The good news is that there are only four games left for the Orioles. In the last two weeks, the Orioles have had trouble at bat and in the field. On Wednesday night, the struggles extended to their shining rookie starter, Dean Kremer.
Kremer excited the Orioles by allowing just three runs on eight hits in 16 innings in his first three starts.
He’ll end his season with his first rough big league start. Kremer allowed seven runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. His ERA ballooned from 1.69 to 4.82.
The 9-1 loss to the Red Sox was the Orioles’ 12th in their last 15 games. Their record is 23-33, and they lead the Red Sox by just one game for fourth place in the American League East.
“I think we haven’t swung the bat very well the last couple of weeks, but that happens with every team throughout a season,” manager Brandon Hyde said in his pregame video conference call.
“I think there are some guys that I’ve seen improvement, especially the first 30 games where they’ve shown that they can do some things. We have a couple of guys growing through some rough patches. We’re trying to finish the season strong, and probably trying too hard in some ways.
“That’s what we’ve been going through the last two weeks, really just trying to do too much by myself and not having more of a team aspect look, a team aspect at-bat. But putting too much pressure on myself to come through. It seems like we have a group of guys that right now are scuffling because they’re just trying to do too much.”
The Orioles had seven hits in six scoreless innings against Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi, who struck out eight and walked one.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Kevin Plawecki had run-scoring singles in the first. Boston scored six runs in the third, equaling the most runs the Orioles have given up in any inning this season.
J.D. Martinez had an RBI double, Plawecki a run-scoring triple and Michael Chavis’ double scored Bobby Dalbec to make it 5-0.
Kremer had a cut under a fingernail but said that it didn’t affect him.
“I think I just left too many balls in count, center-cut that got hit,” Kremer said.
With his season over, Kremer can look ahead to next year.
“I’m going to try to get bigger, stronger, throw harder and sharpen the tools that I have in the next four months before we come back,” Kremer said.
Overall, Kremer seemed satisfied with his four starts.
“Three of them went well. Tonight was what it was,” Kremer said. “I just couldn’t get anything behind anyone. I’m pretty happy with how it went. I got to dip my toe in the water, and I’m excited for next year.”
After Christian Arroyo walked, Branden Kline, who was added to the active roster earlier in the day when Evan Phillips was sent to the injured list because of elbow inflammation, walked Alex Verdugo to load the bases. Rafael Devers’ three-run double against Kline boosted Boston’s lead to 8-0 and ended Kremer’s pitching line.
“I just think he had a tough time putting guys away tonight,” Hyde said. “I thought they were on a lot of his pitches … He wasn’t as sharp tonight as he had been.”
Hyde looked at the bigger picture.
“I’m excited about Dean,” Hyde said. “I think Dean has a big upside.”
In his second major league appearance, Ellicott City’s Bruce Zimmermann allowed one run on two hits in four innings with five strikeouts and a walk.
Kremer, Zimmermann and Keegan Akin give the Orioles something to look forward to in 2021.
“This has been real valuable experience for them this year,” Hyde said. “Getting a few starts under their belts, looking forward to next year. I think they’re going to take this with them into next spring training. They’ve gotten a taste of the big leagues.
“Both Keegan and Kremer made starts at Yankee Stadium, Fenway, now they’re going to go back and sit on this during the offseason and get better next year, next spring training and use it as a positive, big time. Both of those guys and Zim tonight threw the ball well, made some good starts, looking forward to next year with those guys.”
Austin Hays hit his third home run against Mike Kickham in the seventh. Hays, Pat Valaika and Ryan Mountcastle each had three hits. The Orioles actually outhit the Red Sox, 11-10.
“It’s always tough when the offense and the pitching staff just aren’t lining up,” Hays said. “Try to wash it, and move on to the next game and try to finish strong here these next few games.”
Coming up: The Orioles complete their series with Boston on Thursday night. Alex Cobb will face Martin Perez.