By Todd Karpovich, The Sports Xchange
BALTIMORE — Kevin Gausman has shown flashes that he could anchor the Baltimore Orioles’ rotation for years to come.
Other times, he has been inconsistent, which has caused some uncertainty about his ability to live up to the expectations of being a former top five pick in the draft.
Gausman quieted his detractors once again by holding the Texas Rangers to four hits in six innings and paving the way for the Orioles’ 10-2 victory on Wednesday night.
Baltimore has won three straight and will go for its first four-game home sweep of Texas since 2014.
“The biggest thing is to get a win,” Gausman said. “Go up 3-0 in the series and come in tomorrow and try to get a four-game sweep, which is pretty rare, so put yourself in the driver seat to try to do that.”
Gausman (6-7) allowed one run while striking out eight and walking two. He bounced back from his last start, when he was charged with eight runs and seven hits in three innings against the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
Adam Jones went 3-for-5 with a homer, and Jonathan Schoop also had three hits and three RBIs for Baltimore, which improved to 28-19 at Camden Yards.
The Rangers’ Martin Perez (5-7) had won three of his past four starts entering the game. However, the left-hander struggled against Baltimore and allowed five runs (four earned) and seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk in six-plus innings.
Joey Gallo hit his 22nd home run for the Texas, which has dropped five of its past seven games.
“We’re just not getting key hits when we need them,” Gallo said. “We do have a powerful offense home run-wise. That’s how we score our runs, and we haven’t been hitting them.”
Texas reliever Matt Bush entered in the seventh inning and walked Joey Rickard to load the bases. An error by catcher Robinson Chirinos allowed the fourth run to score. Jones, Manny Machado and Schoop followed with RBI singles to increase the lead to 7-1.
Trey Mancini ended Bush’s night with a two-out, bases-loaded triple.
Chirinos managed an RBI single off Baltimore reliever Donnie Hart in the ninth.
“They had the potential of a double-play ball on the ball to (second baseman Rougned) Odor, and that really opened it up for us to open the game up,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the grounder on which Chirinos misplayed the throw. “They helped us some, but we put a lot of good at-bats together and some ground balls found some holes, and some balls that they were catching.”
The Orioles’ bats have come alive during the series, as they have outscored the Rangers 25-4.
“We have to continue to believe in our offense,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “That’s a challenge for us right now.
“It’s been a bit of a stretch where one run has been the case for us, and it’s coming off solo shots. We have to find a way to string some at-bats together with baserunners and come up with big hits in those situations.”
Jones provided an early spark in the first inning when he hit the Orioles’ seventh leadoff homer of the season over the right field scoreboard. Schoop barely missed hitting a second homer near the same spot in the third but instead settled for a two-run double and a 3-0 lead.
Gausman was sharp until the fifth, when Gallo hit a home run that cut the margin to 3-1.