BALTIMORE — Adam Frazier went deep twice in his first career multihomer game, and Cedric Mullins hit a solo shot of his own to lift the Baltimore Orioles to their sixth straight victory, 5-2 over the Miami Marlins on Friday night.
In a matchup between two of the first half’s biggest success stories, the Orioles returned from the All-Star break and pulled within 1 1/2 games of first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East. The Rays were rained out at Kansas City.
Miami fell to 9 1/2 back of Atlanta in the NL East but remains atop the wild card standings.
Mullins and Frazier had three hits and two runs apiece, and Dean Kremer pitched six solid innings. Kremer (10-4) allowed a run and two hits, striking out eight with two walks. He loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter in the third before striking out eight of his final 13 batters.
Jorge Soler hit his 24th homer of the season for Miami.
Mullins opened the scoring as much with his speed as with his bat. He singled to lead off the bottom of the second, then stole second and continued on to third when catcher Jacob Stallings’ throw sailed into center field for an error. Frazier drove Mullins home with a single.
Bryan De La Cruz tied it with an RBI single in the third.
Mullins homered in the fourth, and Frazier went deep one out later to make it 3-1.
Sandy Alcantara (3-8) allowed two earned runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out five with a walk.
Bryan Baker pitched the seventh for Baltimore, and All-Stars Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista worked the eighth and ninth. Cano gave up Soler’s solo homer and a two-out double to Jesús Sánchez in the eighth, but Garrett Cooper went down swinging to end the threat with the Orioles still up 3-2.
Frazier seemed annoyed when a 3-1 pitch to him in the eighth that looked a bit outside was called a strike. He sent the next offering from Bryan Hoeing to right field for a two-run shot that gave the Orioles some insurance runs. Frazier has a career-high 12 homers this year.
Bautista, who took the loss in the All-Star Game when he allowed an eighth-inning homer to Elias Díaz, pitched a perfect ninth for his 24th save in 29 chances.
The game began after a rain delay of 1 hour, 6 minutes.
Miami All-Star Luis Arraez went 0 for 3, and his batting average dropped to .380.
RHP Matt Barnes is set to have left hip surgery July 25. He’s expected to need three months before he can run and throw. … RHP Anthony Bender (Tommy John surgery) threw a 15-pitch bullpen this week. … RHP Edward Cabrera (right shoulder impingement), OF Avisaíl García (left back tightness) and LHP Andrew Nardi (left triceps inflammation) remain on the injured list but are with the team in Baltimore. García took batting practice Friday. … RHP Tommy Nance (right shoulder strain) threw a 15-pitch bullpen Tuesday.
Braxton Garrett (5-2) starts for the Marlins on Saturday night against Baltimore’s Kyle Gibson (9-6). Garrett has 101 strikeouts and just 15 walks on the season.