Gerber (1-1) took the loss in an extra-inning defeat at the hands of the Athletics on Friday, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits over two-thirds of an inning. He did not issue a walk or record a strikeout. Tasked with closing the door on the Athletics by protecting the Mariners' 1-0 lead upon entering the 10th inning, Gerber's outing began with him retiring Marcus Semien and Tommy La Stella, with the latter's flyball out allowing inning-opening baserunner Nate Orf to reach third base. However, Gerber proceeded to give up a game-tying RBI double to Ramon Laureano, which was immediately followed by a Mark Canha game-winning two-run homer. The outing marked the second consecutive with at least one earned run allowed by the 23-year-old following an impressive 10-appearance scoreless streak.
Gerber, who secured his first big-league win against the Rangers on Saturday with a scoreless inning during which he allowed a hit and recorded a strikeout, hasn't been scored upon in his last 5.2 innings (seven appearances). The promising right-hander seems to be increasingly adapting to facing big-league hitters after making the jump from Double-A ball this season, even as he's yet to start missing bats at anywhere near the level he did during his time in the minors. Gerber generated K/9s of between 12.2 and 17.7 during the four stops he logged in the Mariners' affiliates the last two seasons, but he's posted just a 2.7 figure in that category thus far in the majors. Nevertheless, Gerber has helped himself by consistently keeping the ball down (40.6 percent groundball rate) and he's posted a 3.74 FIP that's encouragingly very close to his solid 3.60 ERA.
Gerber, who fired a scoreless ninth inning during which he allowed a hit and recorded a strikeout in a win over the Padres on Tuesday, has now put together four straight scoreless appearances. The promising right-hander hasn't looked out of place at all at the big-league level despite never having pitched above Double-A Arkansas prior to this season. Gerber has suffered just one hiccup, which came when he allowed three earned runs over 1.1 innings to the Rockies on Aug. 8. Otherwise, he's given up just one additional run over eight innings across eight appearances, making him an increasingly trustworthy relief option for manager Scott Servais.
Gerber's contract was selected by the Mariners on Tuesday. Gerber has yet to make his major-league debut, but he'll have the chance to do so as he'll take the place of Kendall Graveman (neck) and Zac Grotz on the pitching staff. Gerber was dominant with Double-A Arkansas last season, posting a 1.59 ERA and 30:7 K:BB over 22.2 innings. It's unclear how the Mariners plan to utilize him in the majors, but his most likely role would be as a bullpen arm.
Gerber was included in the 60-man player pool that will report to the Mariners' summer camp, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. The 23-year-old had arguably already made enough of an impression in Cactus League play to earn his way onto what was originally projected to be a 26-man Opening Day roster. Therefore, with four extra slots now available to manager Scott Servais, Gerber would presumably have even better odds of making the final cut at the end of the team's summer camp. In addition to recording seven strikeouts over five scoreless innings before spring training was suspended, Gerber dominated at Double-A Arkansas last season to the tune of a 1.59 ERA and 30:7 K:BB across 22.2 innings.
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