The Orioles got another short start, and that sent them on their way to a 7-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night at Target Field, their eighth straight defeat.
It’s their longest losing streak since an eight-game skid from August 12-19, 2019 and continued their woes against Minnesota. The Orioles have lost 14 straight to the Twins (19-29). They haven’t beaten Minnesota since March 31, 2018.
The Orioles (17-31) have lost 15 of 17.
Dean Kremer (0-5) allowed four runs to Minnesota in the second inning. One run scored on Jorge Polanco’s homer, another scored on Rob Refsnyder’s double, and two came home on wild pitches by Kremer.
Kremer lasted three innings in his previous start, when he allowed four runs in a 10-1 loss to Tampa Bay. He knows where he went wrong.
“The second inning, to be blunt. Things snowballed pretty quickly after the home run,” Kremer said. “I didn’t execute after that.”
Josh Donaldson’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly gave Minnesota a 5-3 lead.
Kremer gave up five runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out five.
“I think Dean, mentally, he’s OK,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I think he’s frustrated. You see frustration out on the mound. I thought he really got squeezed early, I thought both guys did, [Twins starter José] Berrios, too. He got squeezed early, which really affected the game for Dean. I think he felt he really had to come to the middle part of the plate to get a strike. It’s not an excuse because I thought it was both sides.”
Cedric Mullins’ two-run single in the second against Berrios (5-2) gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead.
Pedro Severino’s double scored Stevie Wilkerson in the fourth, and the Orioles trailed, 4-3.
Adam Plutko pitched a scoreless fifth, and Keegan Akin allowed two runs in three innings.
DJ Stewart homered in the top of the eighth, his second in as many nights. He has four this season.
Ryan Mountcastle bruised his left hand when he was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning. Mountcastle left the game, and X-rays were negative. Pat Valaika came into the game to play second base, and Stevie Wilkerson moved from second to left field.
Mountcastle is questionable for Wednesday’s game.
“I don’t think you ever really know until the next day and see how it responds tomorrow,” Hyde said. “See how sore it is. It got him in a tough spot.”
For the second straight game, the Orioles played without Austin Hays, who has a tight left hamstring. He won’t play on Wednesday, and the Orioles might try to rush a player to Minneapolis for a 1:10 start.
“We’re considering some options,” Hyde said. “Hays tried to do some running stuff today. It’s still a little bit tight. He’s not going to be able to play tomorrow afternoon.”
Maikel Franco, Mullins and Wilkerson each had two hits for the Orioles.
The Orioles, who were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Monday, were just 2-for-13. They left 11 runners on.
“It could be a mixture of things,” Mullins said. “It could be not being aggressive on pitches that we know we can handle, potentially chase some later in the count. It’s just a matter of continuing to learn from those situations and making sure that we take advantage when they arrive.”
Refsnyder had two doubles and a home run for Minnesota.
Berrios allowed three runs, two unearned, on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. Taylor Rogers got a four-out save, his third.
“This is all a learning experiences for these guys — Kremer, Akin, Mountcastle — all these guys who don’t have much time up here,” Hyde said. “These are learning moments, teaching moments. That’s why they’re here right now. Now, it’s about making adjustments, adapting to the league, understanding what you have to do. It’s not an easy game to play at this level.”
Notes: The Orioles’ losing streak to the Twins is the fourth longest to a club in team history. … Dillon Tate, who’s on the 10-day injured list because of a left hamstring injury, pitched a perfect inning for Triple-A Norfolk. The right-hander struck out one and threw just nine pitches. … Jorge López (1-5, 6.00 ERA) will face Michael Piñeda (2-2, 2.79) on Wednesday afternoon at 1:10. … Mike Baumann retired only two batters in his first start for Double-A Bowie. He allowed four runs, one unearned.