BAL@NYY: McFarland strikes out three over two innings

BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter talked before Saturday's game about the importance of deep outings from the starting pitchers. Freddy Garcia's eight innings Thursday, for example, allowed Showalter to save relievers for the Tigers series this weekend.

But in the fourth inning Saturday, starter Jason Hammel got ejected when he hit Matt Tuiasosopo following three consecutive Tigers home runs.

That meant the bullpen would have to pitch six innings, and it could have been back to square one for a 'pen that had been taxed earlier this week.

But relievers T.J. McFarland and Troy Patton combined to throw five innings and Tommy Hunter pitched an inning.

"Oh yeah, I mean we could have easily used guys," Adam Jones said. "But we've got some guys that can be stretched out, which is cool. [McFarland] might be down for tomorrow, but we've got guys that are not just any guys, we've got some guys that can go three-plus [innings]."

"We've got some versatility down there, which is pretty unique."

Patton has struggled recently, but pitched two scoreless frames Saturday with three strikeouts and no walks.

"I still didn't like giving up a hit to a lefty on an 0-2 count. I still didn't feel good about that because a located pitch gets a guy out right there," Patton said Sunday. "But I felt better overall. I attacked the zone a lot more. I mean, I'd rather be giving up singles than walking guys, honestly, any day of the week. Especially in my role, walking guys is just unacceptable. My main focus is to throw strikes and get ahead of hitters, and I feel like I did a lot better job of that [Saturday] than I had been."

McFarland, a Rule 5 Draft pick, has pitched at least two innings in 10 of his 13 appearances this season. Only Minnesota's Anthony Swarzak (11) has more relief outings of two innings or more.

"I was really proud of T.J. for sticking it out," Patton said. "He threw a lot of pitches against a tough lineup, I mean, he went two times through really good hitters. It showed a lot of intestinal fortitude for him to stick three innings out right there. It was a big test for him, Buck put him in a tough situation and he responded well with those three innings."

Snyder catches rookie Gausman for first time

BAL@MIN: Snyder smacks an RBI single to left field

BALTIMORE -- Orioles rookie starter Kevin Gausman has made just two career starts above Double-A, so there are still plenty of firsts left for the 22-year-old.

Sunday was his first start at home, for example, and it was also the first time he pitched to somebody not named Matt Wieters.

Manager Buck Showalter said he'd like to rest Wieters, and with a day game Sunday after a night game, it made sense to rest the catcher.

That means backup Chris Snyder caught Gausman, and the two had done video work in preparation for the right-hander's third Major League start.

"I was walking down the hall [Saturday] and I saw him and Gaus paired up in the video room, talking, writing some things down, looking at some things," Showalter said.

"Went in and took a look. I do what I normally do. Just this time around, called him in and went over it together," Snyder said. "It's something I need to do anyway, but I think it's something that's good for him, especially as a young guy coming up to get a feel for how all that stuff in there works and how you can utilize it. Hopefully come game time, it'll give you a little bit of an edge."

Gausman said this week while on the road, he's learning from being around the clubhouse and in the dugout. Snyder said he hopes the team can convert that into a win Sunday to get Gausman off the schneid.

"He's asking questions, he's watching the games, he's paying attention. He's seeing what other guys do before him," Snyder said. "He's been here now a week and a half, two weeks, so I think it's kind of settled in, slowed down for him a little bit. And hopefully that can carry over today and he can slow the game down."

Worth noting

• Saturday was shortstop J.J. Hardy's 1,000th game. His career .982 fielding percentage is tied for third all-time among players with at least 1,000 games at shortstop. He trails Omar Vizquel (.985) and Jimmy Rollins (.983).

• Third baseman Manny Machado went hitless in each of his past two games, the first time that's happened this season. He singled in his first-bat Sunday.

• Taylor Teagarden (dislocated left thumb) caught eight innings Saturday at Triple-A Norfolk and went 0-for-4. Showalter said the plan was for him to serve as the designated hitter Sunday and then reassess his health. He hit third Sunday and could be close to being recalled by the Orioles.

• Wei-Yin Chen (strained oblique) jogged in the pool Saturday, and he could be back within the month, Showalter said. But there's a very loose timetable because he hasn't thrown a ball yet. Showalter said he hopes Chen will get to a mound in the next couple of days, which would make a mid-June return possible.

• The Brooks Robinson All-Star Game, played by a collection of Maryland high school baseball all-stars, was scheduled be held at Camden Yards following Sunday's Tigers-Orioles game.