Kremer's strong start, Santander's 2 homers lead Orioles past Blue Jays, 7-0 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Kremer’s strong start, Santander’s 2 homers lead Orioles past Blue Jays, 7-0

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan USA TODAY Sports

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BALTIMORE—Jack Flaherty was supposed to start on Wednesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. Flaherty was scratched because of what manager Brandon Hyde called “general soreness,” and Dean Kremer pitched one day earlier than expected.

Kremer delivered a strong start, allowing just five singles in six scoreless innings, as the Orioles beat the Blue Jays, 7-0, before an announced crowd of 19,132 at Camden Yards.

“It’s a team that we know pretty well. He’s done his homework already on these guys,” Hyde said.

Kremer allowed singles to Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the first, one to George Springer in the fourth, Matt Chapman in the fifth and Brandon Belt in the sixth.

Kremer (12-5) struck out five and didn’t walk a batter in facing the Blue Jays for the 10th time. It was the second time he didn’t allow a run without walking a batter and was helped by some excellent defense by third baseman Ramón Urías, first baseman Ryan O’Hearn and centerfielder Cedric Mullins.

“It was a bit of a surprise,” Kremer said of the change. “I faced them about a billion times the past couple of years. It does make it a little bit easier scouting-wise rather than have a team that you don’t know. There’s a little bit of comfort in that.”

Jacob Webb pitched for the ninth time as an Oriole without giving up a run, retiring Toronto (70-57) in order in the seventh.

Yennier Cano pitched a spotless eighth thanks to Mullins’ leaping catch of Cavan Biggio’s fly to center.

The Orioles have made just 50 errors, second fewest in the majors.

“I don’t even know our error stats,” Hyde said. “I just know that we’re really solid and we have solid defenders at every position.”

Shintaro Fujinami struck out the side in the ninth. Oriole pitchers didn’t walk a batter.

The Orioles (78-48) won’t be swept for the 80th straight series and maintained their two-game lead in the American League East over Tampa Bay, which defeated Colorado, 6-5, in 10 innings. The Orioles recorded their eighth shutout of the season.

After missing three games because of a back injury, Anthony Santander returned to the lineup and hit two home runs, one against Kevin Gausman (9-8) in the fifth and another off Trevor Richards in the eighth.

“The trainers are doing a really good job of keeping me in the lineup,” Santander said. “A lot of treatment, a lot of mobility, strength and conditioning, too. Hopefully, it doesn’t bother me again.”

His first home run was just 11 inches off the ground, the fourth lowest home run hit, according to Alex Fast.

“I was looking up,” Santander said. “I guess I’m a low-pitch hitter.”

Along with Austin Hays, Santander is one of just two current Orioles players who played with Gausman with the Orioles, and Hyde appreciates his journey.

“Nice to have him back in the lineup. It’s something I’m going to have to monitor,” Hyde said of Santander’s back injury. “As you can tell, he makes a huge impact on our lineup when he’s in there. Great night from him offensively … He’s definitely a favorite.”

Santander has 23 home runs this season, and three games with multiple homers. He has 13 career multi-home run games, and he’s looking forward to playing in the postseason for the first time.

“That’s the mentality since spring training,” Santander said. “What we did last year was amazing. We take that momentum [from] where we are right now and hopefully continue playing till November.’

In his second start at Oriole Park as an opponent, Gausman allowed two runs on five hits in six innings.

The Orioles’ first run came in the third on a double by Gunnar Henderson and a one-out single by Ryan Mountcastle, who extended his on-base streak to 28 games.

The Orioles added four more runs after Santander’s second home run. Mountcastle walked after Santander’s second home run and scored after  O’Hearn’s single. Both runners moved up on Richards’ wild pitch and Mountcastle came home on catcher Danny Jansen’s wild throw, the third error by Toronto. O’Hearn scored on Mullins’ sacrifice fly.

Adley Rutschman’s two-run single extended the Orioles lead to 7-0.

The Orioles are 30-17 following a loss, the second-best record in baseball.

“I think we do a great job of turning the page,” Hyde said. “Last night’s game stunk. We left some runs out there early. Could have made it a little tougher on them, putting the ball in play there early in the game. Fortunately, we got that big inning late, which we don’t usually get.”

Notes: It was the seventh time this season Oriole pitchers didn’t walk a batter. … The Orioles’ minor league system was voted as tops in baseball by ESPN.com. Previously, MLB Pipeline and Baseball America rated the Orioles’ system as the best in the game as well. … Kyle Gibson (12-7, 4.97) and José Berrios (9-8, 3.39) are scheduled to start on Thursday.

Minor league update: Justin Armbruester (2-2) allowed one hit in five scoreless innings as Triple-A Norfolk beat Durham, 3-1.

Tyler Wells allowed a hit in a scoreless inning. DL Hall struck out three and walked two for his first save.

First baseman Coby Mayo drove in two runs.

Rightfielder John Rhodes drove in three runs and hit his 15th home run. Designated hitter Jud Fabian drove in two and hit his 11th homer as Double-A Bowie beat Erie, 8-6, in 10 innings.

High-A Aberdeen lost to Hudson Valley, 3-2.

Single-A Delmarva was held to five hits in its 2-1 loss to Lynchburg.

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