Norfolk Tides 5, Columbus Clippers (CLE) 3
Andy Oliver was shaky (2.2 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 3 ER) in his sixth start of the season, which has been the norm lately: after allowing three runs over 23.2 innings in his first 11 appearances, Oliver has allowed 11 runs in 14.2 innings since being moved to the rotation full-time.
Fortunately, Norfolk was able to dig out of the early deficit thanks to a 3-run bomb by Ozzie Martinez in the third inning, his third homer of the year. Trey Mancini was 2-3 with a walk, and added an insurance run in the 7th with an RBI single that made the score 5-3.
Norfolk’s bullpen was perfect after Oliver left the game. Zach Phillips picked up the win with 2.1 innings of one-hit ball. Richard Rodriguez, Jason Stoffel, Pedro Beato, and Chaz Roe each pitched a scoreless inning, with Roe earning the save. One name that stood out from the box score was old friend Guillermo Quiroz, who caught the game for Columbus. He’s still grinding in the minors at age 34.
Altoona Curve (PIT) 5, Bowie Baysox 2
Bowie starter John Means, who had a great start to the season, continued his recent struggles with a 5-run, 3-inning outing. Means, who had a 1.80 ERA through nine starts, has managed to raise that all the way to 5.34 over his last six. That’s hard to do.
Just like the Tides, the Baysox bullpen was perfect in relief of their struggling starter, including three shutout innings from Michael Zouzalik. The 25-year-old Zouzalik was never drafted and played in the Indy League last year, but he’s got a 2.02 ERA in 40 innings over two levels so far this season.
Unlike the Tides, Bowie’s offense wasn’t able to take advantage of the bullpen’s performance. They managed only five hits, two of which were by Julio Borbon. Both Baysox runs were scored in the 6th on a two-run dinger by second baseman Garabez Rosa.
Salem Red Sox (BOS) 6, Frederick Keys 1
This was definitely the weirdest game of the day. Salem managed a 6-1 win despite having two hits. Yes, you read that right. Starter Franderlin Romero took a no-hitter into the sixth, when the first two hitters reached on errors, and the third batter singled.
Romero was yanked and replaced by Ryan Meisinger, who retired two straight batters and should have retired a third, but the second error of the inning by Jomar Reyes kept the door open. You can guess what happened next: two straight walks and a bases-clearing double.
The defense let Romero down, but at least the stat line shows that he had no earned runs over 5+ innings. The 22-year-old Venezuelan is having a nice year, with a 2.91 ERA over 13 starts between Delmarva and Frederick.
Offensively, Frederick wasn’t much better than Salem: they could only managed four hits. D.J. Stewart knocked in the Keys’ only run with an RBI double in the ninth.
Delmarva Shorebirds 5, Kannapolis Intimidators (CHW) 3
The Shorebirds were in an early 1-0 hole but jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the fifth when Cedric Mullins hit a 3-run single with two runners on base. No, that wasn’t a typo. Mullins scored on his own single, thanks to a three-base error by the right fielder. I’d like to see a video of that one.
Delmarva starter Michael Costello had a nice outing, allowing just one run in six innings. He was robbed of the win when Kannapolis was allowed to tie the game in the bottom of the 7th, but the Shorebirds took the lead right back a half-inning later on an RBI single by Ademar Rifaela.
Naturally, Jay Flaa got the win despite being the one who gave up the two tying runs in the first place. Christian Turnipseed, whose name I will always mention if given the opportunity, picked up a 5-out save.
Aberdeen IronBirds 6, Connecticut Tigers (DET) 5
The Ironbirds led 6-0 through five, thanks mostly to left fielder Jason Heinrich, who hit a 2-run bomb in the second inning and added an RBI double in the fifth. Catcher Stuart Levy was 2-4 with a triple and an RBI.
Zach Muckenhirn, this year’s 11th round pick, got the start in his first pro appearance. He was lifted after just two innings, but he allowed only one baserunner and struck out three. He was replaced by Dan Delgado, who retired the first nine batters he faced before allowing a pair of runs in the sixth.
This year’s 12th round, pick, Max Knutson, came in and allowed three runs in the eighth to make it a one-run game. That was as close as Connecticut would get; Andrew Elliott pitched the ninth and sat the Tigers down in order to preserve the win.
Tonight’s matchups (Probable starter in parentheses)
Norfolk @ Toledo, 7:05 PM (Mike Wright)
Bowie @ Harrisburg, 7:00 PM (Brandon Barker)
Frederick vs. Carolina, 7:00 PM (Lucas Long)
Delmarva vs. Greensboro, 7:05 PM (Ofelky Peralta)
Aberdeen vs. Connecticut, 7:05 PM (TBD)