Minor league notes on Ford, Gausman, Jones, Avery and more

The Double-A Bowie Baysox had quite a night of offense Friday at Harrisburg. The Baysox recorded 20 hits in a 15-7 win over Harrisburg to improve to 1-1.

Lew Ford is 4-for-9 through two games with three doubles and a homer. He has an OPS of 1.556. After going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the season opener, Xavier Avery went 5-for-7 with two RBIs to tie the club record for hits in a game.

Earlier this week I posted this story on Avery.

The Baysox already have 12 doubles, which is twice as many as the next closest team in the Eastern League.

Lefty Jake Pettit was solid on the mound, getting the win as he allowed four hits and two runs over six innings. Pettit went 11-3 with a 3.86 ERA for the Baysox last season and posted an ERA of 2.82 in six August starts.

He is a somewhat similar pitcher to T.J. McFarland. Not a real hard thrower, but with good secondaries, especially his changeup, and a real clue about how to attack hitters. In a rotation featuring two and maybe later, at least three top prospects, Pettit can get overlooked. I don’t think he should be.

Kevin Gausman makes his first official Double-A start for Bowie tonight. I say it that way because he pitched for Bowie in a playoff game last September, but it doesn’t show up in any stats. Then, he pitched three scoreless innings with five strikeouts. The 22-year-old Gausman ranks as the Orioles’ No. 2 prospect.

Devin Jones had an impressive start for Single-A Frederick in the Keys’ season opener last night. Over six innings, he gave up just three hits and one run. Like Buck Showalter, Jones is a product of Mississippi State, and the Orioles selected him in round nine of the 2011 draft. He went 7-1 with a 2.80 ERA in nine starts last year at Frederick.

By all rights, Jones and Pettit probably should get a chance at the next level of the minors soon, but all the depth in the organization forced them back where they had success in 2012. All they can do in that situation is get the hitters put in front of them out and hope their shot to move up will eventually come.

Keys broadcaster Tim Murray interviewed Jones on the Keys pregame show last night. Click here to listen.

Brenden Webb went 4-for-5 for the Keys with a double, homer and three RBIs, while Trent Mummey was 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs. Nice debut for Ryan Minor as Keys manager.

Norfolk lost 11-2 last night to Durham in its rain-delayed opener. Zach Clark gave up six runs (four earned) over 4 1/3 innings. It was the first time he pitched fewer than five innings since the final game of 2011 and that ended his streak of 26 straight outings of five innings or more.

Single-A Delmarva was rained out Friday night at home against Hagerstown after winning its season opener 4-3 on Thursday. The rainout will be made up today at Perdue Stadium as part of a doubleheader beginning at 4:35 p.m.

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