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Orioles defeat Yankees, 6-3, in Colton Cowser’s debut

The rookies came through at the plate and Dean Kremer came through on the mound.

Oriole Dean Kremer throws a pitch at Yankee Stadium John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone watching the Orioles of late knows they have had their struggles. They had lost six out of their last seven and had struggled with both offense and pitching. With the Yankees the team directly behind them in the standings, they needed a win tonight and they got it. With a little help from the newest Oriole, Colton Cowser, they played a solid game. The kind of game they needed.

The 6-3 win was a nice palate cleanser from what the Orioles have been doing lately and hopefully, something on which they can build on in these last few games before the All-Star break.

The Orioles and their fans have been through a lot in the last few years. So many losses, all with the promise that they were for a reason. Mike Elias was tearing down the team to build it stronger from the ground up. It was difficult to watch. But as the minor league system grew in quality, we started to dream about what could happen.

We’re not completely there yet, the team still has a ways to go. But those things we have been dreaming of felt more real to me tonight than they ever had before.

It was like we all imagined it. Colton Cowser stepped to the plate in the sixth with runners on first and third, the Orioles down by two. Lefty against lefty. On the fourth pitch of the at-bat, Cowser made contact and lined a single to right field. Cedric Mullins scored easily and Aaron Hicks raced to third.

Next to the plate was Jordan Westburg, Cowser’s good buddy and fellow highly-rated prospect. He launched a ball to left field. Yankees’ left fielder Jake Bauers dove but couldn’t get it. Hicks and Cowser scored as Westburg landed on third with a triple. Westburg then scored the fourth run on a ground ball to shortstop to make the score 4-2.

In the span of just a couple of minutes, the young Orioles rallied. It was just one moment in time, but with the young players at the helm, it felt like seeing the plan come together. I don’t guess any of us imagined Aaron Hicks in the scenario, but life is unpredictable.

Those four runs came in support of an absolutely dazzling start from Dean Kremer. Kremer was coming off of a terrible game against the Twins last weekend in which he gave up seven runs in just three innings. Both the Orioles and Kremer needed a good start tonight, and boy did they get it.

Through four innings, Kremer faced just one batter over the minimum as Josh Donaldson singled in the second but was stranded at first base. The next batter to reach was, again, Donaldson. Shouldn’t that guy be retired by now? Kremer’s cutter stayed up in the strike zone and Donaldson clobbered it to right-center field for a 402-foot home run in the fifth. In the moment, it felt like too much. That’s how the Orioles have been playing lately.

Later in the inning was a truly scary moment, one that made the play on the field seem secondary. With a runner on first, Anthony Volpe hit a ground ball to Adam Frazier at second base. Frazier bobbled the ball before getting it to shortstop, and Gunnar Henderson rushed the throw to first base. It sailed into the camera well and unfortunately hit YES Network cameraman Pete Stendel in the face.

There was a long delay as the medical team tended to Stendel and then loaded him onto a backboard and then a cart to take him off the field. It was intense. As he was leaving the field, Pete Stendel was holding a compress to his own head. He raised his other arm into the air and acknowledged the crowd. All our best to Pete.

The first batter after the delay lined a single to right field, which brought in Volpe to make the score 2-0. At the time a comeback felt impossible, and given what we just witnessed, didn’t even feel that important. But the show must go on.

After the Orioles struck for four runs in the top of the sixth, Kremer got right back to it in the bottom half of the inning. His nine-pitch inning that featured two strikeouts. Did I mention that Dean was absolutely racking up the strikeouts? One in the first, one in the second, two in the third, two in the fourth, and two in the sixth. Brandon Hyde sent him back out four the seventh and Kremer rewarded his faith.

In his seventh and final inning, Kremer got a flyout and a strikeout before issuing his first walk of the day to extend the inning. That brought the tying run to the plate, but no matter. Kremer struck out Isiah Kiner-Falefa to end the inning. His final pitching line: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K. Per Kevin Brown on MASN, the last time Kremer struck 10 batters was in 2019 when he was a member of the Bowie Baysox.

Having gotten through seven innings, it was time to turn to Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista. Cano had his troubles. The first batter he faced, Volpe, did something against Cano that no one has done yet this year: he hit a home run. It took 153 batters for it to happen, which is pretty incredible. It cut the score to 4-3 and my fear started to creep in. It only grew when the next batter hit a ground ball that died in the infield for a single.

The struggling Anthony Rizzo came to the plate and hit what the camera person thought was a second-deck home run. As all Orioles fans at home watched aghast as the camera panned to the outfield stands, Anthony Santander caught the ball in medium right field. Phew! Cano got the second out on a pop-up, and with Giancarlo Stanton coming to the plate, Hyde went to Bautista for the four-out save.

It took two pitches for Stanton to line out to center field, then he got to take a rest while the Orioles got him some insurance runs. That’s right! With Adley Rutschman on base after hitting a double, lefty batting Ryan O’Hearn did what lefties at Yankee Stadium are so good at. He hit a line-drive home run that just snuck over the fence in right field. Per Statcast, it traveled 339 feet and would have only been a home run at Yankee Stadium and at Minute Maid Field.

We’ll take it! That put the score at a comfortable 6-3, and Bautista came back out to finish things in the ninth. He did walk Donaldson, because that guy was determined to be as annoying as possible tonight. But a quick fly out and a strike out of Kiner-Falefa ended things with no drama.

Orioles win, 6-3! Kremer was incredible. Cowser reached base twice with a single and walk, plus he both knocked in and scored a run. Rutschman and Mullins had multi-hit games, with Mullins picking up two doubles. Aside from the scary scene with the YES cameraman and some early wasted opportunities at the plate, it was an all-around good game.

The Orioles will once again not be swept and now have a chance to get out of New York with a series split. The finale will be played tomorrow at 7:05 with Kyle Bradish on the mound against Luis Severino.


Who is the Most Birdland Player for July 5th?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Colton Cowser (major league debut, RBI single, run, walk)
    (127 votes)
  • 3%
    Jordan Westburg (2-RBI triple, walk)
    (22 votes)
  • 0%
    Ryan O’Hearn (insurance dinger)
    (5 votes)
  • 76%
    Dean Kremer (7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K)
    (515 votes)
669 votes total Vote Now