Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 20, Charlotte Knights 1
Hooooooly moley! Just when you thought the Norfolk Tides couldn’t possibly look more dominant, they play a game like this to reinforce why they’re possibly the scariest team in minor league baseball. The Tides, who played a doubleheader the previous day, were the only O’s affiliate that didn’t play a twin bill on Saturday. And yet, they still produced two games’ worth — heck, more than two — of hits and runs in this incredible offensive display.
Where do we even begin? How about the fact that the Tides smacked 24 (!!!) hits, a franchise record. Six different hitters collected at least three hits each! And leadoff man Terrin Vavra, playing his second game since being demoted by the Orioles, went 5-for-7 with two doubles! Vavra also ended up playing catcher at the end of this game. The guy is versatile.
Colton Cowser, Jordan Westburg, and Connor Norby — ranked #5, #6, and #9, respectively, in Camden Chat’s composite prospect rankings — had three hits apiece, five of which were doubles. Non-roster veterans Lewin Díaz and Daz Cameron each had three hits as well, including a homer. Cameron’s was an opposite-field grand slam that capped an eight-run second inning. Norfolk was 11-for-25 with men in scoring position, which is absurd.
The beneficiary of the ample run support was erstwhile Oriole Cole Irvin, and he pitched pretty well, giving up just one run in six innings. He was facing a Charlotte lineup in which eight of the nine hitters are guys with major league experience, including rehabbing White Sox Tim Anderson and Hanser Alberto. The Tides have scored 37 runs in Irvin’s last two starts. No pitcher will complain about that kind of run support. Norfolk is now 18-7.
Double-A: Bowie Baysox 1, Richmond Flying Squirrels 0 (Game 1— 7 inn.)
How do you win a game when your offense scores only one run? The answer: your pitchers give up only one hit. That’s precisely what Baysox hurlers did in this masterpiece of a Game 1 performance. Left-hander Cade Povich, the Orioles’ #12 prospect (and their top pitching prospect who wasn’t in the big leagues yesterday), was absolutely sensational. In five innings, he racked up an eye-popping 10 strikeouts, which accounted for 10 consecutive outs from the first inning through the fourth. Save for an Ismael Munguia double in the third, Povich was essentially unhittable. Just overpowering stuff.
Mychal Givens, making his first rehab appearance, followed Povich with a scoreless sixth, and Jensen Elliott closed things out in the seventh. The Baysox offense was quiet, managing just five hits, all singles. Heston Kjerstad (#10) had two of them and César Prieto (t-#23) one. A Donta’ Williams sac fly provided the game’s only run.
Richmond 6, Bowie 4 (Game 2— 7 inn.)
The nightcap didn’t go as well for the Baysox, as the Squirrels flew out to a big lead that they never relinquished. Bulk reliever Garrett Stallings gave up five runs and six hits after Peter Van Loon had started the game with two scoreless.
Kjerstad and Prieto were both held hitless in Game 2, but outfielder John Rhodes (t-#23) had two hits and first baseman Coby Mayo (#8) doubled. Center fielder Zach Watson homered in the losing effort.
High-A: Wilmington Blue Rocks 4, Aberdeen IronBirds 2 (Game 1— 7 inn.)
The opener of Aberdeen’s doubleheader was a low-offense affair, with the two teams combining for just seven hits. The Blue Rocks, though, were able to turn just three hits into four runs. They did most of their damage in the first inning against IronBirds starter Trace Bright. Bright allowed five consecutive baserunners — single, double, and three walks — during Wilmington’s three-run rally, bringing his night to an early end after he recorded just two outs. Ignacio Feliz and Ryan Long did a solid job in long relief to restore order.
The IronBirds offense didn’t do much, but Jackson Holliday continued to do Jackson Holliday things. The Birds’ top prospect who isn’t in the majors, Holliday was the only IronBird who reached base twice, collecting a single and a walk. He also notched his first stolen base at the High-A level. Max Wagner (#16 prospect) tripled for Aberdeen’s only extra-base hit. Left fielder Reed Trimble (t-#30) had to exit with an unspecified injury after making a catch on the first play of the game.
Wilmington 3, Aberdeen 2 (Game 2— 7 inn.)
The IronBirds had a chance to split the doubleheader, carrying a 2-0 lead into the fifth, but a three-run Wilmington rally turned the tide. James Wood, the Nationals’ #1 prospect (and part of last year’s Juan Soto trade), put the Blue Rocks ahead with a two-run homer.
Aberdeen’s six hits were split between six different batters, including Holliday, Wagner, Dylan Beavers (#11), and Jud Fabian (#13). As a team, the IronBirds struck out 12 times and walked only once.
Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 5, Salem Red Sox 3 (Game 1— 7 inn.)
A last at-bat rally propelled the Shorebirds to victory, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to come back from a 3-2 deficit. After Salem walked the bases loaded, RBI singles by Carter Young and Samuel Basallo (#14) provided the key hits. Those were the Shorebirds’ only two hits in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position, but they came at a good time. Basallo drove in three runs and had two hits in the game.
On the mound, Juan De Los Santos and Deivy Cruz split the seven innings between them, with De Los Santos working four and Cruz three. They combined to strike out nine and give up just one hit — a Luis Ravelo home run — but also issued seven walks.
Delmarva 4, Salem 2 (Game 2— 7 inn.)
Of the four teams in the O’s organization that played doubleheaders yesterday (including the Orioles themselves), the Shorebirds were the only one to sweep theirs. Good job! Delmarva’s best prospect, Basallo, opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first. He’s hitting .313 with an .858 OPS.
Pitchers Bradley Brehmer, Darlin Alcantara, and Yaqui Rivera scattered nine hits in seven innings but held Salem to two runs. By winning both games of the twin bill, the Shorebirds improved their record to 12-7.
Sunday’s scheduled games:
- Norfolk: at Charlotte, 1:05 PM. Starter: Chris Vallimont (0-0, 0.82)
- Bowie: vs. Richmond, 1:05 PM. Starter: TBD
- Aberdeen: at Wilmington, 1:05 PM. Starter: TBD
- Delmarva: vs. Salem, 2:05 PM. Starter: TBD