After going through a recent stretch where their starting pitchers produced just one quality start in a 14-game span, the Orioles have now gotten two straight quality starts as they head into the second game of their series with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Orioles (29-37) got consecutive six-inning outings from Tyler Wells Thursday at Toronto and Dean Kremer last night versus the Rays. They combined to throw 12 innings, allowing 10 hits and one run. The Orioles now have 14 quality starts for the year and are 10-4 in those games. Wells and Jordan Lyles lead the club with four each.
Kremer lowered his ERA to 2.35 in three starts with an 82-pitch outing. It was the Orioles fourth scoreless start of five innings or more this year. Bruce Zimmermann threw five scoreless on April 17 versus New York and Lyles went five scoreless on April 20 at Oakland. Wells pitched six scoreless May 30 at Boston before Kremer allowed no runs on just five singles last night.
The O’s bullpen took it from there in a 1-0 win to open this series. Félix Bautista, Cionel Pérez and Jorge López combined to strikeout eight batters in the last three innings with no walks as Bautista touched 101.4 mph with his fastest pitch, while Perez got to 98.6 mph and Lopez 98.4. Lopez recorded his 10th save and his fifth of more than one inning, getting the last four outs. His ninth-inning ERA of 1.21 is second-lowest among all major league relievers.
On June 12-13, in back-to-back games at Kansas City and Toronto, the Orioles' bullpen allowed 11 runs over 7 2/3 innings. But over the past four games the ‘pen has yielded just two earned runs in 14 innings.
Tampa Bay (35-29) has now lost four games in a row and was shutout twice in that stretch by the Yankees and Orioles, scoring four total runs in those games. The Rays are 1-6 on their current nine-game road trip and are 4-8 over the last 12 games. Since having an 18-10 record on May 7, Tampa Bay is 17-19. The Rays fell to 2-8 in road series-openers with Friday’s 1-0 loss.
The O’s have now won five of their last seven and are 7-5 the past 12 games and 15-13 over a 28-game span. They are 16-15 at home, 8-7 in June and 14-18 versus AL East teams, including a 3-4 mark versus the Rays.
Baltimore catcher Adley Rutschman had two hits and drove in the game’s only run Friday with a seventh-inning single. He extended his on-base streak to a career-high eight games and is batting .345/.406/.621 (10-for-29) with five doubles, a home run, four RBIs, six runs scored and three walks in that span. He recorded his fifth career multi-hit game and second in his last three games. In those three games he is 5-for-11 with two doubles, a homer and four RBIs. He drove in his first career run at Oriole Park last night.
First baseman Trey Mancini had one hit Friday, a first-inning double. He has reached base safely in 17 of his last 18 games since May 25.
Ryan Mountcastle extended his season-high hitting streak to seven games with a double in the seventh and scored the game’s only run. He is slashing .387/.387/.903 (12-for-31) with four doubles, four home runs, eight RBIs and nine runs scored during his streak.
Center fielder Cedric Mullins stole second and third base in the eighth inning, the second time he’s stolen multiple bases in an inning this year and the third time an Oriole has swiped multiple bags in an inning in 2022. Before last night, Jorge Mateo was the last to do that.
Right-hander Kyle Bradish (1-4, 6.86 ERA) gets the start this afternoon for the Orioles. The team is 5-4 in his nine previous outings, but since he allowed just two runs over seven innings and fanned 11 St. Louis Cardinals on May 10, his ERA is 8.64 in his past six starts. He's allowed four runs or more in four of those games.
Lefty Jeffrey Springs (3-2, 1.45 ERA) will make his 17th appearance and ninth start for Tampa Bay. The Rays are 6-2 in his previous starts, and he's recorded scoreless starts in four of his last six games. He has an ERA of 1.10 in those games, allowing just four earned runs in 32 2/3 innings along with an OPS against of only .579.
Springs has thrown two consecutive scoreless starts and enters this game with a scoreless streak of 12 1/3 innings. In 11 career games versus the Orioles, he is 3-0 with a 1.02 ERA. He is the American League ERA leader of pitchers that have thrown 40 or more innings.