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Orioles minor league recap 7/1: Blaine Knight twirls another gem, Gunnar Henderson gets a hit

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It was a busy day down on the farm, where the four affiliates played six total games.

College World Series - Arkansas v Oregon State - Game One Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Triple-A: Charlotte Knights (White Sox) 7, Norfolk Tides 4

Dean Kremer made his first start at Norfolk since being demoted following a disastrous outing against Toronto last week. This start did go better as the righty struck out nine batters while walking just two over 5.2 innings. He also served up six runs (four earned) on seven hits, including a home run. Another pitcher that was recently sent down, Konner Wade, finished out the final 2.1 innings, keeping Charlotte from scoring any additional runs.

Zach Jarrett did all he could to keep the Tides within striking distance. The center fielder went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, and two runs scored. Mason McCoy added a 2-for-3 night with a double while Tyler Nevin contributed a single, RBI, and a run scored. Jahmai Jones and Yusniel Diaz combined to go 0-for-7 with a walk and two strikeouts. Things were dicey in the field for the Tides, where they made three errors, one apiece from Jones, McCoy, and Brett Cumberland.

Double-A: Akron RubberDucks 2, Bowie Baysox 0

Blaine Knight continues to impress at Double-A, and sure looks like he is pitching himself back into the big league picture come 2022. The lanky hurler allowed just one run on two hits, two walks, and six strikeouts over 5.2 innings, but took the hard-luck loss here. Diogenes Almengo gave up one run and struck out two in his inning out of the pen while Nick Vespi tossed a scoreless 1.1 frames.

Bowie’s lineup combined for eight hits and two walks, but they were unable to bring anyone home. Perhaps it was due to striking out 15 times and recording just one extra base hit (Chris Hudgins). Adley Rutschman went 2-for-4, however, so that’s nice to see.

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 2, Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets) 1 - Game 1, F/7

Not much offense in the first game of the day for the IronBirds. Adam Hall was their only hitter that managed to hit for extra bases; he did so with his fifth double of the year. Other base knocks came from Zach Watson, Andrew Daschbach, and AJ Graffanino.

Kevin Magee twirled four innings of one-run ball while striking out three and allowing just two hits. It was Clayton McGinness who would register the win, however, with his scoreless fifth inning. Logan Gillaspie earned his first save with two run-free frames.

High-A: Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets) 7, Aberdeen IronBirds 6 - Game 2, F/7

Aberdeen could not clinch the doubleheader sweep, but at least their lineup did some more interesting things in this game. Gunnar Henderson got his first hit since being promoted to High-A. He is now 1-for-21 with 11 walks and 12 strikeouts at the level. Jordan Westburg, J.D. Mundy, and Graffanino each had two hits. Mundy’s hits were both doubles.

Things were less fun on the pitching side, where Kade Strowd started and surrendered four runs on four hits, three walks, and four strikeouts in 2.1 innings. He gave way to Easton Lucas, who had similar trouble, giving up three runs on five hits, no walks, and a strikeout in 1.2 innings of work. At least there was Morgan McSweeney, who turned in two perfect innings, striking out three in the process.

Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 8, Lynchburg Hillcats (Cleveland) 6 - Game 1, F/7

Hudson Haskin had three of Delmarva’s seven hits all by himself. That included his 10th double and his first triple of the season. He scored twice and drove in a run. Jean Carmona also had himself a two-hit day, which also included his first triple, and he added his second stolen base on the year. Mason Janvrin added a two-run homer at the top of the order, and TT Bowens went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored out of the cleanup spot.

Brandon Young was masterful on the mound, striking out six and giving up just one run over five innings to earn the win. Young’s work was almost undone by a tough night for reliever Thomas Girard, who gave up five runs on four hits and two walks in just 1.2 innings. Fortunately, Leonardo Rodriguez was able to play fireman, get the final out, and record his second save of the season.

Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 3, Lynchburg Hillcats (Cleveland) 0 - Game 1, F/7

Delmarva’s arms stole the show in Game 2, led by Ignacio Feliz, who struck out four and faced just one batter over the minimum due to a fielding error in his three no-hit innings. Luis Perez was similarly effective, striking out five over three innings, although he did allow two hits and walk two. Kyle Martin finished things off by striking out the side to earn his first save.

On the offensive side of things, extra base hits were the saving grace for Delmarva. Darell Hernaiz hit his third home run while Bowens went deep for the sixth time. Lamar Sparks and Jordan Cannon added a double apiece. Cristopher Cespedes’s single was the team’s only hit that did not go for extra bases.

Complete box scores from Wednesday’s games can be found here. The Orioles’ two Florida League Complex teams did not play any games.

Thursday’s scheduled games

  • Norfolk: at Charlotte, 7:04. Starter: Zac Lowther (0-3, 5.18 ERA)
  • Bowie: at Akron, 6:35. Starter: Gray Fenter (3-2, 8.90 ERA)
  • Aberdeen: vs Brooklyn, 7:05. Starter: TBD
  • Delmarva: vs Lynchburg, 6:30. Starter: Shane Davis (3-1, 4.64 ERA)