On the O’s farm last night, Bowie beat New Hampshire 5-1 in a matchup of top pitching prospects at Prince Georges Stadium.
It was Zach Britton, ranked by Baseball America as the O’s third-best prospect vs. Kyle Drabek, rated as the Phillies second-best prospect after the 2009 season before a trade to Toronto.
Baysox lefty Britton outdueled Drabek, who allowed season highs in earned runs (5) and hits (10).
Britton gave up five hits and one run over six innings with a walk and four strikeouts. He is now 3-3, 3.88 on the year.
The Baysox picked up six extra-base hits off Drabek and outhit New Hampshire, 12 to 5.
“[Britton] was pretty solid,” said pitching coach Kennie Steenstra. “He threw a few too many pitches for the number of innings he threw, but he had a couple of at-bats that extended the pitch count out a little bit. Overall, he threw the ball really well. The sinker was working well; he had a good feel for the slider, threw a couple good changeups, but mainly just fastball-slider and was able to get a lot of outs with those two pitches.”
Britton said there were times in the game when he was throwing his sinker-slider combination a lot, but he continues to work in his changeup to try and improve that pitch.
“My changeup has come a long way,” he continued. “Me and Kennie we try to break it down like with my slider, when I had it in Delmarva, it was one of those pitchers where I’d throw a good one and I couldn’t repeat throwing it for a strike. Now, I can throw it for a strike pretty much when I want to. So, the changeup’s starting to get to that place where I’m throwing it for strikes, but I’m not repeating it every time I throw it. Once I mix in those three pitches, I think I’m gonna be fine. The ERA is a little bit higher than where I want it to be, but I think I’m throwing the ball pretty well.”
Joel Guzman hit a two-run homer for the Baysox while Robbie Widlansky had three hits including two doubles and he is 9 for 15 over his past four games. Guzman is second in the league in homers.
Matt Angle, who was not activated until May 13 due to a wrist injury, has hit safely in his first seven games and went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI and is batting .400.
Steve Johnson (1-2, 3.35) is Bowie’s scheduled starter tonight. He is tied for third in the Eastern League in strikeouts and has an ERA of 2.00 over his last three starts.