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Orioles minor league recap 7/4: Affiliates split their games, but there was good pitching all around

Norfolk bashed their way to a win, G-Rod pitched well in his first loss of the season, and Aberdeen won with a four-run rally in the ninth.

2021 Baltimore Orioles Photo Day
Brett Cumberland has a reason to smile after a two-homer day on Saturday.
Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 8, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 2

Everything was coming up Norfolk on Saturday. After struggling at the plate this season, Tides hitters exploded for 11 hits and eight runs. Catcher Brett Cumberland led the hit parade with two home runs. Cumberland had a 3-for-5 day that puts him at .231 with an .829 OPS on the season. Jahmai Jones, another name fans are clamoring for to reach Baltimore soon, reached base five times with three hits and two walks. He’s hitting .296 with a .916 OPS. Mason McCoy homered and hit a two-RBI double. Tyler Nevin had an RBI and a walk.

Meanwhile, Kevin Smith (1-1, 3.86) allowed just one run and struck out nine batters in five innings. The 2019 pickup in the Miguel Castro trade has been quite the story this season, getting promoted to Norfolk on June 15 after dominating in Bowie, and pitching to a 2.03 combined ERA and 1.13 WHIP so far. Claudio Custodio allowed a run in two innings, while Fernando Abad and Eric Hanhold were both perfect.

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 3, Akron RubberDucks 5

Grayson Rodriguez suffered his first defeat of 2021, but it wasn’t a bad outing. He gave up three runs (only one earned) while going five innings. The RubberDucks scored two in the first inning on a fielding error by Cadyn Grenier, a double, a groundout, and a single. They tacked on one more on a home run, Rodriguez’s fifth allowed on the season. Reliever Tyler Joyner (a 30th-round pick in 2018) allowed a pair more.

Bowie had to take its swings against third-year MLB veteran Zach Plesac, on a rehab assignment in between doing commercials for MLB Tonight with his uncle Dan, it seems. Plesac threw three innings, allowing one run on a solo bomb from Cadyn Grenier (who is .259 on the season with a .747 OPS). In the eighth, DH Chris Hudgins hit another, while a brewing Bowie comeback in the ninth was snuffed by a run-scoring GIDP from Toby Welk. Robert Neustrom was 2-for-4; Adley Rutschman went 0-for-4.

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 4, Brooklyn Cyclones 3

The IronBirds won a thriller with a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth, their first runs of the game. With both starters doing their thing, nobody scored until the seventh. Aberdeen’s Jake Prizina, a 31st-rounder in 2019, had a dominant 4.1 innings of shutout ball with just two hits and a walk allowed. Garrett Farmer gave up three runs but Jonathan Pendergast (28th-rounder, 2019) and Xavier Moore (16th-round, 2017) were lockdown to preserve the lead.

J.D. Mundy singled to kick off the ninth-inning rally, Adam Hall walked, and Gunnar Henderson reached on an error to load the bases. A Zach Watson sac fly plated the IronBirds’ first run of the game. Outfielder Trevor Kehe hit an RBI single. Maverick Handley won it for the ‘Birds with a walk-off two-run double. Jordan Westburg and Kehe had two hits apiece, and Mundy, Watson, Handley and Shayne Fontana finished with a hit each, Fontana’s going for a triple.

Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 2, Lynchburg Hillcats 3

The visiting Shorebirds allowed two runs to the Hillcats and couldn’t catch up. Delmarva starter Noah Dennoyer pitched well, with just two runs (one earned) on five hits, three walks, and six strikeouts. He has a 3.72 ERA on the season. Adam Stauffer allowed the go-ahead run on a HBP, two stolen bases, and a single.

The Shorebirds offense was quiet today, a two-run sixth-inning rally the only damage they did. Catcher Ramón Rodríguez singled to kick it off, Mason Janvrin walked, TT Bowens was hit by a pitch, and Cristopher Cespedes and Hudson Haskin each drove in a run with a fielder’s choice and a single, respectively.

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

Sunday’s scheduled games:

  • Norfolk at Charlotte, 6:05. Starter: Alex Wells (4-3, 5.63 ERA)
  • Bowie at Akron, 6:05. Starter: Cameron Bishop (3-0, 2.41 ERA)
  • Aberdeen vs Brooklyn, 2:05. Starter: TBD
  • Delmarva vs Lynchburg, 6:30. Starter: Zach Peek (2-2, 2.97 ERA)