BALTIMORE — Kevin Gausman has navigated this season, mostly successfully, believing that singles won’t truly hurt him. A hit here and a hit there, with some effective pitch-making to follow, can still lead to a good day on the mound.
Those fortunes turned Thursday night at Camden Yards when the Baltimore Orioles lost, 5-4, in their makeup game against the Philadelphia Phillies, dropping them to a league-worst 26-68 with three games left before the all-star break. Gausman allowed five runs on 12 hits. Hardly any were hit solidly.
His previous season high was the 11 hits he allowed in 7⅓ innings of two-run ball May 11 against the Tampa Bay Rays. He has allowed nine hits four times, surrendering two, zero, five and three earned runs in those outings. As Gausman pitches more to contact in an effort to be more efficient and not rely on his ability to blow batters away, nights such as Thursday could quickly turn ugly.
“Any loss by one run is a tough loss. You’ve got to keep grinding, and at some point, things will even out,” Gausman said. “But obviously, right now, we’re not where we want to be.”
The Phillies loaded the bases with three singles in a two-run third inning. In the fourth, Gausman allowed a single, hit a batter and let both runners advance on a wild pitch before Jorge Alfaro doubled home two more runs to make it 4-0.
Baltimore made it close with three runs in the seventh inning on home runs by Trey Mancini and Jace Peterson.