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Orioles minor league recap 6/17: Ryan McKenna breaks out with four hits

Kevin Smith debuted with Norfolk, Ofelky Peralta was impressive for Bowie, and Gunnar Henderson kept hitting for Delmarva.

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Triple-A: Durham Bulls (Rays) 7, Norfolk Tides 5

Kevin Smith made his Triple-A debut here, and it could have gone better. He began the game with a walk and then served up a triple to Wander Franco before striking out the side. Two more runs scored in the fourth inning on a two-run homer, and the lefty was responsible for two additional runs in the fifth inning. His final line was 4.1 innings, five runs (three earned) on six hits, two walks, and four strikeouts.

Norfolk’s bullpen had a better evening. Cody Carroll cleaned up Smith’s mess in the fifth inning, Spenser Watkins gave up two runs over three innings, and Shawn Armstrong struck out two batters in his perfect inning of work.

The Tides’ offense had a tall task on their hands in this one. Durham’s pitchers on the night included top prospects Shane Baz (making his Triple-A debut) and Brent Honeywell Jr. as well as rehabbing big league reliever Chaz Roe. All things considered, they held their own. Ryan McKenna was the star of then night, going 4-for-5 with a home run off Honeywell, a double against Roe, and three runs scored. Domingo Leyba added a 2-for-3 with three RBI and a walk. Jahmai Jones and Brett Cumberland both went 1-for-4

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 1, Akron RubberDucks (Cleveland) 0

Ofelky Peralta turned in an impressive start for Bowie. The 24-year-old righty went five scoreless innings, striking out five, walking two, and allowing five hits. His season ERA is down to 2.55. David Lebron followed with three shutout frames of his own while sitting down four batters on strikes. And Tim Naughton notched his second save of the year with a two-strikeout, two-walk ninth inning.

The Baysox bats didn’t make much noise, recording just one run on six hits, three walks, and 13 strikeouts. Even still, Adley Rutschman managed to have a good game. The first baseman was 2-for-3 with a walk. Johnny Rizer’s double was the team’s only extra base hit. Joey Ortiz walked and had the only run, which scored on a double play from Doran Turchin. Cadyn Grenier went 1-for-3.

High-A: Asheville Tourists (Astros) 7, Aberdeen IronBirds 5

Zach Watson hit his seventh home run of the season and scored two runs to lead Aberdeen’s offensive efforts in this loss. Andrew Daschbach and J.D. Mundy both went 2-for-4, adding a triple and double, respectively. Kyle Stowers, Toby Welk, and Shayne Fontana each singled in five at-bats. Adam Hall posted an 0-for-3.

IronBirds starter Ryan Wilson had a tough outing. He went just one inning and allowed three runs on two hits, a walk, and two strikeouts. Jake Prizina steadied things with his three innings of work out of the ‘pen, but the game got away from Garrett Farmer as he served up three runs on four hits and four strikeouts during his three frames of work. The best pitching performance came from Logan Gillaspie, who struck out all three batters he faced in the eighth inning.

Low-A: Salem Red Sox 8, Delmarva Shorebirds 5

Gunnar Henderson continues to hit. The shortstop went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI. But he was outdone by Dylan Harris, who had a 3-for-4 game with a double and three RBI. There was less good news in the field, where Henderson and catcher Ramon Rodriguez both made two errors.

With some spotty defense behind him, Houston Roth recorded just one out as Delmarva’s starter while serving up three runs (one earned) on two hits, a walk, and a strikeout. Jake Zebron tossed 2.2 scoreless frames, but his good work was undone in the middle innings. Zach Peek struck out five over 3.2 innings, but he also gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks. It was a similar story for Thomas Girard, who struck out three in his 2.1 innings, but paired that with two runs on two hits, both of which were home runs.

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

Injury Updates

Orioles’ general manager Mike Elias spoke with the media on Wednesday and provided health updates on a few of the team’s high-profile prospects:

  • Heston Kjerstad’s baseball activities have been shut down due to a reoccurrence of inflammation in his heart. A timeline on his return is not being provided at this time, and it is not guaranteed that it happens at all this summer.
  • DL Hall has been experiencing soreness in the elbow/triceps area on his left arm. He had an MRI done, which revealed tendinitis and inflammation but no structural damage. He is going to rest for “a couple of weeks” before building back up to return to the Bowie rotation.

Thursday’s scheduled games

  • Norfolk: vs Durham, 12:05. Starter: Mickey Jannis (0-1, 2.75 ERA)
  • Bowie: vs Akron, 6:35. Starter: Cody Sedlock (1-0, 3.43 ERA)
  • Aberdeen: at Asheville, 6:35. Starter: TBD
  • Delmarva: vs Salem, 7:05. Starter: Griffin McLarty (1-2, 3.86 ERA)