The Norfolk Tides played the Rochester Red Wings Thursday night. This game was a can’t-miss event for two reasons. For one, Miguel Gonzalez got the start for the Tides; earning the win while pitching six innings, allowing three runs off of five hits. The second reason being that Christian Walker and Dariel Alvarez made their Triple-A debuts with the Tides.
Both players coming from Bowie, had big expectations to live up to with Walker known for his ability to hit home runs and Alvarez coming off of the Futures Game in Minnesota.
On Thursday, Walker was put in the No. 3 spot of the lineup and Alvarez was placed right after him in the cleanup spot. No one would have given either player grief if they had a bad night from the plate being that it was their first game with a different team, in a new league. Fortunately, Walker and Alvarez did not get that message.
Despite going 0-2 on the night with two strikeouts, Walker did improve his on-base percentage with three walks on the night. He also scored twice in the Tides’ 7-4 victory as well.
Alvarez, unlike Walker, did record a hit in Thursday’s game. After going 0-3 on the night in his first three at-bats, Alvarez stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning with Walker on first base and one out. Alvarez wasted little time during his fourth and final at-bat of the night. He connected with the first pitch and drove the ball to right field for an RBI double, scoring Walker all the way from first base.
These two players just like so many others are on the rise in the Orioles Farm System and if they continue to produce from the plate and play well in the field, Orioles fans may see Walker and Alvarez in Baltimore at the Yard in September.