Durham Bulls 6, Norfolk Tides 4
Jayson Aquino pitched eight shutout innings on Friday, but he didn’t have it last night, failing to get out of the fifth while allowing six earned runs on ten hits and only striking out two.
Jimmy Yacabonis and Stefan Crichton were great out of the bullpen, lowering their respective ERAs to 1.07 and 1.23. Norfolk make a game of it against the Durham bullpen, but the six-run deficit was a bit too much to overcome.
Francisco Pena’s solo shot in the sixth was the only damage the Tides were able to do against starter Blake Snell, who probably doesn’t belong in the minors at this point.
In the seventh, Brad Boxberger came in for Durham, making his first rehab appearance of the season. He was what I will charitably describe as “rusty”, walking four Tides to cut the lead to 6-2 before being removed from the game.
A two-run homer from Johnny Giavotella in the ninth cut the lead to 6-4, but that was as close as Norfolk would get. Giavotella, Pedro Alvarez, and Sharlon Schoop each had two hits in the game.
Bowie Baysox 13, Binghamton Rumble Ponies 7
Tanner Scott got the start for Bowie and went his standard three innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out six. I’m not joking about the “standard” part: he’s started 13 games and thrown exactly three innings in all thirteen games.
The most encouraging part of Scott’s start: zero walks! Scott’s walk rate is still quite high at about six batters per nine, but that’s a hell of a lot better than the 8.44 mark he put up last season.
The bullpen combination of Jason Garcia and Jefri Hernandez were less successful than Scott, and Bowie was losing 4-2 after five innings. A seven-run eighth gave the Baysox the lead, however, and a three-run ninth put the game away.
Adam Brett Walker was the star of the day, going 4-for-5 with a homer and three runs scored. We talked about Walker last week, who was signed a couple weeks ago after being dropped by Atlanta.
Walker has prodigious power, but his sky-high strikeout rate has gotten him released from two organizations. Since joining Bowie, though, he’s hitting .471 with three homers in eight games.
Adrian Marin, Austin Wynns, and Aderlin Rodriguez were each 2-5 on the day, with one double apiece. Every player in the lineup except D.J. Stewart had at least one hit in the game, and more impressively, every player but Rodriguez had at least one RBI.
Connecticut Tigers 6, Aberdeen IronBirds 3
Nick Vespi got the ball for Aberdeen’s second game of the year, but he allowed four runs on six hits and was removed with two outs in the fourth inning. On the bright side, he did strike out six.
The bullpen pitched pretty well, especially Willie Rios, who struck out four over two shutout innings. Aberdeen actually outhit Connecticut 9-8 in the game, but Connecticut just did a better job of stringing their hits together.
The IronBirds got on the board in the fifth on a solo shot by DH Seamus Curran, who was the Orioles’ 8th round pick out of high school in 2015. Shortstop Mason McCoy, this year’s 6th round pick from the University of Iowa, picked up the other two runs batted in with a double and a sac fly.
It’s also worth noting that Chris Johnson played in this game, making his second rehab appearance since fracturing his wrist in April. He’ll likely be back in Norfolk soon.
Today’s matchups and probable starters
Norfolk @ Durham, 7:05 PM (Tyler Wilson)
Bowie @ Binghamton, 6:35 PM (Matthew Grimes)
Frederick @ Lynchburg, 6:30 PM (TBD)
Lakewood @ Delmarva, 7:05 PM (TBD)
Aberdeen @ Connecticut, 7:05 PM (TBD)