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Orioles minor league recap 6/18: DJ Stewart leads huge Norfolk comeback

Four out of five affiliates won and Frederick and Delmarva closed their first halves. Brenan Hanifee dominated for the Shorebirds.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Norfolk Tides 11, Charlotte (White Sox) 4

Going into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Charlotte Knights had a 4-3 lead on Norfolk. The Tides then erupted for eight runs and ended up winning this one in a blowout to take the series. DJ Stewart went 3-5, scored twice, and drove in a run. He is now batting .277/.371/..458. Cedric Mullins and Drew Dosch each drove in two runs in the Tides’ comeback win. After hitting .313 in Bowie, Mullins is struggling a bit at AAA. His OPS is .617, but he has collected at least one hit in eight of his last ten games.

Joely Rodriguez earned the win for Norfolk in relief; he tossed 2.1 scoreless innings and struck out two. John Means got the start and allowed all four runs (three earned) in 4.2 innings of work.

In his last game at Norfolk before presumably being called up to replace the optioned Chance Sisco, Caleb Joseph went 2-3 with an RBI before being removed from the game. He also threw out a runner trying to steal second, making him 6-12 in nabbing base thieves at AAA this season.

Portland (Red Sox) 5, Bowie Baysox 3

This one got off to a poor start for Bowie, as starter Lucas Long allowed five earned runs in the top of the first. He dropped to 1-8 on the season. Branden Kline pitched a scoreless ninth inning to lower his AA ERA to 2.00. He has not been scored upon in six of his last eight appearances.

Tim Beckham started at shortstop and went 0-2, worked a walk, and stole a base as his rehab assignment continues. CF D’Arby Myers collected three of Bowie’s six hits and C Audry Perez and DH Martin Cervenka each hit home runs. Ryan Mountcastle went 0-3 and his average dropped to .268. He has collected just two hits in his past four games. This game concluded a sweep at the hands of the Sea Dogs.

Frederick Keys 4, Down East (Rangers) 3

Frederick got back above .500 thanks to a C Daniel Fajardo walk-off home run in the ninth inning. 1B Wilson Garcia drove in Frederick’s other three runs yesterday on a double and sacrifice fly. CF T.J. Nichting went 2-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. The 2017 ninth round draft pick owns a .352 OBP between Delmarva and Frederick this season. Ryan McKenna was held without a hit by the only means possible: having a day off.

Michael Baumann started for the Keys and didn’t deliver the dominant performance we’ve grown to expect from him. He went five innings, allowed three runs, and struck out five. His ERA stands at 2.34. Tyler Erwin (1-2) earned the win after pitching 1.2 scoreless innings. Without much fanfare, he has pitched to the tune of a 1.04 ERA this season.

This game marked the end of the Carolina League’s first half. Frederick finished 35-34, three games back of Northern Division champs Potomac. The second half begins on Thursday.

Delmarva Shorebirds 4, West Virginia (Pirates) 2

The Shorebirds grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first inning and didn’t look back. 2016 fourth rounder Brenan Hanifee (5-3) picked up the win by pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits. This was the fourth time in his last ten outings that he has got seven innings and his ERA and WHIP are 2.91 and 1.09 respectively. Timothy Naughton recorded one out to grab his third save.

DH Branden Becker hit a two-run homer in the first inning. RF Will Robertson and C Ben Breazeale added RBI’s. CF Zach Jarrett went 1-4 and his batting .313 on the season.

This game also ended the South Atlantic League’s first half. Delmarva finished 35-32 after getting off to a very hot start. The second half begins on Thursday.

Aberdeen IronBirds 4, Hudson Valley (Rays) 3, 11 innings

Aberdeen picked up their first win of the season yesterday and it came in dramatic fashion. Randolph Gassaway of the Keys, on a rehab assignment, won the game in the eleventh inning with a walk-off single. 1B J.C. Escarra led the offense, with a home run and two RBI. SS Adam Hall, last year’s second rounder, went 1-5 and scored a run.

Luis Perez started for the IronBirds and pitched six shutout innings and struck out six. Brandon Bonilla pitched the eleventh inning and picked up the win.

Complete box scores for Sunday’s games can be found here.

Monday’s scheduled game:

Aberdeen vs. Tri-City, 7:05. Starter TBD