What they're saying about Dean Kremer and the bullpen after Orioles' 2nd straight win over Yankees, 4-2 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

What they’re saying about Dean Kremer and the bullpen after Orioles’ 2nd straight win over Yankees, 4-2

Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer USA TODAY Sports


BALTIMORE—What happened? The Orioles defeated the New York Yankees, 4-2, and after winning the first two games of the four-game series, lead the American League East by a game.

Oriole starter Dean Kremer allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings, and for the second straight night, the Orioles’ bullpen recorded a save without closer Craig Kimbrel, who left Sunday’s game with upper back soreness. Keegan Akin and Jacob Webb combined to retire six batters. Webb struck out three of the four for his first save as an Oriole.

“I just feel good because how our pitching was coming into the series so far,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We have a little rest now with a lot of guys not throwing tonight. Losing two out of three against Oakland at home where we pitched a lot of people, and we don’t win at the end, it was limping into this series.”

Adley Rutschman had two hits, extending his career-long hitting streak to 11 games.

The Orioles scored three runs in the fourth on an RBI double by James McCann and RBI singles by Gunnar Henderson and Rutschman.

Austin Wells and Juan Soto homered against Kremer. Soto’s home run traveled 447 feet, the first Eutaw Street homer of the season.

How did Hyde manage the bullpen? In Monday’s night win, Hyde needed Cionel Pérez, Yennier Cano and Danny Coulombe for 10 outs, and he planned to avoid using Cano and Coulombe. Pérez was warming in the ninth.

Kimbrel, who suffered a back injury on Sunday when he blew his second save in three days, threw extensively before the game, but Hyde declined to use him, saying he hoped he’d be available for Wednesday.

Webb struck out Aaron Judge for the final out of the eighth, then struck out Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo before Gleyber Torres grounded to third, ending the game.

“That’s what you call gutsy out of the ‘pen,” Hyde said. “That’s two guys pitching the eighth and ninth inning that were totally fatigued and totally stepped up, bulldog mentality.”

It was Webb’s fifth major league save.

“It kind of just evolved that way,” Webb said. “It’s awesome to come in and save a game any time. I think it’s nice to have some trust from that side. It was an awesome experience. I’m still on vibrate a little bit right now.”

Webb knows that the ninth inning isn’t the same as the seventh or eighth.

“There’s a lot more pressure,” he said. “You’re trying to shut it down. I wouldn’t say it’s too much different because it’s the same leading up to the ninth inning. It’s just a little bit more pressure.”

Is it different playing the Yankees? Even though it’s early in the season, games against New York are different.

“To play the way we have the last two nights has been nice,” Hyde said.

“We’re battling against them every time,” Webb said. “They’re the leading team … that we’re trying to get after it … We’re coming in here to do a job.”

How well did Kremer pitch? Hyde knew that the Orioles’ bullpen was short, and he’d need Kremer to pitch well.

“That was unbelievable because we had very few guys that I was going to pitch tonight and for him to battle, compete, mix, he’s just really turning into a really good starting pitcher since the second half of last year,” Hyde said.”

“He loves to compete and he loves taking the ball. He’s just getting better. You’re seeing a guy develop the last year-plus at the big league level. All those hard times he had the first couple of years just shows you the maturity, how he dealt with adversity. He got his brains beat in sometimes, and he turned the corner. Credit to him and everybody around him. I like watching him pitch. He’s a true pitcher.”

“It’s the goal every time,” Kremer said. “Quality starts are the goal. Try to eat as many innings as possible and give those [relievers] a break, especially at the beginning of the season.”

Kremer benefited from double plays in the first two innings. Judge hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the first, and Rizzo hit into an unusual one with Stanton on first. Rizzo grounded to first baseman Ryan Mountcastle, who fielded it in the hole and threw to Gunnar Henderson at short, who relayed it to second baseman Jorge Mateo, who covered first.

“It’s huge, no matter what point in the game,” Kremer said. “Our defense is one of the best, if not the best in the league. Keep it on the ground, they’ll get it done.”

Kremer agrees that he’s developed into a much better pitcher.

“Learning to navigate through lineups more than once,” Kremer said. “Adjusting my stuff as well.”

What happened in the minor leagues? Samuel Basallo caught his first game for Double-A Bowie this season, and  he homered in the fourth inning and drove in three runs in a 10-8 win over Erie.

Rightfielder Dylan Beavers and leftfielder John Rhodes each drove in two. Designated hitter Connor Pavolony also homered. Starter Alex Pham allowed four runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Triple-A Norfolk beat Nashville, 11-4. The Tides hit five home runs. Leftfielder Connor Norby drove in three runs, and hit his seventh homer. Rightfielder Kyle Stowers hit his ninth, Designated hitter Daniel Johnson drove in three and hit his fourth. Third baseman Coby Mayo hit a three-run homer, his ninth.

Second baseman Jackson Holliday had three hits and drove in a run.

Bruce Zimmermann pitched five scoreless innings, allowing three hits, striking out four and walking one.

Brooklyn beat High-A Aberdeen, 9-2.

Fayetteville beat Single-A Delmarva, 10-2. The Shorebirds are 3-18.

Infielder Ryan Higgins and right-handed pitcher Cameron Weston were promoted from Aberdeen to Bowie. Centerfielder Douglas Hodo was promoted from Delmarva to Aberdeen and infielder Nick Maton began a minor league rehab assignment with Aberdeen.

What’s the word? “Every game is important. You can’t take these games off because they start piling up. Winning as many early gives you leeway to take a breather, rest your starters through the end of the year.”-Kremer on the importance of the series.

What does it mean? Winning the first two games against the Yankees is enormous. The teams play twice more, and then not again until June 18th.

What’s the stat of the day? 101. The Orioles have now gone 101 consecutive regular-season series without being swept, fourth longest in major league history.

What’s next? Corbin Burnes (3-0, 2.55) will face Luis Gil (1-1, 4.01) on Wednesday night at 6:35.

Call for questions: Each weekday, I’ll be answering at least one Orioles’ question. Please send yours to: [email protected]

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