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Orioles minor league recap 6/26: Grayson Rodriguez dazzles for Delmarva

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The Baysox, Keys and Shorebirds all won, while the Tides and IronBirds struggled.

Grayson Rodriguez waves to the Camden Yards crowd Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Gwinnett (Braves) 8, Norfolk Tides 4

It was a tough night on the mound for the Tides. Keegan Akin started, but does not seem to have been especially effective. Over his five innings of work, he served up three runs on six hits, four walks and three strikeouts. The lefty’s ERA now sits at 4.37 this season. Pedro Araujo was the first out of the bullpen, and he quickly let things get away from him. In just two innings, the former Rule 5 pick allowed five runs (three earned) on three hits, two walks and three strikeouts. Luis Gonzalez came on in the relief after that, and did put together an impressive outing (two innings, no runs, no hits, no walks, three strikeouts).

When the Tides were in the field, there was a new sight: Ryan Mountcastle, leftfielder. The Orioles top hitting prospect played his first professional innings in the outfield. Of course, it’s early days, so the jury is still out on how he can handle the position, but he has already registered his first career assist.

At the plate, Mountcastle had two hits, both singles. Cedric Mullins and Jesus Sucre both added a single and a double in four trips to the plate. The lone home run belonged to right fielder Anderson Feliz, his first Triple-A long ball of the season.

Bowie Baysox 7, Hartford (Rockies) 2

It’s becoming a regular thing. Zac Lowther just knows how to get guys out. He was solid yet again in a winning effort on Tuesday. The lefty put together a “quality start” against Hartford, allowing two runs on four hits, three walks and three strikeouts over six innings. But he may have been overshadowed by how dominant Hunter Harvey was in a relief role. Harvey earned his first professional save by throwing three perfect innings and striking out five. The O’s may be onto something here.

At the plate, no one had more than one hit, but they made them count. Yusniel Diaz hit his sixth home run of the season and his fifth in the last 10 games. The dong came with two runners on base. Mason McCoy doubled in four at-bats. Ryan McKenna was 1-for-3. Rylan Bannon took an 0-for-3.

Frederick Keys 13, Lynchburg (Indians) 6

Talk about an offensive explosion. The Frederick bats combined for 13 runs off of 18 hits against Lynchburg pitching on Tuesday. J.C. Escarra led the way with four hits, including a double. Zach Jarrett and Trevor Craport added three hits apiece. Ryan Ripken, Jomar Reyes and Yeltsin Gudino each also had multi-hit games. Among Ripken’s hits were a double and his fifth home run of the season.

A pair of former Orioles first-round draft picks pitched in this game, and both struggled a bit. DL Hall started, but would last just four innings, allowing three runs on three hits, three strikeouts and a ridiculous six walks. Control has been something that has eluded the southpaw throughout this season. Cody Sedlock followed, and he would earn the win, but his numbers don’t look great: 2.2 innings, three runs on one hit, three walks and four strikeouts. Cameron Ming and Tim Naughton combined for 2.1 scoreless innings to close out the victory.

Delmarva Shorebirds 5, Lakewood (Phillies) 0

It was a dominant win all the way around, and it all started with Grayson Rodriguez. Last year’s top Orioles draft pick dazzled for five shutout innings, allowing just one hit while striking out six. His season ERA now sits at 2.21. Rodriguez was relieved by Matt De La Rosa and then by Felix Bautista, who combined for four scoreless innings out of the ‘pen.

Robert Neustrom was the star on the offensive side of things. The left-fielder smacked three hits, including a double and his fourth home run of the season, while driving in two runs. Cadyn Grenier went 1-for-4. J.C. Encarnacion was also 1-for-4 with two RBI. Adam Hall had a tough 0-for-4 night.

Brooklyn (Mets) 7, Aberdeen IronBirds 6

The Aberdeen hitters had the unenviable task of facing Noah Syndergaard in a rehab start in this game. Over five innings, the Mets hurler struck out nine IronBirds hitters, but also served up three runs on five hits, including a home run by Johnny Rizer, a seventh-round pick from this year’s draft. The only other impressive offensive performance came from catcher Luke Ronghofer, who went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a walk. Jean Carmona was 0-for-1 with a strikeout.

Ryan Conroy started on the bump, but only stuck around for three innings after allowing four runs (one earned) on seven hits, no walks and two strikeouts. Marlon Constante came on in relief for three innings of his own, giving up two runs on one hit, one walk and four strikeouts. Morgan McSweeney allowed one run over two innings. And Kyle Martin closed the book on the IronBirds pitchers with one scoreless frame.

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

Wednesday’s Scheduled Games

Norfolk: at Durham (Rays), 7:05 p.m. Starter: Luis Ortiz (2-6, 7.01 ERA)

Bowie: at Hartford, 7:05 p.m. Starter: Alex Wells (5-1, 1.90 ERA)

Frederick: at Lynchburg, 6:30 p.m. Starter: Brenan Hanifee (4-7, 4.76 ERA)

Delmarva: vs Lakewood, 7:05 p.m. Starter: Ofelky Peralta (4-2, 3.61 ERA)

Aberdeen: vs Brooklyn, 7:05 p.m. Starter: TBD