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Orioles minor league recap 9/5: Mixed results as the minor league postseason begins

Grayson Rodriguez did not have his best showing in a Shorebirds loss while Michael Baumann looked good for the victorious Baysox.

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Bowie Baysox 5, Harrisburg (Nationals) 3

It was a group effort that gave the Baysox a win in game one of this best-of-five series to see who earns the right to play in the Eastern League finals. The O’s affiliate needed nine hits from six different players and the contributions of four pitchers over nine innings (plus three errors from Harrisburg) to emerge victorious, but they did it all the same.

The Bowie offense got going early with a Carlos Perez sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning to score Ryan McKenna, who had reached base on a one-out single, moved to second on an Anderson Feliz walk and made it to third on a wild pitch during the Perez at-bat. After going down 2-1 in the top half of the sixth, Yusniel Diaz tied things back up with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning.

But it was the three-run eighth inning that put the Baysox out of the reach from their competitors. Jesmuel Valentin led off with a walk and scored on a Preston Palmeiro triple. Palmeiro crossed the plate a few pitches later on a T.J. Nichting sac fly. And then Cedric Mullins started a little rally with a walk, then stole second before promptly returning home on a McKenna single.

Michael Baumann took the hill and delivered a nice performance. Over five innings, the righty struck out six batters while allowing two runs on three hits and three walks. His only trouble came when he tried to stretch into the sixth inning, but was unable to record an out, issuing two walks and a single before being removed from the game.

Zach Muckenhirn came on in relief and did what he could to limit the damage. But two of his inherited runs scored before he could close out the inning. That gave Baumann his final line. After Muckenhirn’s two innings, it was up to Luis Gonzalez in the eighth and Cristian Alvarado in the ninth. Gonzalez had a shutout inning while Alvarado did get into some trouble but was able to work his way out and allow just one run to finish up the win.

Bowie now has a 1-0 lead in the series.

Hickory (Rangers) 4, Delmarva Shorebirds 3

The Orioles top pitching prospect, Grayson Rodriguez, was on the mound for game one in this best-of-three South Atlantic League semi-final, but things got off to a rough start. After his lineup gave him a 2-0 lead, Rodriguez immediately coughed up a three-spot in the bottom of the first inning on a trio of doubles and a walk.

That early-game wobble would be the only time he struggled all night. Between the second and fifth innings, Rodriguez allowed just one base runner and no hits. Then he did serve up a solo home run in his sixth and final frame. His final line: six innings, four runs, four hits, two walks, six strikeouts.

Nick Vespi was the only relief pitcher used by the Shorebirds, and he turned in another impressive outing. In two innings of work, the lefty struck out three Hickory hitters and did not allow anyone to get on base.

Adley Rutschman drove in Delmarva’s first run of the game with a double to score Johnny Rizer, who had reached on a single moments earlier. Rutschman himself came around to score later in the inning on a Shayne Fontana ground out. The only other run scored by the O’s affiliate came on an eighth-inning single from Ryne Ogren to knock in Jaylen Ferguson, who had just doubled.

The Shorebirds had plenty of base runners in this game. They collected 10 hits and two walks as a group, but their 12 strikeouts didn’t help matters, and Rutschman killed a potential rally in the third inning by grounding into a double play. It just wasn’t meant to be their day, but they will have a chance to bounce back as they host Hickory in game two on Friday. The Shorebirds are currently down 1-0 in the series.

Gulf Coast Orioles

The O’s Gulf Coast team will not be playing in the post-season due to the threat of hurricanes in the area, but they did finish the regular season with the best record (38-15) in the entire league. As a result, Alan Mills, the team’s manager, was named GCL Manager of the Year. Congrats, Alan!

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

Next Scheduled Games

Bowie: vs Harrisburg, Thursday, 7:05 p.m. Starter: Tyler Herb (4-2, 3.95 ERA)

Delmarva: vs Hickory, Friday, 7:05 p.m. Starter: Gray Fenter (8-2, 1.81 ERA)