Right-hander Jorge López pitched well in an Orioles win on Friday night, lefty Keegan Akin did so in a victory last night and O’s right-hander Dean Kremer made an outstanding major league debut this afternoon and got his first major league win.
It was a strong display of starting pitching that helped the club to three straight wins.
Kremer allowed just one run and hit over six innings as the Orioles beat New York 5-1 to take the last three games against the Yankees. Yep, they were close to a four-game sweep that would have left both clubs with 20-20 records. But with today’s win, the Orioles are 19-21 and New York falls to 21-19.
Kremer, ranked as the Orioles’ No. 10 prospect by MLBPipeline.com and No. 13 by Baseball America, had some afternoon. Here is a closer look at his day:
New York first: Kremer fanned the first two batters he saw in his debut. He got DJ LeMahieu looking at a 95 mph fastball on the inside corner and Luke Voit swinging at a 77 mph curveball, showing off his top secondary pitch early. When Brett Gardner lined out, it was a 1-2-3 first on just 12 pitches. Kremer threw eight fastballs that averaged 94.6 mph and topped at 95.6, per Statcast. He added four curves and the Yankees swung at two of them and whiffed at both. A very strong start to his day.
New York second: Kremer lost his command at times and walked two batters in a 30-pitch inning where the Yankees would score once to cut their deficit to 2-1. He walked leadoff batter Clint Frazier and with one out allowed a single and walk to load the bases. But Kremer kept his poise and got catcher Erik Kratz to hit a grounder up the third base line. Rio Ruiz fielded it, stepped on third, bobbled the ball briefly and then threw late to first. The bobble cost him an inning-ending double play and a run scored.
Kremer threw 17 four-seam fastballs in the inning averaging 92.8 mph. He added eight curves, four sliders and one two-seamer.
New York third: Kremer got dialed back in quickly in a 1-2-3 third against the top of the Yankees order. He threw six fastballs among just nine pitches in this inning. Through the third, the top three in the order were 0-for-6 against him with four strikeouts.
New York fourth: It was another 1-2-3 inning for Kremer. He got the fourth through sixth hitters on a called third strike, a groundout and a foul pop. It was an 11-pitch inning with more curves than fastballs for the first time, six to four. New York swung on three of those curveballs, whiffing on one. Kremer was at 62 pitches through four and had retired eight batters in a row.
New York fifth: Kremer was still rolling with another 1-2-3 inning and 11 retired consecutively. This was just a 10-pitch inning against the bottom of the order. The second time through today against Kremer, the New York lineup went 0-for-9 with three strikeouts. In this inning, he threw five fastballs, three curveballs and mixed in two sliders. The fastball averaged 93.4 mph and topped out at 94.9, per Statcast.
New York sixth: Kremer put up another zero pitching around a one-out walk to Voit where several close pitches did not go his way. But he struck out Clint Frazier on a slider at 88 mph to end the frame. He had a one-hitter with seven strikeouts through six. That inning, he threw 16 pitches with eight curveballs the most used pitch.
Tanner Scott took over to start the New York seventh and an outstanding debut had come to an end.
So the final line for Kremer was six innings, one hit, one run, three walks and seven strikeouts. He threw 88 pitches, 47 for strikes. Yankees batters went just 1-for-19 against him.
Kremer threw 45 fastballs that averaged 93.7 mph and topped at 96.1 mph. He saw Yankees batters swing 17 times at the pitch and whiff three times. Kremer added 31 curveballs and 12 sliders.
The trio of López, Akin and Kremer, all new starters to the rotation, put up this combined line since Friday night: 16 1/3 innings, seven hits, four runs, one earned run, eight walks and 17 strikeouts. That is an ERA of 0.55.
DJ Stewart hit a two-run homer in the first to give the O’s a lead they would not lose today. It was Stewart’s third homer in three at-bats going back to last night’s win.
Kremer today produced just the fourth start all year by an O’s hurler of six innings or more. It was quite a day for him and the Orioles as they won the series against the Yankees.