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Orioles minor league recap 4/7: DL Hall, Hunter Harvey debut as affiliates go 0-6

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The Orioles’ top pitching prospect fared well, while their former top pitching prospect didn’t. But the four teams lost all six games, including two doubleheader sweeps.

Baltimore Orioles Photo Day
The good news is that Hunter Harvey stayed healthy. The bad news was his performance.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Gwinnett Stripers (Braves) 7, Norfolk Tides 0

If anyone has seen Norfolk’s offense, please call the courtesy phone. The Tides got utterly dominated by the Gwinnett pitching staff, managing one measly hit, a Zach Vincej sixth-inning single. Stripers righty Mike Soroka threw five no-hit innings and combined with three relievers to rack up 12 strikeouts. Ryan Mountcastle and Anthony Santander each fanned twice, and poor Christopher Bostick took the golden sombrero with four whiffs.

It wasn’t a great night on the mound for the Tides, either. Starter Luis Ortiz allowed four runs and six hits in three innings, and Tanner Scott’s spring training struggles continued into the regular season, as he was tagged for three runs. Matt Wotherspoon, in his first appearance since making his major league debut on Wednesday (and subsequently being removed from the 40-man roster), ate up 2.2 scoreless frames.

Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) 6, Bowie Baysox 5 (Game 1)

2019 is a crucial season for former first-round pick Hunter Harvey. After years of injury problems, he’s running out of time to re-establish himself as a noteworthy prospect. And folks, his season debut on this night was not encouraging. Harvey was cuffed around for 10 hits and five runs (four earned) in 4.2 innings of work. He gave up two home runs, including one to rehabbing major leaguer Michael A. Taylor. Harvey did strike out six, but still, he was much more hittable than you’d like to see.

Harvey’s performance frittered away an early 5-0 Baysox lead, and the Senators walked it off in the seventh against reliever Tyler Erwin. There was some good news on the offensive end with Ryan McKenna, who went 2-for-4 with an opposite-field home run out of the leadoff spot. O’s top prospect Yusniel Diaz was 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Harrisburg 4, Bowie 2 (Game 2)

The Senators completed the doubleheader sweep with another comeback victory in the nightcap, scoring four unanswered runs after the Baysox led 2-0. Diaz completed a forgettable doubleheader with another two strikeouts in three hitless at-bats, going 0-for-6 with three Ks in the two games. A fellow prospect from the Manny Machado trade, Rylan Bannon, cranked his first home run.

On the mound, the Baysox debuted the Dillon Tate/Chris Lee tandem that they intend to use at the outset of this season. Tate worked four innings — giving up three runs and five hits, walking two and striking out four — and Lee tossed two, coughing up a solo homer as his only hit allowed.

Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox) 4, Frederick Keys 1 (Game 1)

The Orioles’ top pitching prospect, DL Hall (ranked No. 88 overall by MLB Pipeline), made his 2019 debut, and it was a solid one. Hall whiffed six batters in his three innings of work, twice fanning the nearly-impossible-to-strike-out Sox prospect Nick Madrigal (ranked No. 46 overall). The Dash, though, made Hall work. He threw 71 pitches in those three frames.

Keys reliever Steven Klimek didn’t fare so well, giving up a pair of runs that broke a 1-1 tie. Another top 100 prospect, Dash outfielder Luis Robert (No. 39), went 2-for-4 with an RBI. In the Frederick lineup, Willy Yahn and Kirvin “The Mosquito” Moesquit each had two hits.

Winston-Salem 8, Frederick 5 (Game 2)

The Keys, just like the Baysox, got swept in their doubleheader to fall to 0-3 this season. Frederick pitchers again couldn’t contain Luis Robert, who collected another three hits. After Keys starter Cameron Bishop logged four innings and gave up two runs, relievers Cameron Ming and Scott Burke were tagged for three apiece.

The Keys have a somewhat anonymous lineup (if you don’t count Ryan Ripken’s recognizable family name), with very few highly touted prospects on their roster, but left fielder Trevor Craport and designated hitter J.C. Escarra each went yard in the losing effort.

Lexington Legends (Royals) 5, Delmarva Shorebirds 4 (10 innings)

With the other O’s minor league teams going a combined 0-5 today, the Shorebirds were the last hope to salvage a victory on the Orioles’ farm. But they blew a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning and joined the rest of the affiliates in the loss column. Chris Vallot’s RBI single in the 10th off Nick Gruener plated the free runner who was put on second base to start the inning.

Gray Fenter started and gave up three runs (one earned) in five innings, but the more impressive pitching performance came from 2018 fourth-round pick Drew Rom. The lefty tossed 3.2 excellent innings in relief and recorded all eight of his outs via the strikeout. Rom would’ve notched a save if not for a crucial error by shortstop Adam Hall, who threw the ball away in the ninth on what should’ve been the last out of the game.

Hall at least contributed offensively, reaching base four times. Robert Neustrom and Jean Carlos Encarnacion each had two hits and two RBIs. Cadyn Grenier, the Orioles’ competitive balance round pick in 2018, was 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.

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

Sunday’s scheduled games:

  • Norfolk at Gwinnett, 1:05. Starter: Keegan Akin
  • Bowie at Harrisburg, 1:00. Starter: Zac Lowther
  • Frederick vs. Winston-Salem, 1:00. Starter: Matthias Dietz
  • Delmarva at Lexington, 2:05. Starter: Nick Vespi