NEW YORK – Hours after the Baltimore Orioles called up Colton Cowser, manager Brandon Hyde said he was hoping the touted prospect could give his scuffling team a spark.
That's exactly what he did.
Cowser hit an RBI single in his major league debut and scored the go-ahead run when fellow rookie Jordan Westburg followed with a two-run triple, sending Dean Kremer and the Orioles past the New York Yankees 6-3 on Wednesday night.
“What a nice debut. Huge hit for us, first walk," Hyde said. “He played a really good game.”
Ryan O’Hearn lined a two-run homer in the ninth inning, and All-Star relievers Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista combined to get the final six outs as the second-place Orioles won for only the second time in eight games.
“It was awesome. A cool ballpark, kind of soaked it in and once I did that, I took a moment and then was like, `All right, let’s go,'” said Cowser, whose parents were in the stands. “Honestly, I was more nervous the wait before the game. Once I got through my daily schedule, I was like, same game, just go out and play.”
Josh Donaldson and Anthony Volpe homered for the Yankees, who had won the first two games of this four-game series between AL East playoff contenders. Kyle Higashioka had an RBI single.
Kremer (9-4) struck out a career-high 10 in seven innings of four-hit ball.
“That's probably as good as I've seen him. He had a little presence with everything," New York manager Aaron Boone said.
Brought up from the minors to make a spot start necessitated by last Friday's rainout in St. Louis, rookie Randy Vásquez gave the Yankees five excellent innings and was removed with a 2-0 lead after 75 pitches.
Cedric Mullins doubled with one out in the sixth against left-hander Nick Ramirez (0-1) and went to third on Aaron Hicks' sharp single that was stopped by a diving Donaldson behind third base.
Cowser, just summoned from Triple-A Norfolk, singled to right field for his first career hit, chasing Ramirez. Westburg, another top prospect who was brought up from the minors late last month, tripled on Michael King's first pitch past a diving Jake Bauers in left field to put Baltimore in front 3-2.
“We both kind of knew there might be an opportunity at some point this year for us to both be together here,” Westburg said. "It’s just awesome. Where we’re at as a team, all we’re trying to do is fill roles where we’re asked to and help this club win.”
Bauers said he lost the ball in the lights as he went into his dive.
“Got a good jump on it, took a good route to it. Right when I went to dive, it got stuck in the lights and I was kind of flying blind at the end there trying to knock it down, do anything I could,” Bauers said. “Unfortunately, it got by me and I feel like it would have been a different game had I come up with it.”
With the infield in, Westburg then scored ahead of Volpe's throw to the plate on Adam Frazier's RBI grounder to shortstop.
New York began the day with the best bullpen ERA in the majors.
Volpe's solo homer off Cano made it 4-3 in the eighth, but Bautista got four outs to preserve Kremer's gem with his 23rd save.
“I think I had everything kind of working," Kremer said.
After the game, Vásquez was optioned back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Orioles: All-Star LF Austin Hays (bruised hip) sat out a third consecutive game. Hyde said Hays is getting better every day and might be available off the bench before hopefully returning to the lineup in a day or two.
Yankees: CF Harrison Bader was given a planned night off after getting hit on the left wrist by a pitch Tuesday. ... OF Billy McKinney was out of the starting lineup again after fouling a ball off his toe recently. But he reached on an infield single as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and remained in the game in left field. Boone said McKinney would hopefully return to the starting lineup Thursday night. ... DH/OF Willie Calhoun (left quadriceps strain) has started to swing the bat a little bit but there's no timeline for his return and it won't be until after the All-Star break.
Orioles RHP Kyle Bradish (4-4, 3.58 ERA) faces RHP Luis Severino (1-3, 6.30) in the finale of the four-game series Thursday night.