SEATTLE—In the last week, pitcher Kyle Gibson reached two milestones important for major league players. He won his 100th career game last Saturday, and this week marked 10 years of service time.
On Friday night, Gibson set an unwanted personal high by allowing nine runs, the most he’s given up in 286 major league starts. He also gave up 12 hits for the third time, equaling a career high.
Gibson tried his best to save the Orioles’ bullpen since manager Brandon Hyde is, at least, temporarily using six starters, leaving just seven relievers. He made it through 5 1/3 innings in the Orioles’ 9-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners before an announced crowd of 36,203 at T-Mobile Park.
The Orioles (71-45) lead Tampa Bay by two games in the American League East. The Rays beat the Cleveland Guardians, 9-8.
Gibson (11-7) fell behind quickly. Cal Raleigh hit a two-run home run in the first, and it could have been worse. Centerfielder Cedric Mullins, who hadn’t played in nearly four weeks because of a right adductor groin strain, made a dazzling catch on leadoff batter Julio Rodríguez’s fly ball to center.
Seattle (63-52), won for the eighth straight time and for the 13th time in their last 15 games.
“With one less reliever in the bullpen right now, and the guys I want to stay away from, guys like Mike Baumann. Did not want to use him after the heavy workload a couple of days ago. [Cionel] Pérez pitched back-to-back. There were a bunch of guys I did not want to use. Give Kyle credit for being out there,” Hyde said.
The Mariners scored five runs in the fourth on four singles, a sacrifice fly and Rodriguez’s three-run homer, his 19th.
“There were some hits where they did a good job and they hit good pitches and for me, that says, being too predictable, maybe not realizing the adjustments they were making,” Gibson said. “Tonight was definitely a product of bad execution for the most part.”
Gibson allowed five runs in three innings to the Mariners in a 13-1 loss on June 23rd.
“This is about as bad as I’ve executed pitches in a long time,” Gibson said. “I had a couple of innings there where I felt a little bit better and in rhythm, but in general, I didn’t do very much well, didn’t make pitches when I needed to, didn’t limit damage, didn’t execute some sliders in instances I needed to. I think they had a good plan, and I didn’t execute my plan.”
Gibson soldiered on in the fifth, allowing a home run to Ty France and back-to-back doubles by Josh Rojas and Rodríguez in the sixth before giving way to Jacob Webb, who retired all four batters he faced, striking out the first two. Webb struck out the first five batters he faced with the Orioles.
Seattle starting pitcher Luis Castillo (8-7) baffled the Orioles, allowing only two hits in six innings. Anthony Santander homered in the fourth for the Orioles’ first run.
“That’s a playoff pitcher. That’s what it looks like in the postseason,” Hyde said.
Ryan O’Hearn doubled with one out in the ninth and scored on Jordan Westburg’s base hit.
“One of the more frustrating ones,” Gibson said about his start. “I avoided the long ball for most of the year … It is frustrating when you execute multiple pitches and they hit the ball hard. Normally that means you threw the wrong pitch and I don’t like throwing the wrong pitch. Normally, you can have some silver lining you look at, but tonight was just a frustrating start. First game on a long road trip, an important road trip for us. Didn’t even give the team the chance to win or be competitive tonight.”
Mullins singled in the second for the other hit. Hyde said before the game that he wasn’t sure if he’d keep Adley Rutschman, who has been batting leadoff of late, there or restore Mullins to the top of the order.
“We’ll see. It might be a day-to-day thing. We might keep it the way it is. I haven’t looked that far ahead yet. I’m really glad he’s back in the lineup and we’ll see how it goes,” Hyde said.
Notes: Cole Irvin (1-3, 5.44) will face George Kirby (10-8, 3.32) on Saturday night at 9:40.
Minor league report: Outfielder Aaron Hicks was 1-for-4 in his first rehab game as Triple-A Norfolk lost to Jacksonville, 6-2.
DL Hall (1-2) allowed two runs on two hits in 1 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking one.
Centerfielder Daz Cameron hit a two-run home run.
Shortstop Jackson Holliday had five hits as Double-A Bowie beat Richmond, 9-7. Holliday, who drove in two runs, is batting .386.
Leftfielder John Rhodes hit a two-run home run, his 11th.
High-A Aberdeen had just three hits in its 4-0 loss to Brooklyn.
Centerfielder Tavian Josenberger, the Orioles’ third-round pick last month, drove in five runs for Single-A Delmarva in its 7-1 win over Carolina.