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Orioles minor league recap 8/16: Means, Holliday struggle for Bowie, Basallo shines for Aberdeen

The Orioles former ace struggled greatly in his second rehab outing, while their star catching prospect powered the IronBirds to victory.

Baltimore Orioles Photo Day Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Triple-A: Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals) 5, Norfolk Tides 0

The Tides got a not-so-friendly visit from a familiar face in their loss to Memphis on Tuesday. Lefty Drew Rom—traded to the Cardinals’ organization as part of the Jack Flaherty trade—threw six shutout innings against his former teammates while picking up eight Ks. Rom only allowed three base runners all game: a leadoff walk to Connor Norby in the top of the 1st, a single by Joey Ortiz in the 4th and a walk to Maverick Handley in the 6th. At one point, Rom set down nine Norfolk hitters in a row—and only one of those hitters managed to get the ball out of the infield.

The dominance from the former member of the Tides overshadowed a great outing from Norfolk starter Chayce McDermott. The 24-year-old righty went five innings, allowing four hits and one run, while striking out seven. Memphis’ only run off McDermott came in the 3rd inning, when DH Nick Dunn led off the inning with a single and then came around to score on a triple from Cardinals’ top prospect Mason Wynn. The start continues a hot stretch for McDermott, who has now thrown 16 innings over his last two starts, allowing only two runs and striking out 20.

The Red Birds did tag Noah Denoyer for three runs without Denoyer recording an out in the bottom of the 6th, effectively putting the game out of reach. The Tides only had two additional base runners after Rom left the game—singles from Kyle Stowers and Josh Lester—and no Norfolk runner ever advanced past first base.

Box Score`

Double-A: Altoona Curve (Pirates) 8, Bowie Baysox 4

John Means and the Baysox were roughed up early on and they never quite rebounded in their loss to the Curve. Making his second rehab start at Bowie, Means gave up a leadoff double in the top of the 1st and things didn’t get better from there. Altoona followed with an RBI single to make things 1-0, and then tacked on two more runs with a two-out walk and a two-run double. After striking out the first batter in the 2nd inning, Means hit the next batter and that signaled the end of his outing. The 30-year-old veteran lefty finished with a line of 1.1 innings, three hits, four earned runs, two walks and four strikeouts.

The Baysox’ bullpen couldn’t quite stem the bleeding, as Nick Richmond relieved Means and walked the first batter he faced. Then, after Altoona bunted the runners over to second and third, Richmond uncorked a wild pitch to make things 4-0. The Curve added to their advantage in a similar manner in the top of the 3rd, as they loaded the bases with two singles and a walk before scoring their fifth run on another Richmond wild pitch.

The Baysox finally got on the board in the bottom of the 3rd, but it was too little, too late. The Curve stretched their lead to 8-2 with a run apiece in the 7th and 8th innings. Bowie did get those runs back when John Rhodes scored in an error in the 8th and Jackson Holliday collected a sac fly in the 9th. Just as it was a rough day for Means, it was an equally rough day for Holliday, who went 0-4 with three strikeouts. It’s only the sixth time all season that Holliday put up 3+ Ks in one game.

Box Score

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 8, Wilmington Blue Rocks (Nationals) 6

Young Dominicans Samuel Basallo and Frederick Bencosme, part of the Orioles’ international prospect revolution, showed out on Tuesday night in a win for Aberdeen. Basallo got the scoring going against the Blue Rocks, as he launched a double to left-center in the bottom of the 3rd to score two. Bencosme then singled to right field to score Basallo and make things 3-0.

With the Blue Rocks up 4-0, Basallo and Bencosme played a big part in another rally in the 5th. After a leadoff single from center fielder Elio Prado, Basallo singled to center to put IronBirds runners on first and third with no outs. Bencosme wasted little time in pushing the lead to 5-0, as he singled home Prado on a grounder through the right side. Both Basallo and Bencosme then came around to score on a Jacob Teter double to balloon the IronBird lead to 7-0. The two Baby Birds finished with identical stat lines, each collecting three hits, two RBIs and scoring two runs.

That big lead was put to the test, however, thanks to some shaky play from the Aberdeen bullpen. A leadoff walk from starter Trace Bright in the 6th turned into three runs after Ryan Hennen came in and immediately gave up an RBI double and a two-run home run. Wilmington cut things to 7-4 with a run in the 7th, but Bencosme restored Aberdeen’s four run lead after scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom of the inning. The Blue Rocks scored another two runs in the 8th, and had two on with one out in the 9th, but ultimately couldn’t complete the comeback.

Box Score

Low-A: Salem Red Sox 6, Delmarva Shorebirds 2

First-round pick Enrique Bradfield Jr. continued his hot start with the Shorebirds, but it wasn’t enough to propel them to victory against the Red Sox. Delmarva fell behind early thanks to a Salem four spot in the top of the 2nd inning. Starter Edgar Portes started the inning by giving up a double, and Salem followed that up with a walk, three straight singles and a wild pitch to establish an early 4-0 lead over Delmarva.

The Shorebirds tried to chip away at the deficit with runs in the 3rd and 5th innings. Shortstop Jalen Vasquez led off the 3rd with a single, moved to third on a walk and a ground out, and scampered home on a wild pitch from Salem starter Jose Ramirez. In the 5th Vasquez once again led off the inning with a single and then moved to third on a fly out and a ground out. Bradfield reached on an infield single to drive home Vasquez and make it 4-2.

Those would be the last runs Delmarva scored, however, and Bradfield’s single was their last hit of the night. The 2023 first rounder from Vanderbilt definitely was the star of the day for the Shorebirds, going 2-4 with an RBI and two stolen bases. Bradfield has consistently shown off his top-of-the-scale speed in his brief time at Delmarva, as he already has 10 stolen bases without being caught in eight games for the Shorebirds.

Box Score

Wednesday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk Tides at Memphis Redbirds, 7:45pm ET. TBD vs. TBD
  • Bowie Baysox vs. Altoona Curve, 6:35pm ET. TBD vs. TBD
  • Aberdeen IronBirds vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks, 7:05pm ET. Kyle Virbitsky vs. TBD
  • Delmarva Shorebirds vs. Salem Red Sox, 7:05pm ET. Juan Rojas vs. TBD