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Orioles minors recap 7/15: Cedric Mullins keeps being awesome

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Only one of the Orioles top five affiliates was a winner on Saturday night. Outfielders Cedric Mullins and Ryan McKenna still had good games for themselves.

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Gwinnett (Braves) 4, Norfolk Tides 3

Let’s start with the good news: Cedric Mullins was 2-5 with a double and has OPSed over .800 in 38 games since getting promoted to the Tides. If Adam Jones gets traded, he could be the Orioles center fielder for the rest of the season. I’d be sad if Jones got traded, but it would be exciting to get a first big league look at Mullins.

Starting pitcher John Means wasn’t bad, surrendering three runs on six hits and a walk in six innings of work. It goes down in the books as a quality start. The Norfolk offense just couldn’t get a clutch hit; they were 0-9 with runners in scoring position in the game. An unearned run in the seventh inning that scored off of reliever Francisco Jimenez proved to be the difference-maker.

Former Oriole Xavier Avery was 3-3 with a walk for the Stripers. Unfortunately for him, he got picked off once and also caught stealing once. Whoops.

Reading (Phillies) 8, Bowie Baysox 3

Impressive efficiency by Reading here, who scored eight runs on 11 hits. That included rocking Baysox starter Reid Love for seven runs on six hits and a walk. Well, you can’t win them all.

Leadoff man and center fielder Ryan McKenna extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a 1-4 night that also saw him draw a walk. In 20 games since getting promoted to Bowie, McKenna is batting .273/.356/.390.

The Baysox had a tough time with Phillies pitching prospect JoJo Romero, which is not a name that has come up in the trade talks that I’ve seen. He gave up just six hits in seven shutout innings.

Potomac (Walgreens) 9, Frederick Keys 5

Although the Keys notched 16 hits, with seven of their nine batters collecting multi-hit games, they still couldn’t get the win. Starting pitcher Matthias Dietz lasted just two innings, giving up a pair of runs on two hits and three walks, and things didn’t get any better from there for Frederick.

Preston Palmeiro, son of Rafael, was 2-4 with a pair of RBI in the game. He’s been playing second base for the Keys and is batting .254/.306/.397 for the season. T.J. Nichting drove in another two home runs with his first home run in 53 games since getting promoted to the Keys.

West Virginia (Pirates) 4, Delmarva Shorebirds 3

The thing that stands out here is that the Power stole seven bases in this game against Delmarva. Ouch. Either the catcher was having a tough time or the pitchers were. Brenan Hanifee was the starter for the Shorebirds, with five of the seven stolen bases coming while he was on the mound. Hanifee allowed three runs on six hits in five innings. Not his best night - he didn’t strike out a batter.

Ryan Ripken, nephew of Billy, had a three-hit night for the Shorebirds, including a solo home run in the eighth inning, his sixth of the season. Recent draftee Cadyn Grenier was 1-4 with a double and also drew a walk.

Aberdeen IronBirds 8, Auburn (Walgreens) 2

Unlike their compatriots in Frederick, the IronBirds got a ton of hits - 14 - and scored some runs in the process. Shortstop Alexis Torres led the way with three hits, including a pair of doubles, and four runs driven in.

Aberdeen’s starter was Hector Guance, who held the Doubledays to two runs on four hits and a walk in six innings of work. Guance struck out six batters. Brandon Bonilla, son of Bobby, added a scoreless ninth for Aberdeen.

Complete box scores from Saturday’s games, including the GCL and DSL Orioles, can be found here.

Sunday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: vs. Gwinnett, 4:05. Starter: Chris Tillman (unless the Orioles hate us and make him pitch in Baltimore instead)
  • Bowie: at Reading, 2:15. Starter: Keegan Akin
  • Frederick: at Potomac, 1:05. Starter: Lucas Humpal. Rehabbing for Potomac: Stephen Strasburg.
  • Delmarva: at West Virginia, 2:05. Starter: Luis Perez
  • Aberdeen: vs. Auburn, 4:05. Starter: TBD

And don’t forget about the All-Star Futures Game, where O’s prospects Alex Wells and Ryan Mountcastle are on the rosters and could get into the game. That starts at 4pm on MLB Network.