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Orioles, Dean Kremer undone by errors, home runs in 9-2 loss to Cubs

Matt Weyrich, Baltimore Sun on

Published in Baseball

BALTIMORE — Dean Kremer didn’t have it Tuesday night, and neither did his defense behind him.

Making his second start since being activated from the injured list, the right-hander allowed seven runs, five earned, in the Orioles’ 9-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

Kremer made a triumphant return to the Orioles’ rotation Wednesday with five scoreless frames against the Seattle Mariners, but he struggled to avoid the Cubs’ barrels in a similar fashion as Michael Busch and Ian Happ both took him deep to sink Baltimore in the opener of the three-game interleague series.

The Orioles (57-34) backed Kremer with two runs. Jordan Westburg, named an MLB All-Star Game replacement before the game, homered over the left-field wall in his first at-bat for his 15th home run and 50th RBI of the season. Gunnar Henderson added to his league-leading total of 77 runs scored when he came home on a double play in the third, but that was all the Orioles’ offense managed against starter Jameson Taillon and the Cubs’ bullpen.

Chicago scored in each of the four innings Kremer took the mound. Busch put the Cubs ahead early with his solo home run on the third pitch of the game and Tomás Nido made it 2-0 on a sacrifice fly in the second. After Westburg cut the lead in half with his 418-foot blast, the Orioles’ infield defense recorded a pair of errors in the third to allow another two runs to score.

With nobody on base and one out in the inning, Cody Bellinger hit a ground ball that deflected off Kremer and rolled to Henderson at shortstop. Henderson tried to make the off-balance throw moving to his right, but the throw sailed wide of the base and landed in the Orioles’ dugout for his 11th error of the year. Awarded second base, Bellinger later scored on an RBI single by Seiya Suzuki.

Kremer then walked Happ but appeared to escape the jam when he induced a ground ball by Christopher Morel to Ramón Urías at third base. Looking to turn the double play, Urías fumbled the ball and allowed all three base runners to advance safely. Suzuki scored the next at-bat on a forceout at third.

 

The Orioles again responded with a run on the double play ball in the bottom of the third, but Kremer allowed the first two batters to reach against him in the fourth and Happ made him pay by launching a three-run homer onto Eutaw Street in right field. Happ’s home run was the second by an Orioles opponent this season to hit Eutaw and the first by a Cubs hitter since Jason Heyward on July 14, 2017.

Manager Brandon Hyde pulled Kremer after the frame, marking the third time in 11 starts this season the 28-year-old has gone only four innings in a start. He gave the ball to Bryan Baker, who had allowed a combined six runs over his previous three outings. Baker settled in, however, retiring six of the seven batters he faced before Keegan Akin allowed one run on an RBI double by Suzuki over two innings. Dillon Tate gave up a run on a groundout by Nico Hoerner in the ninth.

While the bullpen’s five scoreless left open an opportunity for the Orioles’ offense to climb back into the game, Taillon continued his hot stretch of late by holding Baltimore to four hits over six innings with seven strikeouts. Following a single by Adley Rutschman in the third, Taillon retired the final 11 batters he faced before leaving the game with 88 pitches. Cubs relievers Tyson Miller and Mark Leiter Jr. combined to set down six of seven and right-hander Hunter Bigge, a 2019 12th-round pick of the Cubs, pitched a scoreless ninth for his MLB debut.

The Orioles’ announced attendance for the contest was 30,373, the largest number of fans they’ve drawn for a Tuesday home game since 34,068 flocked to Camden Yards on Aug. 18, 2015, for a game against the New York Mets. With MLB changing the league schedule last season to require teams from opposite leagues to play each other once a year, this week’s series is only the second time in the past seven years that the Cubs have played in Baltimore and the fourth time overall.

Baltimore will look to even the series Wednesday when Corbin Burnes, who will pitch on an extra day’s rest because of the Orioles’ day off Monday, takes the mound against Cubs left-hander and National League Rookie of the Year contender Shota Imanaga.


©2024 Baltimore Sun. Visit baltimoresun.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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