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Orioles minor league recap 5/7: Adley Rutschman joins the party at Norfolk

Two of the four Orioles affiliates were rained out on Friday. Things were fun with Norfolk as Rutschman joined in.

Orioles prospect Adley Rutschman swings a bat during Futures Game festivities
Baltimore soon, but Norfolk (in Nashville) for now.
Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 6, Nashville (Brewers) 5

This one feels like a big deal because it marked Adley Rutschman’s return to the Triple-A level, a hopefully brief stop before he’s in Baltimore. Does the mid-week promotion - rather than giving him the full week in Bowie - mean anything? I think it means that the Orioles saw the weather forecast for the weekend and bumped Rutschman up to make sure he’d play. This series is being played in Nashville.

Rutschman made his presence felt in this game almost immediately, hitting a single in the first inning. It was his only hit in the game; he also drew a walk. Left fielder Yusniel Diaz drew a walk after Rutschman’s single. Diaz also had a single and a walk in this game.

This turned out to be the start of a four-run rally that was capped off by the streaky Rylan Bannon hitting a grand slam. Bannon recently had eight hitless games in a row, but has rebounded with five in his last four games, in addition to four walks. With neither third base nor second base looking to be firmly held on the Orioles, Bannon has an opportunity if he can play well regularly.

The Tides starter was Cody Sedlock, who tossed 82 pitches over a four-inning start. He’s had worse outings this year, but that’s tough from an efficiency standpoint. There was a lot of traffic on the bases as Sedlock allowed four hits and three walks. Nashville scored two runs off of him. Reliever Ofelky Peralta allowed a run later, and eventually, Norfolk took a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth, turning to lefty Nick Vespi to close it out.

Vespi entered the game not having allowed an earned run on the season. That’s still true, but his ninth inning turned interesting anyway. He walked the leadoff batter, and allowed a single with one out, giving the Sounds a couple of chances with the tying run at the plate. On the same play, Rutschman committed a fielding error at first base, and backing that up, Kyle Stowers committed a throwing error. This allowed two runs to score and put the tying run all the way on third. Both runs were unearned. A groundout into a drawn-in infield kept the tying run from scoring, and Vespi closed out the game for his third save.

Box score.

Double-A: Bowie Baysox vs. Harrisburg Senators

Postponed due to the same rain that wiped out the Orioles game. The teams will play a doubleheader today, weather permitting.

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds vs. Brooklyn Cyclones

Postponed due to the same rain that wiped out the Orioles game. The teams will play a doubleheader today, weather permitting.

Low-A: Columbia (Royals) 10, Delmarva Shorebirds 3

The Shorebirds made like the big league team in one unfortunate way: They went 1-11 with runners in scoring position in this game, so when they had scoring chances they really did not capitalize. Batters combined to strike out 13 times. That’s also a tough way to score runs!

Delmarva was never really in this one, although they did, at least, have a 1-0 lead after the top of the first inning. Center fielder Luis Valdez reached on an error, stole second, stole third, then scored on a sacrifice fly. Valdez, 22, stole another base later in the game, giving him 12 in 21 games. Not bad! The Shorebirds only had seven hits in all. Noelberth Romero, once part of the Andrew Cashner trade, accounted for two of them; the infielder has an .860 OPS through 14 games.

Then, there was the pitching. Orioles Prospect Twitter favorite Moises Chace had a rough outing, lasting only 1.2 innings while giving up six runs (five earned) on five hits. Chace, who’s only 18 years old, now has a 7.43 ERA after five games pitched. Later, reliever Conor Grady, an 18th round pick last year, allowed four runs to keep the game well and truly out of reach.

Box score.

Saturday’s Scheduled Games and Starters

  • Norfolk: at Nashville, 7:35. Starter: Grayson Rodriguez
  • Bowie: vs. Harrisburg, 5:05 doubleheader. Starters: Garrett Stallings, TBD
  • Aberdeen: vs. Brooklyn, 4:35. Starters: Connor Gillispie, TBD
  • Delmarva: at Columbia, 6:05. Starter: Shane Davis