The Angels’ first glimpse of Logan Gilbert — two innings of what seemed like a baby giraffe firing fastballs at them — came way back on March 7 at Tempe Diablo Stadium when fans were seated in pods, masks were required for everyone who wasn’t playing on the field, vaccines weren’t available and Albert Pujols was still on the team.

They got a full dose of Gilbert — all limbs and lank with the demeanor of a DMV worker and the stuff of a front-line starter — on June 6 at Angel Stadium when he notched his first MLB win in his fifth start of his rookie campaign.

And Sunday, a rested but not rusty Gilbert showed the Angels that he’s grown and improved over the five starts after that first win, while serving notice of what they can expect in future starts.

Gilbert struck out a career-high nine batters, including six of the first seven batters he faced, pitching into the sixth inning and helping the Mariners pick up a series win with a 7-4 victory in the finale of a three-game series.

Gilbert’s final line: 5 1/3 innings pitched, two runs allowed on four hits with two walks, two hit batters and the nine strikeouts. He improved to 4-2 on the season while lowering his earned-run average to 3.50. Of his 11 starts this season, the Mariners have been victorious in his past nine outings, which is a team record. Over those nine starts, Gilbert has posted a 2.66 ERA with 55 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 47 1/3 innings pitched.

The Mariners improved to 50-44 on the season and remain 2 ½ games behind the A’s (53-42) for the second wild card. The Blue Jays (48-42) are also 2 ½ games back of the A’s.


“It’s all driven by starting pitching and Logan was awesome today,” manager Scott Servais said. “He really attacked and was dominating first time through the lineup. … He had a really good fastball today and it was a hot one here today, so he ran out of gas a little bit at the end.”

Gilbert looked dominant from his first pitch — a 96 mph fastball to David Fletcher for a called strike. He struck out Fletcher, who has been a hit-collecting nuisance to Mariners pitchers this season, on three pitches. He followed that up with a swinging strikeout of Shohei Ohtani that included a devastating changeup that left the MLB home run leader stumbling out of the box. Gilbert made it three strikeouts in three batters, blowing a 97 mph fastball past All-Star first baseman Jared Walsh.

His second inning of work wasn’t quite as impressive, but it did include two more strikeouts.

The third inning came with a little drama as he allowed back-to-back one-out singles. But he got Fletcher to pop up for the second out of the inning. He pitched around Ohtani to load the bases with a walk and came back to strike out Walsh swinging.

“It wasn’t the best situation I got myself into,” he said. “But especially after that Ohtani at-bat, I knew that I wanted to attack the strike zone as much as possible. I think I still threw a first-pitch ball, but then right after that, just trying to go right after him and not get into too deep of a count.”

Servais marveled at the poise.

“I don’t even look at Logan as a rookie anymore,” Servais said. “He’s got 10 starts under his belt and he’s just so composed. And he’s got such a good game plan when he walks out there every inning you know, trying to make a few adjustments.”


The Mariners provided plenty of run support for Gilbert against Angels starter Patrick Sandoval. 

Seattle capitalized on a two-out throwing error from Walsh on Luis Torrens’ ground ball to the right side, scoring two runs in the first inning. In the fourth inning, Torrens smacked a solo homer off Sandoval for his 10th homer of the season and a 3-0 lead. Ty France broke the game open in the fifth inning with his ninth homer of the season, hammering a misplaced changeup into the rocks in left-center for a three-run homer that made it 6-0. 

“I’m just trying to get good pitches and trying to shrink my zone a little bit,” France said. “Overall, my timing has been good and the body feels good.”

After a scoreless fourth and fifth inning, Gilbert’s outing came to an end with one out — his career-high ninth strikeout in the game — in the sixth inning. He allowed a leadoff single, struck out Adam Eaton and gave up a double to Taylor Ward.

His replacement, J.T. Chargois, gave up a two-run double to Jose Iglesias with both runs charged to Gilbert.

The Mariners picked up another run on Tom Murphy’s bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning.

After looking a little out of sync in this series, Ohtani reaffirmed that his stunning season hasn’t ended with the All-Star break. He crushed a two-run homer off Paul Sewald in the ninth inning. It was his 34th homer of the season.