O’s fans, already taking a special interest in the minor league teams this season, are certainly finding more reasons to look ahead to the future, as injuries begin to effect the big club. The O’s will reportedly place Melvin Mora on the 15-day DL on Wednesday and bring back Matt Albers, bringing the total number of pitchers on the active roster to 13, a good idea considering the extent to which the bullpen has been used already. That likely expansion was short lived though, as Alfredo Simon appears to have come down with an injury on Tuesday, meaning that we may be getting a look at one of our young starters sooner than expected. It’s also worth noting that Friday marks the day that teams can begin bringing up minor leaguers without activating their service time clauses for this year. Let the Wieters watch begin.
AAA – Charlotte Knights 3 Norfolk Tides 1
The Tides dropped the second of a four game series in Charlotte on Tuesday, pulling the series even at one game apiece and dropping the Tides to 1-4 on the season. Tides starter David Pauley took the loss in his season debut, going 5 2/3 innings on 71 pitches, 48 for strikes. Pauley allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, while walking 1 and striking out 3 batters. A 2-run homer by Knights DH, Brian Myrow would prove to be enough to stake Pauley to the loss.
Matt Wieters continued to raise his batting average, going 1-for-3 in the game with a walk and a strikeout, and raising his average to .222 on the season. Still concerning though, Wieters has just 4 hits and 7 strikeouts in 18 at bats this season. RF Lou Montanez picked up another hit, going 1-for-4, and scored a first inning run on a single by 1B Oscar Salazar, Montanez’ average now stands at .500 for the year. Salazar finished the day 2-for-4, with an RBI, raising his average to .300, and Nolan Reimold added a 2-for-4 with a double, leaving his average at .429 on the young season.
The Tides will take on Charlotte today in an early start, with Brad Bergeson (0-1, 1.80 ERA) taking on Knights’ lefty, Wes Wistler (1-0, 3.00 ERA) at 11:35. They’ll finish their 4 game set with Charlotte on Thursday at 7:15, with Chris Waters presumably taking the mound.
AA – Bowie Baysox 7 Erie Sea Wolves 2
The Baysox’ offense broke out in a big way on Tuesday, and the pitching staff continued to roll, as Bowie pulled themselves to .500 at 3-3, with a 7-2 demolition of Erie. Jason Berken pulled his own record to even as well, at 1-1, getting the win after 5 innings of 2-hit baseball, allowing 2 runs on 2 walks while striking out 5. Outside of a hit batsman, Berken was perfect entering the 5th frame, which would be his last. Relievers Fredy Deza (H, 2 2/3 inn, 1H, 5K) and Chad Thall (1 1/3 inn, 0 H, 2 BB, 3K) came in and finished the job for the Baysox.
Offensively, the Baysox put on a show, cranking out 17 hits, with everyone in the starting lineup other than Jeff Fiorentino picking up at least 1 hit. Red hot Brandon Snyder picked up his second home run of the season, going 2-for-5 on the night, yet dropping his average to a still robust .462. 2B Paco Figeroa (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB), DH Jonathan Tucker (2-for-5, 2B, R, RBI), C Guillermo Rodriguez (2-for-5, 2B, RBI), 3B Miguel Abreau (3-for-5), RF Ambiorix Concepcion (2-for-5, 2B, R) and SS Melvin Dorta (3-for-5, 2R, 2RBI) all contributed with multi-hit efforts. On the down side, the Baysox did strand 11 base runners in the onslaught.
Bowie will try to finish the 3-game sweep today at 6:35. Jake Arrieta will take the hill for Bowie, trying to get his first decision of the year. In his last outing, Arrieta threw 4 innings of scoreless,1-hit baseball, while striking out an incredible 8 batters. He’ll be opposed by Sea Wolves’ left hander Jon Kibler (0-0, 6.75 ERA). On Thursday, the Baysox will return home, for their home opener and the start of a 4-game series against the Akron Aeros who took 3 of 4 from the Baysox in Akron last weekend.
High A – Frederick Keys 10 Myrtle Beach Pelicans 5
The Keys’ feast or famine offense feasted again in a big way on Tuesday at the expense of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Starter Brian Matusz gave up 2 runs in the second, after being staked to a 5-0 lead, but collected himself and the win, going 5 innings and giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6 batters. Reliever Chris Salberg struggled again, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in 3 innings of work, but picked up the hold, and Ryan Ouellette finished up the night, striking out the side in a perfect 9th inning of work.
On offense, every Keys batter picked up at least one hit in the contest, including 2B Ryan Adams who was 1-for-1 before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the 2nd inning (we’ll keep an eye on his status) and 1B Brandon Waring extended his season long hitting streak to 6 games with a 2 run homer in the 5 run second inning. CF Matthew Angle (2-for-5, R, BB), LF Kraig Binick (2-for-5, 2B, R), PH/2B Jason White (2-for-5, R, 2 RBI), C Caleb Joseph (3-for-5, R, RBI) and SS Pedro Florimon (2-for-5, 2 R) all pitched in multi-hit efforts in the win.
With the win, Frederick pulls even to 3 and 3 on the season, and even also in the series at 1 to 1. They’ll look to get above .500, and take an edge in the series today in the 3rd of 4 games at Myrtle Beach at 7:05, with Pedro Beato (0-1, 5.40 ERA) looking for his first win of the season.
Low A – Hagerstown Suns 11 Delmarva Shorebirds 5
The Shorebirds dropped to 4-2 on the season, and 1-1 in their 3 game series against Hagerstown, on the back of an 11-5 thumping at the hands of the Suns on Tuesday. Shorebirds pitcher Richard Zagone struggled in the start, his second of the season, putting in 4 1/3 innings of work and allowing 5 runs, 3 earned, on 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 5 Suns’ batters. Andy Schindling made things worse in relief, failing to record an out while giving up 4 runs on 3 walks, 1 hit and a hit batsman. Each of the Shorebirds’ 4 pitchers allowed at least one run in the contest.
Offensively, RF Ronnie Welty was the star for Delmarva, going 4-for-5, with a solo HR and 3 RBI. CF Xavier Avery (2-for-5) and SS Greg Miclat (3-for-5, 2 R) were the only other Shorebirds with multiple hits, and 1B Joseph Mahoney and 2B Jerome Hoes added a hit each.
The Shorebirds will close out their 3 game series with Hagerstown on Wednesday at 6:35, presumably behind Cole McCurry (0-0, 0.00 ERA in 4 innings) in an attempt to win the series. They’ll play their home opener on Thursday, when they begin a 4 game series against the Lake County Captains.