Ramirez was impressive, Mullins heats up and trade talk tweets

PHILADELPHIA - A team that is 24-61 is going to take positives anywhere it can find them and yesterday the Orioles found a big one in 24-year-old right-hander Yefry Ramirez. He threw a strong game against the Philadelphia Phillies in the Orioles 4-1 loss.

Making his third big league appearance and second as a starter, Ramirez faced the minimum 12 batters with a no-hitter going through four innings. In the fifth he gave up a walk and double and then saw first baseman Chris Davis fail to make what looked to be a pretty routine play at first as two runs scored.

For his five inning outing, Ramirez allowed one hit and two runs (one earned) with two walks and four strikeouts. Over his past two games against two good clubs in Seattle and the Phillies, Ramirez has thrown 10 innings allowing four hits and one earned run on 117 pitches. That is an average of 11.7 per inning.

This is impressive and manager Buck Showalter said yes it is a big positive to take away from yet another loss.

“Of course, Yefry, he’s got my eye,” said Showalter. “He’s got a feel for it. He’s got a nice demeanor about him. That’s a good game to pitch in, four o’clock. It’s hot. It’s a good team over there, on the road. The thing I like about it, he can defend himself against left-handed hitters, and that’s what he’s got to do up here.”

Ramirez’s strong outing was all the more impressive because he acheived it without a feel for his best secondary pitch, his changeup. When he recorded five scoreless in relief on June 28, Ramirez threw his changeup 23 times in 52 pitches. Yesterday he used that pitch just eight times in 65 pitches. He just didn’t have it going against Philly. What he did have along with his well-commanded fastball was a solid slider and he got six swings and misses on 21 sliders.

Ramirez said featuring that pitch so often and being so effective with it could be big for him going forward.

“It definitely makes me a more complete pitcher,” he said through interpreter Ramón Alarcón. “Hitters don’t see me as a two-pitch pitcher right now. They need to take into account that I can throw three pitches. So I am just glad that it’s working and I am going to continue to work on it, to continue to execute the plan and help my team.”

Ramirez is lined up to pitch in one of the games of a doubleheader Monday versus the Yankees. After his latest good outing, you would think he’ll get another shot then. He is 0-2 with an ERA of 2.51 after his first three major league games.

Mullins heating up: How much longer before the Orioles call up outfielder Cedric Mullins? After a very slow start when he moved from Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk, he’s now batting .278/.345/.476 for the Tides in 31 games.

Mullins-Batting-Bowie-Sidebar.jpgMullins had three hits in last night’s 10-5 win at Gwinnett. Over his past seven games he is 14-for-31 (.452) with four doubles and four RBIs. In his last 25 games, Mullins is batting .324 with 24 runs and 17 extra-base hits.mullin

Showalter talked about Mullins before Sunday’s game at Citizens Bank Park.

“Cedric is doing well,” he said. “It’s good to see him starting to show himself well at that level. One thing Cedric has always brought is above-average defense. Through thick and thin, he’s been a contributer defensively. We’ll see where it takes us. I’m excited about his progress.”

Double-A Bowie beat Harrisburg in 10 innings 7-6 on the Fourth of July. Third baseman Ryan Mountcastle had three hits including a double and RBI. He’s hitting .311 for the Baysox.

Right-hander Matthias Dietz was promoted from Single-A Delmarva to Single-A Frederick yesterday and got the start for the Keys in a 5-3 loss at Carolina. Over five innings, Dietz allowed seven hits and five runs in his Carolina League debut. Dietz had gone 6-2 with an ERA of 3.56 in 13 starts for Delmarva.

Meanwhile Frederick first baseman Wilson Garcia continued his home run tear hitting two more yesterday for the second game in a row and the fourth time he has hit two in one game over the last seven contests. That is some home run barrage. The 24-year-old Wilson is a switch-hitter from Venezuela that the Orioles acquired in a May 1 minor league trade with Philadelphia.

Over his last eight games he is batting .406 (13-for-32) with nine homers and 18 RBIs. In 56 games with Frederick, Garcia is batting .325/.361/.618 with 14 doubles, 16 homers, 52 RBIs and a .979 OPS.

Garcia is tied for first in the Carolina League in homers and leads the league in slugging. Among all O’s minor leaguers, he ranks first in homers and tied for first in RBIs.

The Shorebirds starter yesterday did just fine in Delmarva’s 3-0 win over Hagerstown in front of a sellout of 7,354 at Perdue Stadium. Right-hander Luis Perez moved up from short season Single-A Aberdeen where he was 1-0 with an ERA of 0.56 and just four hits allowed over 16 innings. Then the 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic pitched six scoreless for the Shorebirds on five hits in the victory.

Trade talk tweets: The first one consisted of some of Manny Machado’s pregame comments Wednesday in Philadelphia and Phillies fans seemed to to get excited about that. The second one says the Orioles are focused for this month’s trade discussions.

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