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Orioles minor league recap 7/14: Kjerstad makes High-A debut

Weather impacted things for Norfolk and Aberdeen, but there was still plenty of action, including an important debut and Cowser hitting a bomb for Bowie.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Arkansas vs Texas Tech Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Triple-A: Worcester Red Sox (Red Sox), Norfolk Tides - Postponed/Rain

Another rough night of weather meant the Tides will instead play a doubleheader on Thursday. Game one is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. at Harbor Park.

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 6, Akron RubberDucks (Guardians) 5

Drew Rom turned in another nice start. Over five innings, the lefty allowed two runs on seven hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts. Both of the runs he allowed came in the fifth inning, when he served up a solo home run and then a pair of singles followed by a run-scoring groundout. The bullpen was not as effective with Conner Loeprich and Jensen Elliott combining to allow three runs over the final four frames.

There was plenty to like on the offensive side of things, though. Colton Cowser went deep for the third time since being promoted to Double-A, and Shayne Fontana smacked a three-run homer later on in the same inning. Cesar Prieto and J.D. Mundy had a double apiece. Connor Norby and Joey Ortiz both singled.

High-A: Jersey Shore BlueClaws (Phillies) 6, Aberdeen IronBirds 3 - Suspended/6

This game started, but had to be paused when the stadium lights did not operate properly. It seems that they will attempt to finish it up on Thursday.

But the big news here was Heston Kjerstad making his High-A debut. The former second overall pick batted cleanup and played right field for the IronBirds, going 1-for-2 with a walk and a single.

The Aberdeen lineup has compiled 10 hits so far. Collin Burns and Ramon Rodriguez have a pair of hits each. Burns, Ryan Higgins, and John Rhodes each doubled. Higgins, TT Bowens, and Darell Hernaiz have driven in a run apiece.

It was not a good night for starter Peter Van Loon. He tossed 59 pitches over 2.2 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits, a walk, and three strikeouts. After Thomas Girard got the final out of the third inning, Houston Roth came on to toss three solid innings, giving up just one run on a solo shot while striking out seven.

Low-A: Carolina Mudcats (Brewers) 1, Delmarva Shorebirds 0

The good news is that the Delmarva pitching staff had themselves an impressive game. Deivy Cruz, an 18-year-old, threw five shutout innings, striking out five in the process. His ERA at the level is 1.56 through 17.1 total innings. Miguel Padilla followed up with three no-hit innings of his own. The only run to scored was unearned, and it came in the eighth inning when the leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch, stole second base, and moved to third on a throwing error by catcher Michael Mantecon.

The bad news is that the Delmarva offense had another tough day. They managed just four hits and a walk while striking out 11 times and going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. The lone extra-base hit belonged to Frederick Bencosme, who singled and doubled. With Kjerstad promoted, the 19-year-old Bencosme is a lone bright spot in the Shorebirds lineup, owning a .366 batting average and .865 OPS on the season

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

Thursday’s Scheduled Games

  • Triple-A Norfolk: vs Worcester, 5:35. Starting pitcher: Matt Harvey (0-0, 3.18 ERA)
  • Triple-A Norfolk: vs Worcester, TBD. Starting pitcher: TBD
  • Double-A Bowie: vs Akron, 5:35. Starting pitcher: TBD
  • Double-A Bowie: vs Akron, TBD. Starting pitcher: TBD
  • High-A Aberdeen: vs Jersey Shore, Finish suspended game. Starting pitcher: N/A
  • High-A Aberdeen: vs. Jersey Shore, 5:35. Jean Pinto (3-3, 3.72 ERA)
  • Low-A Delmarva: at Carolina, 7:00. Starting pitcher: Edgar Portes (0-3, 4.15 ERA)