O's game blog: Kyle Gibson faces Oakland in the series opener

After an off-day, the Orioles' road trip moves on to Oakland tonight for the start of a three-game weekend series. 

The Orioles (74-47) lead the American League East by two games over Tampa Bay, which also plays on the West Coast tonight against the Los Angeles Angels. 

The Orioles lost their last two games at San Diego. But over longer stretches they have won four of seven, 11 of 17, 17 of 27, 25 of 37 and 26 of 40. Playing .612 ball, the Orioles have the best record in the AL and third-best in MLB behind the Braves and Dodgers. 

Oakland (34-87) has had a miserable season pretty much since the start of the year. They began the season going 3-16 and 5-23.

It has gotten a bit better recently, with Oakland going 22-37 (.373) over the last 59 games dating back to June 6 after going 12-50 (.194) over the first 62 contests. Oakland is playing .281 baseball after 121 games. At this pace they would finish the year at 46-116. The last two Major League teams to finish with a winning percentage under .290 are the 2003 Tigers (43-119, .265) and 1962 Mets (40-120, .250).

The Athletics are 38 games behind AL West-leading Texas and have lost five of six and 11 of their last 15 games. They have been swept 16 times this year, their most since the 1978 club was swept 17 times.

The A’s are 18-41 at home, 7-19 versus AL East teams and 9-20 in the second half.

Oakland has not hit well this year, ranking 15th – last – in the American League in batting average (.223), slugging (.364), OPS (.665) and runs per game (3.60). The A’s are also last in team ERA (5.75), starting rotation ERA (5.98) and bullpen ERA (5.50).

But Oakland pitchers have a 4.88 ERA over the last 72 games dating to May 23 after compiling a 7.02 ERA over the first 49 contests of 2023.

In mid-April in Baltimore, the Orioles won three of four from Oakland, outscoring them 29-24 in those games. But in that series, the A’s hit .310 as a team with five homers and an OPS of .836.

Oakland is 19-11 (.633) against the Orioles dating back to 2018. That includes 10-3 in Oakland and 9-8 in Baltimore. But with one win in this series, the Orioles would take the season series against the Athletics for the first time since 2017.

Tonight the O’s are starting right-hander Kyle Gibson (11-7, 4.89 ERA) for the 26th time this season. Gibson is tied for the AL lead in starts and ranks eigth with 145 1/3 innings pitched.

He had recorded four straight quality starts, and produced one in five of his last six starts, before he got hit hard in the road trip opener at Seattle exactly a week ago. He gave up 12 hits, including three homers and a career-high nine runs in 5 1/3 innings.

“First game of a long road trip, an important road trip for us. And I just didn’t give the team a chance to win,” said Gibson, who had an ERA of 3.86 his previous six games, after that outing at T-Mobile Park.

Gibson gave up a two-run homer in the first to Cal Raleigh, a three-run shot in the fourth to Julio Rodríguez and a solo blast to Ty France in the sixth.

“That’s probably about as bad as I’ve executed pitches in a long time,” said Gibson. “I had a couple of innings there where I felt a little bit better and in rhythm. But in general, just 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 when I needed to. They had a good plan and I didn’t execute my plan. For five straight innings that’s what happened.”

Oakland is enlisting the use of an opener tonight with left-hander Francisco Pérez (0-0 4.50 ERA) making the start. He has allowed one run in two innings in the majors this season after going 5-1 with a 4.43 combined ERA in the minors this season between Double-A and Triple-A, pitching exclusively in relief. Oakland’s main pitcher is listed as right-hander Luis Medina (3-8, 5.31 ERA). In 83 innings, Medina has a WHIP of 1.530 with a 4.7 walk rate and 9.0 strikeout rate.


Henderson's 20th home run highlights Orioles' 9-4 ...
Orioles pregame notes on facing opener, Rutschman ...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/