Kyle Gibson’s tour of the American League East with the Orioles began opening day. He completed his first lap Thursday in the Bronx.
The veteran right-hander provided Baltimore with seven scoreless innings against the New York Yankees in a 3-1 victory. The Orioles won their fourth straight series against AL East opponents, taking sets from each of the division’s other teams to pull off a feat they hadn’t achieved since 2016.
Gibson, too, has faced each of the AL East’s four teams and pitched well, with Thursday’s performance leaving him with a 2.52 ERA as he’s averaged more than six innings per start. He opened and closed Baltimore’s 5-1 road trip with seven-inning outings, holding the Toronto Blue Jays and Yankees to one run combined.
The Orioles (33-17) suffered their lone loss of the road trip in this series’ opener, dropping 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 Wednesday ahead of Gibson’s dominance Thursday.
He allowed a single up the middle on his first pitch, then no other hits until the seventh, though he worked around four walks. His sinker-sweeper combo proved effective; after Gleyber Torres’ leadoff single in the first, the next nine balls in play off his sinker became outs, with four of the five swings taken against his sweeping slider missing.
Gibson’s last pitch, his 96th, led to a 3-6-1 double play, with Gibson excitedly running from first base toward Baltimore’s third base dugout before a replay review gave him pause. The call at first stood, completing Gibson’s strong outing.
To open the top of the eighth, Anthony Santander, who had driven in the game’s lone run to that point with an RBI single in the fifth, walked to reach base for a fourth time. A batter later, Gunnar Henderson also drew a free pass; in the rookie’s four plate appearances Thursday, he saw 26 pitches. Austin Hays drove both in with a two-run double that came inches from clearing the right field wall.
With closer Félix Bautista unavailable after pitching in the series’ first two games, Mike Baumann worked a perfect eighth with two strikeouts before Yennier Cano handled the ninth. It began with a walk of reigning AL Most Valuable Player Aaron Judge, the first Cano had issued in 25 2/3 innings this season, and Willie Calhoun doubled him home with two outs to spoil the shutout before a lineout to center by rookie Anthony Volpe ended the game.
The victory was the Orioles’ 14th of May, ensuring them at least a .500 record in a month in which they faced a daunting schedule. After opening May against the Kansas City Royals, Baltimore had three straight series against teams that entered the matchups leading their divisions in the Atlanta Braves, the Rays and the Pittsburgh Pirates. They took three of four from the Los Angeles Angels, who have perhaps baseball’s top two stars in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, before embarking on this road trip.
Around the horn
- Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins was not in Thursday’s lineup for what manager Brandon Hyde said was “personal reasons.” Hyde said it would “probably” be a one-day absence for Mullins, who appeared in all of Baltimore’s first 49 games.
- Infielder Ramón Urías, on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain, continued his rehabilitation assignment with a second game for High-A Aberdeen. After going 0-for-2 with three walks as a designated hitter Wednesday, Urías played third base and went 1-for-4.
- Before the game, Hyde said the Orioles were still making a determination on the 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 has spent the season after suffering a right elbow flexor strain in the offseason, or option him to the minors. Tate, who has two minor league options remaining, had a 14.04 ERA in 10 rehab outings.
This story will be updated.
Rangers at Orioles
Friday, 7:05 p.m.
TV: MASN2, MLB Network
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