Baltimore extended its streak of series without being swept to 80 and maintained its two-game lead in the AL East over Tampa Bay. Toronto fell one game behind Seattle for the final AL wild-card spot.
The Orioles improved to 9-3 this season against the Blue Jays.
“It’s an excellent team,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “A great lineup. Maybe the best if not one of the best bullpens in the game. And starting pitchers that know what they’re doing. So, it’s an extremely hard team to play.”
Ryan Mountcastle went 1 for 3 with an RBI, extending his major league-leading on-base streak to 28 games.
Kremer was expected to start the series finale on Thursday but was moved up a day to replace Jack Flaherty, who was scratched because of “general soreness,” Hyde said.
“It was a bit of a surprise,” said Kremer (12-5), who struck out five and walked none. “The last time I pitched was Wednesday, a whole week, so plenty of rest.”
Relievers Jacob Webb, Yennier Cano and Shintaro Fujinami completed a five-hitter.
Kevin Gausman (9-8) made his fifth career start against the Orioles, for whom he pitched from 2013-18. He allowed two runs and five hits with nine strikeouts and one walk over six innings. Gausman took over the AL lead in strikeouts with 196.
“It's always that chess match of trying to figure out what their plan is against me,” Gausman said. “They faced me plenty of times last year and this year so obviously, they know me pretty well. They're a good lineup and that's why they are in first place.”
Baltimore took a 1-0 lead in the third when Gunnar Henderson doubled, took third on a fly ball and scored on a single by Mountcastle.
Kremer retired nine consecutive batters before George Springer managed a single in the fourth.
Santander, the Orioles' home run leader who missed the past three games with a back issue, went deep to right in the fifth to make it 2-0.
“It’s not 100 percent but I feel much better today, thank God,” Santander said. “The trainers have done a really good job keeping me in the lineup.”
He added his 23rd homer of the season in the eighth, and the Orioles poured it on from there, scoring four more runs. Mountcastle scored on a wild pitch by Trevor Richards and a throwing error by catcher Danny Jansen. Cedric Mullins added a sacrifice fly and Adley Rutschman had a two-run single.
“You can't give a good team extra outs,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said.
SKIPPER IN THE CAGE
Hyde took batting practice before the game. It was the first time he swung a bat in the cage since 2006 in Lake County, Ohio. “The older you get, the bat gets way heavier," Hyde said.
Blue Jays: RHP Chad Green (elbow/head) threw two-thirds of an inning for Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. Green could be activated next week or the team could wait until rosters expand on Sept. 1 for him to make his Blue Jays debut.
Orioles: LHP Keegan Akin (lower back discomfort) was transferred to the 60-day injured list. ... RHP Austin Voth (right elbow discomfort) was reinstated from the 60-day IL.
Blue Jays: RHP José Berríos (9-8, 3.39 ERA) held the Orioles scoreless through 7 2/3 innings on June 14 at Camden Yards.
Orioles: Kyle Gibson (12-7, 4.97) will pitch the series finale.
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