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Orioles minor league recap 4/24: Delmarva wins again, Luis Ortiz struggles for Norfolk

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Quality pitching ruled the day for the Shorebirds and Baysox, while the Tides and Keys both got blown out.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles-Media Day Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Clippers (Indians) 11, Norfolk Tides 7

Well, let’s start with the good news. The Tides brought their bats tonight, with nearly everyone contributing to the seven-run attack. Eight different batters had a hit, and five had an RBI. The Tides were especially doubles-happy, knocking six two-baggers, including one apiece by D.J. Stewart and Anthony Santander and two by Christopher Bostick. Chance Sisco didn’t get in on the fun, striking out three times in five at-bats and committing a throwing error.

Most of the bad news came on the mound, where Luis Ortiz — the Orioles’ No. 19 prospect on MLB Pipeline — was again hit hard, giving up five runs (four earned) along with five hits and four walks in four innings. After four starts, he’s 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA. Lefties Chris Lee and Luis Gonzalez combined to give up another six runs in relief. By the way, the Clippers’ cleanup hitter in this game was former Orioles legend Ryan Flaherty. He was 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Bowie Baysox 2, Erie SeaWolves (Tigers) 1

The pitching star of this game was supposed to be Erie right-hander Matt Manning, the Tigers’ No. 2 prospect. And indeed he pitched well, striking out nine batters in six innings and holding the Baysox to one run. But on this day, he was matched pitch for pitch by Bowie’s Bruce Zimmermann, the Baltimore native acquired in the Kevin Gausman trade last July. Zimmermann allowed just an unearned run over six strong innings, striking out seven, to lower his ERA to 1.59 in three starts. The lefty may not be a highly touted prospect, but all he does is get batters out.

Jesmuel Valentin broke a one-all tie with a solo home run in the eighth, his first with Bowie, to make a winner of reliever Zach Pop, who gave up four hits but no runs in two innings. Pop’s fellow Manny Machado trade acquisitions, Yusniel Diaz and Rylan Bannon, each had one hit. Tyler Erwin notched his first Baysox save with a scoreless ninth.

Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Astros) 8, Frederick Keys 1

This one got out of hand immediately for the Keys, who coughed up seven runs in the first inning to put the game hopelessly out of reach. Starter Brenan Hanifee, the Orioles’ No. 11 prospect, got rocked, coughing up all seven of those first-inning runs and then another in the fourth. On the bright side, he had two scoreless innings in between! Hanifee now has an 8.50 ERA on the young season.

There wasn’t much of note on the offensive end for Frederick. Kirvin “The Mosquito” Moesquit and Cole Billingsley led the team with two hits apiece, and Billingsley added an outfield assist.

Delmarva Shorebirds 7, Asheville Tourists (Rockies) 0

OK, first of all, what kind of name is “Tourists”? Asheville essentially named its team after people who aren’t from Asheville? Anyway, they were no match for the buzzsaw that is the Delmarva Shorebirds, who improved to 14-2 with their second shutout win. It was Delmarva’s ninth straight win at home.

Right-hander Ofelky Peralta, who has had a breakout season after a mostly mediocre professional up to 2019, started the shutout with a five-strikeout outing, although he labored for 85 pitches and was removed after four innings. Nick Gruener (2.2 innings) and Zach Matson (2.1) took it the rest of the way.

This was a scoreless game until the seventh, when the Shorebirds erupted for four runs, followed by another three in the eighth. First baseman Branden Becker was integral in both rallies, contributing an RBI double and run-scoring single. No. 17 prospect Cadyn Grenier was 1-for-4 with a walk, while JC Encarnacion (No. 13), Adam Hall (No. 14), and Robert Neustrom (No. 29) all took 0-fers.

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

Wednesday’s scheduled games:

  • Norfolk at Columbus, 6:35 PM. Starter: Keegan Akin (0-0, 3.95)
  • Bowie at Erie, 12:05 PM. Starter: Marcos Molina (0-2, 3.94)
  • Frederick at Fayetteville, 7:00 PM. Starter: Michael Baumann (0-1, 3.12)
  • Delmarva vs. Asheville, 7:05 PM. Starter: Hector Guance (0-0, 4.00)