(Photo credit: Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports)
Kyle Gibson pitched into the eighth inning and the visiting Baltimore Orioles moved a step closer to the American League East title in a 5-1 win over the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday.
Gibson (15-9) allowed one run on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Danny Coulombe and DL Hall combined to record the final six outs in Baltimore's final road game of the season.
The Orioles (97-59) earned a split of the four-game series and moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. The win reduced Baltimore's magic number to win the division to three.
Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie (0-2) struggled with his control in his first start since suffering a right elbow sprain on June 10. He lasted just 1 2/3 innings and issued a career-high six walks with three runs allowed.
Jose Ramirez had three hits for the Guardians (74-83), who were officially eliminated from postseason contention on Friday.
Baltimore scored three runs in the second inning on one hit and five walks. Jordan Westburg doubled in a run with one out and Cedric Mullins scored on Jorge Mateo's groundout. The Orioles tacked on another run after McKenzie walked the next three batters.
Cleveland averted further damage when Eli Morgan relieved McKenzie with the bases loaded and retired Ryan O'Hearn to end the inning.
The Orioles stretched their lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning after Mateo doubled with one out, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Adley Rutschman's double.
Rutschman recorded his 100th career extra-base hit in the contest and finished with two doubles and a pair of walks. He is 14-for-31 during his eight-game hitting streak.
Cleveland put a run on the board in the bottom of the fourth off Gibson when Ramirez hit a leadoff double and scored following a pair of groundouts.
Mullins snapped an 0-for-18 skid with a one-out RBI single in the fifth inning to extend the Orioles' lead to 5-1.
Gibson was relieved by Coulombe after giving up David Fry's leadoff double in the eighth inning.
--Field Level Media