Kremer sharp in Orioles' 7-2 loss to Rays; Suárez allows 5 runs in 7th - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Spring Training

Kremer sharp in Orioles’ 7-2 loss to Rays; Suárez allows 5 runs in 7th

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Florida-What’s happening?-Corbin Burnes, who will be the Orioles’ Opening Day starter, will make his fourth start of the spring when the Orioles host the Boston Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium at 1:05 p.m.

The 29-year-old Burnes, who won the National League Cy Young Award in 2021 and was acquired in a trade with Milwaukee, has allowed eight runs on 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He’ll be opposed by Cooper Criswell.

The game will be broadcast on WBAL/98 Rock with Melanie Newman and Ben Wagner.

Manager Brandon Hyde said he and his coaches are discussing the order of the starting rotation after Burnes leads off..

“We’re talking about it,” Hyde said. “I don’t know what we’re going to do yet.”

They’re also discussing the bullpen and whether a long reliever is needed.

“I think in an ideal world, you’d love to have somebody down there that could be able to go three or four innings,” Hyde said. “I don’t know how realistic that is. We still want to keep rotation depth at Triple-A, keep guys stretched out. We’re still talking a lot about our bullpen, which direction we’re going to go. It would be nice to have somebody down there that could cover you.”

If you need a long man, it could mean he’s unavailable for two or three days, putting pressure on the rest of the bullpen.

“All those things come into play, and maybe with the amount of offdays, maybe that’s not as necessary,” Hyde said. “I think in the ideal world you have as many guys in your bullpen that can go multiple innings as possible. If one can go three-to-four, that’s great, but have as many guys that can log you innings.”

Three open days in the first 11 games of the season could influence Hyde’s decision. So could injuries. Last season, Kyle Bradish suffered a bruised foot from a line drive. In 2022, Dean Kremer injured an oblique muscle early in the season.

“You do the best you can, but you have to make quick decisions sometimes,” Hyde said.

Minor league right-hander Jean Pinto and infielder Adam Crampton both had Tommy John surgery, which the Orioles said was successful. Infielder Maikol Hernández had his left hamate bone removed.

What’s happened? Dean Kremer allowed a run on two hits in 4 1/3 innings as the Orioles lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, 7-2, before 4.636 at Charlotte Sports Park on Friday.

Kremer, who has a 4.38 earned-run average in 12 1/3 spring innings, struck out three and hit two batters, throwing 71 pitches. Jonathan Aranda’s RBI single in the first gave Tampa Bay a 1-0- lead. Kremer retired the final 10 batters he faced.

“A little bit of a rocky start, then got in sync there after the second and then carried it through,” Kremer said. “It just clicked. I think I sped up a little bit and got on time and went from there. I’ve felt decent for the most part the whole spring. Every now and again, I’ll have an inning where it just won’t feel the same, but that’s everybody.”

Kremer probably has one spring start left

“I feel ready to compete if I need to,” he said. “Of course, I’d like to have that next one … I don’t feel tired. I could have kept going, happy where I’m at.”

Hyde thought Kremer and Grayson Rodriguez, who pitched on Thursday, had similar outings.

“Not commanding the ball the way Dean wanted today and then in the third and the fourth inning and into the fifth was really, really good Dean Kremer,” Hyde said. “Really good fastball and then threw some good curveballs and the split. Nice to see him bounce back after struggling with command the first couple of innings.

“We expect big things out of Dean [who was 13-5 last year]. Dean’s got the ability to be a really good starter in this league and showed that in the second half last year.”

Albert Suárez replaced Kremer with one out in the fifth and allowed five runs in the seventh.

“First two innings were really good, then lost command,” Hyde said. “Maybe that’s a little bit of spring training fatigue. The first two innings he did have his command and looked how he had been pitching all spring. Lost it there in the third inning.”

Kolten Wong tripled to right in the fourth and scored on Ryan McKenna’s sacrifice fly.

First baseman Ryan O’Hearn, who didn’t make the team out of spring training last year, is in a different position this spring. He was hitless in two at-bats and is hitting .267.

“It’s a fun change for me because I feel like my whole career I’ve been fighting for those last few spots,” O’Hearn said. “It’s been awesome and still trying to keep up the intensity and get myself ready to go. We’ve got 10 days before we leave. The last few games, the last week or so, I’ve been trying to crank up the intensity, really treat it like a regular game. I’m getting there I feel good.”

O’Hearn hit .289 with 14 home runs and 60 RBIs last year and was a key player after starting first baseman Ryan Mountcastle missed time because of vertigo.

“I can play tomorrow. I feel good. I feel ready to go,” O’Hearn said. “Spring training is fun. I enjoy seeing the young guys playing a lot and trying to get your feet back underneath you. I feel like we’re getting to the point where it’s almost ‘go’ time. I’m just trying to crank up the intensity and get ready for Opening Day.”

What’s up with?—Jonathan Heasley threw a scoreless inning against Pittsburgh in Bradenton on Thursday. In seven innings, the 27-year-old right-hander has allowed three runs on five hits for a 3.86 ERA. He is one of many competing for a bullpen spot.

“I’m really happy with how things are progressing,” Heasley said. “I feel like the things we’re working to achieve, I feel like we’ve done that and I feel like the results are showing. The first outing, I felt like I’ve settled in really well. Been throwing the ball well, and I’m pretty pleased where I’m at. I’ve controlled what I can control, and the rest is up to whomever.

“I’ve seen everybody else in this locker room go out there and perform, too. It’s fun to watch and it’s made everybody better. It’s been competitive and been really good for the environment as whole. It pushes you to be better as well. I think that’s another thing I’ve enjoyed.”

What’s what?-Tampa Bay used right-hander Phil Maton in the eighth inning. Unfortunately, the Orioles didn’t bring along his brother, Nick Maton, who’s trying to make the team as an infielder.

What’s the word? “Coming in and seeing everybody freaking locked in and ready to go, it’s pretty cool and really kind of pushes you.”-Heasley on the competition for a bullpen spot.

What’s the number? 16. Suárez leads the Orioles in strikeouts this spring, but the 34-year-old has a 6.35 ERA.

What’s the record?  16-5-1. The Orioles will host the Boston Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.

RAVENS NEWS from BaltimoreSports.com

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