➔ See how BaltimoreBaseball.com can grow your business.
WASHINGTON—On a night when the Orioles’ offense suddenly disappeared, a solid start from Dean Kremer was badly needed. Kremer, who came into the game with a 9.49 earned-run average, delivered 6 2/3 outstanding innings and the Orioles held on for a 1-0 win over the Washington Nationals before an announced crowd of 18,747 at Nationals Park on Tuesday night.
Lots of Orioles fans were on hand, and as the game ended, the crowd was overwhelmingly pro-Oriole.
“We’ve had a great crowd showing of Orioles fans the past few years, and we’re looking forward to it again tonight,” manager Brandon Hyde said before the game.
The Orioles (10-7), who had averaged seven runs per game in their last four, had to scrap against the pesky Nationals (5-12).
Kremer’s was the best for an Oriole starter this season, allowing four hits in seven innings, giving up four singles without walking a batter and striking out six.
“I’m very happy with the results, and it’s definitely something to build off of.” Kremer said.
Kremer acknowledged that his first three starts were difficult.
“Of course there’s frustration,” Kremer said. “Anytime you come out on the bottom side, and you see your ERA blow up, it kind of hurts. Not to lose faith in where you’re going.”
His toughest inning was the third when CJ Abrams singled leading off. Victor Robles hit a grounder to third, but Gunnar Henderson’s throw bounced past first baseman Ryan O’Hearn for a two-base error. It was Henderson’s third error of the season at third base.
“I think you saw the intensity out there,” Hyde said. “Worked ahead in the count the entire game.”
Kremer (1-0) struck out Lane Thomas, Dominic Smith and Joey Meneses to get out of trouble.
“He knew we needed some punchouts there, and he went after it,” Hyde said. “I like the way he elevated his fastball tonight.”
Ryan Mountcastle led off the fourth with a single against Josiah Gray (0-4). With one out, Adam Frazier walked, and Austin Hays singled to score Mountcastle. Hays was thrown out at second.
“I try not to let the score dictate the outing,” Kremer said. “Keep my head down and see how it is when it’s over.”
The Orioles had several other scoring opportunities early in the game. They were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
“Definitely was trying to give Dean some breathing there,” Hyde said. “We had guys on base early and only cashed in one. Our offense is doing an amazing job scoring runs. We haven’t played many 1-0 ballgames, and sometimes you have to win that way.”
Danny Coulombe retired the only batter he faced in the seventh. Yennier Cano pitched a spotless eighth. He has pitched 3 2/3 perfect innings since he was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Friday.
“The most important thing is not focusing on the score,” Cano said through a translator. “If the score is 1-0, I’m not focusing on that … I’m focused on getting an out, another out, throwing a strike, throwing another strike. Last year, I would come into the games and be a little worried about what the score was, if we were ahead or we were behind in the game. This year, I’m just trying to do my job.”
Last year, Cano allowed nine runs in 4 1/3 innings in three late-season appearances.
“I think just coming in with a different mindset,” Cano said. “Last year was my first year in the bigs, so coming in this year with more experience, feeling a lot more comfortable and having that pitch where I feel a lot more comfortable throwing it this year is making a big difference.”
Félix Bautista allowed a hit in a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.
Note: The Orioles haven’t named a starter for Wednesday, but it’s expected to be Kyle Bradish. Washington will pitch MacKenzie Gore (2-0, 3.00).
Minor league update: Cole Irvin allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings in his first start since the Orioles optioned him to Norfolk. Irvin walked one and struck out two as the Tides beat Rochester, 5-3
Colton Cowser had four hits, including his first home run. Second baseman Connor Norby had two hits.
Third baseman Coby Mayo hit his second home run, one of just three hits for Double-A Bowie in their 6-1 loss to Altoona.
Catcher Silas Ardoin hit a three-run home run and drove in four runs in High-A Aberdeen’s 9-8 win over Jersey Shore.
Catcher Samuel Basallo hit a two-run home run and drove in four, shortstop Jackson Holliday had two hits and raised his average to .371 in Single-A Delmarva’s 11-6 win over Fredericksburg.
RAVENS LINKS FROM BALTIMORESPORTS.COM