BALTIMORE — Orioles utility man Ramon Urias had only seven at-bats entering a doubleheader against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.
He certainly put himself in position for more playing time moving forward.
Urias delivered a game-winning single with two outs in the seventh inning to give the Orioles a 7-6 victory in the second game to earn a split. It was the Orioles’ first home win of the season and snapped a four-game losing streak.
Urias also homered and drove in a pair of runs in a 4-3 loss in the opener.
“Today, I think I had some pretty good swings and I was able to make some hard contact,” Urias said through a translator. “I am very happy that I was able to contribute to the victory for my team. I’m looking forward to receiving more opportunities to show what I can do out there.”
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said his players need to take a better approach at the plate and stop putting so much pressure on themselves. After struggling on offense in the first game, Hyde was proud of the way the players responded in the nightcap.
“We’re just trying to get better,” Hyde said. “We got some guys off to slow starts offensively. We see a lot of pressing going on with our hitters.
“Hopefully, the rallies that we had and wins like this can kind of relax some guys. We have a lot of guys pressing at the plate right now. So to get a win and to get some big hits in big spots, something we haven’t done in the last couple of days … it was huge for us.
“Hopefully, we can get some momentum going from an at-bat standpoint and be a little tougher at the plate. Grind out our at-bats a little bit more. I thought we took better at-bats in the second game than the first game. We just have to build on that.”
Orioles starter Dean Kremer has struggled to go deep into games. For the second time in as many starts, he didn’t pitch past the third inning after allowing four runs and four hits with three strikeouts and a walk over 54 pitches.
After impressing initially when he was called up by the Orioles in 2020, Kremer ended last season by allowing seven runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings to Boston, boosting his ERA from 1.69 to 4.82.
“I need to stick with my curveball, have trust in it and really hammer everything out,” Kremer said.
After winning Game 1 of the double header, 4-3, in eighth innings, the Mariners took a 4-0 lead in the second inning of Game 2 on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Seager and a three-run homer by Jose Marmolejos.
The Orioles were much more aggressive against Seattle left-hander Nick Margevicius after managing just five hits in the opener.
Maikel Franco set the tone with a three-run double with two outs in the third. Ryan Mountcastle followed with an RBI single that tied the game, 4-4.
Hyde wanted to take some pressure off Mountcastle by moving him down the lineup from the cleanup hitter to the No. 6 spot and the rookie responded with two hits and an RBI.
The bats stayed hot as centerfielder Cedric Mullins extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI double in the fifth. A sacrifice fly by Anthony Santander later that inning provided a 6-4 lead.
After Wade LeBlanc threw a scoreless fourth, Adam Plutko shut down the Mariners until the seventh, when he allowed a towering two-run homer to Sam Haggerty that landed on Eutaw Street and tied the game at 6. Before that, Plutko had allowed just three hits over six innings of relief.
“The guy hasn’t given up a run for us,” Hyde said. “With a doubleheader and some question marks tomorrow, I just decided that he was throwing the ball so well. I had [César Valdez] for the top of the order. Last thing I was expecting was a two-run homer from the guy at the bottom of the order.”
Mariners reliever Casey Sadler retired the first two batters in the seventh before Franco drew a walk. Ryan McKenna, who had replaced Mountcastle in left field, reached on a throwing error by Sadler. The runners advanced on a wild pitch by Sadler before Urías delivered the game-winning single.
“I just want our guys to have success, and I’m trying to put guys in a position to have success,” Hyde said. “It’s hard for me to watch our guys grind.
“I like the character of our guys. I really like our players. They work hard every day and their struggles are coming from trying too hard and trying to do it instead of just kind of relaxing and letting the game come, which sometimes happens when you get older.”
Note: After the second game, the Orioles returned Travis Lakins Sr. to the alternate training site at Bowie.