Unearned runs overshadow Kremer's 10 strikeouts in Orioles' 9-2 loss (updated)

No one in the Orioles rotation has been willing to assist with the difficult task of making room for a sixth starter.

No one has stumbled to the point where an excuse for removal is created. So it’s left to the decision-makers in the organization to figure it out.

Dean Kremer followed his six scoreless innings in Cincinnati by not allowing an earned run today heading into the sixth, with a couple of errors doing more damage than the Diamondbacks.

Three unearned runs already were mountainous against Arizona ace Zac Gallen, and Jake McCarthy’s two-run shot to the flag court in right field was a dagger in the Orioles’ 9-2 loss before an announced Mother’s Day crowd of 31,448 at Camden Yards.

Kremer tied his career high with 10 strikeouts, but he also was charged with a third earned run when Cionel Pérez walked a batter and allowed an infield hit to Corbin Carroll and a two-run single to Ketel Marte.

"I thought the first few innings he was great," said manager Brandon Hyde. "Two guys pitching really well the first few innings. Just kind of made a bad pitch there in the sixth for the two-run homer, but he punched out a bunch. I thought his stuff was good again. Two-run homer there hurt but we didn't play our best baseball today just all-around."

The Diamondbacks scored six runs in the sixth, three charged to Pérez before he recorded an out. Randal Grichuk came off the bench and delivered a two-run double. And the Orioles offered up a rare dud to close out the series and leave their record at 26-13.

"It was just one of those games for us," Hyde said.

Adley Rutschman led off the bottom of the sixth inning with his sixth home run, but the game had moved past the dramatic stage. A touchdown deficit would be insurmountable.

The Diamondbacks won their first game at Camden Yards since June 17, 2007. The nine runs scored are their most ever against the Orioles.

Grayson Rodriguez threw a 30-pitch bullpen session today and could be nearing a return, though Cole Irvin is listed as Wednesday afternoon’s starter, the day that Rodriguez is eligible. Rodriguez is a possibility for the weekend series against the Mariners if he isn’t sent on an injury rehab assignment.

Gallen no-hit the Orioles until they began the fifth with back-to-back doubles by Anthony Santander and Jordan Westburg. Westburg has a double in four consecutive games. Santander ranks second on the club with 10, trailing Ryan Mountcastle by one.

Kremer retired the first nine batters before Carroll’s leadoff double in the fourth. He had five strikeouts in three innings, four of them looking at his sinker. Twenty-two of his 29 pitches were strikes and Arizona didn’t get a ball out of the infield.

Gunnar Henderson had his daily gem at shortstop, backhanding Kevin Newman’s grounder in the third and throwing off his back foot across his body for the out. Kremer removed his cap and held out both hands in appreciation.

Eugenio Suárez led off the fifth with a double and Henderson ran down Jake McCarthy’s fly ball in shallow left field. Statcast had the path stretching 103 feet. Newman followed with a blooper that fell in front of Ryan O’Hearn, with Suárez holding at third base, and Tucker Barnhart walked to load the bases and turn over the order again.

Carroll bounced to third baseman Ramón Urías, who threw home for the attempted force. The ball arrived in time but pulled James McCann off the plate, with the safe call standing upon review. Marte followed with a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead.

Kremer struck out Marte on a cutter in the fourth, but his pickoff attempt at second base turned into an error when the ball hit Carroll and rolled into shallow center. Joc Pederson walked and Christian Walker flied to the center field warning track.

Strikeout No. 7 came against the next batter, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who also froze on a sinker.

Strikeout No. 8 came against Pederson to end the fifth – also a sinker and also looking. And the ninth came against Walker on a 94.2 mph fastball leading off the sixth.

Kremer threw his next pitch and Hyde, head athletic trainer Brian Ebel and pitching coach Drew French came to the mound. They were checking whether Kremer was OK after appearing to land a bit awkwardly on a pitch. He stayed in the game, walked Gurriel, struck out Suárez chasing the sinker and mislocated a fastball to McCarthy.

"I'd say it's definitely come a long way," Kremer said of the sinker. "Being able to not just throw it arm side but also glove side and feel comfortable to front-hip lefties with it. So, step in the right direction."

Asked about issues the second time through the order, Kremer said, "I was a little bit more wild in that second time through. In terms of damage, I mean, McCarthy put a good swing on a good pitch and that was about it."

The Orioles scored in the fifth and had two runners on base with one out, but McCann and Henderson lined to left field at 104.5 and 101.8 mph. That was their last chance to apply pressure.

The rain came down harder in the top of the eighth and crew chief Bill Miller called for the tarp while the grounds crew remained in the shed. The sky immediately began to clear, the sun shined and the tarp was removed after about six minutes.

A drying compound was applied to the infield, home plate area and mound. And a game resumed after a 33-minute delay that the Orioles couldn’t fix, even with Albert Suárez’s three scoreless innings.

"That was the highlight of the game for me," Hyde said. "We've had to use quite a few guys, two extra-inning games, and for Albert to do what he did, that was a huge pickup."

* Terrin Vavra’s injury rehab assignment ended with High-A Aberdeen and he returned to Triple-A Norfolk. Vavra celebrated his 27th birthday by playing his first non-rehab game since June 14, serving as the designated hitter and stroking a run-scoring single in the eighth inning.

Cade Povich allowed three runs and eight hits, walked one batter and struck out seven in 4 1/3 innings. Tucker Davidson let an inherited runner score.

Billy Cook hit a two-run homer in the first inning, Maverick Handley had a solo shot in the fifth, Coby Mayo hit his 13th homer in the sixth and Shayne Fontana hit his first to break a tie in the eighth.

Mayo followed with a double and Kyle Stowers delivered a two-run single.

Austin Hays started in left field for Double-A Bowie and went 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout.

Alex Pham allowed one unearned run and two total in 4 2/3 innings. Ryan Higgins had a two-run double and Jud Fabian went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored.

Moisés Chace tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings for High-A Aberdeen with six hits, no walks and five strikeouts. His ERA is 1.05.

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