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Orioles minor league recap 7/4: Bats go quiet on mostly unsuccessful night

Orioles affiliates went 1-5, with three of them getting blanked, but Aberdeen threw a shutout of its own.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Gwinnett Stripers (Braves) 8, Norfolk Tides 2

Norfolk starter Chandler Shepherd was pitching pretty well, giving up just one run through five innings, before coughing up a three-run homer in the sixth to former major league All-Star Adam Duvall that soured his outing. Jay Flaa gave up another four runs in relief to put the game out of reach, but in between, David Hess looked impressive, throwing two perfect innings with three strikeouts.

Orioles No. 2 prospect Ryan Mountcastle had the night off, which led to a pretty boring-looking lineup for the Tides. Their best hitter is, what, Jace Peterson? Of Norfolk’s 11 hits, only one was for extra bases, a Cedric Mullins double.

Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies) 4, Bowie Baysox 0

We’ll start with the good news: Orioles No. 24 prospect and my birthday buddy Mike Baumann, making his first Eastern League start, was mighty impressive. In six innings, Baumann allowed just one earned run, giving up six hits while striking out five and walking just one. Baumann has an 0.75 ERA in three games, including two scoreless relief appearances, since being promoted to Bowie from Frederick two weeks ago.

Unfortunately, Bowie’s offense gave Baumann no support. Yard Goats starter Jack Wynkoop tossed a complete game shutout, holding the Baysox to just four hits. Among the Birds’ top 30 prospects, Rylan Bannon (No. 21) was 1-for-4, while Yusniel Diaz (No. 4), Ryan McKenna (No. 7), and Mason McCoy (No. 30) were each 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Lynchburg Hillcats (Indians) 4, Frederick Keys 0 — Game 1

Frederick’s offense was just as quiet as Bowie’s in the first game of a doubleheader, managing just five hits while getting blanked. Trevor Craport and Daniel Fajardo each had two hits; the rest of the lineup was a combined 1-for-20.

Things weren’t any better on the mound, where No. 11 prospect Brenan Hanifee was ripped for six runs and nine hits in 5.2 innings, walking four. Hanifee’s outings this year tend to be either great or terrible; he’s had eight starts in which he’s allowed two or fewer earned runs, but also four in which he’s allowed six or more. Overall, he’s 5-8 with a 5.11 ERA.

Lynchburg 6, Frederick 4 — Game 2

The nightcap of the twin bill brought a huge game from faded prospect Jomar Reyes, who drove in all four Keys runs, including a two-run homer. Ryan Ripken also contributed three singles, but the rest of the lineup couldn’t produce any runs, putting Frederick on the wrong end of a sweep.

Starter Cameron Bishop held Lynchburg to two runs in five innings and left the game with a lead, but recently signed South African righty Kieran Lovegrove, making his debut in the Orioles organization, imploded in relief. He coughed up a run in the sixth and then loaded the bases in the seventh on two walks and a hit batsman, with Tim Naughton allowing all three inherited runners to score.

Lakewood Blue Claws (Phillies) 2, Delmarva Shorebirds 0

The Shorebirds were the third O’s affiliate to get shut out on this night, and their performance was arguably the worst of the lot, considering they got only one hit. One hit! It was a leadoff single by catcher Ben Breazeale in the fifth, though he promptly got erased on a double play. Delmarva did draw five walks in the game, but went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Adam Hall (No. 14 prospect) and Cadyn Grenier (No. 16) each drew a walk.

You might not be familiar with Ryan Wilson, the Orioles’ 33rd-round draft pick in 2017, but the lefty opened some eyes with his performance on the mound today. Wilson threw a quality start — six innings, two runs — and especially shined in the strikeouts column, where he racked up a career-high 10 whiffs. Wilson has a 3.40 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 39.2 innings this year.

Aberdeen Ironbirds 4, Connecticut Tigers 0

Finally, an O’s minor league team was on the right side of a shutout. Four Ironbirds pitchers combined to do the honors, starting with righty Adam Stauffer, who struck out six in four innings. Right-hander Griffin McLarty, the first pitcher the O’s selected in last month’s amateur draft (albeit in the eighth round), followed with two perfect innings, fanning three. Yelin Rodriguez then worked two before another 2019 draftee, righty Shelton Perkins (16th round), tossed a perfect ninth with a strikeout.

A slew of 2019 draft picks were in Aberdeen’s lineup as well, including third-rounder Zach Watson, who made his first professional start and went 2-for-4 with a home run and a double. Nice debut, kid. Others were competitive balance pick Kyle Stowers (0-for-4), fourth-rounder Joseph Ortiz (0-for-3), sixth-rounder Maverick Handley (1-for-3), seventh-rounder Johnny Rizer (1-for-4), and 21st-rounder Toby Welk (1-for-4 with an RBI).

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

Thursday’s scheduled games:

  • Norfolk at Charlotte, 6:05 PM. Starter: Dan Straily (1-0, 0.00)
  • Bowie vs. Harrisburg, 6:35 PM. Starter: Bruce Zimmermann (3-2, 2.75)
  • Frederick at Carolina, 7:00 PM. Starter: David Lebron (2-3, 3.88)
  • Delmarva vs. Hagerstown, 6:05 PM. Starter: Hector Guance (5-3, 3.90)
  • Aberdeen at Brooklyn, 6:00 PM. Starter: TBD