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Orioles minor league recap 6/2: Zac Lowther with another fantastic outing

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Bowie starter Zac Lowther had a scoreless streak of 21.2 innings snapped Saturday. He was great anyway.

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
Zac Lowther in action in spring training.
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Norfolk Tides 8, Louisville (Reds) 7

This game got interesting later on as the Tides scored seven of their eight runs in the final three innings, taking a 5-4 lead before falling behind 6-5, taking a lead again at 7-6 only to see the Bats tie the game 7-7 in the top of the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Mountcastle had enough, blasting his eighth home run of the season to walk things off for Norfolk. He had two hits in the game.

Keegan Akin, who happens to be the only Norfolk pitching prospect who’s performed half-decently up to this point in the season, didn’t have his best game - or at least not the best results. Maybe Norfolk’s defense stinks. But Akin allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings, which isn’t great for the ERA. He did walk only one batter and struck out five.

Hartford (Rockies) 3, Bowie Baysox 1

Let’s start with the good news. Baysox starter Zac Lowther was amazing yet again, holding the Yard Goats to just a run on two hits and three walks, while striking out eight over six innings. The lone run that Lowther gave up snapped a 21.2 inning scoreless streak. He has a 0.75 ERA over his last six starts and a 1.66 ERA for the season.

Bowie batters had just three hits in the game. A big reason this affiliate is 19-35 on its season is that the offense is just not performing, including some prospects who before the season you might have hoped could play well and keep marching towards MLB. Austin Hays was 0-4. Ryan McKenna was 0-3 with a walk. Rylan Bannon was 0-3, with an OPS down to .726 after a hot start.

Lynchburg (Indians) 4, Frederick Keys 0 (Game 1 - 7 innings)

Just five hits for Keys batters in the first game of this doubleheader. Outfielder Yusniel Diaz, rated the #2 prospect in the system, has been playing for Frederick while making his way back from the injured list. He had a 1-3 in this game and struck out twice.

O’s #10 prospect Blaine Knight was the Keys starter for the game. Knight pitched six innings, but surrendered four runs on six hits and four walks while striking out four batters. He’s struck out 15 and walked 10 in 22 innings over four starts since getting promoted from Delmarva. Here’s hoping he can make an adjustment.

Frederick Keys 9, Lynchburg (Indians) 2 (Game 2 - 7 innings)

There are games where you are the bug and games where you are the windshield. Keys batters came out strong in the nightcap of their doubleheader, racking up 12 hits for a big win. Diaz did not play in the second game.

Third baseman Willy Yahn had a four hit effort and drove in three of Frederick’s runs, with NASCAR scion Zach Jarrett and first baseman J.C. Escarra each driving in a pair as well. Keys center fielder Cole Billingsley, who’s been one of the team’s steadiest hitters of the season, scored a pair of runs as he went 1-3 and walked twice out of the leadoff spot.

On the mound for this game for Frederick was prospect Brenan Hanifee, who allowed a pair of unearned runs in 5.2 innings of work. Good: He held the Hillcats to just two hits in that time. Bad: He walked four and struck out only two. Don’t walk four guys!

Delmarva Shorebirds 5, Greenville (Red Sox) 3

There is just no stopping the Shorebirds. After this victory, they are 42-12 on their season. Seven of the nine starters in the lineup had hits. Canadian shortstop Adam Hall was 1-5. He’s batting .323 with an .832 OPS so far. Second baseman Cadyn Grenier was 1-4 with a walk and now sports a .717 OPS.

For Delmarva starter Ofelky Peralta, the command problems continued - he walked three in 3.2 innings, also giving up three runs on six hits. Reliever Zach Matson came in with the bases loaded and kept any more runs from scoring, then went 2.1 scoreless innings on his own. Matson is 4-0 this season and now has a 1.69 ERA.

Complete box scores from Saturday’s games, including the season-beginning adventures of not one, but two Orioles Dominican Summer League teams, can be found here. One change of the Mike Elias era is that the O’s are back to fielding two DSL squads. These two DSL teams combined to commit eight errors yesterday. It is a long way from MLB.

Sunday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: vs. Louisville, 1:05. Starter: Luis Ortiz
  • Bowie: vs. Hartford, 1:35. Starter: Alex Wells
  • Frederick: at Carolina, 4:00. Starter: Michael Baumann
  • Delmarva: at Greenville, 3:05. Starter: Hector Guance