BALTIMORE—The Orioles won their seventh straight game without the excitement of the previous weekend. Dean Kremer’s start, unlike the previous five Oriole starts, wasn’t particularly strong. There wasn’t a late-inning rally, but the relief pitching was outstanding.
Keegan Akin, Bryan Baker, Danny Coulombe and Yennier Cano combined for 3 1/3 hitless innings in the Orioles’ 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox before an announced crowd of 11,811 at Camden Yards on Monday night.
Kremer (2-0), who threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings at Washington in his last start, allowed four runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings and recorded his first win against Boston (12-12). He was 0-4 with a 7.76 ERA in his previous six starts against the Red Sox.
“Ever?” Kremer asked when told he had beaten Boston for the first time. “As you can tell I don’t look at all these statistics, but this team has had my number since I debuted.”
After Coloumbe walked Masataka Yoshida to start the ninth, Cano retired the three batters he faced and picked up his first career save. Manager Brandon Hyde said that Félix Bautista, who worked in five of the Orioles’ six previous games, needed a night off.
“That was a bit nerve wracking,” Cano said through a translator. “I’ve never come into a major league game in the ninth inning, trying to close it out.”
Since Cano was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on April 14th, he has been used in increasingly more important situations.
“They’ve been unbelievably pleasant surprises,” Hyde said about Coulombe and Cano. “We didn’t know what Cano was going to do. He was pitching really well in Triple-A. We were hoping it was going to translate up here. He’s got a really good sinker and a really good changeup, a nice slider that can go to on right-handers. It’s been fun watching these guys pitch.”
Kremer gave up four runs in the first three innings, but the Orioles (15-7) pecked away.
“The offense did a hell of a job picking me up after the four,” Kremer said, and also saluted Cano.
“He’s incredible. His stuff is unbelievable,” Kremer said. “He throws mid-90s with a disgusting changeup. He’s basically Félix from shoulder height.”
Triston Casas hit a 426-foot home run in the second. In the third, Boston scored three runs. Alex Verdugo dribbled a single that eluded first baseman Ryan Mountcastle to score Connor Wong. Rafael Devers hit a two-run home run, the first to land on Eutaw Street this season.
Adam Frazier’s opposite-field single against Boston starter Chris Sale (1-2) scored Cedric Mullins in the bottom of the third to reduce Boston’s lead to 4-1
In the bottom of the fourth, Ramón Urías’ ground-rule double scored Adley Rutschman and Anthony Santander ,and James McCann’s opposite-field single to right scored Urías to tie it at 4.
Austin Hays’ single scored Jorge Mateo in the fifth to put the Orioles in front 5-4.
Each of the Oriole starters had at least one hit, and the team didn’t strike out for the first time since August 8th, 2010.
“Besides maybe our first two games in Boston, this was our best offensive game,” Hyde said. “Who loves no punchouts? I do.”
Justin Turner was thrown out at third by Hays on Masataka Yoshida’s single to left. After Kiké Hernández flied to right, Keegan Akin retired Casas on a grounder to second.
Bryan Baker pitched a scoreless seventh. He walked Wong, who was thrown out attempting to steal by McCann. Coulombe retired the three batters he faced in the eighth before the ninth inning walk brought Cano in.
Cano has retired 20 straight batters to begin his season, four short of the club record set by Fred Holdsworth in 1976.
“All the emotions kick in,” Cano said. “We’ve got to control it somehow. We’ve got to get ready to go out there and do the job because at the end of the day, the entire game is on you at that point. You’ve got to control it.”
When Urías caught Jarren Duran’s liner to end the game, Cano could celebrate.
“When I saw Ramón get that line drive, I was finally like, ‘man, I can finally breathe and relax a little bit,’” Cano said. “The moment he hit it I was super tensed up. It was great to see him catch that line drive to win us the game.”
Cano is another example of the Orioles’ finding useful bullpen pieces.
“I think we have a lot of depth everywhere,” Hays said. “Our pitching staff, the starters are doing a great job. Night in and night out, they’re being very consistent right now. The bullpen’s doing what they’ve done for the last two years.
“Offense is just scoring runs when we need to, where we need to. We’re making it tough on the starters. That’s a big improvement from last year. Our team has grown in the areas we needed to and made some adjustments. It’s really fun right now.”
Notes: Kyle Bradish (1-0, 0.00) will face Corey Kluber (0-4, 8.50) on Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. … Boston hitting coach Peter Fatse was ejected by home plate umpire Junior Valentine in the sixth inning for loudly objecting to ball-and-strike calls. … The Orioles have won each of their eight series openers.