OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Baltimore Orioles score runs every which way, and that makes pitching against them quite a chore.
Kyle Gibson is thrilled to watch it from the dugout - even if that means longer waits in the dugout to return to the mound because of big innings.
Gunnar Henderson hit a two-run homer in the second and added an RBI single to back Gibson's winning start, and Baltimore beat the Oakland Athletics 9-4 on Friday night.
“One thing that makes this lineup so dangerous is just how deep it is,” Gibson said. “And even guys on the bench when we bring guys in, a lot of the situations we're not losing a whole lot.”
Gibson (12-7) struck out six and didn't walk a batter, allowing four runs on nine hits over five innings coming off his first loss in seven starts. He's one win from matching his career high done twice previously and last in 2019 with Minnesota.
Henderson is manager Brandon Hyde's choice for AL Rookie of the Year, saying, “Gunnar, nothing is surprising at this point, he has so much ability and he's going to be a really, really good player in this league for a long time.”
The slugging shortstop hit his 20th home run and had his 13th multi-RBI game for the AL East-leading Orioles.
“It's pretty cool to reach at that point in the season,” Henderson said.
Cedric Mullins hit a two-run double in the Orioles' three-run first that also featured an RBI single by Ryan Mountcastle. Adam Frazier contributed an RBI double, while Jordan Westburg had a run-scoring single and sacrifice fly in Baltimore's balanced offensive attack.
The A's got one back in the bottom half of the first on Seth Brown's RBI double and he hit an RBI single in the fifth. Tony Kemp and Brent Rooker added run-scoring doubles.
Oakland changed its pitching plan Thursday to go with opener Francisco Pérez (0-1), the 15th time the A's used an opener and they fell to 0-5.
Hyde so appreciated Mark Kotsay’s text Thursday that the A’s were changing starters.
“It’s kind of an unwritten professionalism type of thing to let the other team know as much in advance as you can give them. ... And you want to reciprocate, too," Hyde said. “I’ve seen it every different type of way. But I know Mark really well. So I would have done the same thing for him.”
Oakland lost for the eighth time in 10 games and the A's have dropped the season series with the Orioles - 1-5 with two more matchups this weekend - for the first time since going 3-4 against Baltimore in 2017.
A's center fielder Lawrence Butler singled twice in his home debut at the Coliseum after making his major league debut a week earlier.
A couple of former A's, pitchers Cole Irvin and Shintaro Fujinami, were back at the Coliseum and spent some time pregame catching up with old friends. Irvin spent the 2021 and '22 seasons with Oakland, while Fujinami was traded to the Orioles last month ahead of the deadline.
Orioles: OF Aaron Hicks tested his back injury with some swings in the indoor cage and manager Brandon Hyde hadn't ruled out his return Saturday. Hicks missed his third straight start since experiencing back discomfort Monday night in his first game back from a stint on the injured list.
Athletics: 1B Ryan Noda, recovering from a fractured jaw, was playing again for Triple-A Las Vegas in his third rehab game - this time nine innings at first base and Kotsay is encouraged by his progress.
LHP Irvin (1-3, 4.92 ERA) faces his former club Saturday night seeking his first decision since June 16 and first win since June 10. Fellow southpaw Ken Waldichuk (2-7, 6.07), who left with the lead in each of his past two outings only for the bullpen to blow the save.
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