Mountcastle matches franchise record with three home runs

Orioles top prospect drives in five in 11-5 win

Ryan Mountcastle follows through after hitting his third home run Sunday. (Scott Sears/Norfolk Tides)

By Norfolk Tides | June 2, 2019 5:41 PM

Ryan Mountcastle matched a franchise record with three home runs, powering Norfolk to an 11-5 win over the Louisville Bats Sunday afternoon at Harbor Park. 

Mountcastle, who hit a walk-off home run in Saturday night's victory over Louisville, continued his torrid stretch at the plate by hitting a solo homer in the first inning, a two-run shot in the third frame and another two-run homer in the sixth. The three-homer contest was just the seventh in Tides franchise history and the first since Chase Lambin accomplished the feat during the 2005 campaign. Mountcastle is the first Tides player to register three homers in a game as an Orioles affiliate, and he's the first Norfolk player to hit three home runs in a game at Harbor Park. 

The 22-year-old, who is rated as the #1 prospect in the Orioles system, is now hitting .328 with 11 home runs and 39 runs batted in this season. He has 22 multi-hit contests in 46 games played, and he now ranks among International League leaders in hits (T-3rd, 63), total bases (T-3rd, 111), RBI (T-4th, 39) and batting average (7th ,.328). The three-homer contest was the second of his career, as he also accomplished the feat for Class-A Frederick during the 2017 season. 

Tweet from @NorfolkTides: For @ryanmountcastle, sometimes it's as easy as 1, 2, 3. #TidalTown #Birdland pic.twitter.com/3VR7dyRTrn

Zach Vincej also had a big day at the plate for Norfolk, hitting a three-run homer to highlight a four-RBI afternoon. Vincej's three-run shot came in the fifth inning, and he added an RBI single off of Eric Stout (0-1) in a four-run third frame. 

With the four homers Sunday, the Tides have now hit 37 home runs at Harbor Park this season - just two homers shy of matching the 39 home runs the Tides hit at home all of last season.  

Norfolk starter Luis Ortiz (2-5) was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst, as he picked up the win after allowing four runs on six hits over six innings of work. He set a season-high with eight strikeouts, capping his start by striking out the side in the sixth inning. The 24-year-old did match a career-high with three home runs allowed, two of which came off the bat of right fielder Aristides Aquino. 

Jay Flaa followed Ortiz out of the bullpen and earned the save, allowing a solo homer over three innings of relief.

With the win, Norfolk concluded its third consecutive season series win against Louisville. The Tides also captured season sets against the Bats in 2017 (7-3) and 2018 (6-3). 

The Tides will take to the road on Monday to kick off a seven-game trip with a 7:05 contest at Durham. Josh Rogers (2-5, 9.41) gets the start for Norfolk and will be opposed by left-hander Brendan McKay (1-0, 0.00). 

Notes: The game was delayed for 67 minutes due to rain before the start of the seventh inning… Aristides Aquino's two-homer game was the 14th multi-homer game registered by a Louisville player this season…Anthony Santander singled, walked twice and drove in a run, giving him hits in 11 of his last 12 contests…After Baltimore's game Sunday, the Orioles optioned IF/OF Stevie Wilkerson and catcher Austin Wynns to Norfolk. 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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