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Orioles minor league recap 5/22: Mountcastle, Hays homer; Kremer struggles

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For the first time this year, all four O’s affiliates played at home. Only Frederick took advantage with a victory, though.

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
Get used to seeing Ryan Mountcastle circling the bases.
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Durham Bulls (Rays) 4, Norfolk Tides 3

Apparently even Rays affiliates are using openers now. Jose De Leon started with 2.2 scoreless innings and then was replaced by Jake Faria, who threw 4.2 frames for the win. Ryan Mountcastle tagged Faria for an eighth inning homer, his seventh of the year. He has a .323 average and .881 OPS. Christopher Bostick, the only Norfolk batter with more than one hit, also homered. In more discouraging news, the streaky Cedric Mullins is mired in an ice-cold stretch. He went 0-for-3 and has just four hits in his last 33 at-bats. He’s batting .225 with a .658 OPS for the Tides.

On the mound, Tyler Herb was mediocre, allowing 11 baserunners and three runs in 5.1 innings. Tanner Scott gave up a run in relief to inflate his ERA to 7.36, but at least he didn’t walk anyone. Lefty Sean Gilmartin (2.31 ERA) continued to look strong out of the bullpen, throwing 1.2 scoreless innings in the losing effort.

Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets) 7, Bowie Baysox 3

After two scoreless starts for Frederick coming out of extended spring training, Dean Kremer returned to Bowie, where he dominated last year with a 2.58 ERA in eight starts after the O’s acquired him in the Manny Machado trade. Sadly, Kremer’s Baysox return wasn’t what he’d envisioned. Binghamton jumped on him for five runs and seven hits in four innings, with Kremer walking three and striking out five. .171-hitting first baseman Jason Krizan tagged him for a homer, and later added another off Brian Gonzalez.

You usually won’t win a game when you give up seven runs, but it sure didn’t help that the Baysox offense went an unsightly 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The only three runs they scored came on an error, an RBI groundout, and a sacrifice fly. Bo-ring. Rylan Bannon, who two weeks ago was batting .319, is now 0-for-12 in his last three games. His average is down to .270.

Frederick Keys 6, Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs) 5

This one got a bit dicey at the end, as the Keys’ once 6-0 lead was whittled to one run in the ninth inning, but Frederick escaped with the only victory of the day for an O’s affiliate. The Keys scored all six of their runs in the second inning on a pair of three-run homers: one by Austin Hays and one by J.C. Escarra. Hays, who started his rehab assignment just 2-for-23, seems to be finding his stroke. He has homered in two straight games and racked up four hits in nine at-bats.

It was a good-news, bad-news kind of day for starting pitcher and my birthday buddy Michael Baumann. On the bright side, he recorded eight of his 13 outs on strikeouts and didn’t walk anybody. Unfortunately, he labored for 90 pitches in 4.1 innings and gave up three runs and five hits. Steven Klimek notched the victory with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief.

Lakewood BlueClaws (Phillies) 4, Delmarva Shorebirds 2

Baseball is a funny game, isn’t? The Shorebirds, the best team in the entire minors, lost a game to the BlueClaws, the worst team in the South Atlantic League. If something that unlikely can happen, maybe one day the Orioles can actually beat the Yankees. Haha! No, but seriously, folks...

It was Grayson Rodriguez night at Delmarva, and the Orioles’ 2018 first-round pick did not disappoint. The right-hander tossed five strong innings, holding Lakewood to one run and four hits. He walked two and struck out six. Rodriguez left the game with a 2-1 lead, but the Delmarva bullpen blew it, with Matthew Hammonds giving up two runs and Matt De La Rosa one.

The Shorebirds were quiet at the plate, managing just four hits. Seamus Curran’s homer was the only one for extra bases. Adam Hall reached base three times, where he had quite the adventure, stealing one base, getting caught another time, and also getting picked off once. Delmarva outfielders threw two runners out at the plate in this game, keeping the game close.

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

Wednesday’s scheduled games:

  • Norfolk vs. Durham, 7:35 PM. Starter: Keegan Akin (2-1, 3.60)
  • Bowie vs. Binghamton, 11:05 AM. Starter: Bruce Zimmermann (1-1, 2.61)
  • Frederick vs. Myrtle Beach, 7:00 PM. Starter: Cameron Bishop (0-2, 3.67)
  • Delmarva vs. Lakewood, 10:35 AM. Starter: Gray Fenter (3-1, 2.25)