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Orioles minor league recap 8/28: Joey Ortiz and Billy Cook homer in Sunday losses

The O’s farm teams had trouble scoring runs on Sunday, with only Aberdeen nabbing a win.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays
Joey Ortiz homered for Norfolk on Sunday. He’s not just a pretty glove.
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Triple-A: Durham Bulls (TB) 3, Norfolk Tides 1

A day after a 13-run barnburner, Norfolk couldn’t get the offense firing on Sunday. They managed just three hits, their lone run coming on a fourth-inning oppo-field home run by Joey Ortiz (1-for-3, HR, BB) that brought his team within two. But the Tides couldn’t add to that effort.

Chayce McDermott (3-2, 2.79 ERA) got through three scoreless, but in the fourth he allowed four hits and a walk, giving way to Logan Gillaspie. After McDermott’s struggle, though, four relievers—Gillaspie, T.J. McFarland, Mike Baumann and Joey Krehbiel—combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings in what was a very solid day for the Norfolk ‘pen. All are potentially guys who could help the major league team down the stretch.

On offense (other than Ortiz), Colton Cowser doubled and walked and Connor Norby singled. Heston Kjerstad, Kyle Stowers, Josh Lester and Lewin Díaz each got on base with a free pass.

Box Score

Double-A: Erie SeaWolves (DET) 5, Bowie Baysox 4

The Baysox had a 4-0 lead headed into the bottom of the sixth, but their bullpen let them down. Starter Connor Gillispie—not to be confused with Norfolk reliever Logan Gillaspie (this is not a rule I am able to follow myself)—pitched five scoreless innings, allowing just a walk and four hits, only one for extra bases. But Keagan Gillies gave one back, Xavier Moore gave up three, and Nick Richmond allowed in the winning run to get the loss/blown save.

The offense had just four hits but made the most of them: Billy Cook homered in the fifth, and that same inning Donta’ Williams doubled home John Rhodes, aboard with a walk. In the sixth, the Baysox loaded the bases on a catcher’s interference, a Jackson Holliday single and a Jud Fabian walk. Two more Bowie runs came home when Cook hit a sac fly and Rhodes hit an RBI single.

Box Score

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 4, Hudson Valley Renegades (NYY) 2

When your relief corps gives you six scoreless innings, oftentimes you’ll win. Starter Kyle Virbitsky allowed only a two-run home run in three innings. After him, the trifecta of Logan Rinehart, Yaqui Rivera and Antonio Vélez was near-perfect. None of them allowed a hit, Rinehart whiffing five Renegades in three innings. In 12.1 innings pitched since being acquired from Seattle on August 1, Rinehart hasn’t allowed a run.

Four runs of offense is kind of a biggie for the IronBirds these days. Elío Prado helped manufacture a first run with a single and stolen base ahead of Ryan Higgins’ RBI single. Randy Florentino did it in the third, walking, stealing second and taking third base on a wild pitch ahead of a Carter Young sac fly.

But the biggest hit of the night came with two outs, a runner on second, and the game tied 2-2 in the top of the ninth inning. Jacob Teter got to a 2-0 count and then blasted one over the fence, giving his team, not quite a walkoff win (they were the away team, after all) but a cool moment all the same.

Box Score

Low-A: Lynchburg Hillcats (CLE) 4, Delmarva Shorebirds 3

Word is out: seems like Matt Etzel can hit. The 2023 tenth rounder went 2-for-2 with a walk and scored twice to give himself an .862 OPS in 65 ABs at Low-A thus far. Anderson De Los Santos drove in all his team’s runs with a two-run double and a sac fly. Jalen Vasquez doubled while Mac Horvath went hitless. Enrique Bradfield Jr., who was hit by a pitch on Saturday, remained out of the lineup.

Starter Raúl Rangel pitched two innings and given that he walked three and allowed in two runs on a balk and wild pitch, it seems fair to say he had command problems. Juan Rojas allowed in two more run in two innings on two hits and two walks. Three relievers—Adam Stauffer, Joe Kemlage, and Blake Money—closed out the game with a scoreless inning each.

Box Score

Tuesday’s Schedule

• Norfolk @ Worcester, 6:45. Starter: TBD

• Bowie @ Akron, 6:35. Starter: TBD

• Aberdeen @ Jersey Shore, 7:05. Starter: TBD

• Delmarva @ Columbia, 7:05. Starter: TBD