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Orioles minor league recap 4/28: Delmarva keeps on winning

Orioles affiliates played five games on Saturday and only won two. There were good individual performances at every level.

Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Louisville (Reds) 5, Norfolk Tides 4 (10 innings)

The Tides scored two runs in the ninth inning to tie the game and send it to extras, but once there, the Tides couldn’t score their free runner and the Bats did to walk this thing off.

This was a good game for former Yankees farmhand Mason Williams, now in the Norfolk outfield. He hit two home runs in the game, including the game-tying ninth inning dinger, and he drew a walk besides. Ryan Mountcastle added a pair of hits, including a double, to raise his season OPS to .787. Recently-demoted Cedric Mullins was 1-4 with a walk out of the leadoff spot.

Bowie Baysox 5, Akron (Indians) 2

The Baysox were pushed a good way towards victory by a strong start from Australian lefty Alex Wells, who mostly scattered three hits and a walk over seven innings of work against the RubberDucks, allowing two runs in the process. If you’re looking for a fly in the ointment, Wells only struck out two. Don’t look for the fly in the ointment. There’s enough of that already at the MLB level. Wells threw just 80 pitches to go seven.

Reliever Zach Pop, who was acquired in the Manny Machado deal last July, struck out a batter in a scoreless inning of work. Pop is rocking a 0.87 ERA to date, holding batters to just a .189 average.

With Yusniel Diaz injured, other Bowie batters are going to have to pick up the slack. Second baseman Rylan Bannon had a 2-3 game and also drew a walk. He blasted his third home run of the season and now has a .917 OPS. Catcher Brett Cumberland, part of last July’s Kevin Gausman trade, had a two-run bomb, his second homer in four games. NASCAR scion Zach Jarrett, summoned to fill Diaz’s roster spot, had a double and drove in a run in his Double-A debut.

Winston-Salem (White Sox) 9, Frederick Keys 5

The good news is that if you count every inning other than the sixth inning, the Keys won this game, 4-2. The bad news is that the rules of baseball say that you have to count the sixth inning, so they still lose.

The misfortune of that inning fell almost entirely on reliever Matthias Dietz. The second round pick from 2016 has smacked into a wall at the High-A level. In this outing, he surrendered seven runs in just two-thirds of an inning, really an impressive level of run-allowing efficiency when he only gave up three hits (no home runs) and two walks.

Dietz also hit two batters and now has a 24.65 ERA for the season. He has walked 15 batters in 7.2 innings and struck out just five.

Keys batters picked up nine hits, including home runs by designated hitter Jake Ring and first baseman J.C. Escarra, and benefited from four Dash errors in the game. They weren’t enough to overcome the seven run inning.

Delmarva Shorebirds 5, Augusta (Giants) 1 (Game 1 - 7 innings)

Adam Hall stolen base watch: The sometimes shortstop/sometimes second baseman stole his tenth base of the year. It was a bit of a track meet for the Shorebirds, who stole five bases, with outfielder Robert Neustrom nabbing two including a steal of home.

The whole Shorebirds club has been superlative so far. They improved to 17-2 with this win. Hall and Neustrom have been two of their best players to date. On top of the stolen bases, Hall picked up a double in the game. He’s now got a .925 OPS. Neustrom is slightly ahead of him at .926.

Last year’s fourth round pick, lefty Drew Rom, had a nice start for the Shorebirds, with only an unearned run against him in five innings. Rom scattered five hits and a walk, striking out three batters.

Augusta (Giants) 6, Delmarva Shorebirds 3 (Game 2 - 7 innings)

Delmarva was on track to go 18-2 until their bullpen coughed up six runs in the top of the seventh inning. Rough way to go. Reliever Tim Naughton managed to have an even tougher outing than Dietz did for Frederick, eating a no-outer while giving up all six runs on four hits and three walks. Sometimes you are the bug and the other guy is the windshield.

Shorebirds batters had just five hits in the second game of the twin bill. Two of those were picked up by Neustrom, who drove in the lone Delmarva run. This improved his OPS even from where it ended the first game, now .930.

Starting pitcher Gray Fenter had a strong outing for Delmarva, keeping the GreenJackets off the scoreboard across six innings. Fenter struck out six, allowing just three hits and a walk. The 23-year-old has had a tough time getting his pro career moving in a good direction since being drafted in the seventh round in 2015, so hopefully this start can give him some positive momentum.

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

Sunday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: at Louisville, 2:00. Starter: Luis Ortiz
  • Bowie: vs. Akron, 1:35. Starter: Tyler Herb
  • Frederick: at Winston-Salem. Starter: TBD
  • Delmarva: vs. Augusta, 2:05. Starter: Nick Vespi