BALTIMORE (AP) — Once Kyle Gibson made it through the first inning, it was smooth sailing.
Gibson tied a career high with 11 strikeouts in the latest impressive outing by a Baltimore starter, and Ramón Urías hit a three-run double to lift the Orioles to their fifth straight victory, 5-1 over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.
Gibson (4-0) allowed two hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked two in the first to load the bases with one out, then retired the next 11 Detroit hitters.
“At times everything was working. At times, like the first inning, not much was working at all,” Gibson said.
Zach McKinstry hit a solo homer off Gibson in the seventh for the first run allowed by a Baltimore starter since the first inning Sunday. James McCann homered for the Orioles.
Urías was ejected by plate umpire Vic Carapazza after he was called out on strikes to end the fifth. He’d already made an impact though. With two outs in the third, he cleared the bases with a double to right field to give the Orioles a 4-0 lead.
“They took advantage of their big inning and we missed out on ours in the first,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said.
McCann homered against his former team in the fourth.
The Orioles have won nine of their last 11, taking advantage of a stretch in the schedule that’s included the Athletics, White Sox, Nationals and Tigers. Baltimore’s starting pitching was a concern before last weekend, but it has turned around in a big way during this last time through the rotation.
Gibson was in trouble in the first after allowing a single and two walks with one out. He struck out Spencer Torkelson, but the count went to 3-0 on McKinstry. After a called strike, McKinstry smacked a hard line drive that went right to Anthony Santander in right field.
“Any time you walk two guys and you get bases loaded and one out, there’s always a little bit of concern,” Gibson said. “McKinstry put a great swing on that 3-1 pitch, and it goes right at Tony. He made a great play.”
Aside from McKinstry’s homer and the shaky first inning, Gibson was dominant. Detroit made contact on just 16 of 34 swings against the right-hander.
Baltimore has won all five of its series so far against non-AL East opponents.
Joey Wentz (0-3) allowed five runs and six hits in four innings. Most of the damage came in the third after he allowed a leadoff single, balked the runner to second and let him advance to third on a wild pitch.
Adley Rutschman hit a two-out RBI single, and after a single by Ryan Mountcastle and a walk to Santander, Urías delivered his big hit with the bases loaded.
It was the third time Gibson has reached 11 strikeouts in a game.
“Right now I think I’m still working on trying to have more double-digit strikeout games than zero strikeout games,” Gibson said. “I was joking with somebody — there’s guys that do this every five days. I don’t know how much fun that must be for them. Because that’s fun when you go out there and you feel unhittable most of the game.”
Gibson indeed has reached double digits in strikeouts six times. He’s had no strikeouts in a game seven times.
Tigers: Detroit put RHP Trey Wingenter (right shoulder tendinitis) on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to Wednesday, and recalled RHP Will Vest from Triple-A Toledo.
Orioles: Baltimore kept SS Jorge Mateo (right hip discomfort) out of the lineup after hard rain in the afternoon made for wet conditions.
Orioles rookie Grayson Rodriguez (0-0) takes the mound Sunday for the series finale against Detroit’s Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2).
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