O's game blog: Dean Kremer faces Texas in Game 2 of series

After their worst loss of the year by margin - falling by 10 runs to Texas - the Orioles host the Rangers this afternoon looking to bounce back from Friday's 12-2 defeat. The previous biggest loss margin of the year was by 6-0 on May 3 at Kansas City. 

Through the season's first 50 games, the Orioles had played an MLB-high 46 games decided by four runs or fewer. Last night was a rare blowout game they were involved in and they were on the wrong end as Texas scored eight runs in the fourth off right-hander Grayson Rodriguez, who was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk after the game.

When the Orioles took two of three from Texas early last month on the road, they allowed just seven runs and 17 hits in three games. But a Rangers club that began the weekend leading MLB by scoring 6.33 runs per game, hit three homers and had 13 hits in last night's win. 

And now that runs per game average for the Rangers is up to 6.44 and they have scored 322 runs for the year. The Rangers have scored 10+ in an MLB-leading 13 games and have scored 5+ runs in an inning 15 times. They rank second in the majors with four or more runs scored in 36 games.

Texas leads MLB with 144 runs in May, along with a .286 BA and .812 OPS. The 322 runs scored are the most over the first 50 games of a season in franchise history, and is tied for 18th-most runs in a team's first 50 games of a season since 1901. The Rangers' season-best +122 run differential is tops in MLB.

The Orioles (33-18) begin play today four games back of Tampa Bay for first place in the AL East and four games ahead of New York for second place. They hold the first AL wild card spot.

Baltimore is now 12-8 since May 5 when the Orioles played Atlanta to begin a 22-game stretch versus winning records clubs. A stretch that ends this weekend.

Even with Friday's loss, overall, the Orioles have won five of seven, seven of 10, 11 of 16, 16 of 25, 24 of 35 and 27 of their past 39 games. They are now 15-9 at home and 13-4 in series-opening games.

Catcher Adley Rutschman launched a 367-foot home run in the first inning and it was his first career homer on a 3-0 pitch and his first after the count reached 3-0. He's the first Oriole to go deep on a 3-0 pitch since Anthony Santander in the first inning on May 4 at Kansas City. Rutschman recorded his 10th multi-hit game of the season after singling in the third inning and he also singled in the eighth to collect his fourth game this season with at least three hits.

Left fielder Austin Hays logged his team-leading 16th multi-hit game and has doubled in consecutive games for the second time this season.

Ryan O’Hearn recorded his second double of the season in the eighth inning (also 4/14 at CWS). Adam Frazier had his career-high 18-game on-base streak and season-high eight-game hitting streak snapped after going 0-for-3.

Ryan McKenna became the first position player to pitch in a game for the O’s this season; he was also the last Orioles batter to do so on Sept. 19, 2022 versus Detroit. 

O's right-hander Dean Kremer (5-1, 4.61 ERA) makes his 11th start today. Since allowing nine runs in 10 2/3 innings in back-to-back starts against Boston and Detroit, he is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA his past four games. In those outings. he has allowed five earned runs in 23 innings with six walks, 18 strikeouts and a .708 OPS.

The Orioles are 7-3 in Kremer's starts and his splits show vast differences. Against lefty batters he yields a .351 batting average and .936 OPS while against right-handed batters, those numbers are .257/.727.

Kremer is 0-0 with a 5.79 ERA in two starts covering 9 1/3 innings against Texas.

Lefty Andrew Heaney (3-3, 4.13 ERA) will make his 10th start. Over his past three games he is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA, allowing four earned runs in 18 2/3 with a .203 batting average against. In three road starts he is 0-1 but with a 2.04 ERA.

Lefty batters have really struggled against the southpaw, batting .074 with a .330 OPS. Right-handers are batting .240/.764.

But Heaney has very poor numbers against the Orioles and allowed seven hits and seven runs in 2 2/3 innings this year on April 4. In that game, Ryan Mountcastle hit a three-run homer and Jorge Mateo a two-run shot. 

Heaney is 1-3 with a 9.51 ERA in six career games versus the Orioles allowing 12 homers in 23 2/3.

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