BALTIMORE—After the unexpected demotion of Dean Kremer 10 days ago came the expected promotion. Kremer came back from the alternate training site at Bowie to start Wednesday night’s game against the New York Yankees, and for the second consecutive night, an Oriole rookie starter was pounded.
After Bruce Zimmermann allowed four runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings on Tuesday, Kremer gave up six runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings as the Orioles lost to the Yankees, 7-0, before 7,338 at Oriole Park on Wednesday.
Four of the six runs Kremer (0-2) allowed came on home runs. Mike Ford led off the second with his second home run of the season. Gio Urshela hit a three-run home run, his fourth, in a four-run third inning.
Gleyber Torres’ RBI single in the third and Aaron Hicks’ sacrifice fly in the sixth were the other New York (11-13) runs against Kremer, whose ERA rose to 8.40.
“I just thought his command wasn’t real good tonight,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I thought he had good stuff … Fastball command was erratic, and without a breaking ball that doesn’t land consistently, it’s going to be very difficult. They squared a lot of balls up. I give him credit for competing and getting into the fifth inning.”
It could have been worse. In the first, DJ LeMahieu led off with a single. Giancarlo Stanton slammed a 119.4 mph rocket to third base. Maikel Franco made a pretty pickup and threw to second baseman Rio Ruiz, who made a fine pivot and throw to first to get Stanton. Torres followed with a double, and he moved to third on a wild pitch by Kremer, but Urshela struck out for the third out.
“I probably didn’t get ahead as much as I should have,” Kremer said. “Every time I came in the zone, down in the count, they capitalized.”
Kremer is trying to stay positive.
“There’s only up, I guess,” he said. “It’s going to be an adjustment period here this year, I understand that. It’s just hammering the things I need to do to try to figure out what makes me good.”
With two rookies, Zimmermann and Kremer in the rotation, there are bound to be growing pains.
“That’s part of being in the major leagues as a young player,” Hyde said. “You’re saw that for our hitters the last couple of years. It’s not an easy league, and they’re facing good lineups. They’re going to have some tough days, and they’re going to have some good days.
“This is a tough lineup to pitch against. You’ve got to have your “A’ game. You’ve got to have command. If you don’t, it’s going to be very, very challenging, a lot of balls hit hard.”
Of Kremer’s eight major league starts, four have come against New York.
“They’re a pretty disciplined team, if you come into the zone, they’ll hurt you,” Kremer said. “It definitely helps them that they’ve seen me a bunch. You could flip it around. I have seen them a bunch, so I should know how to pitch around them or through them.”
Yankee starter Domingo Germán (2-2) was nearly unhittable. He walked DJ Stewart with one out in the second and didn’t allow a hit until Ryan Mountcastle, who had been 3-for-36, beat out a ground ball to third with two outs in the fifth.
Germán allowed singles to Trey Mancini and Pedro Severino in the seventh. He struck out six in seven innings and improved his record against the Orioles (10-14) to 5-0 with a 2.41 ERA.
“I thought Germán was really, really good,” Hyde said. “He’s throwing all pitches for strikes, keeping the ball down in the zone against us, elevating when he wanted to.”
Severino won the award for strangest defensive play of the night. Aaron Hicks popped up in the eighth, and instead of third baseman Maikel Franco catching it, Severino caught it past third base, and kept running in foul territory toward left.
Shawn Armstrong pitched a hitless 1 2/3 innings after Kremer left, and Tyler Wells gave up Clint Frazier’s first home run of the season in the eighth.
Mancini’s ninth-inning single against Michael King was the 500th hit of his career.
Notes: Jorge López (1-3, 8.15 ERA) will face Jordan Montgomery (1-1, 4.57) at 1:05 p.m. on Thursday. … The Orioles were shut out for the fourth time.