Before the Orioles began their latest homestand Friday, manager Brandon Hyde said he expected a bounce-back outing from right-hander Dean Kremer.
It took a little longer than expected, but he got it.
After a rain delay of nearly two hours, the Orioles beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1-0, for their fourth straight win, with Kremer allowing no runs in his 6 1/3 innings. Kremer had a 6.94 ERA in five July starts but pitched well to keep Baltimore undefeated in August, retiring 14 straight Pirates before a one-out double in the seventh ended his night. Kremer joined veteran Jordan Lyles as Baltimore’s only starters to record an out in the seventh inning multiple times this year. Kremer’s outing allowed the Orioles to eventually break through on a night they wasted scoring opportunities in four of the first five innings.
“Usually, when you squander that many early, you’re expecting something not good to happen,” Hyde said. “But fortunately for us, Dean Kremer, for me, that was his best outing of the year. I thought he did a good job of mixing in his curveball and his changeup along with a good fastball and the cutter. Pitched with a ton of confidence tonight. That’s what I take away from this game. That’s huge for us and for him.”
With the victory, the Orioles (55-51) kept pace with the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League wild-card race, remaining two games out of a playoff spot. The 55 wins are the most in a season during Hyde’s four-season tenure.
With closer Jorge López traded to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, Hyde asked what was his primary pair of setup men for the final eight outs behind Kremer. Left-hander Cionel Pérez got the first five, finishing with a strikeout and a flourish, before Félix Bautista recorded his first save since inheriting the closer’s role from López.
“I did it a little differently than we have in the past,” Hyde said. “These guys are gonna be put in a little different positions right now just because of Lopey not being here and they’re gonna have to get both sides-of-the-plate guys out now a little bit more, all the way down the road. [Joey] Krehbiel, [Bryan Baker], all those type of guys are gonna have to step it up a little bit and take on a little bit bigger roles than they’ve taken on.”
The game’s lone run came in the bottom of the sixth. Anthony Santander doubled to open the frame before Ryan Mountcastle grounded out, the Orioles’ 10th straight fruitless at-bat with a runner in scoring position to open the game. Rookie infielder Terrin Vavra continued his on-base brigade with an infield single off Pirates starter Mitch Keller, with Ramón Urías then chopping a single into left to score Santander.
Amid his three-hit night, Vavra at one point reached in seven straight plate appearances dating to Monday, the first Orioles rookie with such a streak since Jerry Hairston Jr. in 1999.
The Orioles finished 2-for-15 with runners on second or third, but Kremer, Pérez …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment