Norfolk Tides 10, Durham Bulls (TB) 6
Yes, you’re reading this correctly: the Norfolk Tides, 23-44 through Thursday, swept a series. After low-scoring wins on Friday and Saturday, the offense went off in this one. Norfolk had 16 hits, and every starter except Mike Yastrzemski had at least one.
Daniel Alvarez and Trey Mancini were each 3-5, as was Ozzie Martinez, who broke the game open in the fifth with a grand slam that made the score 8-2. Martinez had zero home runs and a .423 OPS heading into yesterday’s game.
Tides starter Joe Gunkel allowed two runs in five innings. Ashur Tolliver and Edgar Olmos each allowed a pair of runs in relief.
Bowie Baysox 9, Erie Seawolves (DET) 4
The Baysox had an early hole to dig out of thanks to an uninspiring start by John Means, who allowed four runs on eight hits in just 4.2 innings. Means had been dominant earlier in the season but has struggled lately - after giving up ten runs combined in his first nine starts, he’s given up 14 in his last five.
Bowie couldn’t get much going off of Erie’s starter, but they tattooed the bullpen for seven runs in the last three innings. Drew Dosch and Julio Borbon each hit solo home runs, while Tucker Nathans and Austin Wynns each chipped in with four hits.
Frederick Keys 12, Lynchburg Hillcats (CLE) 6
The Keys tried their best to match Norfolk and Bowie’s 16-hit performances, but had to settle for just 15 on the day. Every starter was in the hit column, including Caleb Joseph, who was 2-4 with a home run in his rehab appearance.
Wynston Sawyer and Cameron Kneeland each had three RBIs, and Aderlin Rodriguez was 3-5 with a triple. The Keys scored in all but two innings, which was fortunate, because starter Lucas Long got knocked around for five runs on nine hits in just three innings of work. Trevor Belicek relieved Long and shut the game down, allowing just two hits and striking out six in four innings to pick up the win.
This is the also the point where I inform you that Lynchburg has a catcher named Sicnarf Loopstock, which is literally the best name I have ever heard. Further research tells me that Loopstock won Minor League Baseball’s official “Moniker Madness” championship back in 2013. He beat out Jose Jose in the finals to claim the title that was previously won by the likes of Rock Shoulders, Dusty Napoleon, and Rowdy Hardy.
Delmarva Shorebirds 8, Hickory Crawdads (TEX) 7
The Shorebirds were trailing 7-6 and down to their last out in this one, when Yermin Mercedes hit a dinger with Ryan Mountcastle aboard that gave them the lead for good in the top of the ninth. The 23-year-old Mercedes has been raking all year for Delmarva, and today’s 3-4 performance raised his batting line to .341/.380/.544.
Starter Ofelky Peralta was knocked around for six runs on ten hits in 4.2 innings, but the bullpen was able to keep the game under control. Besides the big day from Mercedes, Ademar Rifaela was 2-4 with three RBIs and DJ Stewart had an RBI double.
Stewart is still only batting .230 on the year, but he has a .366 OBP thanks to a staggering 42 walks. Last year’s first round pick is averaging a walk for every six plate appearances.
Staten Island Yankees (NYY) 8, Aberdeen Ironbirds 6
Aberdeen was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect day for the O’s affiliates. Starter Steven Klimek was ineffective, allowing five runs in 3.1 innings, although two of those runs were unearned.
On the offensive side, Randolph Gassaway was 2-4 with a double and a triple. The only other IronBird with multiple hits was Kirvin Moesquit, who was 2-3 with a walk.
Today’s matchups (probable starter in parentheses)
Norfolk vs. Lehigh Valley, 7:05 PM (T.J. McFarland)
Aberdeen @ Staten Island, 7:00 PM (TBD)