The Baltimore Orioles unveiled what promises to be a future star in right-hander Kevin Gausman on Thursday night. The Blue Jays countered with something better -- the home run power of Edwin Encarnacion and J.P. Arencibia. The muscle of Encarnacion and Arencibia prevailed this night as, thanks to Steady Eddie's grand slam in the sixth and a two-run shot by Arencibia an inning earlier, the Jays rallied from a 3-0 deficit to post a 12-6 victory over the O's. Encarnacion, entering the night in an 0-for-9 slide, drilled a 1-1 pitch from reliever Pedro Strop with two out and the bags full and rang it on a line off the foul pole in left for the fifth slam of his career. It was his 13th homer of the season and upped his RBI total to 38. In Gausman, the Orioles trotted out one of their hotshot pitching prospects. The Orioles No. 1 pick in last year's draft and the fourth player taken overall, Gausman, 22, was deemed fit enough to make the jump even though his resume lists just 13 minor-league starts, including eight this season at double-A Bowie. Why Gausman and why now at such a tender age and with so little seasoning (64.1 minor league innings)? "He has the best stuff and the most consistent control of just about any pitcher that we have in the organization," Orioles executive vice- president Dan Duquette told reporters the other day. "So we thought employing his strength for our major-league team was the way to go." The previous week, Duquette shot down any suggestion they would promote Gausman, saying he was a "future" option. The other day, Duquette reversed that thinking claiming: "The future is now." The Orioles' future looks bright, indeed, as Gausman showed great stuff and poise in his five innings of work. Arencibia, however, was a little bit better at the plate and thanks to his four-RBI game, including a go-ahead two-run home run in the fifth, the Jays would saddle the O's rookie with the loss.
Blue Jays overpower Orioles 12-6
Toronto Sun | May 24