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Orioles minor league recap 8/12: Norfolk finally pitches a gem; Adley plates two in an Ironbirds romp

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Three of five Orioles affiliates won in style on Sunday, with good pitching up and down the line.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Norfolk Tides 3, Syracuse (Mets) 0

Finally, the Norfolk pitching performance we’ve been waiting for. This one was a combined effort brought to you by the Orioles’ No. 11 and No. 27 prospects, Keegan Akin (6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 7 SO, 4.36 ERA) and Dillon Tate (3.0 IP, 3 H, 4 SO, 0.00 ERA). Akin has struggled with consistency this season, and Tate had pitched just one inning in Triple-A, so this is an encouraging result for both.

With his .315 average and .860 OPS, Ryan Mountcastle continues to press his case for a September callup. Mountcastle went 2-for-4 with two of the team’s three runs driven in. He singled in Chris Bostick in the first and plated Austin Hays in the third with a double. The Tides got their third run in the sixth, when Jack Reinheimer drove in recent pickup José Rondón.

All but two Tides had hits on the day. Hays had a multi-hit game (2-for-4, .244 BA). So did Reinheimer (2-for-3, .242 BA). Martin Cervenka went 1-for-4 and is now hitting .333 in three games at Norfolk.

Bowie Baysox 1, Richmond (Giants) 3

Bowie’s bats didn’t do much to lift up their starter, lefty Zac Lowther, who’d been bidding to become just the sixth Baysox player to win 13 or more games in a season. It’s hard to do that when your team collects just five hits and scores its only one run on a fielding error (in the fourth, Rylan Bannon at the plate, Anderson Feliz coming home from second, with the candlestick).

Lowther (12-6, 2.71 ERA) was by all indications much better than his final line: 7 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 HBP, 8 SO. The three runs were sort of bum luck: in the third he gave up a soft single and a hit-by-pitch before Heliot Ramos cleared the bases with a two-run double. In the fourth, a second hit batter advanced on a forceout and came around to score on a single. Still, seven strong innings with eight strikeouts? He’d be an improvement on the major league rotation already.

Down East (Rangers) 9, Frederick Keys 7

In one sense, at least, the Keys looked just the big-league club: the Down East Wood Ducks were all over their pitching today. Starter David Lebron (2-4, 3.98 ERA) had a three-run first and lasted just one more inning after that, somehow still managing to walk four and allow three hits. The Keys stormed back to tie it up, sending eight men to the plate in the second. They scored three as Jomar Reyes doubled, Patrick Dorrian drove in the first of four RBIs on the day, and Daniel Fajardo and Cole Billingsley also came through with runs batted in.

In the eighth, Frederick mounted a four-run rally on a pair of leadoff walks, a Jomar single, and Patrick Dorrian’s fourth home run of the season, good for three runs. Although it wasn’t enough to get them out of the hole, it was nice to see Frederick’s 5, 6, and 7 guys have huge days at the plate. Will Robertson went 2-for-4 and scored. Dorrian and Reyes both went 3-for-5. Don’t look now but Reyes is hitting .283.

Unfortunately, Keys hitters were not handsomely repaid for their efforts. Zach Matson (1-2, 4.50 ERA) managed to be worse than the starter, giving up a leadoff home run in the third and four more runs in the fourth to get the loss. He failed to get out of the fourth, exiting with Frederick down 8-3. Luis Perez went 4.1 innings, giving up just one more run on a walk, fielding error, and a wild pitch. Tim Naughton (2.25 ERA) closed it out with no drama.

Delmarva Shorebirds 4, Kannapolis (White Sox) 2

Certainly, Ryan Wilson giving up 2 runs in five innings is a little less sexy than Grayson Rodriguez’s five no-hit innings on Saturday, or a base hit the other way with RISP. But it’s good to see consistency from Wilson, a 33rd-round pick in 2017 who’s whittled his ERA down to 2.89 in 14 starts this season. Matt de la Rosa and Jhon Peluffo pitched two no-hit innings apiece.

It wasn’t the most dominant offensive display of the season, but credit the Shorebirds for getting on base and capitalizing on a couple of big Kannapolis mistakes. Down 2-0 in the fifth, Ben Breazeale hit an RBI single. Then in the seventh, the Shorebirds got two more on a Nick Horvath single and a wild pitch. They got their fourth run in the eighth after Doran Turchin got aboard with a HBP and scored on another wild pitch. Johnny Rizer and Adam Hall had a hit each to keep their averages above .300. Seamus Curran went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Horvath was 3-for-3.

Aberdeen IronBirds 11, Staten Island (Yankees) 0

Hurray for beating the Yankees at any level. This one was a blowout, capped off by a three-run homer by Kyle Stowers, formerly of Stanford baseball and the Orioles’ 2019 competitive balance pick. Andrew Daschbach, also of Stanford, went 2-for-4 while driving in almost half of the Ironbirds’ runs (five). More good news: Adley Rutschman is starting to pick up that batting line. He went 1-for-3 with a walk, a run-scoring double, and another RBI on a sac fly. Toby Welk went “only” 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.

It was a standout performance for Kevin Magee (3-5, 2.66 ERA), picked up by the Orioles in 2018 in the ninth round. He went 6 innings while scattering just four hits, one walk, and racking up 10 strikeouts. The trio of Shelton Perkins, Griffin McLarty, and Morgan McSweeney went the final three while allowing just one hit between them.

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

Monday’s Scheduled Games

  • Delmarva: vs. West Virginia, 7:05. Starter: Hector Guance (8-5, 4.47 ERA)
  • Aberdeen: at Vermont, 5:05. Starter: Jake Lyons (0-3, 4.24 ERA)