News and Notes — 8/14 vs. WIL

Tonight’s Game

The Aberdeen IronBirds look to snap a three-game losing streak tonight against the Williamsport Crosscutters (Class-A Short-Season affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies). The IronBirds fell in a rain-shortened game to the Crosscutters last night, 8-2. Aberdeen starting pitcher Matt Hobgood surrendered six runs (four earned) on two hits in 1.1 innings of work. He walked four and hit two batters while striking out one. Third baseman Connor Narron had three hits and knocked in both IronBirds runs in the loss. The game was called in the top of the eighth inning due to rain. Tonight, the IronBirds will have opening night starter Parker Bridwell on the mound. Bridwell currently ranks third in the New York-Penn League in strikeouts (55). He’ll go up against left-handed pitcher Adam Morgan.

Promotions

Starting pitcher Mike Wright and reliever Kyle Simon have been promoted to the Class-A Delmarva Shorebirds. Wright, the Orioles’ 2011 third-round draft pick, went 2-1 with a 3.77 ERA in seven starts. Simon, who was Baltimore’s fourth round pick this year, pitched eight scoreless innings of relief over the course of six appearances.

Strong Returns

Right-handed pitcher Travis Strong has been transferred back to Aberdeen from Delmarva. Strong began the year with the IronBirds and posted a 1-0 record with a 2.25 ERA in six appearances (16.0 innings of work). While with the Shorebirds, Strong struggled. He went 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA in seven outings (8.2 innings).

Narron Snaps Slump

Narron had one of his best offensive games last night against the Crosscutters. The IronBirds’ third baseman went 3-for-3 with two RBI. It was his first three-hit game and first multi-RBI effort this season. Prior to last night, Narron had just three hits in his previous 48 at bats.

2011 New York-Penn League All-Star Game

Today is the final game before the all-star break. The 2011 New York-Penn League All-Star Game will be played at Lelacheur Park, in Lowell, MA, on Tuesday August 16th. First pitch is currently scheduled for 7:35 PM. Four IronBirds were named all-stars. Infielders Joe Velleggia and Dudley Leonora, outfielder Glynn Davis, and starting pitcher Trent Howard will represent Aberdeen in the late-summer classic.

News and Notes — 8/10 @ SC

Tonight’s Game

Tonight, the Aberdeen IronBirds look to even their series up at one game apiece with the State College Spikes (Class-A Short-Season affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates). The Spikes defeated the IronBirds on Tuesday night 5-2. Aberdeen starting pitcher Parker Bridwell surrendered all five runs on six hits in five innings of work. With the help of two State College errors, Aberdeen scored both its runs in the eighth inning. The loss snapped the IronBirds’ five-game winning streak. Tonight, right-hander Tyler Wilson will make his second start for Aberdeen. Wilson was the 10th round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in this year’s draft. He’ll go up against fellow right-hander Nick Kingham.

Struggling Bats

Despite being 5-3 in the month of August, the IronBirds have struggled at the plate. Aberdeen is hitting .209 so far in August. The IronBirds’ three all-star hitters – Joe Velleggia, Dudley Leonora, and Glynn Davis – are batting a combined .167 in the month. As a team, Aberdeen is batting .239 this season.

Davis Steals League Lead

With his 20th stolen base last night, Davis is now leading the New York-Penn League in steals. The three players tied for second (with 18) have each played at least six more games than Davis, who joined the team late after starting the year in the Gulf Coast League.

Narron’s Struggles Continue

IronBirds third baseman Connor Narron has just one hit in 24 at bats so far in the month of August (a .042 batting average). Narron is hitting just .194 this season. He does, however, lead the league in walks (38) and is tied for the league-lead in games played (50, tied with teammate Mychal Givens).

Pinckney Division

With last night’s loss, Aberdeen fell to 3-7 against Pinckney Division foes. The IronBirds dropped two of three at the Jamestown Jammers, and were swept in three games at home by the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

2011 All-Star Game

The 2011 New York-Penn League All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday August 16th at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, MA. Aberdeen is sending starting pitcher Trent Howard, infielders Velleggia and Leonora, and outfielder Davis to the exhibition.

News and Notes — 8/3 @ LOW

Tonight’s Match-up

The Aberdeen IronBirds look to snap a five-game losing streak tonight at the Lowell Spinners (Class-A Short-Season affiliate of the Boston Red Sox). The Spinners defeated the IronBirds in the opener of this series, 5-4. A tie ball game in the bottom of the eighth, Lowell scored two runs without getting a hit. The IronBirds got a good start from Baltimore Orioles third-round pick Mike Wright. He surrendered one run on three hits in five innings of work. Tonight, Aberdeen will have opening night starter Parker Bridwell on the bump. Bridwell is looking to bounce back from two rough outings. He’ll go up against 19-year-old right-hander Luis Diaz.

Berry and Lebron Update

Relievers Ryan Berry and Luis Lebron, who are both trying to bounce back from injuries, pitched in last night’s loss. Berry, who’s trying to comeback from shoulder issues, allowed two runs on two hits in two innings of work. Lebron surrendered two runs in the eighth inning without surrendering a hit. He walked one and struck out two. Lebron missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Losing Streak

The IronBirds have lost five games in-a-row. It’s the club’s third-longest losing streak this season (Aberdeen had losing streaks of nine and eight games earlier this year, leading to a 2-17 start). During the current five-game stretch, the IronBirds have scored just eight runs (an average of less than two runs per game).

Sawyer Ends Homer Drought

Wynston Sawyer hit a two-run homer, which at the time gave Aberdeen a lead, in last night’s loss at Lowell. It was Sawyer’s first homer since June 24th. The homer was also the first hit by an IronBirds hitter other than Joe Velleggia since July 17th (Sammie Starr homered against the Vermont Lake Monsters).

Walk This Way

The IronBirds tied a season-high with eight walks last night. Connor Narron tied an IronBirds season record with three walks in the loss. Narron, who leads the league in walks, has reached 34 times on free passes in 44 games played.

News and Notes — 7/24

Tonight’s Match-up

The Aberdeen IronBirds will try to avoid their fourth straight loss tonight as they host the Batavia Muckdogs (Class-A Short-Season affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals) in game two of a three-game series. Last night, the IronBirds lost to the Muckdogs 11-4. Batavia scored four runs on five hits in the first inning off of Brandon Erbe and never looked back. Aberdeen surrendered three home runs in the loss. Tonight, the IronBrids will have right-hander Jake Cowan on the hill. Cowan is making his team-leading eighth start of the season. He’ll go up against left-hander Hector Hernandez.

Roster Moves

The Baltimore Orioles activated catcher Adam Davis from the disabled list today. Davis has been out after getting hit in the head with a pitch. To make room on the 30-man roster, the Orioles released right-handed pitcher Orlando Alfonso.

Velleggia is Back

IronBirds first baseman Joe Velleggia is back in the lineup today. Velleggia has not played since July 18th after getting hit in the face with a baseball while working out in the batting cage. The ball broke Velleggia’s orbital bone and nose. He currently leads Aberdeen in all three Triple Crown categories.

Three Games to Forget

The Ironbirds have dropped three straight games. After dropping two straight in Brooklyn, Aberdeen lost last night 11-4. The IronBirds have lost the last three games by a combined score of 35-5. Prior to the three-game losing streak Aberdeen was winners of three of four.

Narron is Walking to the Top

Third baseman Connor Narron worked three more walks in last night’s loss against to Batavia. He now leads the league in walks with 27. Narron, who is hitting just .238, has a .384 on-base percentage.

Woman’s Appreciation Night

The IronBirds will be wearing special pink jerseys tonight in celebration of Woman’s Appreciation Night. The jerseys will be raffled off to the fans following the game, with the proceeds benefitting the Mildred Mindell Cancer Foundation.

Growing Up in Baseball

Few kids get to experience the childhood that Connor Narron did.

“Growing up around baseball has been a blessing,” Connor said.

Connor’s father, Jerry, is a former big league catcher and manager. He currently serves as the bench coach for the Milwaukee Brewers. Consequently, the younger Narron has been around big league clubhouses since he was in diapers.

“I’ve been able to see how to do things right and how to do things the wrong way,” Connor said. “Being able to see guys like A-Rod go about things the right way and just being able to see how to do things right and wrong has been a blessing.”

Ironically, Jerry began his coaching career in the Orioles farm system, managing some of the teams that Connor will likely play for one day.

“The (Orioles) organization is a class act,” Connor said. “Everything’s great. Great coaches. Great places to work out. Great spring training facilities. Great parks to play in. Everything I’ve seen so far has been great.”

Jerry was hired as a coach for the big league squad in 1992 by Orioles manager Johnny Oates. When Oates was hired to manage the Texas Rangers, he brought Jerry with him. His coaching career has led him to managing jobs with the Rangers and the Cincinnati Reds. He also served as a coach on the 2003 Boston Red Sox team that fell in dramatic fashion in the American League Championship Series to the New York Yankees.

What Connor will remember about growing up in baseball is hanging out at some historic venues.

“Going to Fenway Park every day when my dad was there (is one of my favorite memories),” Connor said. “Being able to go to a historic place like that and watch the ALCS. Going to Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field. Seeing all the historic stadiums and taking BP (batting practice) at them is what stands out to me.”

While Connor has been around big league players his whole life, one stands out.

“Manny Ramirez,” Connor said.

The 12-time All-Star outfielder tutored Connor in the art of hitting.

“He’s a great guy,” Connor said. “He knows how to hit. Everybody doesn’t see that, but he works really hard at hitting. He taught me a few things when I was there and I appreciate everything he’s done.”

So what exactly did Manny teach Connor?

“Just how to see pitches,” Connor said. “Go about things the right way. Tracking pitches as a hitter. Things like that.”

Connor began to realize professional baseball was a reality when scouts showed up to his high school state championship game. The Orioles used a fifth round pick on him last year, leaving him with a tough decision: attend the University of North Carolina on a scholarship or sign with Baltimore and begin his professional career.

“Going to Carolina would’ve been great,” Connor said. “Having the atmosphere there, and going to football games and basketball games, would’ve been great. It’s a great place to play baseball. But, I wanted to play baseball and that’s it.”

Now in his first full season of professional baseball, Connor has two goals in mind.

“Just have a good year and help the team win.”

News and Notes — 7/15

Tonight’s Match-up

The Aberdeen IronBirds look to win their second consecutive series tonight as they take on the Vermont Lake Monsters (Class-A Short-Season affiliate of the Oakland A’s) in the rubber match of a three-game series. After winning the opener, Aberdeen fell last night to Vermont 8-2 in 14 innings. Tied at two heading into the 14th, the Lake Monsters struck for six runs on five hits against Aberdeen reliever Orlando Alfonso. The 14-inning affair tied a record for the longest IronBirds game at Ripken Stadium (the IronBirds defeated the Brooklyn Cyclones in 14 frames on July 2, 2005). Aberdeen will go for the series win with left-hander Trent Howard atop the hill. Howard was the Orioles’ seventh-round pick in this year’s draft. He’ll go up against fellow southpaw Brent Powers.

Records Broken

Last night’s 14-inning game tied a record for the longest home game in IronBirds history. In addition, Aberdeen used seven different pitchers, tying a record for the most hurlers used in a game. The IronBirds used seven pitchers two previous times: on August 26, 2003 against the Staten Island Yankees and September 7, 2006 against the Lowell Spinners.

Three More? Why Not.

Following tonight’s ball game, the IronBirds will board a bus and head to Burlington, VT to play three more games against the Lake Monsters. The IronBirds will play the same team six straight days two times this summer. In August, Aberdeen will take on the Connecticut Tigers on six consecutive nights.

Glynn’s Streaking

With two more hits in yesterday’s loss, Aberdeen center fielder Glynn Davis has hits in five consecutive games. The five-game hitting streak ties him for the longest such streak by an IronBirds hitter this season. Mychal Givens, Connor Narron, and Joe Velleggia have also had five-game hitting streaks.

Hobgood and Berry to Rehab with Aberdeen

Orioles prospects Matt Hobgood and Ryan Berry are expected to begin rehab stints with the IronBirds in Vermont. Hobgood and Berry have both been dealing with shoulder issues. Hobgood, who was the Orioles’ first-round pick in 2009, is expected to start Saturday’s game.

News and Notes — 7/14

Tonight’s Match-up

The IronBirds go for their third win in as many tries tonight against the Vermont Lake Monsters (Class-A Short-Season affiliate of the Oakland A’s). The IronBirds defeated the Lake Monsters Wednesday night, 6-4, in the opener of the three-game series. Aberdeen exploded in the fifth inning last night with four runs on four hits. Chris Clinton and Joe Velleggia each hit a round-tripper in the frame. Parker Bridwell pitched 5.2 innings to pick up his second win of the season and his first since opening night. Aberdeen will try to make it three wins in-a-row with right-hander Jake Cowan on the bump. Cowan struck out a career-high 10 batters in his last start against the Lowell Spinners. He goes up against right-hander Tyler Vail.

If we win tonight, it’s called a winning streak…

With last night’s win, the IronBirds have won back-to-back games for the first time this season. A win tonight would make it three wins in-a-row. A win would also complete Aberdeen’s second series win in-a-row.

Velleggia Explodes

Velleggia went 4-for-4 with his team-leading third home run of the season in Wednesday night’s win against the Lake Monsters. The four-hit effort raised Velleggia’s batting average 42 points. It was also the first time this season an IronBirds hitter had more than three hits in a game.

Narron’s Streak Snapped

Connor Narron’s hitting streak was snapped at five games last night. Narron went 0-for-2 in the win with two walks. He leads the team in walks (18) and on-base percentage (.385). Narron’s OBP is 147 points higher than his batting average (.238).

Adios ERA Leaders

The Baltimore Orioles announced today that right-handed pitchers David Baker and Travis Strong have been promoted to the Class-A Delmarva Shorebirds. Baker and Strong led Aberdeen starters and relievers respectively in ERA (of those who qualify for the New York-Penn League ERA leaders). Baker went 1-2 with a 2.45 ERA in five starts. Strong was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in six appearances out of the bullpen.

Hobgood and Berry to Rehab with Aberdeen

Orioles prospects Matt Hobgood and Ryan Berry are expected to begin rehab stints with the IronBirds in Vermont. Hobgood and Berry have both been dealing with shoulder issues. Hobgood, who was the Orioles’ first-round pick in 2009, is expected to start on Saturday.

News and Notes — 7/11

Tonight’s Match-up

The Aberdeen IronBirds go for their first series win of the season tonight as they play the Tri-City ValleyCats (Class-A Short-Season affiliate of the Houston Astros) in the rubber match of their three-game series. After shutting out Tri-City in the series opener, the ValleyCats beat the IronBirds 5-1 Sunday evening. Aberdeen scored its only run in the ninth when Connor Narron knocked in Wynston Sawyer with his second double of the ball game. The IronBirds will have right-hander Mike Wright on the mound. The Orioles’ third-round pick is making his second start of the season for the IronBirds. He’ll go up against fellow right-hander Euris Quezada.

Narron’s Heating Up

After getting off to a slow start, Narron is beginning to heat up at the plate. The switch-hitting third baseman has hit safely in four straight games. Narron hit two doubles in last night’s loss. He currently leads the IronBirds in on-base percentage and walks.

Strong Long Relief

After starting pitcher Trent Howard left yesterday’s game, Travis Strong entered the game and pitched a season-high four innings. He allowed two runs on five hits over that span. Strong’s four innings of work ties an IronBirds’ season-high for a reliever (Eddie Gamboa pitched four innings in a rehab appearance on June 22nd against the Brooklyn Cyclones). 

Fowler Makes Debut

Orioles 34th round pick Zach Fowler made his IronBirds debut Sunday night at Tri-City. The left-hander allowed a run on three hits in one inning of work. Fowler was drafted out of Texas Tech.

Much Needed Rest

Following the series with Tri-City, the IronBirds will have their first off-day of the 2011 season. Aberdeen is scheduled to play 25 straight games to start the season. Mychal Givens and Narron have played in every game so far this season, and are tied for the league lead in games played.

Six Straight with Vermont

Following the off-day on Tuesday, the IronBirds open a three-game series with the Vermont Lake Monsters (Class-A Short-Season affiliate of the Oakland A’s). Following the three-game set at Ripken Stadum, the IronBirds will play a trio of contests at Vermont.

News and Notes — July 10th

Tonight’s Match-up

The Aberdeen IronBirds attempt to win back-to-back games for the first time this season tonight against the Tri-City ValleyCats (Class-A Short-Season affiliate of the Houston Astros). The IronBirds defeated the ValleyCats in the series opener Saturday night 2-0. David Baker pitched a season-high six innings, and allowed no runs on just two hits. Alex Schmarzo, Enrico Jimenez, and Jose Mota pitched three hitless and scoreless innings to finish off the two-hit shutout. The IronBirds go for the series win with left-hander Trent Howard atop the hill. Howard has been on a tight pitch count since joining the IronBirds as a seventh-round draft pick. He’ll go up against right-hander Jonas Dufek.

Two-Hit Shutout

Four IronBirds pitchers combined to throw a two-hit shutout Saturday night against the Tri-City ValleyCats. The shutout was the first tossed by the IronBirds in 2011. The two hits was also a season low for hits allowed in a game.

Velleggia Breaks Drought

The IronBirds went 13 games without hitting a home run. First baseman Joe Velleggia ended the drought last night by blasting his second home run of the season. Velleggia is now tied for the team lead in home runs with Wynston Sawyer and Jeremy Nowak (who has since been promoted to the Class-A Delmarva Shorebirds).

Winning Firsts

The IronBirds won their first road game of the 2011 season last night. They had dropped eight straight games to start the year away from Ripken Stadium. A win tonight would complete Aberdeen’s first series win of the season. It would also be the first time they’ve won back-to-back games in 2011.

Narron is Walking

IronBirds third baseman Connor Narron is leading the team in on-base percentage (.374) despite batting just .219. Narron has walked a team-leading 16 times. He currently is tied for fourth in the New York-Penn League in free passes.

Much Needed Rest

Following the series with Tri-City, the IronBirds will have their first off-day of the 2011 season. Aberdeen is scheduled to play 25 straight games to start the season. Givens and Narron have played in every game so far this season, and are tied for the league lead in games played.

 

News and Notes — 7/7/2011

Tonight’s Match-up

The Aberdeen IronBirds will try to make it two wins in-a-row tonight against the Lowell Spinners (Class-A Short-Season affiliate of the Boston Red Sox). The IronBirds snapped an eight-game losing streak last night by a final score of 2-1. Reliever Travis Strong pitched 3.2 scoreless innings of relief to pick up his first win of the 2011 season. Aberdeen will try to win back-to-back games for the first time this season with right-hander Parker Bridwell atop the hill. Bridwell was Aberdeen’s opening night starter, and has pitched in two of the IronBirds’ three wins this season. He’ll go up against right-hander Luis Diaz, who has not allowed a run in his last 10.2 innings of work.

The Wright Stuff

2011 third-round pick Mike Wright made his IronBirds debut last night. After giving up a leadoff triple to Keury De La Cruz, Wright settled down and retired the next six batters he faced without allowing a run. He struck out three Spinners. Fifth-round pick Matt Taylor also made his Aberdeen debut, allowing a run on two hits and two walks in two innings of relief.

Winning!

The IronBirds picked up their third win of the season last night against Lowell. Aberdeen will try tonight to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. After their first win, the IronBirds dropped nine straight games. After their second W, they lost eight games in-a-row. A win tonight would also secure the club’s first series win of the season.

Running Wild

The IronBirds stole a season-high four bases in last night’s win against the Spinners. Glynn Davis, Mychal Givens, Connor Narron, and Dudley Leonora each swiped a bag. The IronBirds have swiped 15 bags this season and have been caught just five times.

Hometown Comfort

In his first four games at Ripken Stadium, Davis has five hits in 10 at bats. The Baltimore-native has also walked three times, setting the table as the club’s leadoff hitter. Prior to this home-stand, Davis had just two hits in 19 trips to the plate.