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Orioles minor league recap 9/22: Aberdeen falls in Championship finale

Rodriguez was back on the mound for Norfolk, where Norby continues to make a strong first impression. Meanwhile, Aberdeen’s season comes to a disappointing end.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 13, Durham Bulls (Rays) 9

Connor Norby isn’t having much trouble with Triple-A pitching. The second baseman had three hits, including his second home run, out of the leadoff spot. Colton Cowser added two knocks, one of which was his third homer at the level. Brett Phillips had himself a big night as well with a triple and a home run. Joey Ortiz and Jordan Westburg both singled.

Grayson Rodriguez returned to the bump in what could be his final minor league appearance of the season, although that is unclear. The righty’s line is not great as he threw 83 pitches over 3.2 innings while allowing six hits, three runs, three walks, and seven strikeouts. The pitch count was his highest since late May, right before his injury. How he feels bouncing back from that could be the most important determination on whether he gets one more rehab start before a late-season cameo in Baltimore. The three-game set against the Blue Jays to wrap up the year could be the perfect spot for a debut.

The pitchers that immediately followed Rodriguez were not particularly effective. Beau Sulser served up a two-run homer in his 3.1 innings. Louis Head could not record an out, getting toasted for four runs on three hits, a walk, and a home run. Nick Vespi served as a calming influence, getting out of Head’s mess to maintain his perfect Triple-A ERA. Cole Uvila closed up shop with his shutout inning.

High-A: Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays) 4, Aberdeen IronBirds 0 - SAL Championship, Game 3

A sad end to what was a tremendous season for the IronBirds. The offense just could not find their footing against the Hot Rods pitching staff. They totaled just four hits (only one for extra bases) and four walks, and proceeded to go 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Max Wagner’s triple was the big knock while Dylan Beavers, Heston Kjerstad, and Frederick Bencosme added singles. Beavers, Kjerstad, Wagner, and Jud Fabian also worked one walk each.

Peter Van Loon delivered a nice start, tossing four shutout innings while striking out four, walking one, and allowing one hit. Things got messy in the middle of the game for the Aberdeen hurlers. Connor Gillispie served up a few hits to load the bases, and was removed in favor of Kade Strowd. Strowd struck out two to get out of trouble, but not before balking in one of the inherited runners. Strowd stuck around until the seventh, when he got touched up for three runs. The trio of Nick Richmond, Houston Roth, and Xavier Moore combined for 2.2 scoreless innings at the end of the game.

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

Thursday’s Scheduled Games

  • Triple-A Norfolk: at Durham, 6:35. Starting pitcher: TBD