ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Kyle Gibson is pitching like the No. 1 starter the Texas Rangers needed him to be, and unlike what happened in his first career opening day start.
Gibson gave up one run while pitching three-hit ball over six innings and got a big boost from battery mate Jose Trevino as the Rangers beat the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox 4-1 in a series opener Thursday night.
Trevino’s first homer of the season came on the second pitch thrown by reliever Hirokazu Sawamura with two outs in the sixth, a tiebreaking two-run shot soon after Gibson (3-0) had thrown his final pitch.
Gibson, who struck out four and walked three, has allowed only three earned runs over 33 innings (0.82 ERA) in five starts since getting only one out at Kansas City in the the shortest opening-day start in franchise history.
“I don’t know if I can come up with an adjective,” manager Chris Woodward said when asked to describe the difference. “This is what I was expecting. … I think I’m not surprised.”
Boston had tied the game 1-1 in the top of the sixth when Rafael Devers had an RBI double on a full-count pitch. That snapped the Gibson’s home scoreless streak at 25 2/3 innings, dating to last season and matching the second longest in Arlington since 1994. Alex Verdugo scored after leading off the inning with a double to deep center.
In the five-game stretch, Gibson has lowered his ERA from 135.00 to 2.16 — and plenty of his buddies have texted him about how that’s changed. But he really never let the disappointing opening start affect him after that day.
“I don’t know that anybody would want to, you know, put themselves through not making it out of the first. It’s it’s a feeling I never felt up until that point. And it’s a lonely feeling,” Gibson said. “Part of the role that I’m in now…