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Orioles minor league recap 5/21: Shorebirds win fifth straight; Westburg homers for Bowie

Three of the four Orioles affiliates were winners on Friday night. Only Aberdeen getting shut out stopped a system sweep.

Altoona Curve v Bowie Baysox
Bowie scored ten runs yesterday and this guy (it’s Jordan Westburg, btw) is part of the reason why.
Photo by 2021 Rodger Wood/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 9, Charlotte (White Sox) 8 (10 innings)

This one was not quite as much of a rollercoaster as the major league Orioles game was, but it was in that direction. The Tides took and blew leads of 4-2 and 8-6, with four different late-inning relievers allowing a run apiece, but eventually they got a run in the top of the tenth and possible eventual Orioles callup Cole Uvila closed the door on Charlotte after having already pitched a scoreless ninth. Uvila’s Norfolk ERA is 1.13 in 14 appearances.

Way back in the early innings of the game, this was a D.L. Hall start. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be one to fuel the fire of people who want to see him called up immediately. Hall faced 17 batters and only retired just more than half of them. Three-plus innings with four runs allowed on five hits and three walks is not going to be what forces the call to Baltimore. Hall threw 69 batters to get two batters into the fourth inning. It is not very nice.

Much nicer was the offense for Norfolk. Outfield prospect Kyle Stowers led the way with a four-hit night that saw him a triple shy of the cycle. Stowers’s solo shot in the seventh inning was his sixth home run of the season. After the night’s outburst, he’s batting .237/.341/.491 for the season. If Stowers has any kind of MLB success, it’d probably look a lot like that batting line, so hopefully he can keep it coming.

Of interest to anyone who got frustrated by the Orioles infield’s performance at the plate for much of the game last night, Richie Martin went 1-4 with a walk; he’s OPSing .805 for the season. Erstwhile Oriole Rylan Bannon had two hits, including a triple.

Box score.

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 10, Hartford (Rockies) 3

Bowie scored ten runs on eleven hits in this contest, which is really impressive efficiency. You know, it turns out that it’s easier to score a bunch of runs if you go 5-12 with runners in scoring position instead of 0-12, Orioles. Before you start getting excited to see what he did, you should know up front that GUNNAR HENDERSON had the day off.

There was good news for at least one Baysox prospect who you should be interested in. Jordan Westburg, playing second base for this one, had two hits, including a three-run dinger. Westburg went through some tough times in April but is now OPSing .855 for the month of May. More of this would be exciting. Fellow infielder Joey Ortiz was 1-5 in this game. He’s having a better May than April, too.

At the bottom of the Bowie lineup, perhaps riding a wave from a coming movie release with his name in it, catcher Maverick Handley - serving in this case as the designated hitter - was 2-3, notching a single, double, and sacrifice fly. As I try to endeavor not to be negative about fringy or non-prospects, I am not going to share his season OPS with you.

For the pitchers, four guys cobbled together the ten innings. Shout out to Jensen Elliot for three scoreless innings of relief. He was the winning pitcher, the first win at the Double-A level for the 2019 19th rounder.

Box score.

High-A: Rome Braves 6, Aberdeen IronBirds 0

Things have gone pretty darn well for Aberdeen so far this year that they lost this late May game and still have yet to hit double digits in the loss column for the season. You can’t win them all, and sure enough they did not.

The IronBirds hitters only collected three hits. Among the prospects of note, César Prieto had a single in four at-bats, and that’s really all there is to say. Colton Cowser and Coby Mayo each took an 0-4. Mayo committed his fourth error of the season.

Last year’s fifth round pick, Carlos Tavera, took the loss for Aberdeen, but his line score doesn’t look that bad. Tavera struck out nine guys in a 4.2 inning start, allowing just one run - that on a solo home run. He has a 3.21 ERA and WHIP of exactly 1.00 through his first seven starts this season. Perhaps if he keeps pitching like this, he’ll be challenged at a higher level.

Box score.

Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 6, Fredericksburg Nationals 4

After a really rough first month-plus of their season, the Shorebirds are now winners of five games in a row, including four straight against the F-Nats here. They could have folded up after they fell behind 4-0 before they ever got a chance to bat, but they did not. Delmarva tied it up with a four-run second inning and scored two more in the third, with three relievers combining to hold Fredericksburg scoreless the rest of the way.

Seven of the nine guys in the starting lineup got a hit and five of them scored runs, so this was really something of a whole team effort to get the win. The team’s best hitter continues to be shortstop Darell Hernaiz, the 2019 fifth round pick who’s still only 20 years old. Hernaiz hit a two-run double as part of a 1-4 night here. He’s batting .267/.313/.508. I do like the power.

Box score.

Saturday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: at Charlotte, 7:04. Starting pitcher: Michael Baumann
  • Bowie: vs. Hartford, 6:35. Starting pitcher: Garrett Stallings
  • Aberdeen: vs. Rome, 6:05. Starting pitcher: Jean Pinto
  • Delmarva: vs. Fredericksburg, 7:05. Starting pitcher: Juan De Los Santos