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Orioles minor league recap 8/19: O’s affiliates pull off a clean sweep

All four teams won, including dramatic comebacks by Norfolk and Aberdeen.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles
DL Hall struck out the side in a perfect inning of work. That’ll play.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 9, Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals) 6

The Norfolk offense showed out on Friday night, roaring back from an early five-run deficit to post a nine-run, 12-hit attack. The Tides snapped a six-all tie in the ninth by opening the inning with four straight hits, including a Josh Lester go-ahead single and a Lewin Díaz RBI double, to take control of the game.

Nearly every hitter in the Norfolk lineup contributed to the scoring, beginning with leadoff man Colton Cowser, who rocketed a home run in the fifth. It was Cowser’s 11th of the year for the Tides and his first since the Orioles demoted him back to the minors earlier this week. Coby Mayo also homered, his fifth at Triple-A, as part of a two-hit day. Kyle Stowers hit a dinger, and Joey Ortiz laced a pair of doubles.

Starting pitcher Bruce Zimmermann had a rough go of it, giving up four runs and six baserunners in just 1.2 innings to press the bullpen into early work. For the most part, though, the relievers excelled, especially DL Hall, who struck out all three batters he faced in a perfect seventh inning. It feels like it won’t be much longer until Hall joins the Orioles’ bullpen for the stretch run. T.J. McFarland worked 2.1 scoreless frames, and Logan Gillaspie and Wandisson Charles finished things off with a perfect inning apiece.

Box score

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 3, Altoona Curve (Pirates) 1

First things first: Jackson Holliday went 0-for-3 with a walk. Gasp! He’s now just 2-for-15 in this series and, apparently, is mortal. But the rest of the lineup eked out just enough offense to win despite no extra-base hits, breaking a 1-1 tie in the eighth on a Silas Ardoin RBI single and Maxwell Costes sac fly. Outfield prospects Dylan Beavers, Jud Fabian, and John Rhodes collected a hit apiece, and Rhodes threw out a runner at the plate. Third baseman Max Wagner had two singles.

Starter Brandon Young, in his first appearance for the Baysox since April 22, 2022, worked five shutout innings, followed by two frames apiece from Ignacio Feliz and Ryan Hennen. The only run the Baysox gave up was unearned. The southpaw Hennen, signed as a minor league free agent last August, earned the win in his Double-A debut.

Box score

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 7, Wilmington Blue Rocks (Nationals) 6

The IronBirds pulled off a sensational, come-from-behind victory, scoring four runs in the bottom of the ninth to turn a three-run deficit into a walkoff win. What’s more impressive, the rally began after the first two batters of the ninth were retired. Luis Valdez walked and was singled home by Elio Prado. Samuel Basallo walked and, after a double steal put both runners in scoring position, Frederick Bencosme brought them both home with a game-tying single. Bencosme then stole both second and third base before Creed Willems ended it with a walkoff single. Two walks, three singles, and four steals. Now that’s a rally.

Basallo reached base three times in the game with a triple and two walks, and Prado homered. On the mound, Antonio Velez vultured the win in relief with a perfect ninth inning after Juan Nuñez, Reese Sharp, and Jake Lyons gave up two runs apiece.

Box score

Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 7, Salem Red Sox 1

The Shorebirds had an easy time with the Red Sox, scoring five runs in the second inning and cruising from there. Delmarva actually hit for the cycle in that inning, which included an Anderson De Los Santos double, a Jalen Vasquez RBI single, an Angel Tejada triple, and a Stiven Acevedo two-run homer. There were also a couple of sac flies, if you’re into that sort of thing. Vasquez, the Orioles’ 20th-round pick in the 2023 draft, picked up two hits and a walk in this game. Enrique Bradfield Jr. and Mac Horvath, the Orioles’ first- and second-round picks, both had the night off.

Right-hander Zach Peek, making his second rehab start after 2022 Tommy John surgery, had a shaky outing. He allowed three hits, a walk, a hit batsman, and a wild pitch, but no runs in 1.1 innings. Relievers Alejandro Méndez, Ty Weatherly, and Blake Money were, well, money. Each one pitched at least two shutout innings, and they combined for 11 strikeouts and no walks.

Salem’s lineup featured back-to-back hitters whose first names are Johnfrank and Johanfran. That has nothing to do with the game, but I just thought it was fun.

Box score

Saturday’s scheduled games:

  • Norfolk: at Memphis, 7:35 PM. Starter: TBD
  • Bowie: vs. Altoona, 6:35 PM. Starter: TBD
  • Aberdeen: vs. Wilmington, 7:05 PM. Starter: TBD
  • Delmarva: vs. Salem, 7:05 PM. Starter: Luis De León (2-0, 1.20)