“We’re one of those behemoths” – The Denver Post

There were moments early in Kyle Gibson’s career that he remembers and realizes he was too hard on himself, that he didn’t quite enjoy the thrill of life in the major leagues.

But this season with the Orioles, “I’m trying not to have those moments,” the right-handed veteran said Thursday after giving Baltimore seven scoreless innings against the New York Yankees in a 3-1 victory.

The Orioles won their fourth consecutive series against opponents in the American League East, winning sets from each of the other teams in the division to achieve a feat they had not achieved since 2016. Associated with the victory from two of three when they last visited here last season, the Orioles won back-to-back series at Yankee Stadium for the first time since 2014.

“I think we’re one of the best teams,” Gibson said. “We are one of those behemoths.

“I don’t know if I can describe how much fun I am having.”

Gibson has faced each of the other four AL East teams and pitched well, with Thursday’s performance leaving him with a 2.52 ERA as he averages more than six innings per split start. He opened and closed Baltimore’s 5-1 road trip with seven-inning outings, limiting the Blue Jays and Toronto Yankees to a combined run.

Signed to a $10 million deal this offseason to be a stabilizing presence in Baltimore’s rotation, he provided that and more. Thursday’s outing lowered his overall ERA to 3.82 and made him the first Baltimore pitcher to pitch at least seven scoreless innings against New York since Kevin Gausman in 2016.

“It was a masterful performance,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He has great intangible assets, with veteran leadership, and our guys really rely on him because he has great experience and has been on winning teams. He showed what kind of player and pitcher he is tonight. A lot of guys look up to him, and he’s been amazing.

After sweeping Toronto, the Orioles (33-17) suffered their only loss of the road trip in Game 1 of this series, losing a game they led 4-0 in the fourth and 5-4 in the ninth. But they rallied for the series victory with an eight-run seventh inning on Wednesday before Gibson’s dominance on Thursday.

He allowed a single down the middle on his first pitch, then no more hits until the seventh, despite having worked about four walks. His lead-sweeper combo proved effective; after Gleyber Torres’ first single in the first, the next nine balls in play from his lead became outs, with four of five swings taken against his missing sweep slider.

Gibson’s last pitch, his 96th, led to a 3-6-1 double play, with Gibson excitedly running from first base to Baltimore’s third base before a replay caused him to pause. The call initially held, completing Gibson’s strong outing. He credited shortstop Jorge Mateo with being willing to throw him early to get the latter out rather than just force at second base.

“Any time you can enjoy these plays like that and come out of an inning, that’s why you’re going to see a little bit of emotion and it all comes out,” Gibson said. “It was a big place right there.”

To open the start of the eighth, Anthony Santander, who had driven in the only run of the game up to that point with an RBI single in the fifth, walked to base for a fourth time. A batter later, Gunnar Henderson also drew a pass; in the rookie’s four plate appearances on Thursday, he saw 26 pitches. Austin Hays led the two with a two-run brace that came inches from the right field wall.

With Félix Bautista closer unavailable after pitching in the first two games of the series, Mike Baumann worked a perfect eighth with two strikeouts, his fastball topping 99 mph in an outing that Hyde called “brilliant”, before only Yennier Cano manages the ninth. It started with a walk from reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge, the first Cano had issued in 25 2/3 innings this season, and Willie Calhoun doubled him at home with two outs to spoil the shutout before a center line-out by rookie Anthony Volpe. finished the game.

“I think we just showed a brave team,” Hyde said. “The way we won too, none of them were easy. Honestly, I’m really proud of our club because they’re two really tough places to play against two great teams and we played well in a lot of areas.

The win was May 14 for the Orioles, securing them at least a record .500 in a month in which they faced a daunting schedule. After opening May against the Kansas City Royals, Baltimore has had three straight series against teams that have entered matchups leading their respective teams. Atlanta Braves, Rays, and Pittsburgh Pirates, losing two one-point games to Atlanta but winning the other two series. They took three of four from the Los Angeles Angels, who have perhaps baseball’s two best stars in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, before embarking on this road trip against two AL East foes who reached the playoffs last year and are in the running to return.

Each team in the division has a winning record.

“This year it’s the ‘AL Beast’ again,” Hays said. “It’s a dogfight every series you play in the AL East.”

And as Hyde said after Wednesday’s comeback, the Orioles are “bulldogs.” They won behind one on the mound Thursday.

“I try to have fun, win, lose or draw,” Gibson said. “We just won a lot, so it’s a bit more fun.”

around the horn

  • Orioles center back Cedric Mullins was not in Thursday’s lineup for what Hyde said were “personal reasons.” Hyde said it would “probably” be a one-day absence for Mullins, who appeared in Baltimore’s first 49 games.
  • Infielder Ramón Urías, on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left hamstring, continued his rehabilitation mission with a second game for High-A Aberdeen. After going 0 for 2 with three walks as the designated hitter on Wednesday, Urías played third base and went 1 for 4.
  • Before the game, Hyde said the Orioles were still making a decision on next steps with reliever Dillon Tate, whose 30-day rehab assignment ended Wednesday. The club will likely either activate Tate from the injured list, where he spent the season after suffering a right elbow flexor sprain in the offseason, or opt him for the minors. Tate, who still has two minor league options, had a 14.04 ERA in 10 rehab outings.

Rangers at the Orioles

Friday, 7:05 p.m.

TV: MASN2, MLB Network

Radio: 97.9FM, 101.5FM, 1090AM



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