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Orioles minor league recap 8/25: Ryan Mountcastle hits his 25th homer

There was a lot of good stuff on the Orioles farm on Saturday. The Grayson Rodriguez-Adley Rutschman battery wasn’t part of it.

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Typically, these posts start at Triple-A and go down from there. I’m starting with Delmarva today because Saturday featured a game with a Grayson Rodriguez-Adley Rutschman battery. The future is coming!

Hagerstown (Walgreens) 5, Delmarva Shorebirds 1 (Game 1 - 7 innings)

Unfortunately, the future of the Orioles wasn’t on display yesterday. Or at least, we can only hope this isn’t the future. Rodriguez surrendered more than three runs for just the third time in 19 starts this season. The four runs allowed came across on six hits and two walks in 4.2 innings, with five strikeouts. His battery mate, Rutschman, took an 0-3. No one tried to steal a base on him.

Delmarva had just two hits in this seven inning affair. Recently-promoted infielder Toby Welk had a single and drove in the lone Shorebirds run. Johnny Rizer also got a hit. Adam Hall did not.

Delmarva Shorebirds 1, Hagerstown (Walgreens) 0 (Game 2 - 8 innings)

Excitement was in short supply as the Shorebirds and Suns combined for just five hits in the game’s eight innings. It was scoreless through the scheduled seven, so it took an eighth inning with a baserunner starting on second to settle things. Delmarva’s Cody Roberts drove in the Shorebirds eighth inning runner, while Hagerstown’s automatic runner got thrown out trying to steal third base, immediately before the batter at the plate doubled. Some bad decisions you can’t take back.

Hall had one of the three Shorebirds hits and also stole his 32nd base of the season. I like that guy. Rutschman, serving as the designated hitter, was 0-3 again. He’s still hitless in his Shorebirds career, though that’s only four games old, so don’t panic.

Ryan Wilson, who was an O’s 33rd round pick in 2017, tossed seven scoreless frames for Delmarva. The 22-year-old lefty has repeated at Delmarva this year and has done better in his second go-round, with a 2.57 ERA in 16 starts. He’s struck out 99 batters in 87.2 innings. Presumably that’s good enough to get him to Frederick next season.

Charlotte (White Sox) 5, Norfolk Tides 3 (Game 1 - 7 innings)

There was a lot of baseball on the Orioles farm on Saturday. This is one of four doubleheaders, including one played by the GCL Orioles. The first game of this one also did not go great for an O’s pitching prospect, in this case Keegan Akin. In a 5.2 inning outing, Akin struck out eight batters, though in the process he issued a whopping seven walks. Seven! It added up to three runs on three hits for the Knights.

Jimmy Yacabonis followed Akin, allowed an inherited runner to score, then gave up two runs of his own in a third of an inning. At the plate, Rylan Bannon, Austin Hays, and Ryan Mountcastle all took 0-3 in the game. Austin Wynns picked up a single and a double in the contest.

Norfolk Tides 8, Charlotte (White Sox) 2 (Game 2 - 7 innings)

A much better second game for the Tides. All those guys I just said went hitless in the first game? Mountcastle had two hits and drove in three runs, including a two-run home run, his 25th dinger of the season. For those who hate his walk rate, he even added a walk. Hays had three singles and Bannon added a pair of hits, including his first home run since being promoted to Norfolk. That’s good stuff. The Tides scored runs in five of the seven innings.

Erstwhile Oriole Chandler Shepherd went the distance for Norfolk, holding Knights batters to just three hits and two walks while racking up seven strikeouts. That’s a good way to make the case for being a September callup.

Bowie Baysox 3, Altoona (Pirates) 2

The Baysox only had two hits here. One of those two hits was a three-run home run hit by catcher Carlos Perez, and so they had enough offense to win. That was thanks to a strong start by Michael Baumann, who continued his excellence since being promoted to Bowie with a six inning outing where he gave up just two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks. A Cedric Mullins error cost him the unearned run.

The 23-year-old righty Baumann now has a 2.24 ERA in 12 Double-A games, with a WHIP of just 0.96, and 57 strikeouts in 64.1 innings.

Center fielder Ryan McKenna was 0-2 with a pair of walks. NASCAR scion Zach Jarrett went 0-3, as did shortstop Mason McCoy and Billy’s nephew, Ryan Ripken.

Frederick Keys 4, Fayetteville (Astros) 3 (Game 1 - 7 innings)

It’s often been the case this season that looking at the offense of the Keys in the box score has been a prospect wasteland. Saturday was no exception, but despite getting only six hits the Keys still picked up a win. Center fielder Cole Billingsley doubled in two runs and shortstop Sean Miller singled in two runs, and that was enough to win.

That much offense meant that starter Brenan Hanifee’s outing was good enough for the team to win. Hanifee pitched five of the seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out six. It’s been a bit of a struggle for Hanifee at Frederick this year, with an ERA over 5 early in July, but he’s brought that down to 4.39 now. Hopefully he can finish with a couple of strong starts.

Fayetteville (Astros) 1, Frederick Keys 0 (Game 2 - 7 innings)

Hard to win when you get only two hits, as the Keys did. Then again, so did their opposition, the Woodpeckers, who walked off in the seventh inning when Keys reliever Tim Naughton couldn’t find the strike zone. Naughton walked the bases loaded and then hit a batter with a pitch to send everybody home. Sheesh.

Staten Island (Yankees) 1, Aberdeen IronBirds 0

Little offense to be found in this one as well, with Aberdeen having just three hits. With Rutschman and Welk, two of their better performers, getting promoted, there are fewer threats remaining in their lineup. Fourth round pick Joseph Ortiz had a pair of errors in this game, which led to an unearned run scoring for Staten Island, the game’s lone run.

29th round pick Houston Roth and 13th round pick Dan Hammer pitched six of the eight innings for Aberdeen. Roth allowed just a hit in four innings and racked up five strikeouts, giving him 33 in 28.2 innings as a pro. Hammer gave up a hit in two innings. He’s also a strikeout machine, adding three to his total to give him 40 in 32 innings since being drafted.

Bonus Gulf Coast League Orioles note

Cody Carroll, part of last year’s Zack Britton trade, rehabbed an inning over the course of the GCL O’s sweeping a doubleheader from the GCL Pirates. He struck out three batters. Maybe we’ll see him in September.

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

Sunday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: at Charlotte, 5:05. Starter: Bruce Zimmermann
  • Bowie: vs. Altoona, 1:35. Starter: Tyler Herb
  • Frederick: at Fayetteville, 6:00. Starter: Luis Perez
  • Delmarva: at Hagerstown, 2:05. Starter: Hector Guance
  • Aberdeen: at Lowell, 5:05. Starter: TBD