Ortiz keeps sparkling, Baysox fall out of first in loss to Altoona

With most of Baltimore and its social media salivating over when the Orioles will end the suspense and bring up No. 1 prospect Gunnar Henderson and No. 2 prospect Grayson Rodriguez, the automatic question becomes that of who will take their place with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides.

Which Bowie Baysox stars will get the call to move up a level? One angle to consider is that Orioles Executive VP and General Manager Mike Elias is trying to avoid removing anyone from the Baysox roster during their second half pursuit of the Eastern League playoffs.

Before last night’s Orioles-White Sox game, the team activated infielder Jonathan Araúz (broken right finger) from the injured list and optioned him to Norfolk. One could theorize – and that’s all it is – that giving the Tides another infielder makes it possible to promote Henderson and backfill his job without having to promote a Bowie player.

The lucky one is not likely to be Chayce McDermott, recently acquired in the Trey Mancini trade. The Baysox began this week’s series with the Altoona Curve by losing, 7-5, last night. Bowie pitchers walked eight batters, allowing four to score. McDermott (L, 0-1) walked four and allowed six total runs.

César Prieto collected an RBI double in the third inning to get Bowie moving, and he resumed in the fifth inning with an RBI single to make it 6-2.

Bowie got scoreless work in relief by Jake Prizina and Adam Stauffer, and Easton Lucas followed with a scoreless eighth inning but allowed another run in the ninth. It was the first run that Lucas had allowed since June, so maybe he warrants consideration for a move up.

The loss pushed Bowie out of first place in the Southwest Division. Their overall record falls to 56-59 and 29-17 in the second half.

The Baysox got by the Somerset Patriots with a 5-3 Saturday victory, with Connor Norby’s three-hit game functioning as the highlight. Somerset, even armed with the Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton on a rehab assignment, fell silent early to Justin Armbruester.

Bowie started strong, with Colton Cowser, Joey Ortiz and Norby each slapping singles to bring in a quick run. The third inning was much of the same, as Cowser and Ortiz, again, got on base, and Norby doubled them in.

Armbruester turned in a near-spotless five innings, improving to 4-0. He held Somerset to two hits, one of which was a solo homer by Mickey Gasper in his fifth and final inning.

Stanton went 0-for-3 against Armbruester, striking out twice. That seems to earn consideration for Armbruester as a promotion candidate.

In Friday night’s 10-inning, 3-2 Baysox win, Ortiz, who may be the Eastern League’s hottest hitter lately, pounced on the Patriots’ Matt Sauer with a solo home run in the first inning, his 15th of the season.

Cade Povich, recently procured from Minnesota in the Jorge López trade, hurled five strong innings in his Double-A debut, striking out six batters. It may still be a bit early to think about Povich moving up, but the Baysox will take a few more starts like that from him.

Cowser hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning of Bowie’s 10-2 win Thursday, his ninth of the season. Norby added a two-run shot off Barrett Loeske in the eighth inning, also his ninth of the season.

Brenan Hanifee (W, 1-1) tossed five innings, allowing only one fly out. The win for Hanifee was his first since August 24, 2019, while he pitched for High-A Frederick.

Stauffer and Shelton Perkins each hurled two scoreless innings to handle the rest of the win. Take your pick as to which ones deserve the move up to Norfolk when the spots open up.

Ortiz – that name again – recorded his second career multi-home-run game in a 10-9 loss last Wednesday. Bowie rallied from a 9-2 deficit to tie it at nine before losing. The Baysox split their series with Somerset, and thus lost the season series, 7-5.

Back to the present, the Baysox continue against Altoona today in a 6:35 p.m. EST game from Prince George’s Stadium.

Who stood out to you for Bowie this past week? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

Like Steve’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @KatzStv

Published by Steve Katz

I started following the Orioles the year of the Frank Robinson trade, and I'm just as intense now as ever, in spite of the circumstances of the last few years. UMCP graduate, former reporter, editor and blogger.

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