BALTIMORE — With the 25th anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr.’s record-setting 2,131st consecutive game celebrated Sunday at Camden Yards and around baseball and providing so many with a reason to look back and smile, young Orioles pitcher Dean Kremer stole the spotlight and turned it directly to a bright future.
In a 5-1 win over the New York Yankees that gave the Orioles a series win against the collapsing title contenders and improved them to 19-21 with 20 games left, Kremer struck out seven in six innings of one-hit, one-run ball in his major league debut.
His spectacular stepping-out came on a weekend when, combined with a similarly impressive start from fellow rookie Keegan Akin on Saturday, continued production from rookie Ryan Mountcastle, and a long-awaited offensive breakout from 2015 first-round pick DJ Stewart, the Orioles continued to lay down markers of what kind of upward trajectory their rebuilding project is on.
Kremer, fortunately for them, began as he intended to go on. The Orioles summoned him from the secondary site at Bowie to give him three weeks worth of starts in Asher Wojciechowski’s rotation spot, and he struck out the first two batters he faced in a perfect first inning.