Today's game recaps -- April 19

In case you missed it earlier, I attended the game between the Single-A Frederick Keys and Salem Red Sox at Harry Grove Stadium today.

It was a rough day for the Keys defensively, as starting pitcher Brian Matusz took the loss despite allowing only one earned run in six innings.


Check out my live updates from the game by clicking here.

In other scores from around the Orioles' minor league system, it looks like the Double-A Bowie Baysox also had issues with their defense in a loss to the Akron Aeros. The Triple-A Norfolk Tides and Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds both earned victories today.

Norfolk Tides (AAA)

Score: Norfolk Tides 4, Gwinnett Braves 2 (Box score)

Recap: The Norfolk Tides didn't encounter much trouble completing the sweep with their 4-2 victory over the Gwinnett Braves and starting pitcher Tommy Hanson (0-2), who is the No. 4 prospect in the minor leagues, according to Baseball America.

Norfolk left fielder Oscar Salazar was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Designated hitter Nolan Reimold, third baseman Mike Costanzo and catcher Robby Hammock each added an RBI for the Tides, who won their fifth straight game overall.

Tides starting pitcher David Pauley (1-1) tossed six innings, allowing one run and five hits. The 25-year-old right-hander collected one strikeout and walked one hitter. Gwinnett's only run against Pauley scored on a solo home run by catcher Clint Sammons to lead off the third inning. Bob McCrory struck out two of the three hitters he faced in the ninth to pick up his third save of the season for Norfolk.

Hanson allowed four runs (three earned) and six hits in 4 2/3 innings for Gwinnett. The 22-year-old right-hander struck out six hitters and issued one walk in the game.Bowie Baysox (AA)

Score: Akron Aeros 6, Bowie Baysox 3 (Box score)

Recap: Right fielder Ambiorix Concepcion and designated hitter Adam Donachie both hit home runs, but three errors cost the Baysox in a 6-3 loss to Akron.

Sean Gleason, who was promoted to Bowie yesterday, started the game instead of Jason Berken. I haven't received any official word from the Baysox on why Berken didn't start as scheduled, but I'm going to assume he is on his way to Norfolk when Brad Bergesen gets promoted to the Orioles. We'll know for sure in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Gleason (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) and seven hits in four innings. The 23-year-old right-hander was 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in two appearances (one start) for the Keys before being promoted to Bowie.

Baysox relief pitchers Josh Perrault and Wilfrido Perez combined to throw five scoreless innings in the loss. Perrault retired all nine batters he faced, while Perez surrendered a double and a walk.

Concepcion, Gleason and shortstop Robert Valido all committed defensive miscues in the game.

Frederick Keys (A)

Score: Salem Red Sox 9, Frederick Keys 3 (Box score)

Recap: Although Orioles prospect Brian Matusz was on the mound for the Keys, Salem completed a three-game sweep by defeating Frederick, 9-3.


Matusz got off to a shaky start, giving up three runs (one earned) in the first inning. Keys first baseman Chris Vinyard committed an error on a grounder by Red Sox center fielder Che-Hsuan Lin, who was the first batter of the game. Salem added two hits and a sacrifice fly in the inning to jump out to an early 3-0 lead.

Matusz admitted he needs to relax and stop thinking too much at certain points, which happened in the first inning today.

"There were some times ... when I got into some trouble and tried to rush things, tried to do too much," the 22-year-old left-hander said. "And that's one of the things I've really tried to make a big point on -- not to do too much."

Keys manager Richie Hebner was glad to see Matusz improve as he pitched deeper into the game.

"From the third inning on, I thought he threw better," Hebner said.

Although he encountered some trouble in the first inning, Matusz pitched well for the majority of the afternoon. He gave up four runs (one earned) and seven hits in six innings for the Keys. Matusz also walked two hitters and threw two wild pitches.

The Orioles' first-round selection in last year's MLB draft finished with a career-high eight strikeouts, which was two higher than his last start against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on April 14. Matusz attributed the strikeout total to his slider, which worked well for him.

Keys right fielder Billy Rowell was 1-for-4 with a run scored, and he misplayed two fly balls in the outfield.

Hebner mentioned that he wants to see Rowell get more aggressive at the plate.

"He's been behind in the count, taking too many pitches," Hebner said.

The Keys manager blamed the wind, which picked up as the game progressed, for Rowell's trouble in right field during today's game.

"He hasn't been that bad in the outfield," Hebner said about Rowell's performance to this point in the season.

"Everyone in the organization knew he was going to make some mistakes early in the season, but that's probably his best position, to be honest with you, in the outfield," Hebner added.

Catcher Caleb Joseph led the Keys offensively, going 3-for-4 with his second home run of the season and two RBIs. Second baseman Matthew Tucker and first baseman Chris Vinyard each had two hits for Frederick.

Overall, Matusz was happy with his performance.

"I felt pretty good," he said. "I tried to slow down my form today. My first two outings, I was trying to do too much."

Despite the loss, Matusz was impressed with his assortment of pitches.

"My off-speed pitches have been great," he said. "Today was the first game I have been really able to throw [my curve] effectively for strikes."

Other notable quotes from Matusz:

On his pitch selection: "I have been throwing everything, but my main focus has been fastball location."


On improvements needed: "When I do try to throw too hard, I open up my front side and my mechanics get a little bit out of whack. So I just need to slow things down and just play baseball."


On advice for himself: "Take it pitch by pitch, just relax, go out there and play the same game I've been playing since I was a little kid."

On adjusting to professional baseball: "Right now, I'm just trying to get a feel for minor league life. It's not just going out there on the field every fifth day; it's the days in between, being on the road, traveling ... workout routines."

On Mark Hendrickson's influence: "He talked about how in the minor leagues he liked to pitch in on guys. [They] weren't really looking for the inside fastballs much and being able to get in on guys, jam them and break some bats."

On the fans in Frederick: "It's great to have the support, and fans that are close to Baltimore who want to see a team succeed and know that it comes from the development of the minor leagues."

Delmarva Shorebirds (A)

Score: Delmarva Shorebirds 4, Lake County Captains 3 (Box score)

Recap: The Shorebirds earned a split of their four-game series against Lake County with a 4-3 victory.

Delmarva starting pitcher Oliver Drake (1-0) picked up the victory after allowing two runs (one earned) and three hits in seven innings. The 22-year-old right-hander struck out five hitters. Despite allowing two hits in the ninth, Shorebirds reliever Joe Esposito collected three strikeouts to pick up his second save of the season.

Shorebirds second baseman Jedidiah Stephen was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Designated hitter Joe Mahoney and center fielder Xavier Avery each added an RBI for Delmarva.

It was the second consecutive one-run victory for Delmarva and fourth overall this season.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun