After a tense ending to the series opener on Friday, the visiting Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds continue their interleague set on Saturday.
Cincinnati reliever Dauri Moreta hit Anthony Santander with a pitch in the ninth inning after Santander hit a game-tying homer three innings earlier. Both benches cleared but nothing further developed. The Orioles prevailed 6-2 thanks to a four-run ninth, highlighted by a go-ahead, two-run single from Cedric Mullins.
Shortly after the game ended, Cincinnati traded ace Luis Castillo to the Seattle Mariners for four minor-leaguers.
The Reds began dealing late Thursday night, sending starting right fielder Tyler Naquin and lefty pitcher Phillip Diehl to the New York Mets for two minor-leaguers.
Reds general manager Nick Krall confirmed that his trade conversations have accelerated since just before the All-Star break and have picked up as the Tuesday deadline approaches.
“Over the last week, it’s just everybody’s trying to improve their club from either short term or long term,” Krall said. “For us, it’s trying to make sure that we’re making the best deals possible with anybody we move. So it’s just trying to make sure that we have conversations with every club, making sure that we’re running everything down and leaving no stone unturned.”
The Orioles will send Dean Kremer (3-2, 3.06 ERA) to the mound in the middle game of the series. The right-hander will make his 10th start of the year and his first career appearance against Cincinnati.
In his latest outing, on Sunday against the New York Yankees, Kremer took his first loss since June 5, as he allowed four runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings. He surrendered one home run while walking one, hitting a batter and striking out six.
Kremer has been very effective on the road this season in four starts, posting a 2-0 mark with a 1.66 ERA while holding batters to a .277 average. Kremer will be making his first career interleague start.
Meanwhile, for the third time in the past four outings, the Reds will send a pitcher to the mound who could be trade fodder in coming days.
Right-hander Tyler Mahle (4-7, 4.88 ERA) is set for his 19th start of the season. He has never faced the Orioles.
Mahle will make his second appearance since a three-week stint on the injured list due to a right shoulder strain.
He came off the IL to pitch Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals, and he allowed three runs on just two hits, a two-run homer by Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth inning and a solo homer by Goldschmidt in the sixth. Mahle struck out five and walked three over six innings, earning the win as Cincinnati prevailed 6-3.
In his past 11 starts beginning May 13, Mahle has eight quality starts to go with a 3.59 ERA and a .220 opponents’ batting average.
The Orioles are also dealing with swirling trade rumors, particularly when it comes to designated hitter Trey Mancini, who hit an inside-the-park home run vs. the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday in what might have been his final home game in Baltimore.
“I hope I get to stick around and then still be a part of this team,” said Mancini, who contributed an RBI single to the Orioles’ decisive ninth-inning rally on Friday. “But I understand how the business works and I don’t really have a say in it. I’m just gonna go out there every day and keep playing for this team and the name across my chest, because I love this city and the team, and I love these guys in here. It’s just been such a fun year.”
–Field Level Media