The Tampa Bay Rays may leave Baltimore in the same position they arrived in — as holders of the major league’s best record — but they took a backseat to the Orioles this week.
The three-game set between the American League’s top two teams opened with a dominating Rays victory, but the Orioles overcame that loss Monday to win two in a row and take the series over the AL East juggernaut. Baltimore won the rubber match on Wednesday, 2-1, thanks to a stellar start by Dean Kremer and a sixth-inning rally.
Kremer pitched perhaps his best game of the season, especially considering the opponent. The 27-year-old pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out four to continue Baltimore’s stretch of six straight starts (or better) that dates back to Friday at Atlanta.
That Tuesday’s 4-2 win, Wednesday’s was not one of Orioles sluggers mashing baseballs. Baltimore’s bats have collected just 12 runs over their last five games while struggling mightily with runners in scoring position. Despite the stumbles, the Orioles took advantage of their best scoring opportunity of the night, scoring two runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Adam Frazier and an RBI single by Austin Hays.
Baltimore’s bullpen followed Kremer to complete the win as Austin Voth, Danny Coulombe and Yennier Cano combined to allow just one run over three innings. Coulombe struck out both batters he faced in the eighth to strand a runner, and Cano continued his surprising dominance with a scoreless ninth for his third save of the season.
The series win — the club’s eighth of the last nine — over the Rays (29-9) is Baltimore’s second straight against an AL East opponent after dropping the first two division sets of the season. The Orioles (24-13) are 6-6 against the AL East; they went 34-42 against the division in 2022. They are 11-5 at Oriole Park and have won 16 of their last 22 games.
Around the horn
- Manager Fredi González will manage the Orioles’ game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday while skipper Brandon Hyde attends his daughter’s graduation from Syracuse University. González, Hyde’s 2020 manager, managed 1,402 games (710-692) between 2007 and 2016 for the Florida Marlins and Atlanta Braves.
- The Orioles have announced their starting pitchers for this weekend’s series against Pittsburgh. Kyle Bradish, Tyler Wells and Kyle Gibson will pitch against the NL-leading Pirates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
- Reliever Dillon Tate (right forearm strain) had perhaps his best outing of his minor league rehab assignment Wednesday afternoon with the Norfolk Tides. The right-hander allowed a hit and a walk in a scoreless inning after surrendering eight runs in the first four innings between High-A Aberdeen and Double-A Bowie. Reliever Mychal Givens (left knee inflammation) gave up two runs while recording two outs Wednesday night for Bowie. Givens is expected to pitch again Thursday — a major hurdle for the veteran reliever to be considered ready to return to Baltimore.
This story will be updated.
Pirates at Orioles
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