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Orioles minor league recap 8/2: Clutch hits from Norby, Ortiz back Stallings in Tides win

Norfolk and Bowie both collected wins thanks to some great pitching and timely hitting, while Aberdeen and Delmarva couldn’t hold onto early leads in their losses.

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 6, Charlotte Knights (White Sox) 3

The trade deadline came and went and the majority of the Tides lineup stayed in Norfolk. A number of top prospects rewarded the faith the front office showed in them by showing out in the Tides win on Tuesday. Connor Norby got the Tides on the board in their first AB of the game, launching a solo HR to right field on the first pitch he saw. The Orioles’ No.6 prospect continues a hot stretch that’s seen him slash .375/.432/.675 with seven extra-base hits and seven RBIs.

Norby doubled the Tides lead in the bottom of the 2nd. Catcher Maverick Handley reached on a two-out single and then Norby ripped a double to left field to bring home Handley—though Norby was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. The 2-0 lead would stand up all the way into the 6th inning, when things briefly fell apart for the Tides. In the top of the 6th, the Knights led things off with a single and then got their first run on a two-base throwing error from shortstop Joey Ortiz. Then, with two outs and a runner on third, Charlotte picked up an RBI double to tie the game at two.

The game stayed tied until the Norfolk offense finally got back on the board with a big rally in the bottom of the 8th. Handley and Norby led off the inning with back-to-back walks. Then, after Heston Kjerstad reached on a fielder’s choice ground to second, Ortiz broke the tie with a double down the line in right that scored both Handley and Kjerstad. The Tides added a couple of insurance runs later in the inning, with Kyle Stowers reaching on an error that allowed Ortiz to score and center fielder Daz Cameron later singling to bring home Ortiz.

Perhaps overshadowed by the timely hitting from Norby and Ortiz was the excellent outing Norfolk got from starter Garrett Stallings. The 25-year-old former 5th-round pick worked eight innings, giving up only two runs (both unearned) while striking out nine. It was Stallings' longest outing of the year and only the second time he’s racked up 9 Ks.

Box Score

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 4, Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox) 3

Bowie raced out to an early lead Tuesday, and then held off a Portland rally in the 9th to seal the victory. Through the first three innings, the bats were largely silent for both teams, as they only had one hit between them. That all changed for the Baysox in the 4th, as RF Billy Cook led off the inning with a solo homer on a 3-2 pitch that he rocketed to left field. That homer gave the Baysox their first run, but they didn’t stop there. With two outs in the 4th, DH Donta’ Williams and second baseman Greg Cullen worked back-to-back walks. Shortstop Anthony Servideo then singled to drive in Williams and give Bowie a 2-0 lead.

In the top of the 5th, 1B Shayne Fontana led off the inning with a single and promptly stole second and third base. Cook then picked up his second RBI of the game, grounding out to third to drive in Fontana. It wasn’t until the top of the 6th that Portland picked up its first hit of the game, but that hit cut the lead to 3-1 thanks to a solo blast from second baseman Nick Yorke.

The Baysox got that run right back in the bottom of the 6th, manufacturing a run in almost the exact same way as in the 5th. Williams led off the inning with a single, and stole second and third. Then, Cullen grounded a single up the middle to drive home Williams and give Bowie a 4-1 lead.

With the way their pitching staff was rolling through the Portland lineup, that three-run lead seemed plenty safe heading into the 9th inning. However, the Sea Dogs worked a one-out walk, and then third baseman Blaze Jordan launched a two-run HR to left-center to cut the Baysox’ lead to one. Reliever Ryan Long recovered from that blunder and stopped the rally in its tracks, striking out the next two batters to finish off Portland.

Box Score

High-A: Hickory Crawdads 5, Aberdeen IronBirds 2

The IronBirds scored in each of the first two innings, but couldn’t hold on to that early lead and the bats fell silent in a loss to the Crawdads. Early on it looked like it could be an explosive offensive game for Aberdeen. Dylan Beavers reached on a one-out single in the bottom of the 1st, and promptly collected his 21st and 22nd stolen bases of the year to advance to third. Creed Willems wasted no time bringing Beavers home, sending a 1-2 pitch into RF for a sac fly to pick up an RBI and bring Beavers home.

The IronBirds got another run through some small ball in the bottom of the 2nd. Shortstop Frederick Bencosme led off the inning with a single through the left side of the infield. Bencosme then stole second, and two batters later his double-play partner Collin Burns drove him home to make things 2-0 in favor of Aberdeen.

In the top of the 3rd, the Crawdads got their first run, starting the inning with a triple and immediately bringing the runner home on a sac fly. The IronBirds failed to respond in the bottom of the 3rd, as Beavers led off the inning with a double, but the following three hitters couldn’t advance him, going down 1-2-3. Hickory then took the lead for good in the top of the 4th, as the first two batters reached and then back-to-back, one-out RBI singles saw the Crawdads take a 4-2 lead.

Aberdeen failed to capitalize on another scoring threat in the bottom of the 5th. After Max Wagner collected a one-out double, Beavers grounded out to third and Willems flew out to right to leave Wagner stranded. That situation would repeat itself in the 6th inning, as 1B Isaac De Leon collected a two-out double but RF Elio Prado couldn’t pick him up, ending the inning on a pop-up to first.

The IronBirds last scoring threat came in the 7th inning, as walks from Burns and Wagner gave them two on and one out. However, back-to-back ground outs from Beavers and Willems saw another runner stranded in scoring position. After Hickory added an insurance run top of the 8th, Aberdeen couldn’t muster anything in the 8th or 9th.

Box Score

Low-A: Lynchburg Hillcats (Guardians) 3, Delmarva Shorebirds 1

After taking a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning, the Shorebirds bats went dormant and Lynchburg used an 8th inning rally to steal the win. Center fielder Stiven Acevedo led off the bottom of the first with an infield single and proceeded to steal second base. After a ground out moved Acevedo to third, a wild pitch from Lynchburg starter Alonzo Richardson brought home Delmarva’s first run of the game. Unfortunately for the Shorebirds, it would be their only run.

Delmarva would get other scoring opportunities in the bottom of the 4th and 5th innings. Back-to-back two-out hits gave them runners and second and third in the 4th, but a fly out from left fielder Luis Gonzalez stranded both runners. Then in the 5th, a single from SS Carter Young and a walk from RF Trendon Craig gave Delmarva two on with one out. This opportunity once again went wasted, however, as infielders Noelberth Romero and Anderson De Los Santos popped out and lined out to end the inning.

The letdown from the Shorebirds lumber wasted a great performance from starter Juan De Los Santos. The 21-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic pitched a season-high 5.2 innings, only allowing three hits and striking out four. Reliever Randy Berigüete looked like he’d follow De Los Santos’ example, but things fell apart for him in the 8th.

Lynchburg led off the inning with a double, and then after getting two outs, Berigüete allowed another double that tied things at 1-1. The next batter, Hillcats center fielder Wuilfredo Antunez launched a two-run HR to right field to put Lynchburg ahead for good. Delmarva couldn’t get a runner into scoring position in the bottom of the 8th, and then all three of their hitters struck out in the 9th.

Box Score

Wednesday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk Tides vs. Charlotte Knights, 5:35pm ET. Chayce McDermott vs. TBD
  • Norfolk Tides vs. Charlotte Knights, Game 2 (Makeup from July 3rd) TBD vs. TBD
  • Portland Sea Dogs vs. Bowie Baysox, 12:05pm ET. TBD vs. TBD
  • Hickory Crawdads vs. Aberdeen IronBirds, 7:05pm ET. Daniel Lloyd vs. Jose Corniell
  • Delmarva Shorebirds vs. Lynchburg Hillcats, 7:05pm ET. Edgar Portes vs. TBD