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Orioles minor league recap 6/22: Delmarva leads the way with a 12-run outburst

Shorebirds the only winners Tuesday, but top prospects continue hot starts at their new assignments.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles-Media Day
Jordan Westburg homered. Again.

Triple-A: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies) 10, Norfolk Tides 7

The first four innings Tuesday night for DL Hall (Orioles #5 prospect) were everything you could have wanted: no runs allowed, only one hit allowed and three strikeouts. However, the fifth inning proved much more problematic for the lefty. A leadoff home run, three singles and a throwing error saw Hall get tagged for five runs (two earned) and he exited after only getting one out in the inning. Kevin Smith couldn’t better Hall’s efforts out of the bullpen, as he gave up five runs in three innings, and an early 7-0 lead ended up as a 10-7 loss.

Jordan Westburg (#6 prospect) continued his molten-hot start to his time at Triple-A, belting a three-run home run in the fifth inning. The blast was Westburg’s fourth homer in 11 games at Norfolk, and the middle infielder sports an impressive 1.229 OPS in his brief time with the Tides.

The rest of the infield at Norfolk continues to shine as well. Terrin Vavra (#13 prospect) reached base three times, with two walks and a two-RBI double in the fifth inning. Vavra is batting .320 in 24 games at Norfolk this season, with an equally impressive .421 on-base percentage. While he only collected a single, a walk and a run scored on Tuesday, GUNNAR HENDERSON (#3 prospect) continues to shine at Norfolk as well, with a .295 average and a .975 OPS in 13 games.

Box Score

Double-A: Erie SeaWolves (Tigers) 11, Bowie Baysox 0

The recent promotions of HENDERSON and Westburg have certainly left the Bay Sox lineup in search of offense at times—and never was that more true than Tuesday night against Erie. While every SeaWolves hitter collected at least one hit—and six had multi-hit outings—only nine-hitter Zach Watson managed more than one hit for Bowie. Tuesday marked the fifth time in 12 games since the promotion on Henderson and Westburg that the Baysox have been held to one run or fewer.

While he only collected one hit Tuesday night, the increased playing time is definitely paying dividends for infielder Cesar Prieto (#11 prospect). Since the promotion of his fellow infield prospects, Prieto has hits in nine of 11 games—including three multi-hit games—and has raised his average from .255 to .272.

Box Score

High-A: Wilmington Blue Rocks (Nationals) 7, Aberdeen IronBirds 3

The rehabbing Yusniel Diaz (Orioles’ #24 prospect) had a hugely successful High-A season debut, going 2-2 and opening the IronBirds’ scoring with a solo HR in the top of the fourth. Diaz would later go on to drive in another run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh and had Aberdeen’s only two RBIs on the night.

That punch from Diaz out the cleanup spot was not enough for the IronBirds as Wilmington’s three-run HRs in the second and third innings meant the game was mostly over before it even started. Colton Cowser (#4 prospect) did reach base three times for Aberdeen, collecting two singles and a walk out of the two-hole. Tuesday continued a recent hot streak for the former No. 5 overall pick, as Cowser is batting .410 in his last 10 games, with a 1.181 OPS. Despite the rough start from Houston Roth, Jean Pinto (#29 prospect) did give the IronBirds five strong innings out of the bullpen, allowing only one run on five hits and striking out three.

Box Score

Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 12, Lynchburg Hillcats (Guardians) 6

The Shorebirds put together their second-highest scoring game of the season in Tuesday’s victory over the Hillcats. A day after giving up 12 runs to the Salem Red Sox, the Shorebirds put up a 12-spot of their own—with all but one player registering a hit. Second baseman Noelberth Romero led the Shorebirds with five total bases and three RBIs, including a two-run home run in the second inning to cap off a five-run inning. Continuing a system-wide trend of excellent infield play, shortstop Fredrick Bencosme and third baseman Isaac De Leon combined to go 4-9 with a double, three runs scored and five RBIs.

Heston Kjerstad (Orioles #9 prospect) also continued his hot streak on his road back from an injury-riddled beginning to his career. A fifth-inning single extended Kjerstad’s hit streak to five games and brought his season average to .400 with a .957 OPS. The former No.2 overall pick has hit safely in seven of his eight games at Delmarva but is still in search of his first professional home run.

Box Score