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Orioles minor league recap 5/31: Jordan Westburg leads the way in a walk-off win for Norfolk

The Tides won in dramatic fashion, the Ironbirds won in dominant fashion, the Baysox squeaked out a W and the Shorebirds couldn’t find a win despite playing two games.

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 9, Gwinnett Stripers (Braves) 7

The Tides continued their winning ways on Tuesday, using two ninth-inning home runs to score a walk-off win against the Stripers. The Tides raced out to an early lead when Jordan Westburg launched his 14th home run in the 1st, a solo shot that put Norfolk up 1-0.

The Tides would continue the momentum that Westburg put into motion with an offensive explosion in the second inning. With two outs and Lewin Díaz and Anthony Bemboom both in scoring position, Shayne Fontana singled to right field to score both and give Norfolk a 3-0 lead. That started a streak of three straight singles that included an RBI single from Westburg to score Fontana. Josh Lester then capped off the offensive outburst with a double to left that brought home Connor Norby and Westburg and pushed the Tides lead to 6-0.

For those who felt this six-run lead was safe, the Stripers set out to prove you wrong. Gwinnett scored one run apiece in the 3rd and 4th innings before dropping a five-run inning of their own in 5th to take a 7-6 lead. The bats for both teams would go quiet until the bottom of the 9th. Díaz led off the final frame with a 1-1 solo HR to right to tie the game at seven. Joseph Rosa then struck out and Anthony Bemboom singled to set up the dramatic finale. After working a 2-1 count, Ben DeLuzio launched a low and away pitch into right field for a two-run, walk-off HR.

While DeLuzio got to be the hero on Tuesday, Westburg remained an offensive force—especially in the continued absence of fellow top prospect Colton Cowser. After going 2-4 with a HR and two RBIs, Westburg now has upped his average to .316 and his OPS to .998. With 14 HRs and 46 RBIs he is tied for second and third in the International League, respectively. His 59 hits on the season are also the 7th best total in the league and trail Connor Norby’s club lead by only two.

Box Score

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 3, Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) 2

A Coby Mayo double in the 5th inning proved the difference Tuesday night as Bowie scored a close win over Harrisburg. The Baysox raced out to an early lead in the 2nd inning. First baseman TT Bowens led off the inning with a double left, and came home on a double by center fielder Donta’ Williams. The outfielder later came around to score after moving to third on a throwing error and then scampering home on a groundout to first.

That lead was short lived, however. Harrisburg got a run back in the 3rd inning after a two-out walk turned into a run off a stolen base and a single. A walk came back to bite Bowie again in the 4th. Starter Peter Van Loon issued a lead off BB, before allowing a single and a sac fly that tied the game at two. The was the end of the line for Van Loon, but reliever Conner Loeprich held things down and got Bowie out of the inning without allowing any more runs.

Bowie quickly bounced back to retake the lead in the 5th. Catcher Tim Susnara bounced a one-out single up the middle and later moved to second on a Heston Kjerstad ground out. Then, on a 2-0 pitch, Mayo laced a double to right, bringing home Susnara and restoring the Baysox’ lead.

Garrett Stallings earned the win after working five shutout innings to close out the game. Stallings worked perfect innings in the 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th while striking out four Senators hitters. The only base runner Stallings allowed came in the 6th inning, when he allowed a two-out single, but closed out the inning with a ground ball two pitches later.

Box Score

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 7, Hudson Valley Renegades (Yankees) 0

Aberdeen starter Alex Pham and reliever Jake Lyons combined to shut down the Renegades, as they tossed the IronBirds’ third shutout of the season. Pham started hot right out the gate, working a perfect 1st inning and ending it on a strikeout. The 23-year-old righty’s toughest inning came in the 2nd, when a hit by pitch and single left him facing a two-on, two-out jam. However, Pham got Hudson Valley outfielder Aldenis Sanchez to ground out to third to end the inning.

Pham worked through the 3rd, 4th and 5th without allowing another hit, as he cruised through the Renegades lineup. The former 19th-round pick finished his outing going five innings, only allowing the one hit and striking out five. Tuesday was Pham’s third start in May where he went five innings while only allowing one hit and striking out at least one batter per inning. With 51 Ks over 36.2 inning this season, the righty is fast becoming one of the best strikeout artists in the Atlantic League.

Lyons came in and picked up right where Pham left off, going four strong innings while only allowing three hits and striking out four. The 24-year-old out of Oklahoma state closed things strong, striking out two in the final inning to earn a save. Lyons is working hard to match Pham K for K, as he’s also on 51 Ks through 35.2 innings.

Offensively, the IronBirds were led by 2022 second-round pick Jud Fabian. The former Florida Gator broke the game open in the 4th inning with a one-out grand slam that gave Aberdeen its seven-run lead. Fabian finished 2-5 with the homer, a double and five RBIs. After snapping his 44-game on base streak Sunday, Jackson Holliday started a new streak by singling, walking and reaching on a hit by pitch.

Box Score

Low-A: Game 1, Fredericksburg Nationals 7, Delmarva Shorebirds 5 (Completion of Game from 4/22/23)

Game 2, Fredericksburg Nationals 2, Delmarva Shorebirds 1 (F/8)

The Shorebirds started off their Tuesday by resuming a game from 4/22/23 that was postponed due to rain. When the game stopped in April, it was in the bottom of the 2nd and the Shorebirds led 2-1. Things stayed that way Tuesday until the 5th inning. In the top of the inning, Delmarva extend their lead after Carter Young led off the inning with a single, moved to third after a single and HBP loaded the bases and then came home on a single from first baseman Erison Placencia.

That two-run lead would disappear quickly though, as Fredericksburg struck back for two runs in the bottom of the 5th. Delmarva pitcher Bradley Brehmer walked the lead off hitter then immediately allowed him to score on an RBI triple to right field. Two batters later, Fredericksburg hit a sac fly to left to bring around the tying run, leaving the game at 3-3.

Stiven Acivedo then led off the 6th inning with a triple and came around to score on an Adam Crampton single to give Delmarva a 4-3 lead. Later in the 6th, Angel Tejada doubled to right to increase the Shorebirds lead to 5-3. Fredericksburg added a run of their own in the bottom of the 6th, but would go onto sink the Shorebirds with a pair of extra base hits. Elijah Green tied the game on an RBI triple in the 7th inning before Paul Witt hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the 8th to seal the game for Fredericksburg.

Game 2 on Tuesday saw much less offense, as the Nationals squeaked out a 2-1 win in eight innings. The Shorebirds got the scoring going early, taking a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning. Isaac Bellony led of the inning with a double to right and then moved to third on a wild pitch. Anderson De Los Santos then handed Delmarva the lead when he ripped a single to left field, driving home Bellony.

That would be the only run the Shorebirds could muster, however, as they only registered two more hits in the rest of the game. Fredericksburg tied things in the bottom of the 5th with a solo shot from Brandon Boissiere before walking things off in extra innings with a lead off single to score their Manfred Man. Despite not factoring in the decision, Delmarva got a strong outing from starter Edgar Portes. The 20-year-old from the Dominican Republic threw four scoreless innings while only allowing one hit and striking out four.

Box Score Game 1

Box Score Game 2

Wednesday’s scheduled games

  • Norfolk Tides vs. Gwinnett Stripers, Game 1, 5:35pm ET. Cole Irvin vs. AJ Smith-Shawver
  • Norfolk Tides vs. Gwinnett Stripers, Game 2, TBD. Drew Rom vs. TDB
  • Bowie Baysox vs. Harrisburg Senators, 6:35pm ET. Chayce McDermott vs. Alemao Hernandez
  • Aberdeen IronBirds at Hudson Valley Renegades, 11:05am ET. Cooper Chandler vs. Tyrone Yulie
  • Delmarva Shorebirds at Fredericksburg Nationals, 7:05pm ET. Juan Nunez vs. TBD