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Orioles minors recap 5/9: Keys nearly throw no-hitter, Norfolk wins big

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Led by Brian Gonzalez, Frederick fell two outs shy of a no-hitter. Norfolk’s David Hess carried a no-no into the seventh, too.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles-Media Day
Norfolk’s David Hess was one of two O’s minor leaguers to carry a no-hitter into the seventh inning Tuesday.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Norfolk Tides 13, Durham (Rays) 0

If the entire Norfolk Tides roster switched place with the Orioles, wouldn’t the O’s be about 10 times more interesting to watch? While the parent club was once again humiliating itself Tuesday night, the first-place Tides were humming along like a well-oiled machine, doing absolutely everything right in their trouncing of the Bulls.

Let’s start on the mound, where David Hess pitched the game of his life. Hess carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Willy Adames led off with a single. It was one of only two baserunners Hess allowed in his seven-inning masterpiece that included 10 strikeouts. He’s now 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA in six starts this year. Sadly, the timing doesn’t work out for him to start a game in the Orioles’ doubleheader on Saturday — he’d be pitching on three days’ rest — but he’s making a strong case to claim a rotation spot sooner than later.

Every Tides batter in the starting lineup scored a run, and all but one had a hit. D.J. Stewart iced the game with a grand slam in the ninth, Jaycob Brugman hit his first homer, and Alex Presley went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. Things got so ugly for Durham that they brought in former Orioles prospect — and still a position player — Brandon Snyder to pitch in the ninth. He gave up three runs but got three outs.

Altoona (Pirates) 2, Bowie Baysox 1

Bowie’s offense was...not as potent as Norfolk’s. The Baysox didn’t scratch across a run until the ninth. The Orioles’ top position prospect, Austin Hays, had another miserable day at the plate to continue his sluggish start to 2018. Hays struck out in all four at-bats, including a game-ending punchout with the potential tying run at third base. Hays is hitting .227 with 34 strikeouts and just eight walks. In happier news, Cedric Mullins had two of Bowie’s six hits.

The feeble offensive effort made a hard-luck loser of Stacey’s cousin Lucas Long (not actually Stacey’s cousin), who gave up just one run and two hits in five innings. Jay “Flavor” Flaa pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

Frederick Keys 9, Lynchburg (Indians) 1

The Keys very nearly made history Tuesday night, coming within two outs of throwing a no-hitter. Starter Brian Gonzalez did his best James Paxton impersonation by posting a zero in the hits column for the entirety of his outing. Gonzalez, the Orioles’ third-round pick in 2014 (which was actually the Orioles’ first pick of that draft, after losing their first two rounds by signing Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz), was in total command. He walked two and struck out seven while lowering his ERA to 3.12.

Gonzalez had to depart after the seventh, though, with his pitch count at 101. Elvis Araujo kept the no-hitter going through the eighth, but with one out in the ninth, Conner Capel broke up the no-no and the shutout with an RBI double.

On offense, Randolph Gassaway homered and Chris Clare had three hits. Jomar Reyes contributed an RBI double, which helped make up for his two fielding errors.

Complete box scores from Tuesday’s games can be found here.

Wednesday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk at Durham, 7:05 PM. Starter: Chris Lee
  • Bowie at Altoona, 10:30 AM. Starter: Hunter Harvey
  • Frederick vs. Lynchburg, 11:00 AM. Starter: Ofelky Peralta
  • Delmarva at Lexington, 10:35 AM. Starter: Cameron Bishop