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Orioles minor league recap 5/22: Jackson Holliday just keeps getting on base

In your latest installment of “Did Jackson Holliday Crush It Yesterday?,” the answer is, Yes, he did.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Triple-A: Syracuse Mets 9, Norfolk Tides 1

Norfolk suffered a rare loss on Sunday, shut out at home until the ninth inning, when Connor Norby went yard. It was his fourth of the season, and just the Tides’ third hit of the afternoon.

Mets starter David Peterson was the No. 20 overall pick in 2017, then dropped off New York’s Top 30 after missing most of 2021 with a foot fracture. Well, he seems to be on the right track now: over eight innings, Peterson allowed just a pair of singles, both by Jordan Westburg, and three walks, including one to Westburg. Pretty impressive that, on a day like that, Westburg reached three times. The Tides’ only run came off reliever Grant Hartwig on the Norby blast.

With this kind of outing, it didn’t matter much what Tides pitchers did, but here’s the news anyway. Five Norfolk pitchers threw a bullpen game and some looked better than others. Keegan Akin threw three scoreless and struck out five. With a 1.50 ERA in Triple-A, he’ll be back with the big league team sometime soon. Kyle Dowdy, a onetime Mets top prospect, threw two good innings and one bad one in which he gave up a three-run bomb. Morgan McSweeney had a terrible outing, walking three hitters and giving up five runs in less than an inning. Eduard Bazardo threw 1.1 scoreless, and Logan Gillaspie allowed a solo home run in the ninth.

Box Score

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 5, Altoona Curve (PIT) 2

Justin Armbruester, selected by Baltimore in the 21st round in 2021, is looking like a gem for Bowie right now. Armbruester allowed just a run in five innings on a solo home run. In eight starts this season, the righty is 2-1 with a 1.58 ERA. He could be striking out more hitters (29 K’s in 40 innings), but it’s hard to argue with these results.

After him, Braylin Tavera threw 2.2 innings with one run allowed, two walks and four strikeouts. Tyler Burch got the hold (0.1 IP, 2 BB, 1 K), and Wandisson Charles earned the save with a scoreless, hitless ninth.

The top five Baysox hitters did all the heavy lifting on Sunday, which includes a 2-for-4, 3-RBI day for Coby Mayo out of the two spot. Mayo doubled and hit his fifth home run of the year, crushing a low fastball over 400 feet:

César Prieto went 1-for-4 with a run scored, and 1B Heston Kjerstad went 2-for-3 with a walk. John Rhodes doubled and TT Bowens, off to a hot start with Bowie, also had a hit.

Box Score

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 6, Winston-Salem Dash (CWS) 1

Jackson Holliday reached base four times on Sunday, going 2-for-4 and walking twice. So what else is new? Holliday is now hitting .395 and OPS’ing 1.229 in High-A. He’s got only 22 games at this level, but it’s uncanny how easy everything seems to be for him, at 19. In fact, in 34 games at two levels this season, he’s reached base every time.

Aberdeen scored three runs in the fourth inning, one in the sixth, and two in the ninth. Jacob Teter, Max Wagner (1-for-5, BB) and Jackson Holliday drove in a run apiece. Jud Fabian (1-for-6) singled and scored. In the ninth, Silas Ardoin walked and Jacob Teter doubled, and both came around to score on a single from Isaac de Leon (2-for-3, 3 RBI).

Dan Federman allowed a solo home run to the third batter he faced, and then shut down Winston-Salem for the rest of the game. He threw 64 pitches in five innings and allowed just six hits, one walk, and he struck out six. Keep it up! Dan Hammer followed him with a scoreless inning (2 BB, 2 K). Hayden Nierman did, too, while showing some nasty movement (2 K). Graham Firoved got the save with two scoreless (2 H, 0 BB, 4 K).

At some point the IronBirds debuted a chain of their own, and Sunday’s players of the game—Federman, de Leon and Firoved—all appeared in a picture posted by manager Roberto Mercado holding it.

Box Score

Low-A: Charleston RiverDogs 7 (TBR), Delmarva Shorebirds 4

Delmarva pitchers threw eight innings and allowed a run or more in six of them. That’s no way to win a ballgame. The massive Jared Beck didn’t have a good outing: he threw 3.1 IP with five runs to his name. He didn’t have a meltdown so much as allow lots of hits (seven) and walks (four). Room for improvement, I guess. Luis Sánchez followed with a scoreless 1.2 innings. Wyatt Cheney threw three innings and allowed two runs on five hits.

The Shorebirds couldn’t muster a ton of offense in this one, with just five hits in the game. But they were pretty well-timed: Elio Prado and Carter Young had back-to-back hits to plate a run in the fifth. They scored a second run on a pair of walks, a Douglas Hodo single and a wild pitch. Samuel Basallo, one of Delmarva’s more reliable bats, drove in two in the ninth. He’s leading Delmarva with an .812 OPS.

Box Score

In related news, The Verge podcast tweeted,

Is this real? If so, any guesses? Prieto/Kjerstad/Armbruester to Norfolk? Creed Willems to Aberdeen? Holliday to Bowie?

Tuesday’s Schedule

  • Norfolk @ Memphis, 7:45 pm. Starter: TBD
  • Bowie @ Akron, 11:05 pm. Starter: TBD
  • Aberdeen vs. Jersey Shore, 7:05 pm. Starter: TBD
  • Delmarva vs. Lynchburg, 11:05 pm. Starter: TBD