Kremer, Cowser lead O’s to victory over Twins

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Birdland! Remember, don’t be selfish! Don’t drink and drive!

Dean Kremer is back with the Orioles. Due to the unfortunate exit of Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic, Kremer took the mound today against the Twins.

“I enjoyed my time immensely at the WBC, but now it’s time to kind of win a job, I guess, or compete for a job,” Kremer said.

As Kremer looks to lock down a rotation spot, he would throw 58 pitches, 38 for strikes, across four innings of work. He only allowed three hits, but two of them were solo home runs, as he finished with three strikeouts and no walks.

The two home runs Kremer allowed came on back-to-back hits after the righty retired the first five batters of the game. He would retire seven of the final eight batters he faced.

“For the most part, it was pretty good,” Kremer said of his outing. “Just made two mistakes, and they got hit hard. But still got to, I don’t want to say ‘tune up,’ but still building volume and making sure that I can extend myself.”

Félix Bautista followed Kremer and looked even stronger than his first appearance. He threw nine pitches, eight for strikes, and collected two strikeouts, still not allowing a run. 

“Some defensive swings against him,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of Bautista. “So when you see that, you know he’s getting there.”

Outside of one outing, Andrew Politi once again pitched a strong inning. His 6.35 ERA looks unpleasant on paper, but his 1.21 WHIP is promising for the young Rule 5 pick.

Bryan Baker allowed a run in an inning of work and was followed by Logan Gillaspie and Yennier Cano, who both put up zeroes.

On offense, the O’s big inning was the third. Jordan Westburg, Daz Cameron and Colton Cowser all hit solo home runs in consecutive at-bats. Cowser’s shot went an estimated 476 feet.

“I’m getting more comfortable every day,” Cowser said. “Strikeouts have cut down a little bit. It seemed like it was every at-bat, but I just think that comes with more ABs. You’re going to continue to get more comfortable and see the ball better. I think the big thing has just been honing in on the approach and looking for a good pitch to hit and putting a good swing on it.”

On the day, the offense totaled five runs on nine hits. They walked three times and struck out nine, ending up 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The Orioles would win the game 5-3 with Kremer picking up the win and Cano collecting the save. The O’s are now 10-9 this spring.

Side Notes:

Mike Baumann was informed by manager Brandon Hyde that the organization will experiment with him in a short relief role. The big righty, who has struggled as a starter in the bigs, will be looking to find a way onto the roster in a bullpen role.

“I took a step back and said, ‘If I want to help this team, it’s probably in this sort of role,’” Baumann said.

Baumann, who was the Orioles’ 2019 Co-Pitcher of the Year, has a 10.29 ERA this spring and a 5.89 ERA in 17 career big league games.

Though D.L. Hall won’t be ready to be a starter when the Orioles head north, Hyde is not giving up on the notion of Hall helping the rotation. After a two-inning sim game yesterday, Hyde still isn’t ruling Hall out.

“We do think he’s still a rotation candidate. He can’t break as a rotation candidate, but a rotation piece down the road for this year at some point. But we could also put him in the pen and be like a bulk inning guy, too.”

Ryan O’Hearn engaged in full activities in Sarasota today. It’s possible that after today, O’Hearn could return to the lineup Saturday against the Red Sox.

Lewin Díaz, on the other hand, is still experiencing discomfort in his shoulder after being scratched on Tuesday.

“They did some testing on him this morning, and he’s still a little bit sore, so he’s going to be behind,” Hyde said of Díaz.

The Orioles will face the Red Sox tomorrow at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida, at 1:05 p.m. EST. Grayson Rodriguez will take the mound against Kutter Crawford, with the game being televised on MASN2.

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Who stood out to you for the O’s today? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

Like Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SRJHeckman

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