The eight-pitch first inning tonight, the ease in which Dean Kremer handled the Mariners, didn’t establish a tone for his start. Didn’t offer any hints or clues. Just provided a reminder of how good he can be - and where the Orioles want to get him.
Kyle Seager’s sacrifice fly and a three-run homer by José Marmolejos in the third set up Kremer for another short outing, but it also didn’t define Game 2.
Too much happened after he left.
There was a comeback, which included Cedric Mullins’ run-scoring double in the fourth that provided a lead and extended his hitting streak to 15 games. And the Anthony Santander sacrifice fly later in the inning.
And there was Adam Plutko’s failed attempt at a nine-out save, with Sam Haggerty hitting a long two-run homer over the flag court in right in the seventh to tie the score.
The Orioles didn’t get the desired starts in this doubleheader or the final relief inning that they plotted, but they also didn’t get swept, winning the nightcap 7-6 on Ramón Urías’ walk-off single before an announced crowd of 4,147 at Camden Yards.
Franco drew a two-out walk and Ryan McKenna, a defensive replacement, reached on reliever Casey Sadler’s fielding error. The runners advanced on a wild pitch and Urías delivered his first career walk-off hit and the first by the Orioles since Pedro Severino on Aug. 22, 2020.
“Today, I think I had some pretty good swings and I was able to make some hard contact,” Urías said through interpreter Ramón Alarcón. “I am very happy that I was able to contribute to the victory for my team. I’m looking forward to continue to receive more opportunities to show what I can do out there.”
Plutko hadn’t allowed a run in 8 1/3 innings with the Orioles since they traded for him. He covered the fifth and sixth tonight, came back out for his third career save and instead gave up a single to J.P. Crawford and the 107th Eutaw Street home run.
César Valdez began to throw in the bullpen after Crawford reached and he replaced Plutko after Haggerty’s ball finally landed.
“The guy hasn’t given up a run for us,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “With a doubleheader and some question marks tomorrow, I just decided that he was throwing the ball so well. I had Valdy for the top of the order. Last thing I was expecting was a two-run homer from the guy at the bottom of the order.”
The Mariners loaded the bases with one out in the third on a single, double and walk, and Seager lifted a fly ball to left field. Marmolejos launched a cutter to right-center and Kremer circled the mound while waiting for a new ball.
Wade LeBlanc was warming as Kremer struck out Luis Torrens.
That would be the last batter for Kremer, who threw 54 pitches and allowed four runs and four hits. He’s surrendered seven runs and nine hits with five walks and eight strikeouts in six innings this month.
“I need to stick with my curveball more,” Kremer said. “Have more trust in it and really hammer that thing out.”
“Just looked like he lost command there in the third,” Hyde said. “Gave up four runs, you saw a lot of yanks with his fastball and cutter. And just trying to stay in the game, to be honest with you.”
LeBlanc retired the side in order with a strikeout in the fourth. He would have earned the win if not for the blown save.
All four runs off Nick Margevicius in the third were unearned because of a fielding error by Ty France at second base that allowed DJ Stewart to reach after he slammed his bat to the ground leaving the batter’s box.
Santander was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Trey Mancini struck out and Franco lined the first pitch into the left field corner to give him a team-leading 12 RBIs.
Batting sixth seems to agree with Mountcastle, who flied to the center field fence and doubled in Game 1. He also doubled in the second inning tonight on a fly ball that dropped inside the left field line, and the game-tying single bumped his average to .233.
The rookie must be feeling good. He also registered his first career stolen base.
McKenna replaced Mountcastle in left field in the sixth inning. Tonight marked the first game this season without a strikeout from Mountcastle, who grounded out in his last at-bat.
“I just want our guys to have success and I’m trying to put guys in position to have success. It’s hard for me to watch our guys grind,” Hyde said.
“I like the character of our guys. I really like our players. They work hard every day and their struggles are coming from trying too hard and trying to do it instead of just kind of relaxing and letting the game come, with sometimes happens when you get older.”
Mancini went 0-for-7 in the doubleheader with a walk, strikeout and two double plays.
Reliever Travis Lakins Sr., who pitched in Game 1, will return to the alternate training site in Bowie.