Dean Kremer threw 6 1/3 strong innings to help set the tone as the Baltimore Orioles edged the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 to open a three-game interleague series on Friday.
The Orioles scored in the sixth inning on Ramon Urias’ ground single to left with one out. Anthony Santander, who led off the inning with a double and moved to third on Terrin Vavra’s infield single, scored the game’s only run in a matchup of two teams that entered the night on three-game winning streaks.
Kremer (4-3), who halted a personal two-game losing streak, gave up four hits without a walk while striking out two.
Cionel Perez and Felix Bautista completed the combined six-hitter for the Orioles.
It was the first tight, late-game test for the back end of Baltimore’s bullpen since it lost closer Jorge Lopez in a trade earlier in the week.
In the ninth, Pittsburgh’s Ben Gamel singled with one out and Ke’Bryan Hayes followed with a walk before Bautista notched the last two outs with strikeouts of Oneil Cruz and Kevin Newman. Bautista earned his fourth save.
The Pirates wasted a strong outing from Mitch Keller (3-8), who lasted six innings and surrendered just one run on eight hits and one walk. He struck out one.
The game began following a rain delay of close to two hours.
The Pirates had a good scoring chance in the seventh when Hayes doubled with one out. He was the last batter that Kremer faced. Perez entered and got a strikeout and a groundout to thwart the threat.
Before Hayes had Pittsburgh’s only extra-base hit, Kremer had retired 14 consecutive batters.
The Orioles had the bases loaded with one out in the eighth inning but failed to extend their lead.
Vavra provided three of Baltimore’s 10 hits. Ryan Mountcastle and Cedric Mullins both had two hits for the Orioles.
The batters for the teams combined to strike out only nine times.
–Field Level Media