Tyler Townsend off to fast start at Double-A

Maybe it should come as no surprise that Tyler Townsend is hitting well again. The Orioles’ third-round pick in 2009 out of Florida International is off to a fast start in his debut season in the Double-A Eastern League.

After going 0-for-3 in Thursday’s opener, Townsend is 5-for-11 over Bowie’s last three games with three homers and six RBIs. At this very early stage, he leads or is tied for the league lead in homers, RBIs, slugging and total bases. His OPS is 1.438.

“I am seeing the ball good right now and I am getting good pitches that I can handle and I am putting good swings on them,” Townsend told reporters after Sunday’s game. “I worked hard on getting stronger in the offseason. I’ve always hit for power, but I feel like there is a little something extra this year so hopefully I can keep it up.”

Townsend is responsible for six of Bowie’s 11 runs this year and has homered once in each of the last three games. It is the second time in his career that he has homered in three straight games. He also did it between July 3 and July 10 of last year with Single-A Frederick.

Townsend always seem to put up some good offensive numbers; he just now needs to show he can stay healthy and play a full season. Last year, in 67 games with Frederick, he hit .317 with 13 homers, 50 RBIs and a .941 OPS.

His defense and lack of walks are two others things that he can improve on, but he sure seems to be able to hit with some pop even though, for a first baseman, he is not a big player at all. He is listed at 6-for-1 and 194 lbs.

In other minor league notes:

* Orioles 2011 third-round pick Mike Wright had an impressive debut for Frederick on Sunday, pitching six scoreless innings as the Keys beat Salem 5-0 to take the series.

Wright retired 13 of the last 14 batters he faced and gave up just three hits, no walks and had three strikeouts in getting the win. For two straight starts, the Keys’ starting pitching has not allowed an earned run.

Ty Kelly is 6-for-11 so far with the Keys with a homer and 5 RBIs. Teammate Bobby Stevens is 4-for-7 with three homers and 6 RBIs.

* Single-A Delmarva went 3-1 in its season-opening series at Asheville. The Shorebirds went 10-for-10 stealing bases with John Ruettiger and Glynn Davis leading the way at the top of the order. Brenden Webb hit the Birds’ first homer on Sunday.

Dylan Bundy is scheduled to make his second start Wednesday at Kannapolis.

* Joe Mahoney is off to a .308 hitting start for Triple-A Norfolk, which is 2-2, but new acquisition Zelous Wheeler has started 1-for-11 at bat.

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