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Orioles minor league recap 5/12: Blaine Knight starts off well at Frederick

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Orioles affiliates played four games on Saturday and they won them all. Woohoo!

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Norfolk Tides - postponed by rain

Bowie Baysox 3, Richmond (Giants) 0 (8 innings)

Rehabbing big leaguer Richard Bleier was the “starter” for Bowie, continuing his road back to the Orioles with a scoreless inning where he allowed a hit and struck out a batter. From there, actual Baysox starter Marcos Molina clocked seven shutout innings before rain came and washed the last inning of the game away. Molina allowed a hit and two walks while striking out three batters.

A first inning home run hit by Ryan McKenna, his second of the season, was all the offense the Baysox needed. Preston Palmeiro, son of Rafael, plated a third run in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly. McKenna, sporting a .603 OPS, has had a tough first month or so of the season.

Freshly-promoted shortstop Mason McCoy hit a triple and also walked in the game. He’s played in just four Bowie games so far, so his 1.474 OPS is a small sample size, but hey, that’s a good start. NASCAR scion Zach Jarrett added a pair of hits for the Baysox.

Frederick Keys 3, Fayetteville (Astros) 2 (Game 1 - 7 innings)

One of the few exciting things for an Orioles fan in 2019 is going to be any time a prospect is doing well enough to get promoted to a new level. Last year’s third round pick, pitcher Blaine Knight, earned himself a bump from Delmarva to Frederick, and after his scheduled debut was rained out Friday, finally took the mound on Saturday.

More exciting still for a forlorn O’s fan: Knight’s first taste of the Carolina League went very well. Knight held the Woodpeckers to just one run on two hits across his six innings of work, with five strikeouts notched and only one walk allowed. A first inning solo home run hit by Astros power-hitting prospect Seth Beer was the lone blemish in this debut. Beer has eight home runs on his season. Here’s hoping for more like this from Knight.

Unfortunately, Knight didn’t get the win in the game because a Jomar Reyes error led to an unearned run scoring in the seventh inning off of reliever Diogenes Almengo. After the Keys loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half of the inning, designated hitter Willy Yahn walked off game 1 with a single.

Frederick Keys 3, Fayetteville (Astros) 2 (Game 2 - 7 innings)

The Keys trailed this one 2-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning and picked up two runs to walk it off. Not a bad doubleheader, huh? Cole Billingsley drove in the tying run, with J.C. Escarra delivering a walkoff sacrifice fly later on in the inning. The Keys are 7-2 in the month of May so far and after a tough start to their season have improved to a .500 record at 17-17.

Keys batters had only six hits in the game, which isn’t great, but their pitchers held the Woodpeckers to just two hits. The center fielder, Billingsley, drove in a pair of runs with a pair of hits and now has an .819 OPS for Frederick.

Delmarva Shorebirds 3, Hagerstown (Walgreens) 0

The Shorebirds just keep on winning. They are now 26-6 in their season. It remains impressive. Last year’s fourth round pick, Drew Rom, pitched the first five innings of this shutout effort, allowing a hit and three walks while striking out five. That is the most interesting thing to say about this game, since the teams only combined for eight hits, and Delmarva only got an RBI for one of their three runs.

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

Sunday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: vs. Buffalo, 1:05 (doubleheader). Starters: Luis Ortiz, Josh Rogers
  • Bowie: vs. Richmond, 1:35. Starter: Hunter Harvey
  • Frederick: vs. Fayetteville, 1:00. Starter: Cody Sedlock
  • Delmarva: vs. Hagerstown, 2:05. Starter: Nick Vespi