BALTIMORE—There were no last at-bat heroics needed. All the Orioles needed was one run, outstanding pitching and strong defense for their seventh straight win, their longest winning streak in nearly five years.
Another loud appreciative crowd, there for Hawaiian shirt day, sat through occasional drizzle to watch the Orioles edge the Los Angeles Angels, 1-0, before an announced crowd of 32,286 at Camden Yards on Saturday.
Dean Kremer, Bruce Zimmermann, Joey Krehbiel, Félix Bautista and Jorge López combined on the five-hit shutout, their eighth of the season.
“I just thought it was a really good major league baseball game,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I thought there was really good pitching on both sides.”
The Orioles won the game despite getting only five hits, all singles, against Los Angeles (38-48).
At 42-44, they’re two games below .500 for the first time since April 11th, the fourth game of the season, when they were 1-3.
The Orioles scored in the fourth against Angels starter Patrick Sandoval (3-4) when Ryan Mountcastle singled with one out. He moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Anthony Santander.
Oriole starter Dean Kremer (3-1) allowed two singles, walked three and hit a batter, striking out seven to equal a career high in five scoreless innings.
“I thought Dean battled,” Hyde said. “I thought it was a great job of not having your best stuff and being able to get through five innings. I hope that springs him forward even more.”
Kremer’s final inning, the fifth, ended when Mike Trout grounded to third baseman Tyler Nevin, who threw to first for one out. First baseman Trey Mancini threw back to third and Nevin kept his tag on Jordan Marsh, whose foot came off the base as he tried to go from second to third.
“I think that was huge,” Kremer said. “I didn’t know how many more bullets I had in me.”
Nevin brought out the Orioles’ lineup card to mark the first time he and his father, Angels manager Phil Nevin, had competed in a major league game.
Zimmermann, who was recalled from Triple-A on Saturday, began the sixth. With one out, he allowed singles to Taylor Ward and Jared Walsh. He then got Michael Stefanic to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play.
Krehbiel allowed a hit and recorded two outs in the seventh. Bautista retired Jonathan Villar on a grounder to first for the third out. In the eighth, Baustista put on a show, retiring Trout and Ward on called third strikes with a 100-mph fastball. He also retired Shohei Ohtani on a grounder to short.
“Any time you get those three guys outs, it’s impressive because those guys are exceptional,” Hyde said.
López, who might be the Orioles’ representative at the All-Star Game on July 19th, struck out Walsh, hit Stefanic with a pitch and struck out Luis Rengifo before Austin Hays made a nice running catch on Kurt Suzuki’s fly ball to end the game. It was López’s 16th save.
After Hays made the catch while running toward the left-field line, he slapped hands with a fan as the Orioles and their fans began their celebration.
In the last two days, the Orioles have drawn their second- and third-largest crowds of the season.
“We need to have a weekly Friday night ‘Floppy Hat Night’ and a Saturday ‘Hawaiian shirt night,’ and we’ll figure something the other [days],” Hyde said. “Those were two awesome crowds, great environments. They were into it. Loved to see the fans stand up in the ninth in a big spot. It was major league baseball. It was a lot of fun.”
Notes: Austin Voth (0-1, 7.20) will face José Suarez (1-2, 4.30) on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. The game will be streamed exclusively on Peacock. It won’t be televised on MASN. … Single-A Delmarva’s game with Salem was postponed by rain. They’ll play a doubleheader on Sunday. … In his first rehab appearance, Kyle Bradish threw three perfect innings for Double-A Bowie against Somerset, striking out six. Bradish who is on the 15-day injured list because of right shoulder inflammation, threw 36 pitches.
Elias on top prospects: Some of the top prospects in the Orioles’ minor league system — left-hander DL Hall and infielders Gunnar Henderson, Terrin Vavra and Jordan Westburg — are at Triple-A Norfolk. Hall and Vavra are on the 40-man roster.
“They’re playing really well at Triple-A,” general manager Mike Elias said. “You start pushing for opportunities when you do that … [Hall] has been in pro ball longer. He’s going through some more speed bumps in Triple-A than the other guys so far. He’s also been there a lot longer. Anybody’s who’s playing as well or is as talented as the four of those guys are, it can happen at any moment.”
Henderson and Westburg aren’t on the 40-man roster.
“Anybody that we call or not, whether or not you’re on the 40-man roster, is certainly a relevant consideration from moment to moment.”
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB