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Orioles minors recap 8/26: Four out of five winners

The weather was good on Saturday and so were the Orioles minor leaguers. Four of the five affiliates picked up wins, with Aberdeen shortstop Adam Hall continuing a hot streak.

Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Norfolk Tides 4, Durham (Rays) 3 - 10 innings

The biggest reason why the “runner starts on second in every extra inning” rule would be horrible in MLB is on display here. There was an immediate sacrifice bunt and then intentional walk to set up the inning-ending double play. They intentionally walked Joey Rickard, for crying out loud. But then Anthony Santander hit a walk-off single. It’s an OK rule for the minor leagues, though. Nobody needed the Tides to play 15 innings on Saturday.

Although Tides starter Matt Wotherspoon gave up three solo home runs over the first four innings, Mike Yastrzemski got them all back with one three-run bomb in the fifth inning. That’s where things stayed until the tenth, in part thanks to two scoreless innings by recent acquisition Evan Phillips. He has been good at Triple-A this year. The big leagues, less so. Maybe he can figure out how to transfer that minor league success.

Bowie Baysox 2, Erie (Tigers) 1

Bowie scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning and held on the rest of the way. Starting pitcher Brian Gonzalez has had a bit of a tough year at the level, but on Saturday night he held the SeaWolves to a run on seven hits in six innings. The 2014 third round pick had an ERA of 8.16 two months ago and he’s gotten that down to 6.09 - so at least he’s got that going for him.

Closer and Maryland native Branden Kline held the one-run lead with a perfect ninth, striking out two batters. Count me among those who would like to see Kline get a shot in the bullpen in Baltimore in September. It’s been a long road for the 26-year-old to get where he is now, and with a 1.05 WHIP across two levels this season, he’s earned the chance in this lost season.

Ryan Mountcastle had a multi-hit game for the Baysox. Other prospects whose names might interest you - Yusniel Diaz, Ryan McKenna, Brett Cumberland - went hitless in the contest. Cumberland successfully threw out one of three runners.

Carolina (Brewers) 5, Frederick Keys 1

The Keys got only three hits and committed two errors. Some games are just forgettable. Their 4-9 hitters were all 0-for in the game. They did not score after a first inning solo home run hit by Randolph Gassaway.

Keys starter Michael Baumann had another outing where the damage wasn’t atrocious, though it wasn’t great either. He allowed three runs on five hits and three walks in five innings. The O’s might bump him up to Bowie next season, but he’s going to have some more work to do to succeed there.

Delmarva Shorebirds 7, Greensboro (Marlins) 3

Three different Delmarva batters had three-hit games in this one, including Ryan Ripken, nephew of Billy. Ripken struck the big blow in the game with a three-run home run in the fourth inning that gave the Shorebirds a 4-0 lead, enough to hold for the rest of the game. This was his seventh home run of the season. Recent acquisition Jean Carlos Encarnacion has been hot since joining the team, but went 0-4 in this one.

Aberdeen IronBirds 5, Staten Island (Yankees) 3

The IronBirds were out-hit by the Yankees, 9-7, in this game, and were able to win thanks to Yankees pitchers issuing seven walks and Yankees fielders committing three errors that led to two unearned runs.

Canadian shortstop and 2017 second round pick Adam Hall was on base three times for Aberdeen, picking up two hits and drawing a walk. Hall is batting .351 over his past ten games to raise his season average by 26 points, and he’s drawn six walks over that stretch to help the on-base percentage too.

The 19-year-old’s power hasn’t developed yet, but you can do worse than posting an OBP over .350 in short-season ball in your first full professional season. Hall also stole a base on Saturday, giving him 19 stolen in 23 tries in his 54 games for the IronBirds. Speed!

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

Sunday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: vs. Durham, 4:05. Starter: John “The Ends Justify The” Means
  • Bowie: vs. Erie, 1:35. Starter: Dean Kremer
  • Frederick: vs. Carolina, 2:00. Starter: Cody Sedlock
  • Delmarva: at Greensboro, 4:00. Starter: Jhon Peluffo
  • Aberdeen: at Tri-City, 5:00. Starter: TBD