Triple-A: Durham Bulls (Rays) 5, Norfolk Tides 3
The Tides lost to the Bulls again, overpowered by MLB’s No. 33 prospect, Taj Bradley, who struck out eight in five innings.
Once Bradley was out of the game, the Tides homered against three consecutive Durham relievers, though it still wasn’t enough to close the gap. The good news is that the home runs were authored by top O’s prospects Kyle Stowers (his 17th of the year, .889 OPS), Robert Neustrom (2-for-4, .742 OPS) and GUNNAR HENDERSON (1-for-4, .872 OPS), who also found time the week prior to share some hitting tips in this nice interview with MiLB. Rylan Bannon and Richie Martin also doubled.
For the Tides, a rehabbing Kyle Bradish took a tough-luck loss on an otherwise successful day: Bradish threw 4.2 innings, struck out 6, and gave up two earned runs on one home run. After him, Beau Sulser was less effective (three runs allowed in 1.1 innings) and Denyi Reyes was good (two scoreless, two strikeouts).
Double A: Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants) 7, Bowie Baysox 6
Bowie managed to squander a 6-0 lead after two innings. In the third, Justin Ambruester allowed a walk, single and served up a three-run home run, marring what was otherwise a decent four innings of work. Garrett Stallings also pitched well for two innings before allowing Richmond to tee off in the sixth, giving up two home runs and four runs (two earned).
It’s hard to know from the box score whether Bowie hitters deserve credit or Richmond pitchers blame for a six-run effort because the runs came on five hits and … eight walks. Either way, pacing the offense were Shayne Fontana (2-for-5, 3 RBI) and César Prieto (2-for-5, 2 R). Joey Ortiz singled and scored a run. The top two hitters, Connor Norby and Colton Cowser, both took 0-fers.
High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 7, Greenville Drive (Red Sox) 5
Remember Toby Welk? Assigned to Bowie to start the season, Welk was put on the IL on April 16 with what was listed as a knee sprain and didn’t play again ‘til July 8. For now, his rehab in Aberdeen is going pretty well: he’s .435 in 11 at-bats and had three hits on Sunday, including an RBI double.
Aberdeen stormed back from a 5-3 deficit with three runs in the sixth and one more in the ninth, courtesy of a flurry of extra-base hits: Ryan Higgins doubled in a run, leadoff man Collin Burns hit a two-run homer, and John Rhodes hit a home run, too. Heston Kjerstad singled, walked, and scored two runs.
Carlos Tavera had a decent three-inning, one-run start, striking out four. Peter Van Loon followed him, and wasn’t as effective (3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 4 K), but he got the win anyway. Rickey Ramirez somehow managed to walk four batters in one inning. But minor-league free agent signing Nick Richmond pitched two great innings, allowing no runs and striking out three.
Low-A: Fredericksburg Nationals 10, Delmarva Shorebirds 8
A bad collective effort by Delmarva pitchers took leads of 3-1 and 8-3 and turned them into an L.
The bad: Darlin Alcantara allowed three runs in 2.2 innings while walking four. The good: Angel Vargas and Dylan Heid each pitched one-or-more scoreless innings. The ugly: Alejandro Mendez and Joel Benítez gave up four and three earned runs, respectively, Benítez throwing two wild pitches and hitting a batter in the ninth inning alone.
On offense, the Shorebirds put up a balanced nine-hit effort. Reed Trimble, a 2021 competitive balance pick, doubled in a run and walked. Frederick Bencosme, hitting .372, singled twice and drove in one. Roberto Martinez (.253, .699 OPS) and Luis Valdez (.273, .692 OPS) each contributed an RBI, and Trendon Craig, a 20th-rounder in 2021, had two hits.