It’s a shame Jorge Mateo and Kyle Gibson can’t play every game in GlobeLife Field. The Orioles shortstop went deep for the second game in a row and the O’s offense backed starter Gibson in a big way on the way to a 7-2 win over the Rangers.
Mateo’s two-run shot in the 3rd inning capped off another Orioles offensive explosion, as they chased Texas start Andrew Heaney after only 2.2 innings pitched. Dating back to August of last season, Mateo now has four home runs in his last four games in Arlington—with only two dingers at Camden Yards in that same time frame.
That one got out of here as fast as... well, as fast as Jorge Mateo pic.twitter.com/QsKikSH56i— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) April 5, 2023
Gibson was also excited to be back in GlobeLife, as he routinely forced his former teammates into weak contact Tuesday night. The Orioles’ de facto ace set the tone early, breezing through the first inning on eight pitches with two soft grounders to first base.
The Orioles’ bats then came alive in the 2nd inning. After getting a 2-0 win on Monday with only solo HRs, the Orioles started the scoring with a little small ball on Tuesday. In the top of the second, Adam Frazier walked and Jorge Mateo singled to set up No.9 hitter Ryan McKenna with a two-on, one-out opportunity. McKenna took immediate advantage, lining a hanging slider into left field, scoring Frazier and giving the O’s 1-0 lead. Cedric Mullins kept the scoring going, reaching out and poking a slider into shallow right, driving in McKenna and allowing Mateo to get to third.
Not to lose sight of their Earl Weaver roots, Ryan Mountcastle capped off the second-inning rally with a three-run home run off the right field foul pole. The looping shot to right only had an XBA of .170, but found its way off the pole to give the O’s a 5-0 lead.
Spotted a big lead, Gibson continued to cruise against the Rangers. While he did give up a solo HR to Adolis Garcia on a hanging breaking ball in the 2nd, much of Texas’ contact left a lot to be desired. He ended the second inning by inducing two lazy flyballs. Then, after giving up a leadoff single in the third, he induced a groundball double play before closing out the inning with another flyout.
The Rangers' best-sustained threat came in the fourth inning, as singles from Corey Seager and Josh Jung gave them a two-on, two-out scenario as they tried to claw back in the game. Instead, Gibson blew a fastball past Robbie Grossman to strike him out and end the threat.
Gibson would speed through the fifth again on the back of another double play. In the 6th, despite giving up a solo HR to Nathaniel Lowe, Gibson once again got through an inning only needing eight pitches. The Rangers consistently made contact off Gibson, but that contact usually resulted with the ball comfortably nestled in the glove of an Orioles’ fielder.
The veteran righty’s most dominant inning came in the 7th. He started things off by striking out Jung on a sweeper that dove away from the rookie. He then struck out Grossman again by blowing another fastball by the Rangers’ right fielder. Facing his final hitter of the evening, Gibson completed the inning by striking out former battery-mate Mitch Garver on a 3-2 sweeper in the dirt. In his second start of the season, Gibson’s final line finished at 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER and 5 Ks on only 88 pitches.
While the O’s offense tied off on Heaney, the Baltimore bats were much quieter against the Texas bullpen. After replacing Heaney in the 3rd, Dane Dunning didn’t give up his first hit until Mountcastle doubled to left in the 7th. Overall, Mountcastle and Mateo were the offensive stars of the day, each going 2-4 with a HR, while the O’s first baseman drove in three and their shortstop knocked in two.
Logan Gillaspie relieved Gibson in the 8th, working around a leadoff walk to put up a zero in his 0.2 innings of work. With a five-run lead, there was no need to summon any Mountains, so Cionel Pérez got the opportunity to finish off the game. The hard-throwing Cuban started off the inning by striking out Lowe, freezing compatriot Garcia on a 3-2 slider. The Rangers tried to make things interesting with a double from Jung, but Perez finally slammed the door by getting Grossman to line out to center field.
The win not only secured the O’s first series win of 2023 but their eighth straight victory over Texas. Should the Orioles pull off a series sweep on Wednesday, it will be their third straight sweep against the Rangers. For now, though, Birdland can simply enjoy the sweet sensation that comes with the O’s playing their most complete game of the young season on Tuesday.
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