Shortstop Tucker sparks Delmarva

The Baltimore Sun

Delmarva Shorebirds shortstop Matt Tucker said he doesn't come to the ballpark every day thinking about his batting average or any other statistics.

"I'm here to make it to the major leagues," the Aurora, Colo., native said Friday afternoon from Lexington, Ky., where he was waiting to play the Legends. "That's what we're all here for."

Tucker, 24, said the Single-A Shorebirds' emphasis is on winning and not "whether I hit .300 or .250."

Tucker leads the Shorebirds this season with a .309 batting average in 28 games. (Teammate Wally Crancer had a .372 batting average but had played in just 13 games.) Tucker said he and his teammates "jelled in spring training and we've been having a lot of fun winning games all season."

Delmarva has a 20-15 record and is second in the South Atlantic League North Division.

The Shorebirds' shortstop knows he is in the right position at the right time in the Orioles' organization to move up through the ranks quickly. There has been an almost constant shuffling of shortstops between the Orioles and Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie.

"I know there's a need for good shortstops," Tucker said. "I like my chances."

Triple-A Norfolk

Tides outfielder Luis Terrero, who played in 27 games with the Orioles in 2006, has easily been the hottest hitter in the team's organization over the past two weeks.

Terrero, 27, cooled off a little over the weekend, but he is second in the International League with a .344 batting average. Also, he is tied for fourth in the league in RBIs with 27, has 10 doubles, three triples and three home runs.

Terrero raised his batting average to .360 on Thursday night with a four-hit game, a mark that was leading all Orioles minor leaguers as well as the International League. The 27 RBIs were tops in the Orioles organization through Thursday.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound outfielder has hit .462 (18-for-39) with runners in scoring position and has hit .563 (7-for-12) with runners in scoring position and two outs.

During the 14-game tear, Terrero hit .421 with two home runs and 16 RBIs.

Two seasons ago for the Orioles, he hit .200 with one home run and six RBIs.

Double-A Bowie

A change of scenery hasn't been overly kind to either Bowie's Chris Waters or Single-A Frederick's Kyle Schmidt.

Both pitchers encountered disappointing times as they moved up a notch in the Orioles' minor league system, with Waters going to Norfolk and Schmidt heading to Bowie.

Waters, 27, had been excellent at Bowie with a 5-0 record and 1.69 ERA. However, he was hammered in his first start at Norfolk by the Louisville Bats, who scored five runs on seven hits in five innings.

Waters fell to 0-2 with the Tides yesterday, giving up six runs in four innings in an 8-5 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Schmidt fared slightly better in a 5-4 Baysox loss to New Britain, giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings on five hits, walking two and striking out five.

Single-A Frederick

Jake Renshaw, 21, pitched six effective innings last week to improve his record to 5-2 in an 8-1 victory over Lynchburg that featured two home runs by catcher Matt Wieters.

Renshaw has a 4.19 ERA, 24 strikeouts, and 17 walks in 38 2/3 innings.

In the 8-1 victory, Wieters took over the team lead in home runs from outfielder Brandon Tripp, who has seven with 19 RBIs and a .280 batting average.

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