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Orioles minor league recap 6/16: Home runs for Henderson, Cowser, and Mayo

It was another exciting night on the farm with home runs aplenty, good work for Kjerstad, and even more impressive Aberdeen pitching as the IronBirds clinched a playoff spot.

Altoona Curve v Bowie Baysox
Gunnar. Henderson.
Photo by 2021 Rodger Wood/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Triple-A: Syracuse Mets (Mets) 5, Norfolk Tides 4

He did it again. Gunnar Henderson smacked his second Triple-A home run, a solo shot in the ninth inning. He drove in another run on a fielder’s choice earlier in the game. Terrin Vavra added a double and a single from the lead-off spot. Cody Roberts hit a home run in his first Triple-A game of the season.

Denyi Reyes started on the mound and had himself a fine outing, allowing two runs on five hits, a walk, and three strikeouts over 4.2 innings. Kevin Smith took the loss in relief after serving up three runs on three hits, three walks, and four strikeouts over three frames. Cole Uvila tossed a scoreless inning of work.

In other news related to Triple-A, left-handed pitcher Zac Lowther was designated for assignment to create a roster spot on the 40-man for infielder Jonathan Araúz. For Lowther’s sake, I hope he gets claimed so that he can stick on a 40-man roster elsewhere. Araúz has been optioned to Norfolk.

Double-A: Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets) 13, Bowie Baysox 1 - Game 1, F/7

This was a brutal way to begin the day for Bowie’s pitching staff. Garrett Stallings had himself a third consecutive ugly start. Over 3.1 innings the former Angels prospect got knocked around for eight runs on 11 hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. That included three home runs allowed, inflating his season ERA to 7.74. Griffin McLarty wasn’t any better behind him: 2.1 innings, three hits, five runs, three walks, four strikeouts. But at least we had the 1.1 spotless innings from Tyler Burch.

It wasn’t exactly a banner effort for the Bowie bats either. Greg Cullen notched his second minor league homer of the season. Ramon Rodriguez went 1-for-3 with a double in his season debut at Double-A. Joey Ortiz went 0-for-2. Hudson Haskin was 1-for-3.

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 4, Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets) 0 - Game 2, F/7

Now this is more like it! There were positives all over the field in game two of the Bowie doubleheader. On the mound, Adam Stauffer stole the show with five no-hit innings in which he struck out six batters and his only blemish was a solitary walk. Jensen Elliott followed him with an effective appearance of his own: two innings, two hits, no runs.

The Baysox lineup wasn’t exactly efficient, but it was potent. They combined for 11 hits and a walk. Every single player reached base at least once. Ortiz led the way with three hits, all singles, and a stolen base. Maverick Handley recorded his fourth home run of the year. César Prieto had a pair of hits at the top of the lineup. Chris Givin, Andrew Daschbach, and Zach Watson all doubled. Adam Hall singled and stole his 14th base of the year.

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 3, Jersey Shore BlueClaws (Phillies) 2

Another win for the IronBirds, and this one clinched a first half championship, which will send Aberdeen to the playoffs in September. The IronBirds were led by a ridiculous performance from the pitching staff. Jean Pinto started and tossed four innings in which he allowed one earned run and struck out four. Houston Roth followed with four shutout frames and eight strikeouts. And then Xavier Moore shut the door with a two-strikeout, no-hit ninth inning. Pretty good!

All three of Aberdeen’s runs were scored in the third inning when Colton Cowser and Coby Mayo went back-to-back. Cowser’s was a two-run shot with Billy Burns on ahead of him. Mayo had three hits on the day, adding a pair of singles to his long ball.

Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 7, Salem Red Sox (Red Sox) 5

Heston Kjerstad continues to look comfortable in the Delmarva lineup. He went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored as the DH here. Trendon Craig had himself a three-hit game, including a double, to go along with a walk, two runs, and two RBI. Stiven Acevedo recorded his first Delmarva hit, a double for the 19-year-old. Noelberth Romero and Roberto Martinez both registered a pair of hits.

Carter Baumler experienced his first struggles on a professional mound. He still managed five strikeouts over 2.2 innings, but he also issued three walks and allowed three hits, leading to two earned runs. Rest assured he will bounce back. Joel Benitez followed with 2.1 innings of relief in which he gave up a run on two hits. Ryan Long earned a four-inning save in which he allowed one unearned run on a hit, a walk, and three strikeouts.

Box scores for Wednesday’s games can be found here.

Thursday’s Scheduled Games

  • Triple-A Norfolk: vs Syracuse, 12:05 Starting pitcher: DL Hall (1-2, 4.10 ERA)
  • Double-A Bowie: vs Binghamton, 6:35. Starting pitcher: Ryan Watson (3-1, 3.38 ERA)
  • High-A Aberdeen: at Jersey Shore, 7:05. Starting pitcher: Justin Armbruester (2-0, 3.62 ERA)
  • Low-A Delmarva: at Salem, 7:05. Starting pitcher: Moises Chace (0-3, 6.41 ERA)