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Orioles minor league recap 4/27: Kjerstad homers and triples for Bowie

The former top pick continues his impressive start in Double-A. Meanwhile, Westburg homers again, Zimmermann looks good, the middle of Aberdeen’s lineup goes off, and the Delmarva pitchers are effectively wild.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles Photo by George Kubas/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Triple-A: Charlotte Knights (White Sox) 2, Norfolk Tides 1

The only scoring from the Norfolk offense came on a Jordan Westburg solo homer in the second inning, his fifth dong of the season. His two-hit, one-walk day has his season OPS up to .982. Josh Lester added a pair of singles while Colton Cowser, Kyle Stowers, and Anthony Bemboom had one knock apiece. Cowser walked as well, and now boasts a .293/.420/.500 batting line, particularly impressive considering his slow start.

Bruce Zimmermann continued his strong start to the season. Over six innings the Maryland native allowed just two runs on two hits, four walks, and five strikeouts. He has positioned himself as the next man up should someone in the Orioles rotation falter. Phoenix Sanders and Darwinzon Hernández combined to strike out three over two perfect frames.

Double-A: Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants) 9, Bowie Baysox 3

It was a tougher day for the Bowie pitching staff. Connor Gillispie started and allowed four runs on seven hits, no walks, and two strikeouts. Most of the damage came on three straight batters in the second hitting: double, double, home run. Carlos Tavera was first in relief, and he also had his hands full, especially in the seventh inning. That’s when the Squirrels stole two bases, worked a pair of walks, smacked two doubles, and Tavera uncorked a wild pitch. At least Wandisson Charles and Xavier Moore had good days, combining to strike out six over 2.1 scoreless innings.

There were some positives on offense. Heston Kjerstad continues his assault on Double-A pitching. The right fielder went 2-for-4 with a triple, a home run, and two RBI out of the leadoff spot. His OPS is up to 1.021. Coby Mayo struck out thrice but also doubled. César Prieto and Ramón Rodriguez both singled and walked. Donta’ Williams had two bases on balls. Jacob Teter drove in the other run.

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 9, Wilmington Blue Rocks (Nationals) 1

The middle of the Aberdeen lineup had a huge day. Dylan Beavers doubled and homered from the cleanup spot. Jud Fabian had three hits, including his third homer, plus a stolen base from the five hole. And Adam Retzbach, hitting sixth, added a pair of singles plus an RBI to maintain his team-leading .931 OPS. Jackson Holliday remains on the hunt for his first hit with Aberdeen. The shortstop was 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Frederick Bencosme had himself a nice day with a double, a triple, one RBI, and a run.

It was a lights out performance from the pitching staff as well. Jean Pinto started and allowed one run on two hits, one walk, and six strikeouts over four innings. Keagan Gillies nabbed the win with his one scoreless inning. Ryan Hennen struck out four over two hitless innings to record a hold. And then Dylan Heid closed out the win with five strikeouts over the game’s final two innings.

Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 3, Salem Red Sox 1

Delmarva pitchers had an effectively wild sort of day. As a unit they issued nine walks, but they also struck out 12 while allowing only two hits and one run. Moises Chace tossed four scoreless and struck out six. Alfred Vega allowed the one run by walking four in his 0.2 inning stint. Hugo Beltran recorded two strikeouts over 2.1 scoreless. And it was Reese Sharp who took the win, walking two and striking out four in two innings.

Shorebirds hitters had to manufacture all three of their runs. They scored on a bases loaded double play in the third, and then on a pair of singles in the eighth. Stiven Acevedo, Samuel Basallo, and Creed Willems had one hit each; Roberto Martinez had two, and Adam Crampton worked two walks and stole a base.

Box Scores

Thursday’s Schedule

  • Norfolk: at Charlotte, 7:04. SP: DL Hall (0-1, 4.41 ERA)
  • Bowie: vs Richmond, 6:35. SP: Justin Armbruester (1-1, 1.26 ERA)
  • Aberdeen: at Wilmington, 6:35, SP: TBA
  • Delmarva:vs Salem, 7:05., SP: Jared Beck (0-1, 7.59 ERA)