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Orioles minor league recap 8/11: Kremer, Rodriguez strike out ten batters each

The Orioles may not have been any good on Saturday, but their farm teams, led by some top prospects, did great.

2019 Baltimore Orioles Photo Day

Norfolk Tides 8, Syracuse (Mets) 6

The two teams traded three run first innings and just kept on scoring from there. Norfolk took the lead for good in a three-run sixth that was headlined by Austin Hays and Ryan Mountcastle hitting back-to-back jacks. For Mountcastle, that was his 20th homer of the season. He had a three hit game and is now OPSing .857 on the season. His Triple-A performance this year is a real bright spot for the high minors of the Orioles.

Hays had a multi-hit game also, and so did former Yankees farmhand Mason Williams, who’s .001 better than Mountcastle with his .858 OPS. I would rather see Williams in center field than Stevie Wilkerson, with no slight intended for Dr. Poo Poo. Hays, who hit his seventh homer of the year, has got his OPS up to .751 and could rebound nicely with a strong finish to his season.

Jay Flaa, a career reliever, took one for the team by starting this game and trying to push through four innings. He gave up six runs in 3.2 innings, though. After that, the Tides bullpen held the Mets scoreless. David Hess struck out three batters over 2.1 innings. Hunter Harvey struck out another three batters over a pair of innings, and Tanner Scott closed things out with a scoreless ninth in which he did not allow a baserunner. Might be time to switch which Scott is in Norfolk and which is in Baltimore.

Bowie Baysox 1, Richmond (Giants) 0 (Game 1 - 7 innings)

The Baysox only had three hits in this one, but when your starting pitcher strikes out ten batters in five innings, that makes winning easier. That was Dean Kremer in this instance. Kremer held the Flying Squirrels to just three hits and issued three walks while striking out ten. Kremer now sports a 2.98 ERA on the season, with 101 strikeouts and 33 walks in 94.1 innings.

Bowie scored its lone run after Cedric Mullins reached on an error, stole his 14th Double-A base of the season, and scored on a double. Rylan Bannon, part of last year’s Manny Machado trade, and Brett Cumberland, part of the Kevin Gausman trade, were each 1-3 with a double in this contest.

Bowie Baysox 5, Richmond (Giants) 3 (Game 2 - 7 innings)

The O’s 2016 first rounder, Cody Sedlock, did not contribute to the big night for pitching prospects on the farm, allowing two runs in just 2.2 innings. Sedlock walked four of the 13 batters he faced, but thanks to Bowie lighting up Richmond for five runs in the fifth inning, the Baysox were able to continue their excellent run in the second half of their season.

My man Mason McCoy drove in three of the five Baysox runs with a pair of hits in this one. Outfield prospect Ryan McKenna was on base twice, once with a single and once with a walk. He stole his 21st base of the season.

Down East (Rangers) 4, Frederick Keys 2

Frederick’s starter, Brenan Hanifee, also had a five inning outing where he issued three walks, though he struck out a total of zero batters rather than Kremer’s 10. Hanifee allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits, including a solo home run.

Shortstop Cadyn Grenier, last year’s competitive balance pick, picked up two hits. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he’s batting just .197/.310/.344 in 19 games since being promoted to the Keys, and he also committed two errors in the game.

Delmarva Shorebirds 5, Kannapolis (White Sox) 1

Shorebirds pitchers, led by starting pitcher Grayson Rodriguez, took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Rodriguez added another five inning start to the farm system pile on Saturday night. He, like Kremer, mowed down ten batters over his five no-hit innings. With only 81 pitches thrown, he probably could have been pushed a little farther if they wanted to.

Your favorite Canadian Orioles prospect and mine, shortstop Adam Hall, scored a pair of runs for Delmarva, including a solo home run, his fifth homer of the season. The 20-year-old Hall has played in 100 games for the Shorebirds this season and continues to hold a batting average over .300 - and he’s drawn 33 walks too!

JC Encarnacion, also part of that Gausman trade, had two hits as well. He is not batting over .300.

Aberdeen IronBirds 4, Staten Island (Yankees) 3

Your 2019 Orioles #1 overall pick, Adley Rutschman, walked this one off in the ninth inning with a single that scored Dalton Hoiles, son of Chris. Rutschman was 2-3 in the game and also drew a walk. He’s OPSing only .565 since joining the IronBirds, so hopefully more games like this are on the way.

Experience the Rutschman walkoff for yourself:

Last year’s eighth round pick, Ryan Conroy, was no decisioned after a solid start: Two runs allowed on four hits and a walk in seven innings, with five strikeouts. He’s struck out 62 in 65.2 innings across his 12 starts. This year’s 12th rounder, Kade Strowd, continued his scoreless professional career in the ninth inning - he’s yet to allow a run in 12 innings pitched.

Bonus Gunnar Henderson note

The O’s second round pick was 0-4 with a walk during a 6-5 win by the GCL Orioles over their Pirates counterparts. Henderson’s line through 18 games: .254/.346/.373. He had a seven-game hit streak snapped here and has shown improvement since a tough first few games.

Complete box scores from Saturday’s games, including the adventures of both Dominican Summer League Orioles teams, can be found here.

Sunday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: vs. Syracuse, 4:05. Starter: Keegan Akin
  • Bowie: at Richmond, 1:05. Starter: Zac Lowther
  • Frederick: vs. Down East, 1:00. Starter: TBD
  • Delmarva: vs. Kannapolis, 5:05. Starter: Ryan Wilson
  • Aberdeen: at Vermont, 5:05. Starter: Kevin Magee