BALTIMORE (AP)Dean Kremer pitched impressively into the seventh inning and Felix Bautista held on through a dicey ninth to lift the Baltimore Orioles to a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
Ramon Urias singled home the game’s only run in the sixth after the Orioles squandered several chances earlier in the game. That was enough for a Baltimore team that has emerged as a surprising postseason contender recently.
Kremer (4-3) allowed four hits and struck out two. He escaped a first-and-third, one-out jam in the second when Cal Mitchell bounced into a double play. Then Kremer didn’t allow a baserunner for the next four innings.
After Ke’Bryan Hayes hit a one-out double in the seventh, Kremer turned the game over to the bullpen, which again came through for the Orioles. Cionel Perez got five outs and Bautista pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
Bautista allowed a one-out single by Ben Gamel and a nine-pitch walk by Hayes. Then rookie Oneil Cruz struck out swinging and Kevin Newman went down looking.
Mitch Keller (3-8) allowed a run and eight hits.
Baltimore went 2 for 15 with men in scoring position. The Orioles put the leadoff man on in each of the first four innings, and in three of them had a runner on second with nobody out.
Ryan Mountcastle lined into a double play with men on second and third to end the first. Another double play in the fourth derailed a rally after the first two batters reached base.
Anthony Santander opened the bottom of the sixth with a double, and after Mountcastle failed to advance him with a groundout, rookie Terrin Vavra hit a comebacker off Keller for an infield single. Then Urias hit a chopper that snuck into left field to put the Orioles ahead 1-0.
The game was delayed for 109 minutes at the start, and the rain lingered after play began, but the crowd of 25,613 was spirited, perhaps energized by a Baltimore team that’s now won 31 of its last 47 games.
Umpire Carlos Torres came down with a non-COVID illness before the game, so a three-man crew was in charge. This became an issue when batters attempted to check their swings and there was no ump positioned near third to make the call.
The Pittsburgh dugout erupted when Baltimore’s Brett Phillips – batting with the bases loaded and two out in the eighth – was ruled to have held up on a pitch by Yohan Ramirez. Pirates manager Derek Shelton was ejected.
Phillips ended up popping out.
Both teams came into the game after three-game sweeps – Baltimore against Texas and Pittsburgh against Milwaukee.
Orioles: OF Austin Hays (side) did not play.
Baltimore sends Austin Voth (1-1) to the mound Saturday against Pittsburgh’s JT Brubaker (2-9). The Orioles will have a pregame ceremony celebrating the 30th anniversary of Camden Yards.
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