Will the fifth time be the charm for Orioles rookie Kevin Gausman?
The right-hander arrived on the big league scene with high expectations -- both from outsiders and from himself. After four starts, Gausman (0-3, 8.84 ERA) is still seeking his first Major League win.
"Obviously, this hasn't gone the way that I would have hoped," said Gausman, who is the organization's No. 2 prospect. "I wanted to come up here and hit the ground running and win my first four starts. But it hasn't been like that. I'm just trying to battle every day and trying to get back to what I've been doing. … These guys are pretty good, but there's definitely a learning curve there."
Sandwiched around a start against Detroit in which he held the Tigers to one run over six frames are a pair of outings in which Gausman surrendered seven runs and didn't last five innings.
On Thursday, the 22-year-old will encounter the division-leading Red Sox for the first time, as he has a chance to set the tone for Baltimore in the first affair of a four-game set at Camden Yards.
"I feel like I'm throwing good pitches, and sometimes I get the outcome that I hoped, and sometimes I don't," Gausman said. "A little frustrating, but I feel good ... mentally and physically, I feel good, and I feel like I have the stuff to be here. I just haven't produced."
The Red Sox, who have rattled off 13 wins in their past 19 contests, will send Felix Doubront to the hill on Thursday.
The southpaw has tossed four consecutive quality starts to lower his ERA more than a full run to 4.84. Doubront has yet to face the Orioles this season. Last year, he was 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts against Baltimore.
Red Sox: Salty a different hitter
Despite an 0-for-4 game on Wednesday, Jarrod Saltalamacchia still carries a .278 average, well above his .222 mark from last year. The 28-year-old hasn't finished above .235 since 2008, his second year in the big leagues.
Saltalamacchia, who hit 25 home runs last year and eight so far this year, said he has made some adjustments in his approach.
"I'm not trying to lift the ball [as much]," he said. "Last year, I'd try to get a pitch on the outside half and lift it off the wall or something like that. I swung at some bad pitches and struck out. This year, I want to stay with the same approach of going with the ball where it's pitched, but I've been able to see a lot of pitches every at-bat and not do too much whenever I get in a good hitters' count."
Orioles: Showalter pleased with defense
• Given all of the power bats in the American League East, any defensive miscues can often become magnified.
"People talk about the American League East -- that sucker stays in the park, you better catch it," said Baltimore manager Buck Showalter.
To this point, Showalter has been content with his players' efforts in the field. "We thought it had a good chance to be a good defensive team ... and so far, it's lived up to what we hoped it would be," Showalter said.
• Orioles pitcher Wei-Yin Chen, recovering from a strained oblique, is slated to throw from a half-mound on Thursday in Sarasota, Fla., and potentially from a full mound on Saturday.
• Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, on the 60-day disabled list with a hamstring injury, took batting practice in the cages at Camden Yards prior to Wednesday's game against the Angels.
• Baltimore took two of three games from Boston at Fenway Park in early April.