A matchup between rookie right-handers highlights the second of three games between the Baltimore Orioles and the host Texas Rangers on Saturday in Arlington, Texas.
Dane Dunning (1-0, 1.00 ERA), who was traded from the Chicago White Sox in the Lance Lynn deal last December, will start for the Rangers against Baltimore’s Dean Kremer (0-1, 10.50 ERA) as the Orioles look for back-to-back victories following Friday’s 5-2 win.
Dunning, the Rangers’ No. 3 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline, has been sharp so far using a five-pitch mix highlighted by a sinker to hold opposing batters to a .167 average over his first two starts.
Dunning struck out five, walked two and allowed two hits over four scoreless innings on 71 pitches last Monday in a 1-0 loss against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The former first-round pick of the Nationals in 2016 will make his 10th career start and first against the Orioles. Dunning has yet to pitch past the fifth inning, however, despite his early effectiveness.
“(Dunning) gets better as outings go on, and I think at some point, you know, I just can’t wait ’til I get the opportunity to just kind of let him roll in a game,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said.
Kremer is looking to get on track after not making it past the third inning in either of his starts this season. He has eight strikeouts and five walks, while having allowed seven earned runs on nine hits.
Kremer, the Orioles’ No. 7 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline, will make his first career start against the Rangers.
“I feel confident that he’s going to be fine for that,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “He wants to pitch. Fifty-four pitches is almost like an extended bullpen. He’s plenty rested, and he’s ready to go.”
The Rangers will try to bounce back against Kremer after mustering only four hits in the series opener with two coming on back-to-back solo home runs by David Dahl and Nick Solak to break up a stretch of four no-hit innings by Orioles starter Jorge Lopez.
“I felt like that guy came at us and attacked us, and we just didn’t attack back,” Woodward said. “That’s what it looked like. A lot of called third strikes, a lot of chasing at the top of the zone. We didn’t really have tough at bats.”
Baltimore’s Freddy Galvis had a double and a triple, while Rio Ruiz and DJ Stewart each homered to help the Orioles score all of their runs between the third and fifth innings against Rangers starter Mike Foltynewicz.
“I believe in our offense,” Hyde said. “I think if you look at our numbers, six months from now, they’re not going to look like that. We have some good hitters on this team.”
Orioles left fielder Austin Hays (right hamstring strain) was set to play games at the team’s alternate training site on Friday and Saturday. If all goes well, Hays could be activated in time for Sunday’s series finale before the Orioles head to Miami for two games against the Marlins.
Texas optioned right-hander Josh Sborz after he won his first major league game on Thursday. Willie Calhoun (left groin strain) and Brock Holt (right hamstring strain) could be activated Saturday.
–Field Level Media