O's game blog: Shooting for a 2-0 start at Boston

The Orioles and Boston Red Sox resume their season-opening series at Fenway Park this afternoon. The Orioles had 15 hits - including homers from Adley Rutschman and Ramón Urías - drew nine walks and stole five bases in their Opening Day 10-9 win on Thursday.

The Orioles hit .395 (15-for-38) in the win and produced four doubles and two homers while going 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position. They led 5-2 after four innings and 10-4 after seven before holding off Boston’s late rally. The Red Sox scored three runs in the eighth and two in the last of the ninth.

The Orioles won on Opening Day for 10th time in the last 13 games. They are now 45-25 all-time in openers, 13-12 when they open on the road and 8-3 when they open versus Boston. They are 7-1 in the last eight openers against the Red Sox.

Rutschman went 5-for-5 with a home run, a run scored, four RBIs and a walk in his first Opening Day action. The five hits, four RBIs and six times reaching base safely all marked career highs. He became the first player in O's history to reach base safely six times on Opening Day, and the eighth major league player to do so since at least 1901, per Stathead, and became the first catcher to reach base safely six times in a game since the Mets' Kevin Plawecki did it on Aug. 16, 2018 at Philadelphia. He is the first O's catcher to record five hits in a game since Matt Wieters did it on Aug. 14, 2016 at San Francisco. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Rutschman is the first player to go 5-for-5 (or better) with at least four RBIs on Opening Day in major league history

Right-hander Dean Kremer (8-7, 3.23 ERA in 2022) makes his season debut on the mound. Last year in 125 1/3 innings, he allowed 123 hits and 1.253 WHIP. Kremer allowed 0.8 homers per nine innings with a 2.4 walk rate and 6.2 strikeout rate.

Kremer pitched eight quality starts and threw 15.5 pitches per inning. His homer rate was ninth-lowest in the American League among pitchers throwing 125 innings or more.

He went 1-5 with a 3.90 ERA in 10 games versus American League East teams. He was 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA over 16 innings on the season pitching against Boston. Lefty batters hit .271 with a .713 OPS against him and right-handers hit .258/.705.

His mound opponent today is lefty Chris Sale, who was 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in two games covering 5 2/3 innings last year. Sale has made just 11 starts, throwing 48 1/3 innings over the past two seasons. He had Tommy John surgery and did not pitch at all in 2020.

Since signing a five-year deal worth $145 million heading into the 2020 season, Sale has been on the injured list for 340 out of 384 games. He has been on the IL eight times since 2018 while dealing with various issues that included a rib stress fracture and fractured finger in 2022.

From 2012 through 2018, Sale was a workhorse, winning 99 games with a 2.91 ERA and 10.9 strikeouts per nine in 207 starts. He never won a Cy Young Award, but finished in the top six of the voting every year in that span.

In 23 games, 17 career starts versus Baltimore, he is 10-3 with a 2.71 ERA, 1.035 WHIP and 12.5 K rate. O’s batters have hit a combined .213/.276/.344/.620 against him.

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