gausman takes hill for Orioles in Oakland

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics will send two young pitchers to the mound Sunday in the finale of a three-game series at O.co Coliseum.

Kevin Gausman will hit the mound for Baltimore and, according to manager Buck Showalter, will no longer be on an innings limit in the second half of the season.

"The wrappers are off," Showalter said of Gausman.

Gausman enters the contest with a 4-2 record this season and a 3.29 earned run average. In seven starts in 2014, Gausman has struck out 26 batters and walked 13. He's also pitched a complete game.

Most of his starts prior to the All-Star break were short. In his most recent outing, Gausman battled with the Yankees for five innings, allowing just one run on four hits. He picked up the win after his Orioles earned the 3-1 victory.

Against Oakland in his career, Gausman is 1-0 in his only appearance. He went seven innings and struck out six batters with one walk.

Oakland's Sonny Gray has been one of the more consistent surprises this season. The 24-year-old right-hander has already accumulated a 10-3 record with an impressive 2.79 ERA and 108 strikeouts.

Gray has won four games in a row sandwiching a no-decision back on June 28. He lasted 7 2/3 innings against Seattle and surrendered one unearned run on six Mariners hits.

Gray has struggled against Baltimore, though. In two career starts, he's 0-2 in just 8 2/3 innings and has allowed 11 runs. His career ERA against the O's is 11.42 with a 2.08 WHIP.

Baltimore made Oakland pay for Friday night's walk-off win, in which Josh Donaldson crushed a home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift the A's to victory. Saturday night, the Orioles got the better of Oakland, 8-4.

Wei-Yin Chen picked up his 10th win on the season for the Orioles, although he didn't take his start deep into the contest. He was pulled after five innings after giving up three earned runs.

It was alright, though, considering Oakland starter Jason Hammel only lasted two innings after surrendering five runs on six hits in that span. He gave up home runs in the first inning to Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy. The Orioles lead was 4-0 when the bottom half of the first inning came around.

Jones finished the game with five RBI following a 2-for-4 night at the plate. Chris Davis added two more hits -- one a solo home run in the ninth inning, for good measure.

"Our guys, they're never satisfied," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's a very professional group."

Jed Lowrie was 2-for-4 batting on the night and drove in three runs for the Athletics, who still hold the top spot in the American League West standings.

Baltimore similarly sits atop the AL East Division over the Yankees, who are four games back. Toronto is also four games behind the O's.

The O's have won four of their last six games, while Oakland has dropped three of its last five.