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Orioles minor league recap 7/2: DL Hall gets back on track with dominant outing

The Orioles’ top lefty pitching prospect rebounded from his recent struggles with a strikeout fest for Norfolk, while Heston Kjerstad homered for Delmarva.

Baltimore Orioles Photo Day Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 2, Gwinnett Stripers (Braves) 0

You guys, DL Hall is officially back in business. After two straight miserable starts in which he gave up a total of 12 runs, 10 hits, and 10 walks in 7.2 innings, Hall reportedly noticed he was tipping pitches and tweaked his delivery. I’d say it worked.

Hall, tied as the Orioles’ #3 prospect, was back to his dominant ways on this night, which began with the lefty striking out all three batters he faced in the first inning, then fanning two more in a perfect second. Hall made mincemeat of a Gwinnett lineup that included seven hitters with big league experience, including a rehabbing Eddie Rosario and erstwhile Oriole Pat Valaika. Hall ultimately worked four scoreless innings of one-hit ball, struck out eight, and — perhaps most encouragingly — allowed just one walk, the fewest of his Triple-A career. Hall threw 44 of 71 pitches for strikes. It’s a bit surprising he was pulled as early as he was, since he’d thrown 80 or more pitches in each of his last four starts, but maybe the Tides wanted to get him off the mound on a positive note.

Long reliever Chris Vallimont was equally if not more dominant than Hall, as the May waiver claim threw five scoreless, no-hit innings with one walk and six strikeouts to earn the victory. It was a nice bounceback for Vallimont, who’d coughed up six runs in his Triple-A debut last week. The brilliant pitching was enough to make the Tides’ two runs stand up. One scored on an RBI double by Jordan Westburg! (#6) and the other on a homer by Kelvin Gutierrez, which made up for his two errors. GUNNAR HENDERSON (#3 tied) took the hat trick with three strikeouts, but also drew a walk.

Box score

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 4, Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants) 2

The Baysox improved to a perfect 4-0 since the three-pronged promotions of Colton Cowser, Coby Mayo, and Connor Norby. While Cowser (#3 tied) didn’t play this game, the other two both contributed. Norby (#11) went 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base out of the leadoff spot, while Mayo (#7) roped an RBI single before leaving the game with back spasms. Hudson Haskin (#18 tied) swatted his 10th home run.

Righty Noah Denoyer turned in another fine outing on the mound. Denoyer, making his first start after opening the year with 13 long relief appearances, held Richmond to just one earned run in five innings, striking out nine and walking none. The 24-year-old now has a 1.73 ERA in nine games at Double-A. Adam Stauffer earned the win with three scoreless innings of relief, and Shelton Perkins notched his third save.

Box score

High-A: Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox) 9, Aberdeen IronBirds 1

The IronBirds were feeling the loss of Cowser, Mayo, and Norby on this night, as they managed just one run and five hits in an uncompetitive loss. Their only run came on a solo homer by catcher Andres Angulo. Shortstop Darell Hernaiz (#29 tied) had two hits batting leadoff. He also stole a base and was caught once, making him 10-for-12 in steal attempts at High-A.

Starter Ignacio Feliz had a rough night, surrendering four hits, four runs, and five walks in four innings. Reliever Daniel Lloyd was charged with five runs as well, but only one was earned, thanks to errors by right fielder Davis Tavarez and second baseman Billy Cook.

Box score

Low-A: Fredericksburg Nationals 9, Delmarva Shorebirds 2

Heston Kjerstad dinger alert! Heston Kjerstad dinger alert! The 2020 first round pick (and #10 prospect) continued his blazing start to his professional career by swatting his second troundtripper, part of a two-hit day. He’s now batting .433 with a 1.133 OPS in 16 games.

This was a close game for a while until the Nationals erupted for a seven-run seventh inning that made it a laugher. Righty reliever Yaqui Rivera was the unfortunate victim, coughing up all seven of those runs (six earned) while recording just one out. Cut him some slack, though, he’s only 18 years old. Before that, righty Edgar Portes delivered a quality start, giving up just one earned run in six solid innings.

Box score

Saturday’s scheduled games:

  • Norfolk: vs. Gwinnett, 6:35 PM. Starter: Blaine Knight (1-2, 6.70)
  • Bowie: vs. Richmond, 6:35 PM. Starter: Zach Peek (0-2, 2.68)
  • Aberdeen: vs. Winston-Salem, 7:05 PM. Starter: Houston Roth (5-2, 4.68)
  • Delmarva: at Fredericksburg, 6:05 PM. Starter: Darlin Alcantara (0-0, 4.50)