There were moments early in Kyle Gibson’s career that he looks back on and realizes he was too hard on himself, that he didn’t enjoy the thrill of life in the major leagues enough.
But this season with the Orioles, “I’m trying to not have any of those times,” the veteran right-hander said Thursday after he provided Baltimore with seven scoreless innings against the New York Yankees in a 3-1 victory.
The Orioles won their fourth straight series against American League East opponents, taking sets from each of the division’s other teams to pull off a feat they hadn’t achieved since 2016. Paired with winning two out of three in their final visit here last season, the Orioles have won consecutive series at Yankee Stadium for the first time since 2014.
“I think we’re one of the best teams,” Gibson said. “We’re one of those juggernauts.
“I don’t know that I can describe how much fun I’m having.”
Gibson has faced each of the AL East’s four other teams and pitched well, with Thursday’s performance leaving him with a 2.52 ERA as he’s averaged more than six innings per divisional 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.
Signed to a $10 million contract this offseason to be a stabilizing presence in Baltimore’s rotation, he has supplied that and more. Thursday’s outing lowered his overall ERA to 3.82 and made him Baltimore’s first pitcher to throw at least seven scoreless innings against New York since Kevin Gausman in 2016.
“That was a masterful performance,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s got big-time intangibles, with veteran leadership, and our guys really rely on him because he’s got great experiences and been on winning teams. He showed what kind of player and pitcher he is tonight. A lot of the guys look up to him, and he’s been amazing.”
After a sweep of Toronto, 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. He credited shortstop Jorge Mateo for being willing to make the throw to him at first to get the latter out rather than simply settling for the force at second base.
“Anytime that you can take …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment