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Orioles minor league recap 4/6: The farm season begins with a defeat

The minor league season is off and running as Norfolk’s bats go silent in a home loss to Charlotte.

Mesa Solar Sox v. Salt River Rafters Photo by Jill Weisleder/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Triple-A: Charlotte Knights (White Sox) 3, Norfolk Tides 1

The Tides only finished 48-72 last season, but three of those wins came in a postseason series against the Charlotte Knights. And on Tuesday, the Knights, undoubtedly fueled day-in and day-out since the end of that series by the burning motivation to deal the Tides some sweet payback, enacted some revenge in the season opener.

Kade McClure anchored a strong pitching effort with 4.2 innings of two-hit, one-run ball, and the Knights stifled the Norfolk bats in a 3-1 win.

McClure struck out four in his outing, while Brandon Finnegan, Will Carter, Hunter Schryver and Yacksel Rios blanked Norfolk in relief.

Norfolk actually took the first lead of the season in the first when Terrin Vavra singled, Kyle Stowers doubled and Patrick Dorrian brought in Vavra with a groundout. A Carlos Perez fourth-inning home run tied the score, however, and Blake Rutherford’s RBI single in the eighth gave Charlotte the lead for good.

The double by Stowers, Baltimore’s No. 8 prospect, was Norfolk’s only extra-base hit of the game, while Vavra (No. 14) finished 1-for-5 and hits also went to Yusniel Diaz, Brett Cumberland and Jahmai Jones. Norfolk went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, which sabermetric analysis will tell you is counterproductive to scoring runs.

Kevin Smith, the team’s 18th-ranked prospect, got the start and pitched 3.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits while walking and striking out three.

A box score from the game can be found here.

Wednesday’s scheduled game

  • Norfolk: vs. Charlotte, 6:35. Starter: TBD