Before this July, Dean Kremer had only visited the East Coast once in his life. But after being dealt to the Orioles in July, he was given the chance to make it his new home as he swapped uniforms and leagues. So far, he's adapted well to all the changes.
"Getting traded in the middle of everything was definitely a surprise and it's definitely had its own adjustment period," the right-hander said. "I feel like as time goes on, I'm going to get better. Things are going to settle down and I'm going to do what I need to do."
Baltimore's No. 16 prospect did just that Tuesday, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out six over six frames as Double-A Bowie rolled to a 5-0 victory over Richmond at The Diamond.
Video: Kremer's sixth strikeout for the Baysox
On July 5, Kremer (3-2) made his Double-A debut with Tulsa, whiffing 11 batters in a seven-inning shutout. That marked his last start with the Dodgers, as he was part of the five-player package that came to the Orioles on July 18 in return for All-Star shortstop Manny Machado.
Since then, the 22-year-old has posted a 2.70 ERA with 35 strikeouts through 33 1/3 innings with the Baysox. However, he gave up four runs -- including a home run -- on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings in his previous outing against the Flying Squirrels.
Back on the bump against that same lineup Tuesday, Kremer threw 57 of his 82 pitches for strikes while facing three over the minimum. The 22-year-old fired off three perfect innings and allowed multiple runners to reach in a frame only once.
Gameday box score
With just seven innings of experience in Double-A before the trade, Kremer said getting used to the hitters at the level has tested him. And the trade gave him another set of changes to deal with.
"I didn't have much experience in [the Texas League], I just had that one outing," the California native said. "Double-A has been a bit of a different challenge than what I had gone through previously. ... I loved everything that the Dodgers did for me and it was a bittersweet feeling being traded. But I know coming over to this organization, there are a lot of opportunities for me and the other guys traded here. We're excited to be part of a new era."
After allowing 11 baserunners last Thursday, Kremer said he had brought in a mind-set of utilizing stuff that would enable him to have more success. With more fastballs and curveballs mixed in early in the start and progressively adding in sliders and changeups later, the approach worked out more often than not.
"It was just to attack things differently than the last time," he said. "Obviously that didn't work and I didn't feel myself in the last outing. I pitched more to my strengths this time and it ended up working out."
Kremer retired the first seven batters he faced, then allowed a one-out single to center field to Jeff Arnold in the second inning. Then he induced Matt Lipka to bounce into a forceout at second base and No. 27 Giants prospect C.J. Hinojosa to fly out to right.
The Flying Squirrels threatened in the sixth when Hinojosa walked and No. 25 prospect Ryan Howard doubled, but Bowie center fielder Ryan McKenna -- the No. 13 Orioles prospect -- and shortstop Erick Salcedo teamed up on a relay to cut down Hinojosa at the plate to end the inning.
With the defense responsible for recording 12 of the 18 outs while he was pitching, Kremer expressed appreciation for the support he got behind him, particularly that last play that kept Bowie's shutout bid intact.
Video: Bowie's relay denies run from Richmond
"My defense, the team, they had my back the whole day," he said. "They put up enough runs for us as well -- they swung the bat well -- and played good defense. They made some great plays that could have easily turned my outing into one that was just average or below average."
Kremer has completed six scoreless outings of at least five innings this season, two since joining Bowie. Across two levels and three leagues, the UNLV product sports a 2.94 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 160 strikeouts in 119 1/3 innings.
Rylan Bannon, who was also was part of the trade with the Dodgers, finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.