Dean Kremer on rookie pitchers pushing each other (O’s lose)

After giving up three runs in his first spring start, Orioles right-hander Dean Kremer has now put together back-to-back solid outings. He went three innings this afternoon against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland.

After his outing he talked about his day and how his friendship with another young pitcher is helping both of them.

Thumbnail image for Kremer-Delivers-Orange-ST-sidebar.jpgKremer came into this game off a scoreless outing his last time out. On March 9 he gave up just one hit over three innings against Minnesota.

Today he faced five batters in a scoreless first inning on 18 pitches. Miguel Cabrera singled to right with two outs and former Oriole Jonathan Schoop walked. But Kremer stranded those runners as he got Niko Goodrum to fly to left.

But the Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the last of the second. They put two on to start the inning as Wilson Ramos singled and Victor Reyes singled, advancing Ramos 90 feet. Two ground balls got a run home. The first advancing Ramos to third. Jacoby Jones bounced to second to score him.

In his third and final inning, Kremer issued a leadoff walk to Jeimer Candelario. But he retired the next three in order with strikeouts of Cabrera and Niko Goodrum, sandwiched around Schoop’s pop out to second.

So Kremer went three innings, allowing three hits and one run with two walks and four strikeouts. He threw 58 pitches, 34 for strikes. His fastball sat often in the 94, 95 mph range and topped out at 97 mph.

“Definitely getting there,” Kremer said when asked if he is where he needs to be halfway through camp. “Still got a couple of kinks, like everyone else. But I feel good. Feel ready to take on some strength.”

Lefty Bruce Zimmermann followed Kremer to the mound. Kremer said the two friends are pushing each other to get better.

“Absolutely. He’s probably my closest friend,” Kremer said. “As soon as we were traded together (around the same time) we linked up and pretty much haven’t left each other’s side since. Our schedules are aligned, so it works out perfect. Our schedules are pretty similar and we get to push each other throughout the week and hopefully compete for a job.

“We’re both thinkers. He’s obviously a left-hander and I’m right-handed, but I throw a good curveball and he throws a good changeup. And we kind of go back and forth. I’ll help him with his curveball and he’ll help me with my changeup. It’s awesome being able to go back and forth with someone that throws pretty much like me.”

Kremer got some positive results today when elevating pitches.

“That’s definitely something that I’ve been working on,” he said. “Doing it on purpose rather than doing by accident. It’s something that I have hammered out throughout the offseason on bullpens, in bullpens in spring training and last year at the alternate site.”

Tigers right-hander Spencer Turnbull retired the Orioles in order in the first two innings. He needed just eight pitches in the top of the first and nine in the second. The O’s stranded two runners in the third.

They finally got on the board in the fourth. Ryan Mountcastle doubled and scored with one out on a Ramón Urías double. That tied the game at 1-1. The Orioles ended a 17-inning scoreless stretch, which dated to the third inning on Friday.

Zimmermann is having another strong outing. He pitched four scoreless innings through the seventh without allowing a hit, and to that point had not been scored on over nine spring innings.

The game is tied 1-1 in the eighth.

This entry will be updated.

O’s lose in Lakeland: The Orioles’ struggles continued today in Lakeland. Once again they didn’t hit much, this time in a 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers. The Orioles have now lost eight of nine games to fall to 3-10-1.

Kremer and Zimmermann threw well, but Detroit’s Zack Short hit a three-run homer off Travis Lakins Sr. in the eighth to break the 1-1 tie. His first spring homer came on a first-pitch fastball at 93 mph. Two batters later, Akil Baddoo hit a solo homer to left for the final margin.

The Orioles were held to four hits (going 4-for-30) and have scored just three runs their last three games and 13 in the last seven contests. Mountcastle had two doubles in three at-bats today to raise his average to .182.

The Orioles host the Pirates tomorrow with Matt Harvey getting the start. The game will air on 105.7 FM the Fan in Baltimore.

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