Orioles keep Kjerstad in lineup vs. Cubs

Heston Kjerstad is starting again in left field tonight as the Orioles begin their three-game home series against the Cubs.

Cedric Mullins is in center field and Anthony Santander is in right.

Ramón Urías is the third baseman, with Jordan Westburg at second.

Per STATS, the Orioles have three of the 20 qualified major league hitters with a .500-plus slugging percentage – Westburg, Santander and Gunnar Henderson. This would be the fifth time the Orioles have had three qualified players slug .500 or better at the All-Star break, including four in 1996 and 2005 and three in 1969 and 2016.

Henderson is the fourth shortstop to reach 50 extra-base hits before the All-Star break, joining Francisco Lindor (55) in 2018, Miguel Tejada (53) in 2005 and Trevor Story (52) in 2018.

Dean Kremer made a triumphant return from the injured list, shutting out the Mariners over five innings in Seattle. He allowed only two hits and struck out eight batters.

Kremer’s only career start against the Cubs came on June 18, 2023 at Wrigley Field, when he allowed one earned run and three total in five innings. He struck out seven batters.

Mike Tauchman and Christopher Morel hit home runs.

Kremer hasn’t allowed a run in the first inning this season.

Also per STATS, Kremer is only the fourth Oriole in the last 40 years to hold opponents below a .200 average in his first 10 starts of a season. John Means (.167 in 2021), Jeremy Guthrie (.179 in 2007) and Tyler Wells (.190 in 2023) are the others. Chris Tillman just missed at .204 in 2016.

The Orioles lost two of three in Chicago last year. They’re 2-6 all-time at home against the Cubs and were swept in a three-game series in 2017.

The Cubs were slow to announce their starter, but it’s right-hander Jameson Taillon, who has a 2.99 ERA and 1.180 WHIP in 14 starts. He’s registered a quality start in six of his last seven outings.

Taillon has made seven starts against the Orioles and posted a 4.59 ERA and 1.320 WHIP in 33 1/3 innings.

Austin Hays is 8-for-14 with three doubles against Taillon, but he’s on the bench. Mullins is 5-for-12 with two homers. Urías is 4-for-11 with a homer. Santander is 3-for-15 with two homers.

Hays has built a .483 average in his first seven games against the Cubs, tied with Ozzie Albies for the highest by an active player in the first seven, per STATS.

The last-place Cubs have lost their last seven road series. The White Sox have the longest streak at 10.

Ian Happ has posted a .313 average at home and a .171 average on the road that’s the lowest in the majors among qualifying hitters.

For the Orioles

Gunnar Henderson SS
Adley Rutschman C
Anthony Santander RF
Ryan O’Hearn DH
Jordan Westburg 2B
Heston Kjerstad LF
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Cedric Mullins CF
Ramón Urías 3B

Dean Kremer RHP

High-A Aberdeen catcher Creed Willems is going on the injured list with a strained left hamstring.

O's Jordan Westburg on not making the All-Star tea...
Bowie outfielder Dylan Beavers talks about his sea...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/