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Sloppy defense derails sweep attempt for Orioles, Diamondbacks win 9-2

The Orioles started the day with the best fielding percentage in the American League and a chance to beat the defending National League champions. The Diamondbacks looked the part of a World Series contender today, but Baltimore failed to live up to its strong defensive reputation in a 9-2 loss.

Dean Kremer started the game with an impressive play on the mound. He didn’t allow a baserunner through the lineup his first time and struck out five batters (four looks) in the first three innings. Unfortunately, things started to unravel in the fourth.

Corbin Carroll broke the hitless streak with a leadoff double to right field. Kremer, concerned about Carroll’s speed, fired a pickoff attempt to second base, but the ball never reached Gunnar Henderson’s glove. The throw deflected off Carroll and trickled into center field. Carroll advanced to third base and eventually scored the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Christian Walker.

Kremer allowed a leadoff double for the second straight inning and the Diamondbacks added two more runs in the fifth. Arizona loaded the bases before Carroll tapped a weak grounder to third base. Ramón Urías fielded the ball, but his home throw pulled James McCann off the plate. The Orioles challenged the call, but the Snakes had their second unearned run of the game.

Ketel Marte extended the lead to three with a sacrifice fly to deep center.

Baltimore finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth on consecutive doubles by Anthony Santander and Jordan Westburg. Urías walked to put two on with one out, but McCann and Henderson both hit a sharp line drive to left field.

Kremer sandwiched a walk between a pair of strikeouts in his quest for a shutdown inning, but Jake McCarthy ended the effort. McCarthy towered a ball over the scoreboard on the right side, and Arizona put some distance between the teams with a 5-1 lead.

Brandon Hyde allowed Kremer one more batter, but it went to Cionel Pérez after Kremer walked Kevin Newman. Pérez came in and immediately walked the nine batter to switch the lineup with a runner in scoring position. Carroll loaded the bases with a single, and Marte followed with a rip to right.

Marte guaranteed Arizona’s sixth run of the game, but the Orioles should have ended the inning there. Santander fired home in time to get Tucker Barnhart at the plate, but McCann failed to reel in the throw after a short jump. The ball trickled away, allowing the run to be scored and two more to get into scoring position.

Marte essentially broke the game open, but the game continued to spiral. O’s nemesis Randal Grichuk came to the plate as a pinch hitter and drove in two more with a double to left field. Arizona led by eight when the inning finally ended.

Kremer finished the day with 5.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 4 BB and 10 K. The 10 strikeouts tied their career high from earlier this season.

Adley Rutschman provided a brief highlight with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Rutschman dropped to one knee as he took a low changeup from the bottom of the zone and converted it into his sixth home run of the season.

Neither team scored in the seventh as rain began to fall. The game started with sunny skies and a festive feeling on Mother’s Day, but the sail came out in the eighth inning. The weather seemed to mimic a disappointing effort on the field.

The delay lasted 33 minutes. Albert Súarez pitched the seventh inning and returned after the deal to record a scoreless eighth and ninth. A newer MLB rule requires the losing team to be behind by at least eight runs to use a position player as pitcher in the first nine innings, so Súarez saved the bullpen with three innings of one-hit baseball.

The Orioles had to settle for a series victory. Baltimore will welcome Toronto to Camden Yards for the first time this season, with Corbin Burnes pitching tomorrow.