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Orioles minor league recap 9/2: Grayson Rodriguez starts rehab in Aberdeen

Colton Cowser, Jordan Westburg and Connor Norby homer in team losses while Bowie’s Noah Denoyer and Aberdeen’s Xavier Moore impress in relief.

SPORTS-BBA-ORIOLES-RODRIGUEZ-BZ Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Triple-A: Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies) 13, Norfolk Tides 6

Well… Norfolk was in a seven-run hole before they ever got on the board, so not an easy one to win. The game actually began with three scoreless innings from Beau Sulser, but after him came a trio of some suckitude: Travis Lakins Sr. (L, 0-1) allowed four runs in 1.1 innings. Zac Lowther gave up three runs in 1.2 innings on a two-run triple and a wild pitch. And new guy Phoenix Sanders allowed four more, courtesy of an RBI single and a three-run home run. Morgan McSweeney threw a scoreless eighth, but Pat Conroy allowed the 12th and 13th Lehigh runs to score in the ninth.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln? Well, Tides hitters did stay competitive even in a blowout, putting up six runs in the final four innings, five coming on a pair of long balls. One was a two-run bomb off the bat of Colton Cowser, his 15th of the year and first hit with Norfolk. The other was Jordan Westburg’s 14th of the season for the Tides, good for three runs. Catcher Brett Cumberland also had three hits.

Double-A: Erie SeaWolves (Tigers) 3, Bowie Baysox 2

It was a good day for both bullpens, as neither team scored a run after the second inning. Justin Ambruester (4-1, 3.81 ERA) got stuck with the loss after allowing three runs on two home runs in the first inning. He’d go three innings, striking out five, so it wasn’t a bad day. After that Noah “The Destroyer” Denoyer was spotless, throwing four scoreless/hitless innings in which he struck out six. Wow. Connor Loeprich pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing one hit and striking out two hitters.

Not a great deal of offense for the Baysox, as you could tell: they put up six total hits, only two for extra bases. One was an Andrew Daschbach double; the other was a solo home run by Connor Norby (his fifteenth of the season). Norby also added a single on a 2-for-4 day. Coby Mayo singled to lead off the second inning, advanced to second on a Toby Welk walk (1-for-3, BB), and scored the Baysox’s second and final run on a single by Andrés Angulo, a catcher signed to a minor league deal in February.

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 4, Hickory Crawdads (Rangers) 3

It’s not easy to win when your No. 1-4 hitters (Billy Cook, Heston Kjerstad, TT Bowens and Trendon Craig) go a combined 0-for-11 with one walk, but Aberdeen did just that, lifted by a two-triple performance from Donta’ Williams. Williams also scored two runs, both courtesy of Jud Fabian, who hit a sac fly and a single. Catcher Ramon Rodriguez singled, doubled, and scored. Chris Givin went 1-for-2 with a run scored.

The real spotlight here, however, was on Grayson Rodriguez in his first rehab outing since he strained his lat back in June. G-Rod, on a strict pitch count, threw just 31 pitches in 1.1 innings, allowing zero runs on one hit, two walks, and one swinging strikeout. But his fastball velo reportedly got up to 98 mph and, in his words, he felt healthy and was finally able to “let it eat.” It’s nice to see G-Rod back out on the mound. Peter van Loon provided valuable length (5.0 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 4 BB, 5 SO). Kade Strowd allowed the Crawdads’ third run to squeak in in the eighth inning, which put closer Xavier Moore in a high-leverage save situation, protecting a one-run lead in the ninth. Moore (1.44 ERA, 52 K is 30.1 IP) did not come to play around: he struck out the side.

Low-A: Fredericksburg Nationals 11, Delmarva Shorebirds 9

This one was, as a certain CC writer likes to put it, a donnybrook. Fredericksburg raced out to a 4-0 lead but Delmarva responded with eight runs of their own. Their lead lasted only half an inning, as Fredericksburg scored five runs off relievers Ryan Long and Cooper Chandler. The Shorebirds closed the gap with a home run in the ninth inning, and even got the tying run to the plate, but the rally died with two consecutive strikeouts.

Shorebirds starter Deivy Cruz threw a rocky 3.1 innings, with six runs allowed on six hits, four walks, a HBP and a wild pitch. It was a bit of a hot mess.

Another decent day for the Shorebirds offense, which put up nine hits and took seven walks, but again, not enough to overcome a pitching meltdown. No. 9 hitter Noelberth Romero had three hits and scored two runs. Carter Young hit a run-scoring double and homered in the ninth. Dylan Beavers hit two doubles. Former Terp Maxwell Costes went 1-for-2 with a two-run single. Jackson Holliday drove in two runs with a single and an RBI groundout. Elío Prado worked an RBI walk.

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

Friday’s Scheduled Games

  • Triple-A Norfolk: vs Lehigh Valley, 7:05. Starting pitcher: Matt Harvey (5-1, 4.84 ERA)
  • Double-A Bowie: at Erie, 6:05. Starting pitcher: TBD
  • High-A Aberdeen: vs Hickory, 7:05. Starting pitcher: TBD
  • Low A Delmarva: at Fredericksburg, 7:05. Starting pitcher: TBD