Tonight, I'll be checking in on the Frederick Keys, the club with the best record in the O's minor leagues right now.
The Keys are 15-10 with four wins in a row and tonight look for a 3-0 start to their four-game series with a Winston-Salem team which has the second best record in the Carolina League at 17-8.
I'll head to Harry Grove Stadium to get some pre game interviews and file a couple of in-game blogs tonight as well, so check back here later today and this evening and look for some Keys stories over the next few days.
Frederick has been putting up good numbers on offense with a stellar bullpen that has offset some shaky starting pitching.
The Keys have scored 156 runs, 2nd best in the league and they are averaging 6.24 runs per game. Keys starters have an ERA of 5.56, but Frederick's bullpen has an ERA of 3.16.
Tonight, lefty Rick Zagone (0-2, 3.65) will be on the mound for the Keys.
Some other Keys notables right now:
*Billy Rowell is now batting a season-best .315 after going 11 for 21 over his last six games.
*Despite a recent slump, Ronnie Welty is among the league leaders with six homers and 22 RBI.
*L.J. Hoes is 8 for 18 during a five-game batting streak and leads the league with 20 walks. That is an amazing stat for Hoes, since he drew just 23 walks in 119 games last year for Delmarva.
*Xavier Avery is 6 for 14 after an 0 for 23 slump and is batting .313.
*Kyle Hudson leads the league with 9 steals and is third with 17 walks.
Here is tonight's Keys starting lineup:
CF - Xavier Avery
LF - Kyle Hudson
2B - L.J. Hoes
1B - Joe Mahoney
RF - Ronnie Welty
DH - Billy Rowell
SS - Greg Miclat
3B - Bobby Stevens
C - Luis Bernardo