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Orioles minor league recap 6/18: Bowie’s walkoff is only win on the farm

The Baysox walked off for the second straight night, while Norfolk got swept in a doubleheader and Aberdeen and Delmarva were both blanked.

Baltimore Orioles Photo Day
Coby Mayo homered for the third straight day for Bowie.
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Triple-A: Worcester Red Sox 8, Norfolk Tides 6 (Game 1 — 7 inn.)

The opener of a doubleheader was a thriller between the AL East affiliates, as Norfolk fell into an early 5-0 deficit, clawed all the way back to tie the score in the sixth, and then lost anyway when the Red Sox scored three runs in their final at-bat. Tides reliever Ryan Watson coughed up a pair of homers in the seventh for the loss.

Starter Drew Rom worked a perfect first but was scored upon in each of the next four innings. He ultimately allowed five runs (three earned) in five frames, including a homer by veteran major leaguer Bobby Dalbec, and got no help from a sloppy Norfolk defense that committed two errors — one of them by Rom himself — and a passed ball. Mychal Givens worked a scoreless inning on his rehab assignment, giving up a hit and a walk.

Nearly every hitting prospect on the Tides put up a good showing, led as always by Jordan Westburg, who went 3-for-4 with a double. Colton Cowser collected a pair of hits and two RBIs, and Heston Kjerstad smacked his third homer at Triple-A as part of a two-hit night. Connor Norby added an RBI double as well.

Box score

Worcester Red Sox 5, Norfolk Tides 2 (Game 2 — 7 inn.)

It’s rare for the Tides to lose even once on any given night, let alone twice, but Worcester completed the doubleheader sweep behind one big blow, a third-inning grand slam by Enmanuel Valdez. The shot off Norfolk starter Chris Vallimont gave the Red Sox a lead they would never relinquish.

The Tides’ prospect-studded lineup was surprisingly quiet, managing just five hits, and no batter had more than one. Connor Norby’s leadoff homer supplied the first run and Lewin Díaz’s fourth-inning shot the other. Westburg and Kjerstad were a combined 0-for-5. Cowser did not play. Right-hander Andrew Politi, who was in Orioles camp as a Rule 5 pick this spring before being returned to the Red Sox, worked a scoreless seventh for the save. Politi has a 2.97 ERA and five saves in 27 games, but has yet to make his big league debut.

The Tides need a victory today to avoid their first series loss of the season. And if they win and the St. Paul Saints lose, the Tides would clinch the first half International League pennant, securing a spot in the League Championship Series in September.

Box score

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 4, Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants) 3

For the second straight night, the Baysox walked off the Flying Squirrels, with Joseph Rosa delivering a pinch-hit, game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 10th. It was the last of 12 hits for the Bowie offense, which included three-hit performances by both César Prieto — boosting his average to .358 — and Anthony Servideo. Slugging prospect Coby Mayo crushed a home run for the third straight game. Mayo has a cool .976 OPS this season and is making a bid to join the stacked lineup at Norfolk sooner rather than later.

The biggest story of the game was starting pitcher Chayce McDermott, who dominated Richmond hitters with 10 strikeouts in 5.2 innings. He gave up one run on three hits and two walks. The right-hander has allowed just one earned run apiece in his three June starts, striking out 22 batters in that span. He’s also walked just four batters total in those three starts, after walking at least four batters per game for four straight starts to finish May.

Box score

High-A: Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets) 5, Aberdeen IronBirds 0

The IronBirds were sliced up by Blade Tidwell, the Mets’ #5 prospect. The 22-year-old right-hander worked seven scoreless innings and gave up just three hits. Jud Fabian’s double was the only one for extra bases, and Tidwell immediately caught him trying to steal third base. Jackson Holliday took a rare 0-for-3, though he did draw a walk. Dylan Beavers also went 0-for-3 with a free pass.

In happier news, Aberdeen right-hander Alex Pham delivered another outstanding performance, working six innings, striking out nine, and giving up just one hit. That hit, unfortunately, was a Drake Osborn home run in the sixth that ruined both Pham’s no-hitter and shutout. Still, that marks the third time in Pham’s last four starts that he has pitched at least five innings and allowed one or fewer hits, and he has 20 strikeouts in his last two outings. The 19th-round draft pick in 2021 lowered his season ERA to 2.45 and upped his K/9 rate to 13.3.

Box score

Low-A: Salem Red Sox 5, Delmarva Shorebirds 0

Delmarva followed Aberdeen’s unfortunate example, losing by an identical 5-0 score. The Shorebirds managed only three hits, two by right fielder Trendon Craig, and three walks, two by catcher Adam Retzbach. Top Shorebirds prospect Samuel Basallo, playing first base in this one, went 0-for-3 with a walk and also committed two errors. The previously hot Carter Young took an 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

The Shorebirds split the pitching duties equally between right-handers Juan Nuñez and Edgar Portes. Nuñez allowed four runs (three earned) in four innings, while Portes gave up just one unearned in his four. The Red Sox were aggressive on the basepaths, attempting six stolen bases. Retzbach threw out two of the runners but also made two throwing errors.

Box score

Sunday’s scheduled games:

  • Norfolk: vs. Worcester, 1:05 PM. Starter: Bruce Zimmermann (3-3, 3.40)
  • Bowie: vs. Richmond, 1:05 PM. Starter: TBD
  • Aberdeen: vs. Brooklyn, 2:05 PM. Starter: Jean Pinto (1-1, 2.78)
  • Delmarva: at Salem, 3:05 PM. Starter: Moisés Chace (3-2, 5.97)