With no action at the big league level on Thursday, all attention shifted to the minors, where presumably the O’s will be looking to fill a role in their rotation before Tuesday’s return home against the White Sox. There’s no official word yet on who’ll get the start, but plenty of opinions. The safest bet is that it’ll be one of the 11 pitchers currently on the 40-man roster, but not yet on the big club. Given the difficulty in maneuvering the current roster with waiver and options issues at nearly every turn, it’s unlikely the O’s would rush to add anyone else to the mix too soon. There are still plenty of viable options to choose from among those already on the roster.
AAA – Norfolk Tides 10 Charlotte Knights 0
The Tides managed a split of their 4-game series in Charlotte on Thursday with their best all around performance of the young season, picking up an easy 10-0 victory and running their record to 3-4 to begin the year. Chris Waters picked up the win, his first of the year, behind 6 innings of 2-hit, scoreless baseball. Waters walked 2 hitters and struck out 4 more, using 86 pitches to complete his work, 51 for strikes. Relievers Ross Wolf (2 inn., 3K) and Jim Miller (1 inn., 2K) combined for 3 innings of hitless work, allowing 1 walk each.
Norfolk got on the board in the 1st inning, on a solo home run off the bat of Matt Wieters, his first of the season. Wieters was 2-for-5 on the day, adding a walk and 2 runs scored, and raising his average to .261 for the season. Lou Montanez continued his tear, reaching base 5 times on a 2-for-3 performance with 2 walks and a hit by pitch; his average now stands at .483 for the season. 1B Oscar Salazar ran his average to .345 on the strength of a 3-for-4 day with a double, 2 walks and 2 runs. 2B Justin Turner was 3-for-4 on the day as well, and 3B Scott Moore and SS Jolbert Cabrera both pitched in with 2-for-6 efforts to round out the multi-hit games.
The Tides will open the last leg of their 3 city road trip to begin the season, tomorrow at Gwinnett at 7:00 pm. RHP David Hernandez (0-0, 1.93) will take the hill against RHP Charlie Morton (1-0, 0.00) for Gwinnett.
AA – Bowie Baysox 2 Akron Aeros 0
The Baysox took care of the Akron Aeros in their home opener on Thursday, out-dueling the Aeros on their way to a 2-0 victory. Bowie starter Troy Patton ran his record to 2-0 to start the season going six shutout innings, and allowing 3 hits, with no walks and 6 strike outs. Josh Perrault followed with 2 innings of 1 hit work, striking out 1, and Wilfrido Perez picked up the save allowing 2 walks and no hits, while striking out 1 in the ninth.
DH Paco Figeroa picked up the Baysox’ first run, coming home on a Brandon Snyder sac fly after tripling to lead off the inning. The only other Bowie run in the game came across courtesy of a bad throw and a wild pitch in the 8th inning. Snyder finished hitless at 0-for-2 with the game’s only RBI, and Figeroa (2-for-4, 2B, 3B, R) and 3B Melvin Dorta (2-for-2, R, BB) both added multi-hit efforts. SS Robert Valido had the only other Bowie hit, going 1-for-3 with a double on the day.
The Baysox will play the second of their 4 game series against Akron tonight at 7:05. RHP Brandon Erbe (0-1, 3.00) will take the hill for Bowie against RHP Josh Tomlin (0-1, 1.80) for the Aeros.
High A – Frederick Keys 7 Myrtle Beach Pelicans 4
The Keys finished out their 4-game series against Myrtle Beach, taking the game 7-4 and the series, 3 games to 1. Keys’ starter Zach Britton struggled with control through 4 innings of work, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Britton also threw 2 wild pitches in the game, but still left with a 4-2 lead, but not having completed enough work to earn the win. Brett Bordes picked up the win in relief, throwing 2 scoreless innings, and allowing 2 hits while striking out 2. Clifford Flagello pitched the 7th and 8th innings, striking out 3 and walking two, with one hit and no runs. And Ryan Ouellette finished out the night allowing 2 runs on 1 hit, while striking out the side.
The Keys were efficient and patient on offense, managing their 7 runs on just 9 hits and 6 walks. LF David Cash (2-for-4, R) and RF Kraig Binick (2-for-4, 2B, 2RBI) were the only Keys with multiple hits in the game. Binick’s effort running his average up to .345. 3B Tyler Henson, DH Chris Vinyard, 1B Brandon Waring, SS Pedro Florimon and 2B Jason White each had 1 hit in the game.
Frederick will play their home opener on Friday night at 7:00, with RHP Tim Bascom (1-0, 1.50) on the mound. They’ll take on the Salem Red Sox, with no clear word on who’ll get the nod for Salem.
Low A – Lake County Captains 3 Delmarva Shorebirds 0 – 10 innings
After yesterday’s rain out, the Shorebirds bats apparently decided to take another night off, wasting a phenomenal pitching effort in the process. Shorebirds’ starter Cole McCurry went 6 innings in the no decision, allowing 4 hits and no walks while striking out 7 batters. Pat Egan came in a kept Lake County scoreless for 3 more innings on 1 hit and 2 strikeouts, before Brandon Cooney saw the wheels fall off in the 10th. Cooney allowed 3 runs on 5 hits in an inning of work, helped out by a wild pitch, a passed ball, and an error to end the Shorebirds chances.
The Lake County pitching staff had the Shorebirds’ number all night allowing just 3 singles, to DH Jacob Julius, 2B Jerome Hoes and LF Kyle Hudson, while piling up 14 strikeouts with no walks.
The Shorebirds will try again on Friday in the second game of a 4 game set. RHP Ryan O’Shea (0-0, 1.80) will take the hill for Delmarva against LHP Ryan Miller (0-1, 6.23) for Lake County.