This game should have been about the home runs.

The Orioles had three homers on Sunday — one each from Adley Rutschman, Ryan Mountcastle and Ramon Urías — and lead baseball with 44 home runs in their first 27 games. They are averaging about 1.6 home runs a game, on track to hit 258 this season, which would break the record of 257 they set in 1996.

But it was, for the second time in three games, instead about Craig Kimbrel’s blown save as the Athletics beat the Orioles 7-6 to take two out of three games in the series. And now there’s a new level of concern. Kimbrel has upper back tightness and is being evaluated by trainers.

“I don’t know how long or what the timetable is with Craig, or any at all; we’ll see,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I think we’ve been playing pretty good baseball; we just had a couple unfortunate endings this series. We had a chance to win all three games and only won one.”

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The game began with a passable start from Albert Suárez, who allowed his first run as an Oriole when Seth Brown hit a solo home run in the second. The Athletics added three more runs in the third, and, with his pitch count elevated, Suárez managed one more inning before he was done.

“I just thought he was a little bit off today,” Hyde said. “He missed up a little more than normal. I didn’t think he had his best command today. But I thought we did a good job out of the ’pen until the end.”

It then became a five-inning bullpen day, with Keegan Akin, Jacob Webb and Yennier Cano all getting through without giving up a run. Danny Coulombe allowed just one, enough to keep the Orioles in the game and set up a save opportunity.

The top of the ninth came, with Baltimore holding onto a 6-5 lead. The pump-up video flashed on the screen, and the closer the Orioles signed for $13 million to replace their mountain Félix Bautista, who had Tommy John surgery in October, ran to the mound.

The save was in Kimbrel’s reach, and he has 424 in his career. Walks got him Friday, and he again started the ninth by allowing Darell Hernaiz to get to first on four balls, all of which were well outside the strike zone.

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Hyde noticed Kimbrel was walking oddly, so he, head trainer Brian Ebel and pitching coach Drew French came to visit. Kimbrel threw a few pitches, assuring the trio that he was fine. They retreated to the dugout, allowing the veteran to continue.

“You trust the player at that point,” Hyde said. “He said he was good to go.”

But things didn’t get better. Kimbrel got behind in the count again, throwing two balls to Kyle McCann. But then there were two strikes, enough to get Camden Yards on its feet again.

Another ball. Then a strike to set up a full count. Two pitches later, McCann went deep on a two-run home run to give the Athletics the lead.

Ebel came back out to evaluate Kimbrel, and this time they noticed enough to take him out. Dillon Tate got them out of the inning, but the Orioles couldn’t put up any runs in the bottom of the ninth.

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If Kimbrel has to go on the injured list, the Orioles will be losing their closer, but they are about to gain two pitchers back this week with John Means and Kyle Bradish expected to be activated. Cano could take over the ninth inning, with at least one starter moving to the bullpen to provide relief.

“We trust our pitching staff,” Rutschman said. “There’s going to be ups and downs. I don’t think anyone is worried.”

This article was updated to correct the spelling of the last name of the Orioles' team trainer.

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Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College.

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