Orioles manager Brandon Hyde would need his bullpen earlier than he wanted. A 35-pitch second inning from Kyle Gibson wasn’t conducive to a lengthy start. A 34-pitch third finally brought the hook.
Gibson registered his shortest start with the Orioles tonight while allowing five runs, and they dropped the series opener to the Mariners 13-1 before an announced crowd of 16,234 at Camden Yards that waited through a one hour, 40 minute rain delay.
The Rays lead the Orioles by 5 ½ games after their win tonight. The Yankees and Blue Jays lost.
Anthony Santander homered off Logan Gilbert in the seventh inning to break up the shutout bid and give the Orioles their second hit. The Mariners answered with seven runs in the eighth, all charged to Keegan Akin, to make the blowout official.
The margin freed Hyde to send Josh Lester to the mound in the ninth for the infielder’s professional pitching debut. He didn’t allow a run after Tom Murphy’s leadoff double, striking out Jarred Kelenic looking at a 62.3 mph “slider.” A walk was mixed in with two popups.
Lester joined Ryan McKenna as Orioles position players forced into emergency mound duty this season.
"That's definitely one you need to let go right away and come back tomorrow, and hopefully we'll play well," Hyde said. "That was pretty ugly and not our night. Let it go, and come back tomorrow ready to play."
Orioles starters had allowed three earned runs or fewer in 12 straight games and 21 of 22. The streak dissolved in the third inning as Murphy’s fly ball disappeared into the left field seats, his two-run shot extending Seattle’s lead to 5-0.
Logan Gillaspie replaced Gibson, whose five runs were one fewer than his season high in Kansas City. He allowed seven hits, walked three batters and threw 86 pitches, only 46 for strikes.
"I had a couple chances to make a pitch and get out of both of those innings, and I just didn't do it," Gibson said. "I feel like all year for the most part I've been doing a good job of getting a ground ball, getting a strikeout, getting an out when I need it, making a pitch.
"You can feel the pitch count just because you get tired a little bit faster, but we're used to throwing 100 pitches, so I even told Skip after the third that I could go back out and try to save the bullpen for an inning."
The Mariners collected three singles and a walk in the second inning, and Murphy’s fly ball to deep center field scored Cal Raleigh for a 1-0 lead. Raleigh went first to third with one out on Kolten Wong’s ground ball, clocked at 100.2 mph, that darted underneath Adam Frazier’s glove on a backhand attempt.
With the chance at a double play lost, the Orioles resorted to damage control that didn’t happen in a swift manner.
Gibson walked Kelenic to load the bases before striking out Julio Rodríguez for the second time. He began the third by walking Ty France and allowing a single to Teoscar Hernández, and Seattle led 3-0 after Eugenio Suárez’s RBI single and Wong’s fly ball to left.
Murphy launched a sinker 418 feet to left, and Gibson didn’t get back to the dugout until walking José Caballero and getting a called third strike on Kelenic with the count full.
"He had two really, really long innings," Hyde said. "Things just weren't going right. It wasn't our night."
Hernández homered to straightaway center field off Gillaspie in the fourth, his 12th against the Orioles in 84 career games.
Gilbert made his first career start against the Orioles and improved his road record to 17-4, compared to 7-11 at home, by holding them to one run and two hits in seven innings.
Austin Hays singled with one out in the second, and Gilbert retired the next 15 batters before Santander hit his team-leading 12th homer, breaking a tie with Gunnar Henderson and Ryan Mountcastle.
"He was really good," Hyde said. "He's throwing fastballs 97, really good slider, curveball, split to left-handers. We didn't square many balls up against him."
Cionel Pérez retired the side in order with two strikeouts in the sixth, his first clean inning in his last 10 appearances, the most recent on May 16.
France singled off Pérez leading off the seventh and was erased on a double play.
"That was definitely the positive for me," Hyde said. "There weren't many tonight, but Cionel going two scoreless, hopefully that gets his confidence going a little bit. He had great stuff. His fastball was up to 99, he had really good slider. That was one bright spot tonight."
Kelenic, Rodríguez, France, Hernández and Raleigh strung together two-out RBI singles off Akin in the eighth. Bryan Baker entered the game, and Suárez lined a two-run single into center.
Raleigh reached second base when Aaron Hicks bounced his throw to Ryan O’Hearn, who couldn’t field it cleanly, and with nobody covering the bag.
That kind of a night for the Orioles, who have lost five of their last eight games. Tonight was their most lopsided loss of the season.
"You're going to lose 70-80 games, depending on how well you play, so it's just one of those games," Gibson said. "It's one of those weird ones where a couple big innings kind of did us in, and you've got to be able to flush it and not let one loss turn into two."
* Jordan Westburg hit his 18th home run tonight with Triple-A Norfolk. Connor Norby had an RBI single. Mountcastle went 0-for-3 with a walk.
Jud Fabian hit his second home run for Double-A Bowie, and he also singled and had an RBI double. Joseph Rosa hit his third home run. Coby Mayo had two hits, including a double, and an RBI.
Anthony Servideo tied the game with a two-run single in the eighth, and John Rhodes delivered a run-scoring single in the 10th in a 7-6 win in Altoona.
Chayce McDermott lasted only two-thirds of an inning and allowed three runs with two hits, two walks and two strikeouts. He also threw a wild pitch.
Nolan Hoffman allowed one run in 2 1/3 relief innings. Xavier Moore surrendered an unearned run in 2 1/3 hitless innings but also walked six batters.
Single-A Delmarva catcher Samuel Basallo homered twice to raise his total to eight.
Luis De León allowed an unearned run in five innings in the Florida Complex League. He struck out five batters.