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Orioles minor league recap 4/15: Bradish rehabs, Kjerstad homers again

Norfolk was the only winner on the farm, but several upper-level hitting prospects continued to shine.

Baltimore Orioles v Texas Rangers
Kyle Bradish felt good but struggled with command in his rehab outing with Bowie.
Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 6, Nashville Sounds (Brewers) 1

I’ll get to the hitting prospects in a minute, but first, a round of applause for right-hander Noah Denoyer. The newly minted 40-man roster member and the Orioles’ #25 prospect in Camden Chat’s composite rankings, Denoyer made his first start at the Triple-A level, and boy, did he nail it. Denoyer dominated Nashville over five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, striking out six, and walking none. Denoyer actually took a perfect game into the fifth before the Sounds eked out a pair of singles, but he induced an inning-ending double play to finish his spotless outing. A job well done by the 2019 undrafted free agent, who has turned himself into an intriguing young arm.

A Nashville run in the sixth tied the game and denied Denoyer a win, but the Tides responded in the seventh on a Colton Cowser go-ahead single, then piled on four insurance runs in the ninth, featuring a Daz Cameron two-run homer and Kyle Stowers RBI hit. The top four batters in the Norfolk lineup were on fire, with Cowser (#5 prospect), Connor Norby (#9), Stowers, and Joey Ortiz (#7) combining for nine hits, three by Ortiz and two apiece for the others.

The Tides might have scored more runs except that they grounded into five (5!) double plays. They also turned three double plays defensively. It was a real double play fest out there, folks.

Box score

Double-A: Akron RubberDucks (Guardians) 7, Bowie Baysox 5

Kyle Bradish’s rehab start for Bowie after taking a liner off his foot in Texas two weeks ago was...a bit of a mixed bag. The good news is that the erstwhile O’s right-hander proclaimed himself totally healthy after his outing, saying “the foot feels really good” and “I’ll be ready whenever they want me back up.” The bad news is that he kind of struggled against Double-A hitters. After mowing through three scoreless innings on 48 pitches, Bradish seemed to lose his feel in the fourth, allowing a walk, a single, a wild pitch, and a two-run homer that sparked a four-run Akron rally. Errors by Cesar Prieto and Coby Mayo didn’t help him, either.

Bradish worked five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) and three hits, striking out five. Will the O’s give him another rehab start to work out the kinks, or will they call him back up to a big league rotation that could certainly use the help?

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Heston Kjerstad hit a dinger. The Orioles’ #10 prospect continued his red-hot start to the season, blasting his fourth homer in seven games and boosting his OPS to 1.144. Heston has more than gotten his pro career back on track after missing nearly two full years of action. You love to see it. Also contributing offensively in the losing effort were Mayo (#8), who had two hits, and outfielder John Rhodes (t-#23), who doubled twice and drove in three.

Box score

High-A: Hudson Valley Renegades (Yankees) 4, Aberdeen IronBirds 1

The IronBirds lost their fifth straight game after starting the season 2-0. This was a scoreless contest until the seventh, when the Renegades rallied for four runs against Aberdeen relievers Daniel Federman and Dylan Heid. But kudos to starter Jake Lyons, who tossed four shutout innings.

It was a quiet night offensively for the IronBirds, who didn’t score until the ninth. Dylan Beavers (#11 prospect) had two of the club’s three extra-base hits, a double and a triple. Frederick Bencosme (#20) walked twice and singled, while Jud Fabian (#13) took an 0-fer. Speedster Luis Valdez, coming off a 71-steal season last year, continued to do his thing on the bases with his third stolen base. Not bad for a guy who has only one hit this year.

Box score

Low-A: Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (White Sox) 14, Delmarva Shorebirds 4

It was straight up not a good day for Shorebirds pitchers. Six guys took the mound, and the only one who wasn’t scored upon was Maxwell Costes...who is a position player. Still, there was one actual hurler who performed well; right-hander Darlin Alcantara ate up three innings of long relief, and the only run he allowed was unearned. But Kannapolis hitters feasted on the others, totaling 14 runs on 19 hits. Their first baseman, Tim Elko, went 5-for-6, a performance not too unexpected from a 24-year-old playing in a league where the average player is 21.

The Shorebirds tallied double-digit hits of their own, including three each by catcher Randy Florentino and left fielder Trendon Craig. The team’s second-best prospect, Samuel Basallo (#14), went 1-for-5 as the first baseman. Their best prospect, Jackson Holliday (#3), did not play.

Box score

Saturday’s scheduled games:

  • Norfolk: at Nashville, 7:35 PM. Starter: DL Hall (0-1, 4.91)
  • Bowie: vs. Akron, 6:35 PM. Starter: Cade Povich (0-0, 6.00)
  • Aberdeen: at Hudson Valley, 4:05 PM. Starter: Trace Bright (0-0, 0.00)
  • Delmarva: vs. Kannapolis, 7:05 PM. Starter: Juan De Los Santos (0-1, 4.91)