The Orioles have spent the bulk of May facing playoff-caliber teams — and more than holding their own.
But after winning five of six games on a challenging American League East road trip and returning to Camden Yards with high hopes this weekend against the AL West-leading Texas Rangers, Baltimore has dropped two straight. The Orioles were looking to bounce back from a 12-2 drubbing Friday night, but instead fell, 5-3, on Saturday afternoon.
In front of an announced 37,939 — the largest attendance at Camden Yards this year outside of opening day — and wearing their black City Connect uniforms for the second straight day, the Orioles got a solid outing from starter Dean Kremer but could not muster enough offense to stage a comeback after trailing early.
Austin Hays opened the seventh inning with 411-foot home run to center field and he scored again in the ninth on a double from Ryan Mountcastle. Ramón Urías then drove Mountcastle in with a double of his own, cutting the lead to 5-3 and sending the crowd to its feet. But the Orioles couldn’t tie the game as backup catcher James McCann struck out.
The Orioles dropped multiple games in a row for the first time since May 15. They fell to 33-19 on the season (still the third-best record in baseball) while the Rangers improved to 33-18, now the majors’ second-best mark. The loss assures the Orioles will drop a series for the first time since they faced the Atlanta Braves in early May.
Five Baltimore base runners reached through the game’s first three innings, but the Orioles could not score any of them as they were snake bitten on the bases.
With two outs and McCann on second base, Adam Frazier singled to right field and McCann was waved home by third base coach Tony Mansolino. Rangers right fielder Adolis García’s throw home, however, beat McCann by a mile, ending the inning and the Orioles’ first scoring threat.
In the next inning, the two most dangerous Baltimore base runners — Jorge Mateo and Cedric Mullins — reached with the team’s top hitter, Adley Rutschman, at the plate. Mateo tried to steal third as Rutschman hit one in the air to Rangers left fielder Josh H. Smith.
By the time Mateo realized he needed to tag up, he was at third base and Smith had caught Rutschman’s fly ball. Smith threw to second to register an easy double play and, again, end another scoring opportunity.
Kremer mitigated the damage and pieced together a productive start, allowing three earned runs, five hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings, his second-longest start of the season, while striking out five.
After an easy first inning for Kremer, the Rangers plated one run in the second on a walk and two singles to take an early 1-0 lead. In the third, Kremer stranded Corey Seager after a one-out single, but the Rangers scored again in the fourth on a double by Josh Jung and a single from Jonah Heim.
Kremer breezed through the fifth and the sixth before walking Robbie Grossman in the seventh and departing in favor of reliever Bryan Baker, who allowed a double to Leody Taveras. Then, with runners on second and third and the infield playing in, Marcus Semien hit a single just past Mateo at shortstop, scoring two insurance runs for the Rangers.
An error from pitcher Keegan Akin as he tried to cover first on a grounder in the eighth inning led to the Rangers’ fifth run.
This story will be updated.
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