“They’re a storied franchise, they always have power hitters, guys good with the bat,” the Orioles right-hander said.
The Yankees’ current injury-depleted roster doesn’t exactly contain a whole lot of Bronx Bombers, but Kremer may decide to gloss over that tiny detail when he tells the story of his first big league game.
New York committed two errors, allowed three unearned runs and finished with only four hits. The Yankees lost three of four to the Orioles and are 5-13 since starting 16-6.
“I’ve got to do a better job of creating that environment where guys are coming in and getting the right things done and putting themselves in the right frame of mind,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Obviously the season’s getting shorter and shorter.”
The Orioles, meanwhile, are finally benefiting from the rebuilding strategy of swapping established talent for youthful potential.
The 24-year-old Kremer came to the Orioles organization in July 2018 as part of the trade that sent Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kremer worked his way through Baltimore’s minor league system and finally reached the point where the club wanted to see what he could do in the big leagues.
The right-hander did not disappoint. He allowed one run, walked three and retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.
“He really acted like he’d been there before,” Orioles catcher Bryan Holaday said. “You wouldn’t have been able to tell it was his first time out.”
Kremer’s lone brush with trouble came in the second inning, when New York used two walks and a single by Miguel Andujar to load the bases with one out. Erik Kratz drove in a run with a force play at third before Kremer struck out Tyler Wade.
“I was really impressed with that second inning, to be able to wiggle out of it only allowing a run,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “That showed a lot about his character and poise.”
After that, Kremer (1-0) retired 10 straight, then walked Luke Voit in the sixth. He ended his outing by getting Brett Gardner on a flyball and striking out cleanup hitter Clint Frazier.
The Yankees went quietly in another listless performance. After winning the opener of the series to extend its winning streak of Baltimore to 19, New York lost the final three by a collective 17-5 score.
“I think we’re frustrated. I think guys are (ticked) off. Understandable,” Boone said. “But we’ve got to fight our way through it. And we’ve got to find a way to put a little bit more pressure, obviously offensively, to get going here.”
Stewart gave the Orioles an early lead, hitting a drive over the right-field wall after Hanser Alberto led off the first inning with a bunt single. It was the third homer in two days for Stewart, who was 0 for 17 for the season before going on his long-ball tear.
A botched grounder in the sixth by Andujar at third base led to a pair of tainted runs and a 4-1 lead.
Tanaka (1-2) gave up four runs, two earned, and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
The game was played on the 25-year anniversary of an indelible moment at Camden Yards — Cal Ripken’s 2,131st consecutive game, which broke Lou Gehrig’s major league record.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez was benched by Boone, who hopes the break will help the slumping hitter regain his stroke.
Sanchez was in a 3-for-28 slide and batting .130 when Boone decided to take action.
“I kind of deliberated on it a lot (Saturday) night and just feel this is the way I need to go right now,” Boone said. “Hopefully a day off or two or however I decide to do it here can help get him going.”
Yankees: SS Gleyber Torres was held from the starting lineup, as planned, after returning from the injured list Saturday. He grounded out as a pinch-hitter with runners at the corners and two outs in the seventh.
Orioles: SS Jose Iglesias spent time on the IL with a strained left quad, and just because he’s back doesn’t mean the pain is gone. “This is something we’re going to manage over the course of the year,” Hyde said. “I give him a ton of credit for playing with something that’s bothering him.” … INF Renato Nunez (hamstring) did not play. “He’s day to day right now. We’ve got about 20 guys who are day to day,” Hyde said.
Yankees: LH Jordan Montgomery (2-2, 5.76 ERA) helps New York open a three-game series against Toronto in Buffalo on Monday night.
Orioles: Following an off day Monday, Baltimore and LH John Means (0-3, 8.10) face the Mets on Tuesday night.