BALTIMORE—The Orioles had an excellent August, with an 18-9 record. They finished the month, their sixth straight winning one, with a sloppy 10-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox before an announced crowd of 17,723 at Oriole Park on Wednesday.
The Orioles (83-50) did lose two series in the month, but they were in first place each day in August and are two games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. The Rays play at Miami on Wednesday night.
After an offday on Thursday, the Orioles start a nine-game trip to play the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox as the final month begins.
On Wednesday, they got off to a good start, but it quickly turned south. Staked to a 4-0 lead after one inning, Oriole starter Kyle Gibson couldn’t hold the lead.
He allowed a pair of two-run homers in the second by Andrew Vaughn and Oscar Colás. Luis Robert Jr. hit his 35th home run with one out in the fourth, and back-to-back doubles by Eloy Jiménez and Vaughn and an RBI single by Elvis Andrus put the Orioles behind, 7-4.
Gibson pitched 4 1/3 innings, and his earned-run average has risen to 5.15, his highest since allowing four runs in five innings on Opening Day on March 30th.
“Had a bunch of quality starts, pitched really well for us and had a few which really didn’t go his way early,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
It was the second awful start for Gibson (13-8) in August. He allowed seven runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. On August 11th at Seattle, Gibson gave up a career-high nine runs on 12 hits in 5 1/3 inning. His ERA for August is 7.89.
“The month of August has been really inconsistent, not limiting damage,” Gibson said. “The offense did a great job of getting runs early and then giving them back there by not being able to make a pitch and get out of it. That’s pretty frustrating.”
Gibson felt strong warming up, but after retiring the White Sox in order in the first, little went right.
‘It just didn’t carry over,” he said. “Some outings you execute a lot of pitches and give up hits. Today, I feel like I didn’t execute a whole lot and they took advantage of the ones I didn’t execute.”
The Orioles scored four runs in the first against White Sox starter Dylan Cease (7-7). Anthony Santander had an RBI, Ryan O’Hearn and Adam Frazier had run-scoring singles, and Jordan Westburg had a sacrifice fly.
Santander hit his 26th home run in the third. He hit five on the nine-game homestand and had nine RBIs in the three-game series against the White Sox, the first time he’s done that.
Chicago (53-81) added three runs against relief pitcher Austin Voth in the sixth. With runners on second and third and one out, Tim Anderson tripled and scored on Andrew Benintendi’s double to give the White Sox a 10-5 lead.
After Santander’s leadoff home run, the Orioles had just four singles and three walks in the last six innings.
The Orioles won each of their three series on the homestand, going 6-3 against Toronto, Colorado and the White Sox. They had a chance to sweep the Rockies and White Sox but lost the final game of each series.
“You look at a 6-3 homestand. We won all three series,” Hyde said. “You’re never going to complain about that. Having a 4-0 lead in the first inning against Dylan Cease, that’s a good feeling, also. We didn’t get it done after that. We had a tough time scoring off them after that first inning.”
Gibson was looking for his career-high 14th win.
“I think it’s more frustrating when you have a good homestand and you come out and put those types of three innings to start the game and don’t give the team a chance, Gibson said. “These guys are playing good baseball, and I like where we’re at.”
Notes: Hyde said the Orioles were close to deciding on the two players they’ll add when rosters expand by two on Friday. … Outfielder Aaron Hicks, who’s on the 10-day injured list with a lower back strain, continues to progress and ran before the game. It isn’t certain if he’ll go on a rehab assignment. … Single-A Delmarvaa’s game at Columbus was rained out. They’ll play a doubleheader on Saturday. … After Thursday’s offday, the Orioles open a three-game series at Arizona. Cole Irvin (1-3, 4.78) will pitch Friday night. Kyle Bradish (9-6, 3.03) is scheduled for Saturday night and Jack Flaherty (8-8, 4.73) is scheduled to start Sunday. …Triple-A Norfolk’s Kyle Stowers (fractured nose) and Double-A Bowie’s Max Wagner (concussion) have been placed on the minor league injured list. … Frazier’s RBI was his 53rd, equaling his career high set in 2017.
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