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SAN DIEGO—While the Orioles secured their 78th straight series without being swept with a win on Monday night, losses on Tuesday and Wednesday night prevented them from another series win.
The Orioles’ 5-2 loss to the San Diego Padres before an announced crowd of 42,518 at Petco Park combined with the Tampa Bay Rays’ 6-1 win over the San Francisco Giants cuts Baltimore’s lead in the American League East to two games over the Rays.
After starting the road trip with a decisive loss and two exciting wins at Seattle, the Orioles are 3-3 on the nine-game West Coast trip heading into a three-game series at Oakland after an offday on Thursday.
Oriole starter Dean Kremer (11-5) lost for the first time since June 30th. Kremer hadn’t lost in his previous seven starts.
“In the third stopped the bleeding a little too late,” Kremer said. “It’s a little frustrating. Sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes it’s solo homers.”
Kremer allowed three runs to San Diego (58-63) in the third inning on RBI singles by Fernando Tatis Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Jake Cronenworth.
“He just had that one bad inning,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We did not score enough runs. That’s the bottom line. We faced six really good starters so far on this trip, and we had a tough time scoring runs against starting pitching. You can’t get four or five hits a game and expect to win.”
The Orioles had four hits in each of their first two games against the Mariners and five in this loss.
The Orioles (74-47) scored in the first against Blake Snell (10-8) when Anthony Santander’s sacrifice fly scored Adley Rutschman.
Ryan Mountcastle extended his on-base streak to 23 games with a sixth-inning home run, his 16th, and the Orioles trailed, 3-2.
Kremer allowed three runs on five hits in six innings.
“Seattle was a grind every game and I know their record might not show it, but this is one of the hardest lineups to face because with one swing of the bat they can get it going,” Kremer said.
It was Kremer’s first time facing Manny Machado, who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a package of five players, including Kremer in July 2018.
“Kind of a full circle moment,” Kremer said. “It’s definitely weird being on the other side.”
Trent Grisham homered against Oriole reliever Shintaro Fujinami with one out in the seventh.
Tatis singled against Fujinami and Cionel Pérez replaced Fujinami. He attempted to pick off Tatis and his throw was wild, and Tatis ended up on third. With Pérez not paying attention, Tatis easily stole home, and San Diego led, 5-2.
“He’s a very aggressive baserunner. He’s very instinctual,” Hyde said. “We’ve got to be a little bit more aware. We had to have a little bit more awareness on the field tonight in this situation. He’s a plus-runner, great runner with instincts, and we didn’t execute at all.”
At first base, Mountcastle was watching Tatis across the field at third.
“I saw him creeping, creeping and then he just took off, and by that time Cionel already was coming set, and the timing was perfect,” Mountcastle said.
Padres relievers Nick Martinez, Robert Suarez and Josh Hader combined to throw three scoreless innings. Hader, who hasn’t allowed an earned run since May 31st, earned his 27th save.
“I think it’s the middle of August. We’re a little banged up. We faced six excellent starters,” Hyde said. “Tonight, I thought we were a little impatient on Snell early in the count. I would have liked to have been a little more bit patient when we did get him up in the zone. We drove three or four balls tonight that would have been out in a lot of places … We let him off the hook.”
Note: After their offday on Thursday, the Orioles begin a three-game series at Oakland. Kyle Gibson (11-7, 4.89) will start for the Orioles.
Minor league update: Cade Povich allowed nine runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings as Triple-A Norfolk lost to Memphis, 10-0. Povich (0-2) struck out two and walked two as the Tides had just three hits. DL Hall pitched a scoreless inning,
Second baseman Max Wagner and designated hitter John Rhodes homered as Double-A Bowie beat Altoona, 5-1.
Third baseman Isaac De Léon and designated hitter Jacob Teter homered as High-A Aberdeen defeated Wilmington, 5-4.
Catcher Randy Florentino and second baseman Mac Horvath homered as Single-A Delmarva beat Salem, 7-3.
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