BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Talk about a mensch! It was a Sunday to remember for Orioles rookie pitcher Dean Kremer, the first Israeli citizen to reach the major league level. Kremer dazzled in his big league debut, allowing just one hit over six innings as Baltimore beat the floundering New York Yankees 5-1.
DJ Stewart homered off Masahiro Tanaka as the Orioles took three of four from a team that had previously dominated them going back to last season. New York committed two errors, allowed three unearned runs and finished with only four hits. The Yankees have gone 5-13 since opening 16-6.
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 rebuilding club wanted to see what he could do in the big leagues.
Kremer, ranked as the O’s 10th-best prospect by MLB Pipeline, also became the first Israeli citizen to reach the majors. Kremer was born in California to Israeli parents and holds Israeli citizenship. He became the first Israeli to sign with an MLB team after being drafted in the 14th round by the Dodgers in 2016. Like legendary Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax, he has assured reporters that he would not pitch on Yom Kippur and he takes his Jewish faith seriously.
The right-hander did not disappoint. He allowed one run, walked three and struck out seven — including the first two batters he faced.
Kremer’s lone brush with trouble came in the second inning, when New York used two walks and a single by Miguel Andújar 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.
After that, Kremer (1-0) retired 10 straight, then walked Luke Voit in the sixth. He ended his outing by retiring Brett Gardner on a flyball and striking out cleanup hitter Clint Frazier.
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 Andújar 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.
The Orioles had lost 19 straight to the Yankees before winning the final three games of this series.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez was benched by manager Aaron 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 José 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,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I give him a ton of credit for playing with something that’s bothering him.” … INF Renato Núñez (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.
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