Down on the farm

Happy Fourth to all of you.

If the Orioles wanted to put on a proper fireworks display later tonight, they should invite Jorge Julio to pitch the ninth inning.

Back to him in a moment...

Anyone want to share their favorite Fourth of July baseball memory?

Julio, now pitching for Triple-A Richmond, couldn't close out the Braves' 6-5 win over Norfolk last night. He entered in the ninth with a 6-4 lead and allowed a leadoff double to Luis Hernandez and a one-out walk to Eider Torres. Scott Moore's grounder delivered a run, and Julio was done after uncorking a wild pitch and walking Oscar Salazar to put runners on the corners.

Mike Costanzo flied out to end the game.

Rocky Cherry and Esteban Yan combined for five scoreless innings. Salazar has a 14-game hitting streak.

Nolan Reimold hit two more home runs for Double-A Bowie, giving him six in five games. He's hitting .283 with 15 homers and 44 RBIs, and reminding us why he was deemed a top prospect before injuries slowed him.

I assume that he'll move up to Norfolk at some point during the second half, though the No. 1 goal with Reimold since before spring training was to keep him healthy and playing, no matter where.

At Single-A Frederick, Randor Bierd made his third, and perhaps final, appearance on his injury rehab assignment. He hasn't allowed a run or hit in three innings with the Keys, walking two and striking out seven. The Rule 5 pick rules the Carolina League.

What's going on with Billy Rowell? He's 1-for-31 over his last 10 games and is batting .213 with three homers, 28 RBIs and 15 errors. 

It's necessary to remember that Rowell doesn't turn 20 until Sept. 10 (two days before my birthday, if anyone wants to start shopping early). He's still a kid. And we used the "only 19" excuse plenty of times to explain Brandon Erbe's struggles at Frederick last year. I know that I, personally, wore it out.  

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