Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 5, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees) 1 (Game 1)
Kyle Bradish twirled five two-hit innings, allowing just one run on a walk, a pair of groundouts, and a single. He struck out three RailRiders. Of 67 pitches thrown on the day, 39 were strikes. Through two starts totaling nine innings, Bradish has a 1.00 ERA and nine K’s.
Nick Vespi relieved Bradish in the sixth with an impressive inning of his own: he struck out two, allowed no hits and threw 14 of 17 pitches for strikes. Cole Uvila closed out Game 1 with a scoreless inning.
The bulk of the Tides’ offense was supplied by Richie Martin (1-for-4), who drove in two runs with a double, Jacob Nottingham (2-for-2 with a walk), who drove in a run with a three-bagger, and Rylan Bannon, who went 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. Robert Neustrom walked twice, and Tyler Nevin scored a run on a walk. It was a quiet game for Kyle Stowers (0-for-3 with 2 K’s).
Triple-A: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees) 1, Norfolk Tides 0 (Game 2) (Makeup from 4/17)
The Tides were shut out in Game 2 by Scranton’s tandem of Manny Bañuelos and Ryan Weber, getting just a single apiece from Tyler Nevin, Cadyn Grenier, and Terrin Vavra and a pair more walks.
On the other hand, it was good to get shutout pitching performances from Kevin Smith (3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K) and Isaac Mattson (1 IP, 0 H, 1 K). Smith was a little wild, throwing 36 strikes to 30 balls, a ratio that could do with some improvement.
Scranton’s one run of the game came in the seventh, when Zac Lowther allowed a two-out walk and a double. He took the loss, but left with a good line: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 SO.
Double-A: Binghamton Rumble Ponies 10 (Mets), Bowie Baysox 6
Sunday’s game featured six combined home runs, and though Bowie shot out to an early 6-1 lead, they eventually lost this game on sloppy pitching and defense. One of the long balls came off the bat of Shayne Fontana (2-for-3), an Earl Weaver special in the second inning that scored Andrew Daschbach and Cody Roberts. Jordan Westburg (2-for-4, BB) followed that same inning with a blast of his own. Daschbach (1-for-3, BB, 2 R) joined the parade with a solo bomb of his own a little later, and Gunnar Henderson (2-for-5) also singled in a run.
Antonio Velez, acquired by the O’s from Miami on April 3, followed up a nice start last time out with a more problematic one. He limited the Rumble Ponies to one run over the first 4.2 innings, but imploded with two outs in the fifth, allowing a walk, a single, a double, a homer, then another walk. That leaves’ Velez’s ERA at 5.19 for now.
Morgan McSweeney inherited a 6-5 lead in the sixth but ended up taking the loss. He allowed one run on a catcher’s throwing error by Cody Roberts and gave up a double in the seventh that would come around to score.
High-A: Wilmington Blue Rocks (Nationals) 3, Aberdeen IronBirds 1
Aberdeen gave up a three-spot in the fifth inning and couldn’t come back. The opener, Carlos Tavera (1.42 ERA in 6.1 IP), threw four shutout innings, striking out five. He threw an impressive 41 of 59 pitches for strikes. After that, Connor Gillespie’s relief outing was a mixed bag: he struck out seven over four innings but allowed the Blue Rocks to string together three runs on four singles and a sac fly in the fifth.
Aberdeen’s lone run came on a César Prieto home run. Prieto went 2-for-4 on Sunday and is hitting .297 with a .756 OPS on the season. They say the man can hit. The IronBirds also spread around some more hits: Connor Norby was 1-for-3 with a walk (.313 BA, .910 OPS). The young crop of Colton Cowser, C Connor Pavolony, and LF John Rhodes singled.
Low-A: Lynchburg Hillcats (Guardians) 2, Delmarva Shorebirds 1 (F/10)
Delmarva lost a close one in extra innings. Dan Hammer (still a great name), a 13th-rounder for the O’s in 2019, threw three scoreless to preserve a perfect 0.00 ERA. Ryan Long, a 17th-rounder in 2021, followed Hammer with three innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks. Carson Carter threw one scoreless, and Kelvin LaRoche took the loss, when a single brought in the Manfred Man, Jake Fox. (No, not that one.)
Mishael Deshon went 2-for-5 on the day. Ryan Higgins was 1-for-3 and scored the Shorebirds’ only run, courtesy of an Isaac Bellony (1-for-4, 1.062 OPS) double.
Not a great day for 1B Josue Cruz, who struck out three times and had a throwing error. SS Isaac De Leon had an 0-fer and an error of his own.