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Orioles minor league recap 6/12: The Delmarva Shorebirds are division champs

Despite a loss, the Shorebirds are postseason-bound. Elsewhere, Bowie’s Dean Kremer dominated and Frederick split a doubleheader.

Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees) 4, Norfolk Tides 1

There wasn’t much brewing for the Tides on this night. They were held to four hits, two of them from Jace Peterson, by veteran Drew Hutchison and two relievers. Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays each had a single, and Cedric Mullins drove in the only Norfolk run on a sac fly. Mark Trumbo went 0-for-3 as he continues his rehab assignment.

Starter Chandler Shepherd didn’t make it through the fifth inning, giving up 10 baserunners and four runs, but Sean Gilmartin and Jimmy Yacabonis combined for 4.2 innings of scoreless relief. By the way, remember Breyvic Valera, one of the guys the O’s got in the Manny Machado trade last year? After the Birds dumped him this spring, he wound up in the Yankees’ organization, and he went 4-for-5 as the leadoff hitter in this game. He’s hitting .429 in 26 games for the RailRiders.

Bowie Baysox 6, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays) 0

In an all-around well-played victory for the Baysox, the biggest highlight was Dean Kremer, who stymied the Fisher Cats with seven shutout innings. Kremer allowed just four hits, and he racked up eight strikeouts while walking just one. Kremer had struggled in his first three starts for Bowie this year, but he put those outings in the rearview mirror with the kind of dominant outing that echoed his 2018 success. After Kremer left, the struggling Dillon Tate got in on the fun, working two perfect innings of relief and striking out three.

The Baysox got contributions up and down the lineup, with five different hitters notching an RBI. Leadoff man Mason McCoy (hitting .328) set the table with a pair of hits and three runs scored, and Ademar Rifaela and Rylan Bannon roped back-to-back RBI doubles in the sixth. Ryan McKenna and Yusniel Diaz were both hitless, but each had a sacrifice fly.

Carolina Mudcats (Brewers) 8, Frederick Keys 1 — Game 1

First things first, congratulations to the Keys for having seven players selected to the Carolina League All-Star team. They’re headlined by revitalized former first-round pick Cody Sedlock and my birthday buddy Michael Baumann, the Orioles’ No. 25 prospect on MLB Pipeline. The others named to the team were righties David Lebron and Steven Klimek, infielder Willy Yahn, and outfielders Cole Billingsley and Zach Jarrett. Frederick’s Nymeo Field will be hosting the All-Star Game on Tuesday.

This game, though, was a dud. The aforementioned Klimek suffered his worst outing of the year, giving up five runs in two innings of relief. Before that outing, Klimek had allowed only four earned runs all season in 29.2 innings. His ERA jumped from 1.21 to 2.56. Starter Cameron Bishop walked five batters in five innings, giving up three runs. Among the All-Star hitters, Yahn and Jarrett combined for three of Frederick’s six hits, while Billingsley went 0-for-3 but is still hitting .331.

Frederick 4, Carolina 3 — Game 2

The Keys salvaged a split of the doubleheader with help from Yahn, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the nightcap. J.C. Escarra added two hits and an RBI. Jarrett was 0-for-3; Billingsley reached base twice.

Frederick cobbled together a bullpen game to great effect, with Luis Perez tossing four scoreless innings in his first start of the year. Diogenes Almengo survived two rough innings for his seventh save.

West Virginia Power (Mariners) 1, Delmarva Shorebirds 0

Ladies and gentlemen, your Delmarva Shorebirds are officially the first-half Northern Division champs of the South Atlantic League. The 42-18 club, the best team in minor league baseball, clinched the title with second-place Greensboro’s loss to Hickory.

What a ride it’s been so far for the upstart club. Delmarva is postseason-bound for the first time since 2005. They’ll play a best-of-three series in September against the club that wins the second-half division championship (or, if the Shorebirds win the second half too, they’ll play the team with the next-best record). So, theoretically, the Shorebirds could lose every game for the next three months and their playoff spot will still be secure. But they should probably try not to do that.

They have, though, lost three games in a row for the first time all season. Orioles No. 27 prospect Drew Rom was a hard-luck loser, racking up eight strikeouts in five innings without allowing an earned run. The only shaky inning was the third, in which he walked two batters and second baseman Alexis Torres committed two errors, leading to the an unearned run. That, unfortunately for Delmarva, was all their opponents needed. The Shorebirds were held to just four singles, two by Cadyn Grenier, in getting blanked for the fourth time this year.

By the way, the Power’s shortstop is named Utah Jones. I guess he’s Indiana’s lesser-known little brother.

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

Wednesday’s scheduled games:

  • Norfolk vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 7:05 PM. Starter: Tyler Herb (4-3, 4.09)
  • Bowie vs. New Hampshire, 6:35 PM. Starter: Bruce Zimmermann (1-1, 2.85)
  • Frederick vs. Carolina, 7:00 PM. Starter: DL Hall (2-2, 3.92)
  • Delmarva at West Virginia, 7:05 PM. Starter: Nick Vespi (3-3, 4.60)