St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Drew Rom throws to the...

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Drew Rom throws to the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023 in Baltimore. Credit: AP/Julio Cortez

BALTIMORE — Richie Palacios homered, rookie Drew Rom and four relievers combined on a three-hitter and the St. Louis Cardinals beat Baltimore 1-0 Wednesday night to trim the Orioles' lead in the AL East to two games.

Gunnar Henderson's two-out triple off Ryan Helsley in the ninth inning gave the Orioles a chance to pull even, but Aaron Hicks popped out.

Baltimore has lost two straight and three of four heading into a four-game series against second-place Tampa Bay beginning Thursday night. The Orioles have been in first place since July 19, in part because their longest losing streak since that time has been two.

But Baltimore has scored only two runs in its last two games, not the kind of momentum it was hoping for heading into its most pivotal series this year.

In a game dominated by strong pitching and tight defense, Palacios provided the lone run with a solo shot over the right-field scoreboard in the fourth inning off Kyle Gibson (14-9). It was his fourth homer of the season and third in two nights.

Making his fifth major league start since being traded from Baltimore to the Cardinals on Aug. 1, Rom allowed two hits over 5 1/3 innings and left with a 1-0 lead. Effectively changing speeds and using both sides of the plate, the lefty struck out six and didn't give up a hit until Jorge Mateo beat out a grounder with two outs in the fifth.

Rom, selected in the fourth round of the 2018 draft by Baltimore, was part of the multi-player deal that send Jack Flaherty to the Orioles.

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kyle Gibson throws to a St....

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kyle Gibson throws to a St. Louis Cardinals batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023 in Baltimore. Credit: AP/Julio Cortez

Casey Lawrence got two outs after Rom gave up a one-out double to Anthony Santander in the sixth. Giovanny Gallegos and John King worked an inning apiece before Helsley got three outs to earn his ninth save, the second in two nights.

AL LEAST

The Cardinals finished with a winning record against every team in the AL East, the only division in the majors with every club above .500. St. Louis was 2-1 vs Baltimore, Toronto, Tampa Bay and New York, and 3-0 vs. Boston.

TRAINER'S ROOM

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Drew Rom throws to a...

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Drew Rom throws to a Baltimore Orioles batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023 in Baltimore. Credit: AP/Julio Cortez

Cardinals: OF Nolan Gorman was placed on the 10-day injured list after straining his right hamstring on Tuesday night. “Our hope is that this does not end his season,” manager Oliver Marmol said. St. Louis selected the contract of INF Juniel Querecuto from Triple-A Memphis to fill out the roster.... OF Dylan Carlson has decided to undergo season-ending ankle surgery, Marmol said. Carlson, who has been experiencing left ankle discomfort for several months, figured having surgery now would give him a jump on the rehabilitative process heading into the offseason. He finished with a .219 batting average, five HRs and 27 RBIs in 76 games. ... ... C Willson Contreras was not in the starting lineup after leaving Tuesday night's game with a bruised right hand. He is day to day, according to Marmol.

Orioles: 1B Ryan Mountcastle left in the third inning with a left shoulder discomfort.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: After an off day Thursday, the Cardinals and LH Zach Thompson (5-5, 4.06 ERA) take on the visiting Philadelphia Phillies.

Orioles: RH Kyle Bradish (11-6, 3.03) gets the start for Baltimore on Thursday night. He's 1-2 with a 6.53 ERA in four career starts against the Rays.

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