Triple-A: Worcester Red Sox 6, Norfolk Tides 2
There were promising individual stories here even though the result was a Tides loss. For starters, 40-man pitcher Chris Vallimont took the loss despite a quality start: Two runs allowed on three hits and a walk in a six inning start. He struck out seven batters and now has 22 strikeouts to five walks since arriving with the Tides. One bad outing has his ERA inflated (5.14) but if he keeps pitching like that, it’ll come down.
For the Tides offense, Terrin Vavra was on base four times, picking up two hits and two walks. Jordan Westburg had a pair of hits, and Kyle Stowers was 1-3 with two walks. Westburg’s Triple-A OPS is .931; Stowers and Vavra aren’t far behind at .889 and .888, respectively. These three were the Tides 1-2-3 hitters. Unfortunately, none of them scored any runs or drove in any runs despite all the times they were on base. Rylan Bannon and Yusniel Díaz, the night’s 4 and 5 hitters, both took 0-fors.
Double-A: Bowie Baysox 2, Akron (Guardians) 1
This game was played in a crisp one hour and 52 minutes. It was a noteworthy one because it marked the first game pitched at the Double-A level for Brenan Hanifee, who did not get to pitch in 2021. Hanifee’s debut was capped at three innings, which was still long enough for him to strike out six batters. He allowed a run on two hits and a walk. Hopefully this is the first step of many in the right direction.
In relief after Hanifee came Garrett Stallings, who blanked the RubberDucks for the next six innings, striking out seven batters. This lowered Stallings’s season ERA to a not-so-lucky 7.77.
Runs were in short supply for both teams. The Baysox only got on the board as a result of Joseph Ortiz hitting a pair of home runs. This marked the third straight Bowie game with a batter hitting multiple homers, after Connor Norby and Colton Cowser did this in different games of a doubleheader the day before. Ortiz’s two homers were his fifth and sixth in 77 games. Cowser also collected two hits in the game, leaving his small sample size Bowie OPS at 1.178.
High-A: Jersey Shore (Philles) 4, Aberdeen IronBirds 3
Not a game to remember for Aberdeen, whose fielders committed four errors that led to three unearned runs, and whose hitters only had five hits for the game. The silver lining, such as it is, is that the fate of the Orioles rebuild project doesn’t depend very much on Billy Cook or Andres Angulo, who had two errors each.
Jean Pinto was victimized by the defense a bit, as two of the three runs he allowed were not earned. He didn’t help his own case much though, issuing four walks in four innings, with four hits and four strikeouts to complete the superfecta. Pinto threw 78 pitches. He’s had some good outings this year; this wasn’t one of them.
All of the prospects in the lineup - Darell Hernaiz, John Rhodes, and Heston Kjerstad - were hitless. Kjerstad drew a walk. They’ll have two chances today to do things better, as they’ve got a doubleheader lined up to make up for Tuesday’s postponement.
Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 6, Carolina (Brewers) 2
The Shorebirds are outclassed when it comes to prospects on the roster, which is why their record is 28-56. The whole team can be proud of picking up this win, as it was an all-around effort.
Starting pitcher Ryan Long, honorary cousin of Camden Chat writer Stacey, blanked the Mudcats for the first six innings of the game. The 6’6” right-hander Long was selected by the Orioles in the 17th round last year. He is 22, and after six scoreless innings with five strikeouts tonight, is sporting a 3.38 ERA and a K/9 of almost exactly 9.
Delmarva put up a five-spot in the second inning and coasted from there. Their ten hits were split across eight batters in the lineup; every starter reached base safely at least once. Cristopher Cespedes and Isaac De Leon were the two Shorebirds to record two hits. Leadoff man Luis Valdez was on base twice, though his quest to steal a million bases was thwarted by virtue of his being picked off of first base. He has stolen 43 bases. 43!
Saturday’s Scheduled Games
- Norfolk: vs. Worcester, 6:35. Starter: Bruce Zimmermann
- Bowie: vs. Akron, 6:35. Starter: Justin Armbruester
- Aberdeen: vs. Jersey Shore, 4:05 doubleheader. Starters: Connor Gillispie, TBD
- Delmarva: at Carolina, 5:00. Starter: Juan De Los Santos