Using a six-man rotation in the midst of a stretch featuring a handful of off days has helped Baltimore Orioles‘ starting pitchers stay fresh.
Right-hander Dean Kremer hopes to attest once again when he faces the visiting Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.
Kremer (12-5, 4.31 ERA) is 4-1 in his past nine starts while lowering his ERA by 0.73 during that span. He has been especially sharp in August, entering Tuesday at 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA in four starts covering 24 1/3 innings.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” Kremer said. “That’s the goal — to really peak once September and, hopefully, October hit.”
Baltimore improved its postseason prospects with a 9-0 rout of Chicago on Monday in the series opener. The Orioles, who boast the top record in the American League, increased their lead atop the AL East to 2 1/2 games over the idle Tampa Bay Rays.
Grayson Rodriguez threw six stellar innings and three relievers finished up a two-hitter for the Orioles, who have won eight of 10. Anthony Santander, Ryan O’Hearn and Gunnar Henderson fueled the offense with two hits apiece. Santander hit a three-run home run, while O’Hearn had a two-run single.
Baltimore won its 82nd game of the season and will match last season’s win total with its next victory.
“I’m so happy with how we swung the bats tonight,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “I’m really happy with how we pitched. We normally play really good defense. And we have a long way to go, but to have 82 wins up to this point, that’s a real credit to a lot of people in that clubhouse.”
Luis Robert Jr. had both hits for Chicago, which has lost eight of 12. Orioles fans gave the center fielder an ovation when he made a diving catch in the eighth inning.
“He’s an incredible player, and that doesn’t get taken for granted on this team in the slightest,” White Sox right-hander Jesse Scholtens said. “What he does for this team is unparalleled.”
Chicago will turn to Scholtens, who is seeking his first win since joining the rotation on Aug. 1, to try to even the series.
Scholtens (1-6, 4.15 ERA) is 0-3 with a 5.33 ERA in five starts this month. After pitching at least six innings in each of his first three starts, Scholtens has allowed 10 runs on 11 hits in 8 2/3 innings over his past two outings.
Facing the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, he took a no-decision after scattering five runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings with no walks and four strikeouts.
Kremer defeated the White Sox in his only career appearance against them. Pitching in Chicago on June 23, 2022, he gave up seven hits and one walk while striking out four in 5 2/3 shutout innings. Kremer allowed three doubles in that contest.
Scholtens hasn’t faced the Orioles in his rookie season.
Baltimore, which took two of three in Chicago from April 14-16, is assured of at least a split of the six-game season series with the White Sox.
—Field Level Media
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