The Triple-A Norfolk Tides continue their homestand with the Durham Bulls coming to town tonight. The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reported today that catcher Matt Wieters is expected to return to Norfolk's starting lineup.
The Double-A Bowie Baysox hit the road to take on the Reading Phillies, while the Single-A Frederick Keys return home to face the Potomac Nationals. The Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds play on the road against the Lake County Captains.
Before talking about today's game previews, there are some pitching transactions to report.
Relief pitcher Fredy Deza, who allowed two runs in two innings during one appearance for the Tides, returns to the Baysox. Right-hander Pat Egan, who didn't pitch during his brief stint with the Baysox, heads back to Delmarva. Finally, left-hander Ryan Rodriguez was removed from the temporary inactive list, and he returns to the Baysox.
Also, in case you haven't heard, Orioles left-hander Rich Hill is expected to make a rehab start with the Keys on Friday night at Harry Grove Stadium.
Durham Bulls (7:15 p.m.)
Norfolk: David Hernandez (0-0, 2.08 ERA)
Durham: Carlos Hernandez (0-0, 0.93 ERA)
* David Hernandez gave up one run and five hits in four innings against the Gwinnett Braves in his last start on April 17. The 23-year-old right-hander struck out six hitters and issued two walks in Norfolk's 7-4 win. After two starts, Hernandez has collected 15 strikeouts and walked four batters in 8 2/3 innings for the Tides.
* Durham's Carlos Hernandez allowed one run and five hits in five innings against the Charlotte Knights on April 18. The left-hander, who celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday, is still searching for his first victory this season. However, he has only allowed one run and seven hits in 9 2/3 innings during his first two starts.
* Former Orioles player Chris Richard hit his first two home runs of the 2009 season in Durham's 6-2 victory over Gwinnett yesterday. The 34-year-old first baseman is batting .216 with seven RBIs and seven runs scored in 10 games for the Bulls.Bowie Baysox (AA)
at Reading Phillies (6:35 p.m.)
Bowie: Troy Patton (2-0, 0.00 ERA)
Reading: Vance Worley (1-0, 2.53 ERA)
* Two consecutive rainouts pushed Patton's next start until today. He'll get the nod against Reading in the series opener on the road, which is unfortunate for Baysox fans who hoped to see him pitch. The 23-year-old left-hander won his first two starts in 2009, and he hasn't allowed a run in 11 innings. Patton pitched six scoreless innings against the Akron Aeros in Bowie's home opener on April 16.
* Worley earned the victory after giving up four runs (one earned) and three hits in five innings against the Harrisburg Senators on April 17. The 21-year-old right-hander struck out six hitters and issued three walks in Reading's 6-5 win. He also hit a two-run home run in the game. Overall, Worley has collected 12 strikeouts and walked five batters in 10 2/3 innings this season.
Potomac Nationals (7 p.m.)
Frederick: Tim Bascom (1-1, 3.27 ERA)
Potomac: Jeff Mandel (0-1, 3.86 ERA)
* So far this season, Bascom has made three appearances (two starts) -- all against the Salem Red Sox. The 24-year-old right-hander suffered the loss in his last start after giving up three earned runs and seven hits in five innings. Bascom collected two strikeouts and walked one hitter in the Keys' 5-4 loss.
* In his last start, Mandel allowed two earned runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on April 17. The 23-year-old right-hander struck out five hitters and didn't issue any walks in Potomac's 7-5 loss. Overall, Mandel has given up six runs (five earned) and 12 hits in 11 2/3 innings during his first two starts this season.
* Second baseman Ryan Adams, who suffered a slightly strained groin on April 14, is close to returning to action, according to the Keys. Adams could be back this weekend, but the team may hold him out until early next week. The 22-year-old infielder is batting .364 with three RBIs in six games this season.
* Keys right fielder Billy Rowell is hitting .234 with one home run and five RBIs in 13 games this season. The 20-year-old outfielder collected three doubles in Frederick's 7-2 win during the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Lynchburg Hillcats. Rowell was 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored last night.
at Lake County Captains (6:30 p.m.)
Delmarva: Cole McCurry (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Lake County: Alexander Perez (0-0, 0.69 ERA)
* McCurry hasn't allowed any runs in his first two starts, but he is still searching for his first victory in 2009. The 23-year-old left-hander gave up four hits in six scoreless innings in his last start against the Captains on April 16. McCurry struck out seven batters and didn't walk anyone in the game.
* Perez tossed seven scoreless innings against the Shorebirds on April 16. The 19-year-old right-hander struck out seven batters and only gave up two hits in Lake County's 3-0 victory over Delmarva. The game was tied, 0-0, after nine innings before the Captains scored three runs in the top of the 10th. After his first two starts, Perez has 13 strikeouts and only two walks allowed in 13 innings for the Captains.
* Brendan Monaghan is making the best of his limited playing time for the Shorebirds this season. In six games, the 24-year-old catcher is hitting .313 with a double, a triple and three RBIs. Last season, Monaghan batted .197 with one home run and 14 RBIs in 47 games for Delmarva.