Triple-A: Memphis (Cardinals) 5, Norfolk Tides 0
The Tides were close to having as many errors (2) as they did hits (3), usually not a recipe for success. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Kyle Stowers had two of the three hits, and GUNNAR HENDERSON, occupying the leadoff spot, had a hit and drew a walk as well. That’s a .940 OPS through 39 games at Triple-A for Henderson, which, you know, that doesn’t suck. It was 0-fors all the rest of the way down.
Tides starter and 40-man pitcher Chris Vallimont was victimized by one big inning, giving up four runs in the third inning. On the plus side for him, given the command problems he had before the Orioles claimed him, he only walked one batter. The 5.46 ERA he’s sporting with the Tides is not as much of a plus. Recently-demoted reliever Rico Garcia tossed two scoreless innings.
Double-A: Altoona (Pirates) 6, Bowie Baysox 4
Brenan Hanifee’s return to the mound after a long layoff was one of the stories to watch. It’s gone poorly through three starts with the Baysox. Here, he gave up five runs without completing the first inning. There’s got to be a lot of rust to shake off, but you surely would have hoped for better. There was no coming back from that deficit, though they did try their best.
The Baysox were able to pick up their four runs on only six hits. Second baseman Connor Norby delivered his third home run in four games, giving him five since joining Bowie. Center fielder and #5 overall pick last year Colton Cowser doubled and walked in the game, which actually lowers his OBP at this level because it’s over .400. A 1.155 OPS in 23 games? Yeah, dude, that’s the good stuff.
High-A: Asheville (Astros) 17, Aberdeen IronBirds 3
This one was a disaster almost from the get-go. Aberdeen pitchers allowed at least one run in all but one inning of the game, multiple runs in all but two. The starting pitcher was Jean Pinto, who was bombed for nine runs, seven earned, in only 2.2 innings. That included allowing three home runs. Ouch. Pinto’s season ERA has ballooned from 4.02 to 4.79 with this outing. Pitchers following him also struggled.
Were the hitters much better? Well, sort of. They did pick up three runs on nine hits. Some days, that’s enough. Just not this time. The two most interesting prospects in the lineup - Darell Hernaiz and John Rhodes - were 0-4 in the game. Hernaiz is hitting .302/.348/.508 in July, which is still OK.
Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 10, Lynchburg (Guardians) 7
We needed to see a good offensive output from a farm team after the top three levels, and Delmarva delivered. It’s a good thing they did, because their pitchers labored, starting with Edgar Portes, a 19-year-old righty who allowed three runs in two innings. He was in the game long enough to walk three batters.
The Shorebirds poured 14 hits onto the Hillcats, led by outfielder Trendon Craig. With three singles and two walks, Craig was on base five times. That’ll help the OBP! Outfielder Mishael Deson had two hits and drove in three runs, while recently-hot infielder Frederick Bencosme hit his second home run of the season and also drew a walk. Bencosme has an .844 OPS through 38 games in his age 19 season. I’m interested.
Did Luis Valdez steal a base? No, but that’s only because he stole two! Valdez, a second baseman, was on base three times and scored each time. He is up to 52 stolen bases, one for every card in a standard deck of playing cards.
Saturday’s Scheduled Games
- Norfolk: at Memphis, 6:35. Starter: TBD
- Bowie: vs. Altoona, 6:35. Starter: Justin Armbruester
- Aberdeen: at Asheville, 6:05. Starter: TBD
- Delmarva: at Lynchburg, 6:30. Starter: Darlin Alcantara