BALTIMORE—The Akron RubberDucks made life tough for the Bowie Baysox last weekend, sweeping a three-game road series.
However, some of the best moments of the series for Bowie came in the 2-1 loss on April 27, where Akron scored a walk-off run in the ninth. That is when Oriole prospect Hunter Harvey pitched well once again.
The Orioles were hoping for good things this season from Harvey, who has battled through a number of injury issues (including Tommy John surgery) since the team drafted him No. 1 in 2013.
He is working his way back from the various injury issues and impressed the Orioles’ front office and manager Buck Showalter in spring training. They even called him up to Baltimore for a couple of days in April, but he did not pitch.
“He’s in a real good place,” Showalter saidwhen the Orioles sent him to Bowie in March. “He was impressive this spring. The pitch mix, everybody loves his makeup. This guy has got a different look and a different feel when he gets between the lines. He’s not intimidated. He’s got a chance to be pretty good.”
Harvey threw four shutout innings in the loss. He struck out six, including all three in the fourth, doing it all on a season-high 63 pitches.
Overall, Harvey allowed just two hits and walked one along with the six strikeouts. The Orioles are watching him very closely, especially with Chris Tillman off to another inconsistent start this season.
If Harvey keeps progressing and is all right health-wise, it would not be a shock to see him pitching in Baltimore at some point later in the season – especially if the Orioles are out of contention.
Despite all the trouble the Orioles have had in the first month of this season, their starting pitching has looked good at times. It looks like they are starting to put together a solid young group together with Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Andrew Cashner, Alex Cobb and one more – possibly Tillman, possibly Harvey.
However, Harvey could not help the Baysox the rest of the weekend.
On April 28, Bowie jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but Akron took the lead and then broke the game open by sending 12 to the plate and scored six runs in the seventh en route to an 11-3 victory.
Anderson Feliz got an RBI single as the Baysox took a 2-0 lead in the first. In the fourth, Erick Salcedo singled to left for a 3-1 Bowie edge.
The RubberDucks cut the lead to 3-2 before taking charge in the seventh. Mike Mathias got a two-run single as one of the big hits in the six-run rally. Akron then added three more in the eighth for the 11-3 final.
Bowie’s bullpen had a rough day, giving up nine runs in just three innings.
The series finished on April 29 as Bowie made four errors, helping Akron to a 7-1 victory.
Two errors, one by shortstop Salcedo and another from center fielder Cedric Mullins helped the RubberDucks go-ahead 2-0.
Akron added one in the fourth and four more in the fifth. Salcedo drove in Bowie’s only a run with a single in the ninth.
The Baysox finished with just three hits, their lowest number this season, and they slipped to 11-10.