O's game blog: Looking to pick up a win in the series against New York

Whether it is a well pitched game or a game where the offense breaks out or some combination, the Orioles could use it tonight to pick up a much-needed win at Yankee Stadium.

They entered this series at 49-33 and had gone 5-0-1 in their last six American League series, going 12-5 in those games. They were 3-3 this year against the Yankees.

But after losses in the Bronx by 6-3 and 8-4 scores, the Orioles are 49-35 and have now lost six of seven, eight of 12 and 10 of their past 16 games. Since May 26 they are 16-18 (.471) and have gone 4-6-1 their past 11 series.

They begin play tonight, in Game 3 of this four-game series, before they head to Minnesota, six games behind Tampa Bay for the division lead and two games ahead of New York for second place in the division. They hold the top AL wild card spot, leading Houston by 1 1/2 games and New York by two.

The Orioles have scored seven runs on 20 hits in this series in the Bronx, but they have been outhomered 5-2. Over the last five games the Orioles have scored just 10 runs. They have scored three or fewer runs in 14 of the last 25 games, going 3-11 in those 14.

New York's bullpen has been a standout in the series, allowing one run and six hits over 8 2/3 innings. New York's 'pen ranks first in the majors with a 2.82 ERA. The O's bullpen has allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits in four innings in the series. The O's 'pen, with an ERA of 3.78, ranks sixth in the big leagues.

The Orioles send right-hander Dean Kremer (8-4, 5.04 ERA) to the mound tonight for his 18th start . The Orioles are 11-6 in the first 17. On Friday versus Minnesota, Kremer gave up seven hits and seven runs in just three innings.

But in the 10 starts before that one, he posted a 3.39 ERA, allowing a .749 OPS. The Orioles were 8-2 in those games.

Lefty batters have big numbers off Kremer, batting .318 with a .932 OPS, while right-handers have hit .262/.744.

In his only 2023 start against New York, he is 0-0 with a 7.20 ERA, having allowed four runs and five hits on April 7. In six starts this season versus AL East teams, Kremer is 3-0 with a 4.65 ERA and .885 OPS against. 

His mound opponent is 24-year-old right-hander Randy Vásquez from the Dominican Republic. He is 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA in two starts this season, the first two games of his major league career. At Triple-A Scranton this year he is 2-8 with a 5.11 ERA and 1.605 WHIP.

Vásquez was a late bloomer, signed at age 19 out of the Dominican by the Yankees in May 2018 for just $10,000. They added him to their 40-man roster in March 2022.

MLBPipeline.com ranks Vásquez as the Yankees' No. 12 prospect, and reports say his fastball sits at between 93 and 95 mph but has touched 100. He has a strong, high-spin-rate curveball. His fastball and slider get 55 grades in scouting reports while his curveball rates at 60. 

He gave up two runs in 4 2/3 innings on May 26 versus San Diego in his debut. On June 8 he threw 5 2/3 scoreless on two hits against the Chicago White Sox.

The Orioles today selected the contracts of outfielder Colton Cowser and right-handed pitcher Eduard Bazardo from Triple-A Norfolk. Cowser, batting seventh and playing left field, will wear No. 17 and make his major league debut tonight. Bazardo, who went 4-1 with a 3.51 for Norfolk, will wear No. 67, and his first appearance will be his Orioles debut.

Cowser is set to become the fifth Orioles player to make his big league debut this season, joining right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez on April 5 at Texas, infielder Joey Ortiz on April 27 at Detroit, infielder Jordan Westburg on June 26 vs. Cincinnati, and right-handed pitcher Chris Vallimont on July 3 at Yankee Stadium.

MLB Pipeline currently ranks Cowser as the No. 2 Orioles prospect and No. 14 top 100 prospect. Cowser, 23, has hit .330/.459/.537/.996 with 10 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs, 54 runs scored, 40 RBIs, 48 walks, and seven stolen bases in 56 games with the Tides this season. He has made 30 starts in center field, 11 in right, six in left, and seven as the designated hitter. He was named the International League Player of the Week twice this season: April 17-23 and May 8-14. Cowser was the O's first-round pick, No. 5 overall, in the 2021 MLB Draft out of Sam Houston State. 

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