Mountcastle moves to first base tonight

Ryan Mountcastle is starting at first base tonight for the first time this season as the Orioles try to secure a series win over the Rangers.

Mountcastle has been the designated hitter in eight games and the left fielder in six. He started nine games at first base last summer.

Trey Mancini is batting fifth as the designated hitter, followed by Mountcastle.

Mountcastle-Swings-Orange-Intrasquad-Sidebar.jpgMancini struck out four times last night to give him 18 for the season, second on the club behind Mountcastle.

Rio Ruiz stays at second base. Maikel Franco is the cleanup hitter.

Franco leads the club with seven walks.

DJ Stewart is back in left field. His 436-foot home run last night was the longest by an Orioles player this season and the longest of his career.

Freddy Galvis had a triple and double last night for his first game with multiple extra-base hits since Aug. 3, 2019 in Baltimore while playing for the Blue Jays.

Galvis has four hits in his last four games covering 10 at-bats. He’s the shortstop again tonight.

“I think it’s trying to get on top of the baseball right now, something we’ve been working on the last few days,” he said. “I think I was having a little trouble with fastballs. Right now, trying to stay short to the game, trying to make a good swing and trying to get good contact ... and it’s working so far. Just keep working and trying to get better every day.”

Cedric Mullins had two more hits last night and ranks third in the majors with 21. He’s batting .396/.458/.585 in 14 games.

Mullins’ 14 hits in road games lead the majors and his seven doubles this season are tied with JD Martinez for first.

“I’ve seen this before,” Stewart said. “Obviously, everyone’s shocked with him going just the left-handed side, which is super impressive for someone who hasn’t been doing that that long to stay in there versus those lefties. But I’ve seen him locked in like this before in the minor leagues, so it doesn’t surprise me. I just hope he continues to go because when he goes, we all go.”

Last night marked the 12th time in team history that the Orioles won a game while recording at least six extra-base hits and one single or fewer. The last time it happened was Aug 10, 2017 in Oakland.

Manager Brandon Hyde has pointed out multiple times that players are pressing, which seems to only deepen the slumps. Last night’s five-run output seemed like a flood of offense.

“I think the way we tried to do stuff early in the season, we had a good series against Boston and then we went cold a little bit and then we tried to do too much, like he said,” Galvis said. “We tried to hit the homer, we tried to get the RBI and maybe there was a little pressure that we put on ourselves to try to do it.

“It’s just a matter of trying to let it go, try to stay with the plan and try to do it. I think the last few days we’re working, but we have to be working. It’s just like 15 games so far, something like that. We have a lot of games to go. We have to relax a little bit and play baseball.”

The bullpen has registered a 3.96 ERA in 52 1/3 innings, the sixth-lowest in the American League and 14th-lowest in the majors. The road ERA is 2.57 with eight earned runs in 28 innings.

Dean Kremer is pitching on three days’ rest after starting the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. He threw 54 pitches in three innings.

Kremer threw 85 pitches over three innings in his first start in New York. He’s allowed seven runs and nine hits with five walks and eight strikeouts.

Dane Dunning, chosen by the Nationals with the 29th-overall pick in the 2016 draft out of the University of Florida, has made two starts this month and allowed only one run in nine innings. He’s walked two batters and struck out 11.

Right-handers are slashing .157/.222/.265 in his nine major league starts, and left-handers are slashing .224/.314/.368.

The Rangers have struck out 15 or more times in three games this season.

The Rangers (149) and Orioles (146) rank first and second, respectively, in the majors in most strikeouts.

For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Anthony Santander RF
DJ Stewart LF
Maikel Franco 3B
Trey Mancini DH
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Rio Ruiz 2B
Pedro Severino C
Freddy Galvis SS

Dean Kremer RHP

This is my final post of the day unless there’s breaking news to interrupt my plans.

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