Last night, the Los Angeles Angels joined the Tampa Bay Rays as the second team this year to win a series-opening game against the Orioles. The Birds are now 12-2 in such games. The Angels 9-5 win was led by Shohei Ohtani, who gave up three home runs on the mound but hit a three-run homer at bat as part of a 4-for-5 game where he came up a double short of the cycle.
Adam Frazier and Anthony Santander hit two-run homers off Ohtani and Cedric Mullins added a solo shot. In two career starts against the Orioles, Ohtani has allowed nine runs in 12 innings and has given up six homers, including two each to Mullins and Santander. His five runs allowed last night tied his season high.
But the O’s starter, rookie right-hander Grayson Rodriguez, allowed nine hits and eight runs over 3 1/3 innings. That is the most runs allowed by a Baltimore starting pitcher this year. Coming into this series, O’s starters had a 1.74 ERA their previous eight games, allowing two earned runs or less seven times.
The Orioles bullpen allowed just a single run over 5 2/3 innings last night. The Baltimore bullpen has a 1.48 ERA (five ER/30.1 IP) over the last eight games.
Best bullpen ERAs in MLB in 2023
2.76 – Seattle
3.00 – Orioles
3.14 – Cleveland
3.18 – New York Yankees
3.21 – Houston
After allowing a career-high-tying three earned runs on Opening Day in Boston, Bryan Baker has allowed just one earned run over his last 19 appearances (19.1 IP). Among pitchers with at least 18 innings pitched since March 31, Baker's 0.47 ERA (one ER/19.1 IP) ranks second in MLB, behind only teammate Yennier Cano (0.00), and just ahead of fellow O's hurler Félix Bautista, whose 1.00 ERA (two ER/18.0 IP) in that span ranks fifth.
The Angels won for just the third time in nine games last night, improving to 22-20. They are 12-11 on the road and 4-7 versus American League East teams.
The Orioles (26-15) are now 4.5 games behind Tampa Bay for first in the AL East. Toronto is in third place, 6.5 back, with New York 7.5 out and Boston nine games back of the Rays.
Right-hander Dean Kremer (4-1, 4.97 ERA), who has thrown 11 straight scoreless innings, takes the mound for Baltimore tonight. On Wednesday versus Tampa Bay he pitched six scoreless on four hits, all singles, throwing 95 pitches. He walked two and fanned four, earning the win as the Orioles beat the Rays 2-1 to win that series.
In the start before that at Atlanta, Kremer allowed one run in the first inning, but then threw five scoreless to conclude his outing. So he’s put up 11 straight scoreless versus the Rays and Braves, who rank one and two in the majors in team OPS at .856 and .804, respectively.
Kremer, who has three quality starts, has a 1.464 WHIP this season, allowing 10.4 hits per nine with a 1.5 homer rate, 2.8 walk rate and 6.9 K rate.
Lefty batters have fared much better against him this season than right-handers. Lefties are batting .350 with an OPS of .927 versus Kremer while right-handers hit .238/.697. The Orioles are 5-3 in his outings this year.
Right-hander Chase Silseth (0-0, 3.24 ERA) will make his fifth appearance and first start of the year for the Angels. He has thrown just 8 1/3 innings in the majors this season, allowing five hits and six runs (three earned). He began this season ranked by Baseball America as the Angels’ No. 3 prospect.
The 22-year-old right-hander was drafted by Los Angeles in round 11 of 2021 and got an overslot $485,000 bonus. He then became the first player from the 2021 draft to make the majors.
He has made four Triple-A starts this year for Salt Lake City, going 2-0 with an 0.90 ERA. He was the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week for the period from April 3-9.
He has made one career start against the Orioles, going 0-1 with an ERA of 9.00. On July 7, 2022 he gave up six hits and four runs over four innings in a start at Camden Yards.
He throws his fastball 52 percent at an average velocity of 95.8 mph, and it’s a heater that can touch the high 90s. He uses his cutter 23 percent, slider 14 percent and split-finger pitch 11 percent.