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Orioles minor league recap 7/31: Heston Kjerstad and Joey Ortiz keep up the XBH parade in a Norfolk win

The two prospects combined for five hits and four RBIs on Sunday.

MLB: All Star-Futures Game
The dude can mash. Here is Heston Kjerstad hitting a single during the All Star-Futures Game in July.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 6, Nashville Sounds (Brewers) 3

The Tides jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back. Heston Kjerstad kicked off the party in the first inning with a 423-foot bomb to center field. Go ahead, check it out.

Kjerstad went 3-for-5 on Sunday with 7 total bases. He continues to destroy Triple-A pitching and now has a .342 average and 1.023 OPS in 39 games.

No slacker himself, Joey Ortiz drove in three runs with one swing. Here is that swing:

Ortiz is hitting .349 and OPS’ing .972 in 58 games. For both Kjerstad and Ortiz, it sounds like a call-up or a trade is in the near future.

Four Tides pitchers put together a solid effort on Sunday. Ryan Watson pitched 3.2 innings and allowed two runs. Noah Denoyer (3-0, 5.51 ERA) threw 2.1 scoreless to get the win. Kyle Dowdy also threw two scoreless. Ofreidy Gómez allowed one run in the ninth inning.

Box score

Double-A: Somerset Patriots (Yankees) 6, Bowie Baysox 5

Bowie couldn’t do much against the Yankees’ No. 20 prospect, RHP Matt Sauer (5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 7 K). Against the Somerset bullpen they clawed their way back from a hole twice, only to see their pitchers fritter the lead away. Down 2-0 in the sixth, the Baysox rallied for three runs against former Orioles farmhand Jesús Liranzo. Billy Cook and John Rhodes walked then pulled off the double steal. Greg Cullen scored them both with a single. And Anthony Servideo doubled Cullen home.

But Conner Loeprich coughed up the tying run with a pair of doubles and then balked home a fourth run. Bowie would snatch the lead back with a Donta’ Williams two-run home run in the eighth. Again, Bowie pitchers couldn’t hold the line. Nolan Hoffman issued a balk of his own, and two runs scored on a grounder when 1B Jacob Teter made a throwing error.

Box score

High-A: Jersey Shore BlueClaws (Phillies) 4, Aberdeen IronBirds 1 (F/7) — makeup of Jul 29 game

The IronBirds played two on Sunday and lost both. In Game 1, they scored first—on back-to-back singles by Dylan Beavers and Creed Willems and a Frederick Bencosme groundout. But Jake Lyons (L, 5-2, 3.92 ERA) allowed four runs in a hurry: after getting two outs in the second inning, he allowed six consecutive hitters to reach and had to be replaced that inning by Graham Firoved. Kyle Vrbitsky provided needed length with four scoreless innings of relief.

Box score

High-A: Jersey Shore BlueClaws (Phillies) 4, Aberdeen IronBirds 3 (F/10)

Aberdeen lost a heartbreaker in ten innings in Game 2. The IronBirds’ ghost runner in the tenth, Frederick Bencosme, stole third and scored on a sac fly. But Cooper Chandler (L, 5-6, 2.97 ERA) couldn’t retire anyone in the bottom half of the inning and Jersey Shore walked it off a passed ball by Chandler’s replacement, Dylan Heid.

That result notwithstanding, it was a nice day at the plate for a few IronBirds hitters. Catcher Silas Ardoin walked an impressive four times and also singled. 3B Luis Valdez tripled, singled and drove in a run. Dylan Beavers reached four times with two hits and two walks.

Box score

Low-A: Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (White Sox) 2, Delmarva Shorebirds 1

Despite outhitting Kannapolis 8-6, the Shorebirds could only push across one lonely run, which came when DH Erison Placencia singled home Adam Crampton (1-for-4, R, SB). Placencia had a 2-for-4 day. So did CF Trendon Craig. The talented Samuel Basallo singled and stole a base.

Luis de León threw one scoreless inning. Raúl Rangel had a nice Low-A debut, throwing four innings and allowing one run. Alejandro Méndez had control problems, managing to walk three batters and hit one in just one inning, which was enough to allow the game-winner to score.

Box score

Tuesday’s scheduled games:

  • Norfolk: vs. Charlotte, 6:35 PM. Starter: TBD
  • Bowie: vs. Portland, 6:35 PM. Starter: TBD
  • Aberdeen: vs. Hickory, 7:05 PM. Starter: TBD
  • Delmarva: vs. Lynchburg, 7:05. Starter: TBD