All year, it seems, the Aberdeen IronBirds have had a penchant for late-inning offense and comebacks.
The last two nights, the IronBirds have produced walk-off wins at Ripken Stadium. Wednesday, they beat Hudson Valley 7-6, scoring twice in the ninth. Last night, Aberdeen's Kipp Schutz hit a one-out, RBI triple in the bottom of the ninth to tie Hudson Valley 2-2. One inning later, Austin Rauch homered on the second pitch of the last of the tenth for a 3-2 sudden death win. Aberdeen, now 29-29, has seven walk-off wins this year.
IronBirds pitching threw 7 2/3 no-hit innings last night. Starter Scott Copeland went the first six.
Other notes from the minors:
*Delmarva's Bobby Bundy pitched a nine-inning, complete game on Monday vs. Lakewood. He needed just 88 pitches and gave up two runs and five hits, getting the win. He becomes the third pitcher with a nine-inning complete game in the O's minors this year, joining Chris Tillman and Nate Moreau. That pair both did it when pitching no-hitters and Tillman also has a nine-inning one-hitter this year with Norfolk.
*Ronnie Welty had a two-run double for Frederick last night that gives him a career-high 68 RBI.
*Nolan Reimold has now reached base safely in 30 of his last 31 games at Triple-A, batting .324-4-15 with 29 walks in that time. Norfolk lefty Zach Britton (2-2, 3.12) pitches for the Tides tonight at home vs. Durham.
*Bowie's 20-year-old center fielder, Xavier Avery, hit his first Double-A homer in last night's 5-2 loss at Trenton. But that game was more noted for Chorye Spoone's control issues.
He pitched just 3 2/3 and did not allow a single hit. But he gave up three runs on a career-high eight walks and he also hit three batters.
He began the game with a hit by pitch, walk and hit batter to load the bases. He got a double-play ball, but a run scored. That was followed by three straight walks to force in a run before a flyout ended his four-walk, two hit batter opening inning.
He settled down for a time after that, before allowing four straight walks with two outs in the third.
Maybe he just had a bad night or maybe he is tiring a bit after pitching just 70 combined innings the past two years due to his shoulder surgery from September of 2008. He has still had a decent year at Bowie despite a lot of walks, going 7-6, 4.02 over 24 starts, covering 132 innings.
*Bowie is now in a three-team battle for the second and final playoff spot in their division. They currently lead Harrisburg and Akron by one game for second place and a playoff berth. They begin a big homestand vs. Richmond and Akron tonight.
*Stan Goldberg reports that Andy MacPhail has watched a few games in Frederick this week.