July 30, 2015

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 16

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Gwinnett Braves, 2-0, on Thursday night in the first game back from the All-Star break. Both Chiefs runs were scored due to throwing errors by the Braves’ infield. Chiefs starter Joe Ross pitched five scoreless innings.

Syracuse (36-57) struck early against Gwinnett, scoring its first run in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs, right fielder Caleb Ramsey reached on an infield single back to Braves starter Williams Perez. Perez made a wild throw to first, allowing Ramsey to advance to second on the throwing error. In the next at-bat, Dan Butler grounded to Adonis Garcia at third, who also made a wild throw to first. Butler reached second on the error and Ramsey scored from second to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead.

The Chiefs doubled their lead in the bottom of the fourth with another run. First baseman Kevin Keyes led off the bottom of the frame with a ground-rule double to right-center field. Chris Nelson grounded out to short in the next at-bat, advancing Keyes to third. With Butler batting, Gwinnett (45-46) shortstop Daniel Castro threw the ball wide of first, letting Keyes score for the Chiefs’ second run of the night.

Four Chiefs pitchers combined to throw a four-hit shutout on Thursday night. Ross allowed only two hits over five innings while striking out three. Matt Grace came in next, giving up two hits and striking out one in two innings of work. Rafael Martin replaced Grace to pitch a perfect eighth inning, striking out two in the process. Finally, Jose Valverde secured the save, throwing a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout.

The Chiefs and Braves will play the second of a four-game set Friday night with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Syracuse will send right-hander Taylor Hill to the mound to face Gwinnett’s right-hander Tyrell Jenkins.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Matt Skole’s go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 11th inning propelled the Harrisburg Senators to a 4-1 victory over the Bowie Baysox Thursday at Prince George’s Stadium. The Senators (46-46) have reached .500 for the second time this month.

Richard Bleier turned in yet another quality start, pitching seven one-run innings. Bleier threw 54 of his 87 pitches for strikes, walking two and striking out two. Thursday’s start marked the seventh time this season that the left-hander has thrown seven-plus innings and allowed one run or less this season. Sam Runion then followed with back-to-back scoreless frames to force extra innings.

Bowie scored its run off Bleier in the bottom of the second inning, and then held the Senators at bay until the sixth inning. Harrisburg, which entered the sixth with just one hit off Bowie’s Elih Villanueva, started a rally with Brian Jeroloman’s single. Jeroloman then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Derrick Robinson and scored three batters later on a Brian Goodwin RBI single.

Chris Bostick singled and Goodwin walked in front of Skole in the 11th. As he has multiple times this season, Skole came through with an RBI single to center, scoring Bostick. An errant throw trying to catch Goodwin at third rolled away, allowing a second run to score on the play. Skole scored later in the inning after Isaac Ballou walked and Bowie pitcher Ashur Tolliver tried a pickoff throw with nobody at first base to extend Harrisburg’s lead to three. Abel De Los Santos, who pitched a scoreless 10th inning, returned in the 11th and held the lead to pick up the win.

Eight of the nine Senators’ starters recorded a hit, including Jose Lozada’s two-hit game.

The second game of a four-game set will begin tonight at 7:05 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (44-45 Overall, 25-21 Home, 11-8 Second-Half) were clipped by the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (51-39 Overall, 29-17 Road, 10-11 Second-Half) on Thursday night at Pfitzner Stadium 1-0 in series Game Two amid their current best-of-four set with the “birds.”

The Pelicans took a 2-0 lead in the set with their 14th one-run win of the 2015 season.

Washington Nationals OF Jayson Werth rehabbed with the Potomac Nationals for the fifth time in his professional career and second time in 2015. Werth was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 19th after being hit by a pitch on his left wrist on May 15th in San Diego, CA in a road contest vs. the San Diego Padres at Petco Park thrown by Padres RHP Odrisamer Despaigne. An MRI revealed two fractures in Werth’s wrist which landed him on the DL before his assignment to Potomac.

Werth went 1-for-2 at the plate with a sharp single belted into left-center field in the 1st inning on a 2-2 pitch from the eventual winning pitcher, RHP Pelicans RHP Jonathan Martinez (6-1) before striking out swinging on a 3-2 changeup dealt low out of the hand of Martinez in the 3rd stanza.

Werth factored on defense only once in three innings of play when chasing down a double ripped to the left field corner in the 3rd by Pelicans CF Trey Martin.

Martinez was exquisite through 7.0 scoreless frames in which the crafty righty scattered four base hits, walked none, and fanned four batters. Martinez faced 25 P-Nats’ hitters while dealing 95 total pitches with 62 offerings in the strike zone.

Meanwhile, P-Nats RHP Austen Williams (1-1) took a tough-luck loss which equalized his win/loss record for the P-Nats despite throwing his second straight quality start in his second career outing in the Carolina League.

Williams went 5.0 innings and surrendered one unearned run on three hits, one walk, and one wild pitch while fanning a trio.

The only run of the clash scored in the 4th for Myrtle Beach. Pelicans 3B Jeimer Candelario singled into left-center field, 1B Jacob Rogers grounded a one-base knock into right field, and with C Victor Caratini batting, Nationals C Spencer Kieboom committed his seventh passed ball of the season allowing both runners to move into scoring position. Caratini then sprayed an RBI sacrifice fly to center field as Candelario’s spikes-first slide was just ahead of the tag applied by Kieboom on a lazer beam throw from Potomac CF Narciso Mesa.

The P-Nats got RF Estarlin Martinez into scoring position on an infield single and a right-side groundout by Mesa but Martinez was backpicked and caught stealing 2-6-5.

Nationals LHP Justin Thomas and RHP Tyler Mapes were great out of the Potomac bullpen going a combined 4.0 scoreless innings and allowing just two total hits. Thomas struck out three Pelicans and Mapes walked a pair.

Mapes stranded the bases loaded in the 9th by inducing a popout to shallow center field off the bat of Martin caught by the galloping Nationals SS Stephen Perez.

The Red, White, and Blue mustered just five base knocks (four singles and a double raked by Nationals 3B Drew Ward) in the affair.

Ward committed a season-high three errors in the game including a pair of fielding miscues and a dropped popup in foul territory.

Potomac went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base.

Myrtle Beach RHP Dave Berg slung a scoreless 8th inning before Pelicans closer, LHP Michael Heesch (SV 3) converted his third save in 2015 with a de factor 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th. Nationals LF Alec Keller, who spelled Werth in the top of the 4th, fanned swinging before Perez worked a walk. Kieboom then chopped into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to seal the Pelicans’ victory albeit by the smallest margin of triumph possible.

The Nationals send the number one overall prospect in baseball per MLBPipeline.com, RHP Lucas Giolito (3-4, 2.76) to the mound in series Game Three on Friday night to sling against Myrtle Beach RHP Daury Torrez (6-5, 3.65).

A first pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm tonight at Pfitzner Stadium as Potomac looks to begin a salvage job of their current homestand.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): Connor Bach pitched seven strong innings and D.K. Carey drove in three runs, leading the Hagerstown Suns to a 5-0 victory over the first-place West Virginia Power in the rubber match of their three-game series Thursday night.

The Suns (46-43, 11-10) trail the Power (51-39, 14-7) by three games in the South Atlantic Northern Division second-half standings.  Hagerstown took a 3-0 lead in the third inning against West Virginia starter Colten Brewer (2-7).  David Masters doubled, Wilman Rodriguez reached on an error and Austin Davidson walked to load the bases for Carey, who delivered a two-run single.  Davidson later scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Jose Marmolejos.

The Suns added a pair of runs in the seventh.  After Masters and Rodriguez walked to chase Brewer, Davidson greeted reliever Jared Lakind with an RBI single to center. Carey followed with a bunt single, scoring Rodriguez for a 5-0 lead.

That was more than enough support for Bach (3-1), who allowed only two hits and four walks while striking out six.  Relievers Koda Glover and Jake Walsh each pitched an inning to complete the four-hit shutout.

Carey and Davidson each finished with two of Hagerstown’s eight hits.  Hagerstown begins a weekend series tonight at Kannapolis with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 15

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): Last night in Omaha, Nebraska manager Billy Gardner and shortstop Jason Martinson participated in the AAA All Star Game at Werner Park.  The International League rallied to beat the Pacific Coast League 4-3.

Martinson went 0 for 1 on the night but in the top of the ninth, he got the rally started by drawing a walk and scoring a run.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Pitchers Paul Demny, Gilberto Mendez, Austin Voth, and catcher Pedro Severino represented the Senators for the Western Division in the Eastern League All Star Game in Portland, Maine at Hadlock Field.

Mendez was the only pitcher that saw action in the game as he pitched one inning and struck out two.  Severino went 1 for 2 at the plate and scored a run in the 4-4 tie.  There would be a Home Run Derby shootout and the Eastern Division won thanks to a walk-off home run by Brian Pointer, a prospect of the Philadelphia Phillies.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Myrtle Beach Pelicans (50-39-Overall, 28-17-Road, 9-11-Second Half) used three home runs to cruise to a 5-2 victory over the Potomac Nationals (44-44-Overall, 25-20-Home, 11-7-Second Half) in Game One of the series at Pfitzner Stadium on Wednesday night.

RHP John Simms (5-6, 3.01) gave up a season high three long balls to the Pelicans en route to taking his sixth loss of the season, pitching six innings and giving up five runs (three earned) on six hits, three walks and three strikeouts even though he logged his tenth quality start of the season.

After an 18 minute delayed start, the game got under way with a scoreless first inning on both sides of the diamond as RHP Jen-Ho Tseng (3-6, 3.67) made the start for Myrtle Beach. He logged a quality start and in his seven innings on the mound he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits, he walked three and struck out two.

The Flock got on the board in the second against Simms when DH Kevin Brown banged a two out single and LF Pin-Chieh Chen laced a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third. Simms then issued back-to-back free passes with CF Trey Martin taking the RBI on ball four that pushed home Brown for a 1-0 Pelican lead.

The scoring continued for Myrtle when in the third inning and again with two outs when 1B Jacob Rogers absolutely crushed a ball from Simms over all three tiers of signage in right field for a 2-0 Pelicans lead. After a 2B Khayyan Norfork made an error on a ground ball by C Victor Caratini kept the inning going, Brown slammed another home run over the right field wall for a 4-0 Pelican lead.

Myrtle Beach plated its final run in the top of the fifth on a SS Chesney Young solo bomb for a 5-0 Pelican advantage.

Potomac cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth When OF Narciso Mesa reached on a fielder’s choice ball against Tseng. On the play an error moved Mesa to second base and he then swiped third before coming home on a SS Stephen Perez RBI groundout to cut the lead to 5-1 Myrtle.

In Tseng’s final inning, the seventh, Potomac scored their final run of the game after Norfork led-off with a triple, his third hit of the night and scored on a DH Jimmy Yezzo RBI Single to make it a 5-2 Pelican lead. For Norfork, he set a season high with his three hit night.

RHP Justin Amlung came into the game for Simms in the seventh and was excellent out of the bullpen logging three perfect innings to wrap up the game for Potomac.

RHP Josh Conway threw a scoreless eighth inning and RHP Fernando Cruz (SV 2) earned his second save of the season pitching a perfect ninth inning.

Tonight’s Game Two will see RHP Austen Williams (1-0, 3.00) toe the rubber for Potomac against RHP Jonathan Martinez (5-1, 2.92) for the Pelicans.

Game Two of the series is set for a 7:05 pm first pitch.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns held on for a 3-2 victory over host West Virginia in the opener of a doubleheader Wednesday, but the Power bounced back with a five-run third inning for a 5-0 win in the nightcap.

The Power (51-37, 14-6) maintained a four-game lead over the Suns (45-43, 10-10) in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division second-half standings.  The two teams will finish their three-game series Thursday night.

• In the opener, the Suns touched Power starter Alex McRae (4-6) for two runs in the second and another run in the third to build a 3-0 lead.  Matthew Page led off the second with a double to left and came around on singles by Jeff Gardner and David Masters. Gardner later scored on a sacrifice fly by D.K. Carey.

Jose Marmolejos led off the third with an infield single, took third on a double to left by Raudy Read and scored on Gardner’s single to center.  Gardner finished 3-for-4 in the game.  A two-base throwing error by second baseman Bryan Mejia opened the door for West Virginia to score twice in the fifth, cutting the lead to 3-2.  Pablo Reyes hit an RBI single and Cole Tucker followed with a sac fly.

David Napoli (3-3) slammed the door on the Power, working a perfect final 2 2/3 innings for the Suns. Starter Luis Reyes allowed two runs — neither earned — on three hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.

• In the nightcap, West Virginia used the long ball to take control against Hagerstown starter Mario Sanchez (4-4).  Elvis Escobar drove a three-run shot right and Jordan Luplow followed with a deep fly to center for a 4-0 lead.

Michael Suchy doubled and scored on a single by Chase Simpson for a five-run cushion.  Three pitchers did the rest of the Power, holding the Suns to just three hits.  Yeudy Garcia (7-5) allowed two hits and a walk while fanning three in five innings, Sam Street allowed one hit in the sixth and Nick Neumann tossed a 1-2-3 seventh.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 13

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): OFF.  AAA All Star Game is Wednesday night at 8:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Cutter Dykstra’s go-ahead home run in the seventh inning lifted the Harrisburg Senators to a 2-1 win over the Erie Seawolves Monday afternoon at Metro Bank Park. The win secured a series split for the Senators (45-46).

Harrisburg scored its first run in the third inning when Isaac Ballou walked and then stole second with two outs. Derrick Robinson followed with an RBI double to tie the game at 1-1. The Senators remained quiet until the seventh inning when Dykstra untied the score with a home run to left field off Erie’s Joe Mantiply. Ballou reached base three times with three walks and scored a run. Robinson finished with two hits and an RBI while Pedro Severino had the only other Harrisburg hit.

Austin Voth continued his All-Star campaign by throwing seven innings, allowing four hits and one run. Voth also walked one and struck out eight, extending his Eastern League lead to 98 punchouts. Abel De Los Santos fired two scoreless innings to earn his sixth save in eight tries this season.

The Senators won’t play again until Thursday at Bowie, beginning at 6:35 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (44-43 Overall, 19-24 Road, 11-6 Second-Half) and Winston-Salem Dash (40-47 Overall, 21-23 Home, 10-7 Second-Half) were suspended on Monday night at BB&T Ballpark with the Dash leading 3-1 headed to the bottom of the 3rd inning due to a series of torrential thunderstorms carrying consistent lightning.

The ballgame went into a thunderstorm delay at 7:45pm in the middle of the 3rd, and after approximately an hour into the stoppage, the clash was frozen due to the threat of approaching storms.

With Potomac not scheduled to return to Winston-Salem, NC during the 2015 Carolina League regular season, the completion of this suspended contest will be slated during Winston-Salem’s August 11th to August 13th series at Pfitzner Stadium. The Dash will serve as the home team in the to-be-announced completion of this suspended affair.

Winston-Salem got out to an early 3-0 lead in the 1st frame as Dash 1B Keon Barnum clubbed a mammoth two-run home run to right-center field off Nationals LHP Matt Purke. The no-doubt bomb was Barnum’s fourth home run clout of the 2015 campaign. Winston-Salem DH Jeremy Dowdy added an RBI single grounded into center field.

The Nationals scored their lone run off Dash LHP Brian Clark in the top of the 3rd via a run-scoring double slapped into the left field corner by Potomac CF Narciso Mesa that scored P-Nats LF Cody Dent.

After a league-wide scheduled off-day today, the P-Nats will usher in the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs) for a four-game series from Wednesday, July 15th to Saturday, July 18th.

Potomac RHP John Simms (5-5, 2.89) will oppose Myrtle Beach LHP Michael Heesch (5-0, 1.62) in the series opener at Pfitzner Stadium on Wednesday night.

Action will get underway for a Bellybuster event at The Pfitz with a 7:05pm first pitch.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): OFF. Suns play tonight at West Virginia at 7:05 p.m.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 12

FUTURE’S GAME: Pitcher Lucas Giolito (Potomac, High-A) and Shortstop Trea Turner (Harrisburg, AA) represented the Washington Nationals Organization in the MLB Futures game at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Giolito, who is the Nationals number one prospect, got the start and pitched the first two innings.  He allowed just two singles, no walks, and struck out one in two scoreless frames.

Turner also turned in an impressive performance going 2 for 2 at the plate with a double, a triple and two RBI’s in the USA’s 10-1 victory over the World.

Here’s the rest of the minor league report that is compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs took the final game of the series against the Rochester Red Wings, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. Taylor Jordan hurled six scoreless innings and four different Chiefs drove in a run to give Syracuse its seventh win in 10 games.

Syracuse (35-57) scored first in the bottom of the fourth inning against Rochester starter Greg Peavey. With two outs in the frame, Chris Nelson doubled into the left-field corner. The next batter, Ricky Hague, blooped a single to right-center to plate Nelson for the first run of the game.

The Chiefs added two more in the bottom of the fifth inning. Dan Butler and Josh Johnson each had a single to start the inning to put runners on the corners with no outs. With Johnson stealing second, Darin Mastroianni lined a single to center field to plate Butler and put runners on the corners again. Two batters later, Jason Martinson lined a double to the left-field corner to plate Johnson to give Syracuse a 3-0 lead.
Jordan put together a quality start on Sunday against Rochester. The Syracuse right-hander pitched six shutout innings against the Red Wings. He allowed only five hits and one walk while striking out four hitters. The six scoreless innings lowered Jordan’s season ERA to 2.71 in 12 starts.

Rochester (49-42) got on the board in the top of the eighth inning against Rafael Martin. Jorge Polanco led off with a double to left field. James Beresford advanced Polanco to third on a ground ball to second base. Then, Chris Herrman drove in Polanco with a sacrifice fly to left field to cut the Red Wings deficit to two.
Syracuse added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning against Rochester reliever Aaron Thompson. With one out, Nelson singled to left field. With Hague at the plate, Nelson stole second as Hague struck out swinging to put a runner on second with two outs. The next batter, Mario Lisson, lined a single to center field to extend the lead to 4-1 after eight innings.

The All Star Break gives Syracuse a three-day rest. Billy Gardner Jr. will manage the International League All Stars and Jason Martinson will represent the Chiefs in the Triple-A All Star Game on Wednesday at 8:05 p.m. The Chiefs return home on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.against the Gwinnett Braves. Syracuse will send Joe Ross to the mound against a pitcher to be named for Gwinnett.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators fell behind early and struggled to piece together a rally in an 8-1 loss to the Erie Seawolves Sunday at Metro Bank Park. The Senators (44-46) will try to secure a series split tomorrow afternoon before observing the Eastern League All-Star break.

Dakota Bacus struggled in his 10th start with Harrisburg, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in four innings. Wander Suero and Bryan Harper combined for three scoreless innings out of the Senators’ bullpen before Erie scored a run off Erik Davis in the top of the eighth inning.

After double-digit hits in each of the first two games of the series, Harrisburg was limited to six hits Sunday. Shawn Pleffner (double and a walk) and Jose Lozada (single and a walk) both reached twice for the Senators Sunday. Pleffner was driven in by an RBI single from Isaac Ballou in the bottom of the fifth inning for the Senators only run of the afternoon.

The final game of this series will begin Monday at noon.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Sunday night baseball in the Tar Heel State at BB&T Ballpark featured an 8-2 victory for the Potomac Nationals (44-43 Overall, over the Winston-Salem Dash (40-47 Overall, 21-23 Home, 10-7 Second-Half) in series Game Three as the Red, White, and Blue pulled ahead for good with a four-run 7th inning to break up a 1-1 tie.

Potomac’s 44th triumph in 2015 catalyzed an overall winning record in 2015 for the visiting club.  Nationals starter, RHP Reynaldo Lopez (5-5) now owns a .500 win/loss record after garnering his fifth win this season.

Lopez submitted his sixth quality start of the season in outing number 13 with 6.0 innings on the mound in which the phenom allowed just one earned run on five hits but no walks. The power righty fanned seven Dash hitters.

Light rain delayed the contest from a scheduled 5:00pm start to 6:07pm (one hour, six minute rain delay).

The P-Nats plated the first run of the game off the losing pitcher of record, Dash RHP Brandon Brennan (0-3) in the 2nd inning. Potomac 2B Khayyan Norfork chopped an RBI single into center field to deliver the leadoff walk issued to C Spencer Kieboom.

Winston-Salem tied the game at 1-1 in the 6th frame with an RBI double ripped inside the first base bag that traveled into the right field corner off the stick of 3B Trey Michalczewski.

Potomac then turned in a four-run 7th stanza vs. Brennan and Winston-Salem RHP Brad Goldberg. Brennan served up the go-ahead run on a two-out, run-scoring single filleted into the power alley in left-center field by Nationals LF Alec Keller before Michalczewski committed a throwing error from third base that scored P-Nats 1B Grant DeBruin, who walked. Nationals SS Stephen Perez then nailed a two-run double into left-center on the first pitch he saw from Brennan to chase the Dash starting hurler and propel the P-Nats to a 5-1 lead.

Brennan surrendered five runs (two earned runs) on six hits and three walks in 6.2 innings.

Goldberg’s line was 1.1 frames and one earned run on three hits as Potomac collected three singles from Kieboom, DeBruin, and Norfork in the 8th on offerings from Goldberg which led to an RBI sacrifice fly lofted by Nationals DH Jimmy Yezzo.

Two runs for the Nationals in the 9th came against Winston-Salem RHP Michael Ynoa via back-to-back RBI doubles off the lumber of Kieboom into the left field corner and 3B Drew Ward, who one-hopped the left field wall with a swing.

Potomac RHP Brian Dupra (3 SV) earned his third save in as many save opportunities by finishing the game with 3.0 innings under his belt.

Dupra allowed one earned run on just one hit and three walks while fanning one man.

In the last of the 9th, Dupra walked a pair but got Dash 1B Keon Barnum on a 6-3 groundout and C Omar Narvaez on a RBI 4-3 swept baseball. Then, the final out of the game came on a corner-to-corner groundout from LF Toby Thomas.

This Nationals’ victory was the most lopsided win (six-run differential) in their Second-Half play.

In the Game Four series finale on Monday evening, Nationals LHP Matt Purke (0-0, 0.00) will make his 2015 Carolina League debut against Winston-Salem RHP Robinson Leyer (3-6, 4.30).

Purke began the 2015 season with Class-A Hagerstown following Tommy John surgery performed in 2014.

First pitch at “The Bank” will be tossed at 7:00pm.  Potomac goes for their fifth consecutive series victory with a “W” tonight at BB&T Ballpark.
HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (9-9, 44-42) couldn’t muster much offense on Sunday afternoon, as they fell to the Delmarva Shorebirds (9-9, 42-44) by a final of 3-1. Despite the loss Hagerstown won the five-game series with Delmarva 3-2.

Delmarva took the lead for good on Sunday with a two-run frame in the top of the second.  Hagerstown sliced its deficit in half in the fifth. Catcher Matt Reistetter led off with a double. He moved to third on a groundout, and scored from third with two outs on a single to left by 3B Austin Davidson. Davidson finished with two of the Suns five hits in the game.

Starting RHP Drew Van Orden (5-2) suffered the hard-luck loss for the Suns. He threw five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out one.

After a day off today, the Suns next head to Charleston, West Virginia to begin a seven-game road trip with a three-game series against the West Virginia Power (12-5, 49-37) on Tuesday, July 14. The Suns will send RHP Luis Reyes (4-5) to the mound for his 16th start and appearance this season. He will square off against RHP Alex McRae (4-5) for West Virginia. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 11

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the third game of a four-game series, 8-4, against the Rochester Red Wings on Saturday night. Chiefs starter Joe Ross only allowed two runs on two hits in four and two-thirds innings. Kevin Keyes went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Syracuse (34-57) struck first on the evening putting a run across in the bottom of the fourth inning. After left fielder Kevin Keyes reached on an infield single with one out, Chris Nelson hit a ground-rule double to center field, putting runners on second and third. Ricky Hague then walked to load the bases, and first baseman Mario Lisson hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Keyes and putting the Chiefs up 1-0.

Rochester (49-41) answered in the top of the fifth. Ross walked catcher Chris Herrmann and shortstop Doug Bernier with one out in the inning. Following a fly out, Jorge Polanco singled to center, driving in Herrmann. James Beresford, the next batter, also singled to center to score Bernier and give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead.

The Chiefs responded immediately to the two Rochester runs with a pair of its own in the bottom of the frame. Designated hitter Josh Johnson led off the inning with a single and scored when center fielder Darin Mastroianni doubled to center, tying the game at two. Tony Gwynn, Jr., continued the rally with a single, putting runners on the corners and none out. Alex Meyer then came into the game to replace Rochester starter Pat Dean. On Meyer’s first pitch, he threw it into the dirt and past Herrmann, allowing Mastroianni to steal home and give the Chiefs a 3-2 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Syracuse tacked on another run to its total. Gwynn and shortstop Jason Martinson singled to lead off the inning, putting runners on the corners. Keyes, the next batter, also singled, driving in Gwynn, to put the Chiefs up 4-2.

Once again, the Red Wings had an answer for a Chiefs run. Beresford led off the top of the eighth with a single to center. The next batter, Oswaldo Arcia, doubled to right, driving in Beresford. Reynaldo Rodriguez immediately followed with a double of his own to score Arcia. Danny Ortiz continued the rally for Rochester, driving a two-run home run over the right-center field wall, giving the Red Wings a 6-4 lead heading into the ninth.

The Red Wings added two more runs in the top of the ninth en route to the win. Matt Grace entered the game for the Chiefs and gave up back-to-back one-out singles to Beresford and Arcia. In the next at-bat, Rodriguez grounded back to Grace, but a throwing error allowed Beresford to score and put runners on the corners. Still with just one out, Ortiz grounded out, but Arcia scored on the throw for an 8-4 Rochester lead.

Syracuse and Rochester will play the final game of the weekend series Sunday afternoon with first pitch set for 1:05 p.m. The Chiefs will send right-hander Taylor Jordan to the hill to face Red Wings right-hander Greg Peavey.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Brian Goodwin hit a two-run home run and Richard Bleier threw seven scoreless innings as the Harrisburg Senators beat the Erie Seawolves, 5-3, in front of 6,393 fans at Metro Bank Park Saturday. With the win, Harrisburg (44-45) evened the series at one apiece with two games remaining.

Richard Bleier continued his incredible run of pitching at Metro Bank Park, by allowing just two hits in seven scoreless innings. The left-hander is now 5-0 in six starts at home this season, and although he struck out just one batter, Bleier walked none and induced 13 groundballs. However, Senators’ reliever Nick Lee struggled in the eighth inning, allowing three runs on two hits in a third of an inning. Abel De Los Santos, who allowed two of Lee’s runners to score, limited the damage in the eighth before working a scoreless ninth inning to earn his fifth save of the season.

The Senators offense supported Bleier early by scoring a single run in the second, third and fourth innings. Isaac Ballou opened the scoring with an RBI double. Then in the third, Goodwin tripled and then scored on an Erie error and in the fourth Chris Bostick scored Adrian Sanchez with an RBI fielder’s choice. Harrisburg carried its 3-0 lead into the sixth when Cutter Dykstra and Chris Bostick singled ahead of Brian Goodwin. However, Dykstra was thrown out a third on a double steal, but Goodwin followed with a two-run home run to extend Harrisburg’s lead to five.

Five different Senators had two hits, including Goodwin, Bostick, Shawn Pleffner and Adrian Sanchez. Cutter Dykstra also reached three times with a hit and two walks.

The Senators will send Dakota Bacus to the mound Sunday in game three of the four-game set. First pitch is set for 1:30 p.m

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Dash (40-46-Overall, 21-22-Home, 10-6-Second Half) turned a one-run ballgame into a 7-3 rout with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and cruised to the victory in Game Two of the series against the Potomac Nationals (43-43-Overall, 18-24-Road, 10-6-Second Half) at BB&T Ballpark on Saturday night.

RHP Ian Dickson (0-0, 3.68) made his first start in 2015 for the Potomac Nationals after spending all of last season with the P-Nats in 2014. Dickson did make two starts with the GCL Nationals earlier in 2015 and appeared once out of the bullpen for Potomac prior to this start. Dickson lasted 4.1 innings, giving up three runs (earned) on six hits with a walk and a strikeout and he did not factor into the decision.

Dickson was gifted a two-run lead in the top of the second when DH John Wooten walked to begin the inning against LHP Jordan Guerrero (2-1, 4.79), who started for the Dash. 3B Drew Ward then lined an RBI triple down the right field line, scoring Wooten for a 1-0 Potomac lead. 1B Grant DeBruin next hit a sacrifice fly scoring Ward for a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second against Dickson, Winston-Salem snapped a streak of 98 consecutive frames without a home run when DH TJ Williams lined one over the right field wall, his first of the season and the lead was 2-1 Potomac.

C Adderling Ruiz, the backup catcher making his Carolina League debut, came up in the top of the third and mashed a ball out to left field for his first full season career long ball and a 3-1 Potomac lead.

In the fourth frame against the righty Dickson allowed three straight singles that led a run. RF Nolan Earley led-off the inning with a single and two batters later SS Clueluis Rondon singled him home to cut the lead 3-2.

Dickson didn’t last the fifth inning, being lifted with one out after a 2B Jake Peter double. LHP Justin Thomas came in and provided no relief. Thomas was greeted rudely with an RBI double by 3B Trey Michalczewski, scoring Peter and tying the game at 3-3. Two batters later, with two outs, C Jeremy Dowdy singled home Michalczewski and that gave Winston-Salem a 4-3 lead.

Guerrero, for the Dash, pitched six innings and allowed three runs on four hits, walking three and striking out four in the win.

The score remained 4-3 Dash until the bottom of the eighth. Thomas was still in the game for Potomac when things fell apart and all with two outs. Williams singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, before Rondon singled home Williams for a 5-3 lead. LF Michael Suiter followed with a base knock and that chased Thomas from the ballgame. RHP Derek Self entered the game and after issuing a walk to CF Adam Engel was clipped for two-run Peter single and a 7-3 Dash lead.

Potomac against RHP Jake Cose mounted nothing in his two scoreless innings of work. Cose allowed three hits but no runs with a strikeout and RHP Peter Tago entered and pitched a scoreless, one, two, three top of the ninth to close out the 7-3 win.

The P-Nats stranded two men on in each of the sixth, seventh, and eighth frames and finished the game 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.  The 7-3 loss drops Potomac back to .500 and evens the best-of-four-series at one win apiece heading into Game Three tomorrow evening.

Today’s Game Three features RHP Reynaldo Lopez (4-5, 4.57) for Potomac against RHP Brandon Brennan (0-2, 4.34) for the Winston-Salem Dash.

Game Three of the series is set for a 5:00 pm first pitch from downtown Winston-Salem.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (9-8, 44-41) had their four-game winning streak snapped on Saturday night when they lost 6-2 to the Delmarva Shorebirds (8-9, 41-44). Despite the loss Hagerstown leads the five-game series with Delmarva 3-1.

The Shorebirds took control early on Saturday with a four-run frame in the top of the third. Already up 1-0 entering the inning, CF Ademar Rifaela and 2B Steve Wilkerson both reached on back-to-back bunt base hits with one out. Then, DH Logan Uxa smacked a ground ball single to right, driving in Rifaela from second to make it 2-0. Third baseman Cameron Kneeland next stepped to the plate, and he belted a pitch over the right field wall for his first homerun of the season. That made it 5-0 Delmarva and allowed the Shorebirds to coast from there.

Center fielder Dale Carey was responsible for driving in both of the Suns runs in the game. In the bottom of the third he smacked a solo homerun over the left field wall for his team-leading eighth long ball of the season, making it 5-1. In the seventh with the score at 6-1, Carey came to the plate with a runner at second and one out, and he lined a double to center field, driving in 2B Conor Keniry from second to set the final score. It was Carey’s 12th double of the season and his 32nd RBI.

The Shorebirds got their first run in the second inning on a sacrifice fly from LF T.J. Olesczuk. They pushed across their final run in the sixth, and again it was Olesczuk who did the damage. He came to the plate with a runner at first and one out, and sent a fly ball double into center field, brining 1B Derek Peterson all the way around from first. That gave Delmarva its second five-run lead of the game.

The first five Shorebirds runs all came against Suns starting RHP Jose Morales (0-1), who suffered the loss in his Hagerstown debut. He wound up throwing three innings, allowing six hits and two walks. Starting RHP Josh Walker (4-1) got the win for Delmarva. He worked 5.2 innings, giving up one earned run on five hits and three walks while striking out three.

These teams will conclude their five-game series at Municipal Stadium on Sunday July 12. The Suns will send RHP Drew Van Orden (5-1) to the mound for his 11th start and 16th appearance this season. He will square off against RHP Matthew Grimes (6-5) for Delmarva. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 10

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs split a doubleheader with the Rochester Red Wings on Friday evening at NBT Bank Stadium. Syracuse took the first game 4-0 and lost the second game 11-2 against Rochester. In game one, A.J. Cole hurled six innings of scoreless baseball on the way to a shutout of the Red Wings. In game two, Jason Martinson and Trea Turner each homered in the loss for the Chiefs.

In game one, Syracuse (34-56) scored three times in the bottom of the third inning against Rochester starter Taylor Rogers. Dan Butler and Darin Mastroianni both began the inning with singles to put the first two runners on. Turner stepped up and tripled to deep left-center field to plate Butler and Mastroianni to give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead. After a Martinson groundout and a Kevin Keyes walk, Chris Nelson drove in the third Syracuse run with an RBI single to right field.

The Chiefs added one more run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Mario Lisson led off the frame with a double over the head of Danny Ortiz in center field. Tony Gwynn, Jr. followed with a groundout to the second baseman James Beresford, which moved Lisson to third. Two batters later, Mastroianni lined a triple to deep center field to plate Lisson for a 4-0 advantage for Syracuse.

A.J. Cole was dominant in his return to the mound from a stint on the disabled list. Cole threw six innings against Rochester and did not allow a run. The right-hander allowed only two hits and a walk while striking out two to earn his first win of the season for Syracuse.

In game two, Rochester (48-41) scored first against Syracuse starter Taylor Hill in the first inning. d.  Syracuse tied the score in the bottom of the third by the way of the long ball against Logan Darnell. With one out, Turner hit a solo shot over the left-field fence to cut the Rochester lead in half. The next batter, Martinson went the opposite way with his solo shot to right field. The back-to-back home runs tied the score at two after three innings.

Syracuse and Rochester play again on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. at NBT Bank Stadium as part of four games in three days. The Chiefs throw right-hander Joe Ross against left-hander Pat Dean for the Red Wings.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): In the first of four games this weekend, the Harrisburg Senators dropped a 6-3 decision to the Erie Seawolves Friday night before 5,853 fans at Metro Bank Park. The Senators (43-45) have lost two straight games for the first time since June 22-23.

Washington Nationals’ prospect Nick Pivetta made his AA debut by pitching the first six innings for the Senators, allowing three runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out two while throwing 45 of 81 pitches for strikes. He left with the game tied at 3-3, but Erie scored three runs on three hits off Senators’ reliever Sam Runion in the top of the seventh inning. Friday was just the second time this season that Runion has allowed multiple runs in an appearance. Gilberto Mendez pitched two scoreless innings to keep the Senators within three. He allowed two hits and struck out one.

The Senators had 10 hits Friday night, but did not do much after Cutter Dykstra and Chris Bostick led the bottom of the first off with back-to-back home runs. Dykstra’s homer was the first leadoff homer by a Senator this season and Bostick made it back-to-back dingers — also a first this season. The Senators then added a run in the third when Isaac Ballou doubled and scored on a double play later in the inning to make it a 3-2 Harrisburg lead. However, the Senators finished 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Bostick finished the night 3-for-4 with a double and a single while Dykstra finished 2-for-5. Ballou and Pedro Severino also added two hits each in the loss.

The Senators and Seawolves will continue their series tonight with a 6:00 p.m. start at Metro Bank Park.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (43-42-Overall, 18-23-Road, 10-5-Second Half) scored three runs in the top of the first and an insurance run in the top of the ninth to give RHP Austen Williams his first Carolina League win, 4-2 over the Winston-Salem Dash (39-46-Overall, 20-21-Home, 9-6-Second Half) at BB&T Ballpark on Friday night.

RHP Austin Williams (1-0, 3.00), just promoted on July 8th, 2015 from the Hagerstown Suns, was making his Carolina League debut and he did not disappoint. Williams was hit hard in the first inning, giving up two runs before hanging five zeros before departing and at one point retiring 10 in a row and 11 of 12. In his six innings he gave up two runs (earned) on three hits, he walked two and struck out two while logging a quality start.

Potomac against the starter RHP James Dykstra (3-7, 3.60) for Winston-Salem were still looking for revenge for his seven inning no hitter against the P-Nats back The Pfitz on April 15th, 2015. Dykstra, like Williams for Potomac, had a tough first inning.

CF Narciso Mesa began it all with a single. LF Alec Keller then reached on an error charged to the 2B Jake Peter, who bobbled a ground ball allowing Keller to reach safely, putting runners on first and second. Two batters later C Spencer Kieboom singled to load the bases. After a 3B Drew Ward lineout was the second out of the inning RF John Wooten came to the plate. With Wooten batting the Dash C Omar Narvaez threw a snap throw down to third trying to catch Mesa off of third base. The throw was low and it skipped down the left field line for an error that allowed both Mesa and Keller to score, giving Potomac a 2-0 lead. Kieboom moved up to second base and Wooten drove him in with an RBI single for a 3-0 lead.

Winston Salem against Williams scored their two runs in the bottom of the first on a lead-off walk to CF Adam Engel. 2B Jake Peter groundout to move Engel to second base. 3B Trey Michalczewski singled home Engel to cut the lead to 3-1. 1B Keon Barnum then doubled home Michalczewski to make it a 3-2 Potomac lead.

Both Williams and Dykstra settled down following the bumpy first inning on both sides of the diamond.

Dykstra, after allowing three hits in the first inning to Potomac, allowed only three more hits in the following six frames and at one point retired 12 in a row until a two out single snapped the streak in the top of the fifth.

Dykstra took the loss pitching seven innings and allowing three runs (none earned) on six hits, a walk and he struck out five. Dykstra, after winning his first three starts, has now lost seven of his last 10 to fall to 3-7 on the season.

RHP Nate Jones, in Winston-Salem on a rehab stint for the Chicago White Sox, came out of the bullpen in the eighth and gave up a single to SS Stephen Perez but got a 5-4-3 twin killing and then a Ward fly out to end the inning.

Still leading 3-2 heading into the seventh Williams was lifted for RHP Tyler Mapes, who held the Winston-Salem bats at bay. Mapes logged two scoreless innings picking up four strikeouts without a walk and he allowed just two hits to get the game to the ninth inning.

Potomac added an insurance run in the ninth against LHP Jefferson Olacio. With one out 1B Grant Debruin doubled, moving to third on a DH Estarlin Martinez groundout. 2B Khayyan Norfork, the hero from yesterday against Lynchburg, doubled home Debruin for a 4-2 Potomac lead.

RHP Manny Rodriguez came out of the bullpen in the bottom of the ninth to close out the win in the series opener against the Dash. Narvaez greeted Rodriguez with a lead-off double but then RF Nolan Early grounded out. DH Toby Thomas struck out and SS Clueluis Rondon flew out to right field to end the ball game with Narvaez stranded at third base and clinching the 4-2 Potomac win.

Potomac has now won 10 of their last 13 games and has also won the opener in four of their last five series and it’s no surprise Potomac has won four straight series as well.

The P-Nats are now over the .500 mark at 43-42 for the first time since April 26th, 2015 when they were 9-8 and they improve to a league best 10-5 in the second half of the Carolina League season.

Tonight’s Game Two of the four-game set will see RHP Ian Dickson (0-0, 0.00), a 2014 Potomac National, will make his first start this season after being activated from the disabled list earlier in July against LHP Jordan Guerrero (1-1, 4.84).  Tonight’s Game Two is set for a 6:30 pm first pitch from downtown Winston-Salem

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (9-7, 44-40) clinched the series victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds (7-9, 40-44) on Friday night thanks to a 7-6 win in front of 1,291 at Municipal Stadium. With two games still remaining in the five-game series, the Suns have now won four in-a-row overall.

In a back-and-forth game Hagerstown plated both the tying and winning runs in the sixth. Third baseman Austin Davidson led off the inning with a single to left. Davidson then advanced to second on a groundout, and he scored from second on a double hit off the right field wall by 1B Jose Marmolejos. The next batter, catcher Raudy Read, hit a ground ball to 3B Cameron Kneeland, but Kneeland’s throw to first bounced and went by 1B Derek Peterson, allowing Marmolejos to score the winning run. It was the only error in the game committed by either team.

In the top half of the sixth the Shorebirds had broken a 5-5 tie on a solo homerun off the bat of LF T.J. Olesczuk. The homerun came with one out in the frame, and it was the third homerun of the season for Olesczuk. It was the only long ball of the game for either team.

Hagerstown took an initial 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With a runner at first and one out Marmolejos sent a triple down the right field line to make it 1-0 Suns. Marmolejos came home from third on a passed ball. Later in the inning, DH Matt Reistetter hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Read and make it a three-run lead.

The Shorebirds answered right away with their first two runs in the top of the second. With runners on the corners and one out Peterson laced a line drive double to right, bringing in both runners to make it 3-2. In the bottom of the inning Hagerstown stretched the lead to two on an RBI single by 2B Bryan Mejia.

Delmarva took its first lead in the third with a three-run frame of its own. With runners on first and second and one out, Kneeland smacked a line-drive double to left, bringing in both runners to make it a 4-4 game. Then, catcher Yermin Mercedes came to the plate and sent a line-drive double to center field, driving in Kneeland to make it 5-4. An inning later Hagerstown tied it at 5-5 thanks to another RBI hit by Mejia, this one of the two-bag variety. Mejia finished with his second three-hit game of the season while in a Suns uniform, and the two teams combined for 11 extra-base hits.

LHP R.C. Orlan (3-1) wound up getting the win in relief for the Suns. He threw 3.1 innings, giving up one earned run on three hits while striking out one. RHP Dariel Delgado (3-2) suffered the loss for the Shorebirds. He pitched two innings in relief, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits. LHP Jake Walsh threw the final 1.2 innings for Hagerstown to record his sixth save in six chances this season.

These teams will continue their five-game series at Municipal Stadium with game four on Saturday July 11. The Suns will send RHP Jose Morales (0-0) to the mound for his first start and appearance this season. He will square off against RHP Josh Walker (3-1) for Delmarva. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

 

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 9

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 5-2, Thursday afternoon at PNC Field. Tony Gwynn, Jr. drove in three of the five Chiefs runs, lifting Syracuse to its fifth win its last six games.

Syracuse (33-55) grabbed the lead for good in the second inning. Caleb Ramsey picked up his first of four singles with one out and stole second base. After a pop out, Dan Butler singled and Darin Mastroianni walked to load the bases. Gwynn, Jr. followed with a two-RBI single to right field, plating Ramsey and Butler to give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead.

The Chiefs added to the lead in the fourth. Ramsey singled to start the inning and Josh Johnson and Butler each walked, chasing RailRiders starter Jose De Paula. Danny Burawa came out of the bullpen, and after a fielder’s choice at the plate, Gwynn, Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to center field to push the lead to 3-0.

In the fifth, the Chiefs added another. Kevin Keyes doubled to start the inning and scored on Ramsey’s third single of the game to give Syracuse a 4-0 advantage.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (47-42) scratched across two runs in the sixth. Chiefs starter Bruce Billings walked Ramon Flores to start the inning, then surrendered back-to-back singles to Aaron Judge and Greg Bird to load the bases. Billings walked Rob Refsnyder to bring in the first RailRiders run. Syracuse then turned to Rafael Martin, who allowed a single to Kyle Roller, scoring Judge to cut the score to 4-2. But Martin would strike out Austin Romine and get Dan Fiorito to ground into an inning-ending double play to keep the score at 4-2.

The Chiefs put up an insurance run in the ninth. Gwynn, Jr. reached on an error on Rico Noel at third and scored on a Jason Martinson double to finish the scoring at 5-2.

Syracuse returns home Friday for a doubleheader against Rochester. The Chiefs game one starter has yet to be announced. The Red Wings are scheduled to throw Taylor Rogers in game one. Taylor Hill is expected to start game two and Rochester’s starter is still to be announced. Game one is slated to start at 5:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators were unable to finish off a series sweep of Richmond, losing 5-1 Thursday at The Diamond. The Senators (43-44), however, had already clinched a fifth straight series win after winning the first two games of the series. The loss was just the third in the last 16 games for Harrisburg

Senators’ starter Matthew Spann endured a rough second inning as Richmond sent nine batters to the plate and scored four runs. Spann bounced back, though, and finished off six innings of work, throwing 93 pitches. The lefty allowed 10 hits, walked one and struck out five. Erik Davis finished the night off for Harrisburg by allowing a run in two innings of relief. Davis walked one and struck out two.

The Senators scored their lone run in the top of the fourth inning when Drew Vettleson singled home Brian Goodwin. Five different Senators recorded one hit, but none of the five went for extra bases. Matt Skole reached three times on a single, a walk and a hit by pitch. However, the Senators had runners picked off first base to end a pair of innings in which Skole was at the plate.

The Senators return home tonight to begin the final series before the All-Star break. The series opener against Erie will begin at 7:00 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): On Thursday afternoon at Pfitzner Stadium, the Potomac Nationals (42-42 Overall, 25-19 Home, 9-5 Second-Half) swept the Lynchburg Hillcats (39-44 Overall, 23-14 Road, 6-7 Second-Half) in a matinee doubleheader to take the three-game series two to one.

The Nationals clipped the Hillcats by the final score of 3-2 in the frontend matchup and 4-2 in the “nightcap” to get back to a .500 record in 2015.

En route to the twin bill broom job, Potomac 2B Khayyan Norfork blooped a walk-off RBI single in the last of the 7th in the first double dip contest in advance of the stellar complete game slung by RHP John Simms in the second clash.

The Red, White, and Blue are now a (5-7) club in their doubleheader affairs during the 2015 season, and the Nationals have played to a (10-8) head-to-head record against Lynchburg.

In Game One, P-Nats starter, RHP Phillips Valdez gave the home club a chance to win by dealing 5.0 frames in which he surrendered two earned runs on six hits, one walk, and one wild pitch. Valdez tied his season-high with six strikeouts in a no-decision.

The Hillcats tagged Valdez for a pair of runs in the 4th inning on an RBI sacrifice fly off the stick of Lynchburg C Eric Haase and a seeing-eye run-scoring groundball single through the left side of the infield from 2B Claudio Bautista.

Washington Nationals RHP Aaron Barrett, down with Potomac on rehabilitation for a right biceps strain, took the mound in the 6th stanza and faced only one hitter before leaving the game. Barrett gave up a double on a 3-0 pitch stroked to the alleyway in right-center field by Lynchburg 1B Nellie Rodriguez.

Nationals RHP Brian Dupra (1-0), the winning pitcher of record, got the final six outs of the game walking one and fanning one in the process.

Lynchburg starting hurler, RHP Dace Kime was dealing through 6.0 innings but ran into trouble to begin the 7th. Kime walked Potomac C Spencer Kieboom before 3B Drew Ward ripped a single to right field on the first pitch he saw to knock Kime out of the game.

Kime’s finished line was 6.0-plus innings, two runs (two earned runs), four hits, one walk, five strikeouts, and one wild pitch.

Hillcats RHP Ben Heller (BS 3, 0-2) would come on in relief of Kime to blow his third save and suffer his second losing decision of the season as the Nationals rallied for three runs. Heller allowed an RBI single swatted to left field by RF John Wooten to drive home Kieboom and cut Lynchburg’s lead to 2-1. Nationals 1B Grant DeBruin laid down a sacrifice bunt to put two runners in to scoring position with one out. A wild pitch from Heller then allowed Ward to slide across home plate to tie the game at 2-2. Potomac DH Brandon Miller then raked a sharp 5-3 groundout to lead up to the game-winning at-bat for Norfork, who looped a game-winning single into left-center bringing Wooten to the dish and propelling the P-Nats to their fifth walk-off win of the 2015 season.

In Game Two, Simms submitted his tenth quality start in his last 11 outings on the mound.

The winner, Simms (5-5) gunned through a 7.0 inning complete game while allowing two runs (one earned run) on five hits, one walk, and one hit batter. Simms struck out only one batter amid his gem.

Simms tossed 79 pitches and 54 for strikes to earn his fifth victory in 2015.

Lynchburg starting pitcher, RHP Antonio Romero did not receive a decision after going 3.0 innings and allowing one earned run on four hits and two walks with only one strikeout to his line.

The P-Nats jumped on the scoreboard in the 3rd inning when DeBruin laced an RBI sac fly off Romero with the bases loaded to center field to score the leadoff walk issued to LF Cody Dent.
A run-scoring single nailed into right field by Hillcats RF Mike Papi on an offering from Simms in the top of the 4th answered the Nationals’ run to tie the contest.

Potomac put together their second three-run frame of the day in the 5th against losing pitcher, Lynchburg RHP Justin Brantley (1-4) to jump on top 4-1. Nationals RF Estarlin Martinez stole home plate for the second time this season on a successful double steal attempt, Wooten chopped an RBI one-base knock into center field, and Ward sliced a single to left-center to plate one run.

Brantley took his fourth loss after serving up those three earned runs in 1.2 innings of bullpen work.

It was too little, too late for Lynchburg in the 7th as Papi’s leadoff double to the right field line scored on a one-out sac fly from C Sicnarf Loopstok but the final out was recorded by Simms on a scorched lineout to Norfork at second base off the lumber of Hillcats 2B Yhoxian Medina to seal the twin bill sweep for the Nationals.

Tonight, the Nationals travel to Winston-Salem, NC to begin a four-game wrap-around weekend series against the Winston-Salem Dash (Chicago White Sox) at BB&T Ballpark from Friday, July 10th to Monday, July 13th.

In the series opener tonight, Potomac RHP Austen Williams (0-0, 0.00) makes his Carolina League debut against Winston-Salem RHP James Dykstra (3-6, 3.95) with first pitch scheduled for 7:00pm at “The Bank.”

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (8-7, 43-40) came back from a 5-0 deficit on Thursday night to take down the Delmarva Shorebirds (7-8, 40-43) by a final of 10-8. It is the second time this season the Suns have erased a five-run deficit in a game they wound up winning, and both times it was the Shorebirds on the losing end of the comeback.

On Thursday Hagerstown began to claw away at its five-run deficit in the third. With a runner at second and two outs, catcher Raudy Read smacked a ground ball double to left, driving in RF Bryan Mejia to make it 5-1. Delmarva again stretched its lead to five in the top half of the fifth on a wild pitch by RHP Kevin Perez with a runner at third. That allowed SS Steve Wilkerson to score and make it 6-1.

The bottom of the fifth is when the Suns really started to make some headway in their comeback attempt. Hagerstown sent nine batters to the plate in the inning, and came away with four runs on three hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an error. The biggest hit of the frame was a two-run single by LF Matthew Page, who was making his Hagerstown debut. Following the inning the Suns trailed by just a run at 6-5.

Hagerstown then evened the score at 6-6 in the sixth thanks to a leadoff solo homerun off the bat of 2B Conor Keniry. It was his first of the season and the team’s 37th. The game remained tied for just one inning as Hagerstown took the lead for good in the seventh. The Suns again plated four in the frame, and this time the four runs came thanks to three hits, a walk, and a hit batter. Shortstop David Masters and CF Dale Carey both collected two-run hits in the frame, as Hagerstown ended the night with 10 runs on 11 hits.

The Shorebirds were able to make things interesting by scoring two runs in the ninth, but with the potential tying run at the plate LHP David Napoli was able to induce a double play ball from 3B Derek Peterson, and then he struck out RF Elier Leyva to end the game and pick up his fourth save in four tries this season.

RHP Andrew Cooper (2-2) wound up earning the win for Hagerstown. He threw 2.0 innings in relief, giving up two earned runs on five hits while striking out three. RHP Stefan Crichton (3-3) suffered the loss for the Shorebirds. He pitched just one inning, giving up all four seventh-inning runs. The two teams combined to use nine pitchers in the game.

These teams will continue their five-game series at Municipal Stadium with game three on Friday July 10. The Suns will send LHP Connor Bach (2-1) to the mound for his 10th start and 16th appearance this season. He will square off against RHP Lucas Long (2-3) for Delmarva. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

 

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 8

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 6-4, Wednesday night at PNC Field. The Chiefs scored three runs in the top of the 12th inning to snap a game that had been tied since the sixth inning and grabbed their fourth win in five games.

Syracuse (32-55) grabbed a 2-0 lead after the first two frames. In the first inning, Jason Martinson hit his team-leading 13th home run of the season off RailRiders starter Kyle Davies to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. In the second, Caleb Ramsey and Mario Lisson each singled with one out. Josh Johnson then singled home Ramsey to push the lead to 2-0.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (47-41) responded in the third. Tyler Austin was hit by a James Simmons pitch. Taylor Dugas followed with an RBI double to cut the lead to 2-1. After a groundout moved Dugas to third, Ben Gamel singled in the run to tie the game at two. The RailRiders were not done, as Rob Refsnyder singled and Cole Figueroa hit a sacrifice fly to give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre its first lead at 3-2.

The Chiefs tied the score in the sixth. Trea Turner singled and stole second base. After a pop out and groundout, Kevin Keyes ripped a single to left field, scoring Turner for the tying run.

The game remained tied at three until the 12th inning. Dan Butler singled with one out off RailRiders reliever James Pazos. Pazos then threw eight straight balls, walking Turner and Tony Gwynn, Jr. to load the bases. Martinson broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Butler to give the Chiefs a 4-3 advantage. A batter later, Kevin Keyes hit a high fly ball to shallow left field, which fell in front of Taylor Dugas for a single, allowing Turner to score. An error on Dugas fielding the ball in left allowed Gwynn, Jr. to also score and stretch the lead to 6-3.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre would rally in the bottom of the frame. Gamel singled off Jose Valverde, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a Refsnyder single, and scored on a Figueroa sacrifice fly to cut the score to 6-4. But Valverde got Aaron Judge to ground into a fielder’s choice and Kyle Roller to fly out to deep left field to seal the victory.

The Chiefs and RailRiders will play the rubber game of this three-game series Thursday at 12:05 p.m. Former RailRider Bruce Billings is scheduled to start for Syracuse opposite Jose De Paula for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): More outstanding pitching plus a big swing from Matt Skole fueled a third consecutive win for the Harrisburg Senators, 3-1, over the Richmond Flying Squirrels Wednesday at The Diamond in Richmond. The win sealed a fifth consecutive series win for Harrisburg (43-43), and is the fifth win in six games since an eight-game winning streak was snapped. The Senators are at the .500 mark for the first time since they were 8-8 on April 25.

Cutter Dykstra walked to begin the ball game and advanced to second on a Jose Lozada single. However, Lozada was tagged out after being caught between first and second. Brian Goodwin then singled in front of Skole, who unloaded his 12th home run of the season to put Harrisburg up 3-0 in the first. Skole now has 53 RBI on the season.

Richmond responded with a run on two hits in the bottom of the first inning, but Senators’ starter Colin Bates settled in from there. He allowed just four hits in the ensuing five scoreless innings. Overall, Bates walked none and struck out five in six one-run innings. Wander Suero relieved Bates by pitching two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three to earn his first hold with Harrisburg. In his second appearance with the Senators, left-hander Nick Lee earned his first save, stranding the game-tying runs in scoring position to throw a scoreless ninth inning.

Dykstra finished 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and a run scored, while Drew Vettleson also recorded a two hit game, going 2-for-4.  The Senators will attempt to finish off the sweep Thursday night at Richmond, beginning at 7:05 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The P-Nats (40-42-Overall, 23-19-Home, 7-5-Second Half) and the Lynchburg Hillcats (39-42-Overall, 23-22-Road, 6-5-Second Half) were postponed in series Game Two at Pfitzner Stadium on Wednesday night due to excessive rain in the Woodbridge, VA area.

A double header on Thursday has been scheduled for a 12:05 pm first pitch with gates at The Pfitz opening up at 11:00 am.

In Game One Potomac will send RHP Phillips Valdez (3-2, 4.81) to the mound against the RHP Dace Kime (2-4, 4.41) for the Hillcats. Game Two will feature RHP John Simms (4-5, 3.06) against RHP Antonio Romero (1-0, 2.93) for the Hillcats.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (7-7, 42-40) matched a season-high with three homeruns on Wednesday night, taking down the Delmarva Shorebirds (7-7, 40-42) by a final of 4-1. It was the second time this season the Suns have hit three homeruns in a game, and the first time at Municipal Stadium.

The first two Hagerstown long balls came in the third inning. With one out 3B Austin Davidson came to the plate, and he belted a line drive over the right-center field fence and into the visitors bullpen for his fourth homer of the season to make it 1-0. CF Dale Carey followed with a single up the middle, and then RF Bryan Mejia went yard over the left field wall for his second homer of the season and the team’s 35th, making it 3-0.

The lead remained 3-0 until the fifth, when Mejia came to the plate for his next at-bat. This time he drove a ball off the center field wall and into the visitors bullpen for his second homer of the evening. This was a solo shot and made it 4-0 Hagerstown. Mejia became the third player this season to homer twice in a game for Hagerstown.

Delmarva picked up its lone run in the eighth. Designated hitter Yermin Mercedes led off with a double on a fly ball to left. He moved to third on a groundout to second, and scored from third on a single to center field off the bat of catcher Phildrick Llewellyn. The Shorebirds also threatened in the ninth with two on and none out, when 1B Logan Uxa came to the plate. Uxa laced a single to center field, but Carey began an unconventional 8-6-2 double play to all but eliminate the threat in the inning.

Starting RHP Luis Reyes (4-5) cruised through the first five innings for Hagerstown to earn the win. He allowed just one baserunner, a leadoff double by 3B Cameron Kneeland in the second, during that span. Reyes exited the game after five innings because there was a darkness delay in the middle of the fifth when one of the light towers lost power. Starting LHP John Means (5-6) suffered the loss for the Shorebirds. He threw four innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and one walk while striking out one.

These teams will continue their five-game series at Municipal Stadium with game two on Thursday July 9. The Suns will send RHP Mario Sanchez (4-3) to the mound for his fifth start and 18th appearance this season. He will square off against LHP Brian Gonzalez (4-6) for Delmarva. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

 

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 7

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the first game of a three-game series to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 5-1, Tuesday night at PNC Field. The RailRiders bullpen allowed just two hits in five innings of scoreless relief.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (47-40) grabbed the lead in the first inning. Rob Refsnyder hit his seventh home run of the season off Chiefs starter Paolo Espino to take a 1-0 lead.

The RailRiders struck again in the second. Nick Noonan reached on a fielder’s choice with two outs. Taylor Dugas then singled to put runners on the corners. Catcher Juan Graterol then singled to left field, scoring Noonan to extend the lead to 2-0. Dugas was thrown out at the plate trying to score after Graterol got caught in a rundown between first and second base to end the inning.

Syracuse (31-55) scored its lone run in the fourth. Ricky Hague walked with one out against RailRiders starter Luis Severino. Tony Gwynn, Jr. followed with a single. After a pop out, Caleb Ramsey hit a high-fly ball into shallow left-center field, which fell in between Dugas in left and Ben Gamel in center, allowing Hague to score and cut the lead to 2-1.

The RailRiders answered in the fifth. Noonan reached on an error on Kevin Keyes at first, followed by a Dugas single. After a strikeout, Ben Gamel singled in Noonan to push the lead to 3-1.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre put the finishing touches on the game in the seventh. Noonan and Dugas each singled to start the inning. The RailRiders’ seven and eight hitters in the game, Noonan and Dugas, combined to go 4 for 6 and scored four runs. Noonan scored on a double by Gamel to stretch the lead to 4-1. Paul Demny came out of the bullpen in relief of Espino, and after a walk, Cole Figueroa plated Dugas on a sacrifice fly to finish off the scoring at 5-1.

The Chiefs and RailRiders play game two of the three-game series Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Taylor Hill is scheduled to start for Syracuse opposite Kyle Davies.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Chris Bostick’s go-ahead sacrifice fly proved to be the difference in the Harrisburg Senators’ 2-1 victory over Richmond Tuesday night at The Diamond. The win is the 12th in Harrisburg’s (42-43) last 14 games. The Senators are within one game of .500 for the first time since being 10-11 on May 1.

Harrisburg had a runner in scoring position with less than two outs in three of the first five innings, but could not score. The game remained scoreless until the eighth when Isaac Ballou scored on a pinch-hit sacrifice fly by Jose Lozada. The first three extra innings breezed by quietly, but in the 13th inning, Derrick Robinson reached on a bunt single and the throw to first went down the right field line, allowing Robinson to reach third. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Bostick two batters later to push Harrisburg in front again.

Austin Voth turned in another fantastic outing, following up six shutout innings on July 2 with seven more scoreless frames Tuesday. Voth gained control of the Eastern League lead in strikeouts as he upped his season total to 90 with seven strikeouts against Richmond. Voth allowed just two hits and walked none. After the Senators took the lead in the top of the eighth, Harrisburg reliever Erik Davis allowed a single then a game-tying RBI double in the bottom half. Lefty Bryan Harper recorded the final two outs of the eighth, stranding the go-ahead run at third, and then pitched a scoreless ninth to force extras.

Gilberto Mendez followed by keeping Richmond scoreless in the 10th and 11th, allowing a hit, two walks while striking out two. Sam Runion pitched a scoreless 12th, but in the 13th allowed Richmond to load the bases with two outs via a pair of singles and a walk. However, Runion stranded all three runners as he struck out Richmond’s Hunter Cole to end the ball game.

Game two of a three game set between Harrisburg and Richmond begins Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The P-Nats (40-42-Overall, 23-19-Home, 7-5-Second Half) had a late rally fall just short in the series opener against the Lynchburg Hillcats (39-42-Overall, 23-22-Road, 6-5-Second Half), falling 4-3 at Pfitzner Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Dominican born RHP Reynaldo Lopez (4-5, 4.57) made the start for Potomac, his 12th start of the season, against the Lynchburg Hillcats. Lopez wrapped up with a quality start, going six innings and relinquishing three runs (all earned) on four hits, he walked a season high five batters and tied a season high with eight strikeouts in the 4-3 loss.

Lynchburg got on the board in the top of the first with one out when RF Clint Frazier walked. CF Bradley Zimmer then drew a free pass and two batters later LF Mike Papi brought home Frazier with an RBI single for a 1-0 Hillcats lead.

It remained 1-0 until the top of the fourth when 2B Claudio Bautista homered, his first of the year, against Lopez for a 2-0 Lynchburg lead.

Lynchburg added to their lead once again in the top of the fifth when Frazier drew a lead-off walk. Zimmer, the number two overall prospect in the Cleveland system according to Baseball America then doubled, scoring Frazier and giving the Hillcats a 3-0 advantage.

RHP Mitch Brown (4-8, 5.64) got the nod for Lynchburg and held Potomac scoreless and hitless through the first four innings before finally giving up a single in the fifth. Brown logged seven and a third innings allowing three runs (all earned) on three hits with just two walks and two strikeouts.

Potomac cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth when DH Brandon Miller doubled to open the frame. Two batters later he came home when CF Narciso Mesa hit an RBI groundout and the score was 3-1 Lynchburg.

Lynchburg added what ultimately ended up being the game winner in the top of the eighth against the bullpen arm, RHP Justin Amlung. With one out 1B Nellie Rodriguez singled. Papi then doubled home Rodriguez for a 4-1 lead.

RHP Ben Heller (SV: 10) entered the game when Brown ran into some trouble in the bottom of the eighth and earned the save. 2B Adrian Sanchez singled and then 1B Grant DeBruin was hit by a pitch. RF Estarlin Martinez picked up an RBI single that scored Sanchez to cut the lead to 4-2. Two batters later LF Alec Keller reached on infield single that scored DeBruin to make it a 4-3 ballgame in favor of the Hillcats.

Amlung hurled a perfect ninth inning to keep it a one-run game before Heller closed out the 4-3 victory, facing four Nationals in the bottom of the ninth and stranding the tying run at first base.

Series Game Two tonight from The Pfitz sets RHP Phillips Valdez (3-2, 4.81) for Potomac against RHP Dace Kime (2-4, 4.41) for the Hillcats with a 7:05 pm scheduled first pitch.
HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns climbed over the .500 mark for the season with a 6-3 win over Lakewood on Tuesday night in front of 6,145 fans.  The Suns (41-40) rapped out 13 hits and scored in pairs in three different innings in moving to 7-7 in the second half of the South Atlantic League season.

After threatening to score in the fourth, the Suns took a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning with a Lakewood error opening the door on a grounder by Diomedes Eusebio.  Matt Reistetter and Jeff Gardner each singled to load the bases, followed by a two-run single off the bat of Conor Keniry.

The Suns backed the inning up with another pair of sixth-inning tallies.  Singles by Bryan Mejia and Jose Marmolejos set the table against Lakewood pitcher Tyler Viza. Eusebio then picked up an RBI with a single to score Mejia and Marmolejos scored on a double-play ball for a 4-1 lead.

Hagerstown picked up breathing room with two runs in the ninth with a double by Osvaldo Abreu, a run-scoring triple by Bryan Mejia and single by Marmolejos.  Suns starter Matt Purke went five innings, allowing one unearned run and three hits with four strikeouts.  Lakewood got to reliever Robert Orlan for two runs in the bottom of the sixth, both unearned, to close to 4-3.  Andrew Cooper followed with a scoreless eighth inning and Jake Walsh pitched the ninth inning and picked up his fifth save.

Lakewood (39-42, 6-7) had taken a 1-0 lead in the third on a double, error and double-play grounder.Mejia and Jeff Gardner had three hits each for Hagerstown.  Each team was sloppy defensively, guilty of three errors apiece.  Hagerstown is back at Municipal Stadium on Wednesday to begin a five-game series against Delmarva.  Since June 9, the teams have played 10 times with each team winning five games.  First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.

 

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 6

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Pawtucket Red Sox, 3-2, Monday afternoon, sweeping the three-game series. Chiefs’ starter Joe Ross went five innings, allowing only two hits and striking out four. Dan Butler drove in all three Chiefs runs.

Syracuse (31-54) opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Tony Gwynn, Jr., hit a popup behind second, which fell in between second baseman Jonathan Roof and right fielder Daniel Nava, allowing Gwynn to reach. The next batter, Chris Nelson, followed Gwynn with an infield popup that Roof again lost in the sunlight. Gwynn advanced to third on the misplay and Nelson took first. Butler then smoked a line drive to left-center field, driving in both Gwynn and Nelson on the double and put the Chiefs up 2-0.

Pawtucket (38-48) got one run back in the top of the sixth. Eric Fornataro came in to replace Ross. Roof singled to lead off the inning and then stole second during Nava’s at-bat. Roof advanced to third on a groundout by Nava, and scored on a ground out by designated hitter Rusney Castillo. Syracuse led 2-1 after the top of the sixth.

The Chiefs continued the scoring in the bottom of the frame. Ricky Hague started the rally with a one out double off Sox reliever Edwin Escobar. Mario Lisson and Gwynn reached on a hit-by-pitch and walk, respectively. With the bases loaded and one out, Nelson popped into an infield fly. Butler, the next batter, was hit by a pitch, forcing home Hague and increasing the Chiefs’ lead to 3-1.

The Red Sox got a run back in the top of the eighth. Mike Miller reached on a one-out single. Roof hit a ground-rule double to right field in the next at-bat, putting runners on second and third with one out. Nava grounded out to second, scoring Miller on the play to bring the Chiefs lead to 3-2.

Syracuse hits the road on Tuesday to start a three-game set at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Chiefs will send right-hander Paolo Espino to the mound to face right-hander Luis Severino with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators, which were shutout Sunday by Altoona, returned the favor Monday by winning 3-0 over the Curve at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The Senators (41-43) have won four consecutive series. The Senators also took the season series from Altoona, winning 11 of the 20 meetings.

Dakota Bacus was the story for Harrisburg as he threw eight shutout innings, scattering six hits, walking none and striking out four. The eight innings were a career-high for Bacus, who threw 66 of his 104 pitches for strikes and lowered his ERA to 2.95 through 10 appearances with Harrisburg. Altoona had just three at-bats with runners in scoring position against Bacus.

Meanwhile, it took some time for the Senators offense to kick into gear as it recorded a leadoff double in the first and second innings, but did not score. The Senators also stranded runners on first and third in the fourth inning before leaving the bases loaded in the fifth. However, in the sixth, the Senators loaded the bases with one out on three consecutive singles. Wilmer Difo then had a two-run infield single as he hit a comebacker to Altoona pitcher Steven Brault, who deflected the ball to an open area on the right side of the infield. Jose Lozada then walked to reload the bases and Brian Goodwin drove in a third run when he dribbled a slow ground ball up the third base line for an infield hit.

Difo was 3-for-5 with two RBI and Goodwin was 2-for-5 with an RBI. All eight starting position players recorded a hit, and as a team had 11 knocks. Cutter Dykstra and Matt Skole both doubled in the game.

Harrisburg now travels to Richmond to take on the Flying Squirrels in a three-game set. Tuesday night’s first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): In the finale of a three-game home series on Monday night against the Wilmington Blue Rocks (45-36 Overall, 17-24 Road, 7-4 Second-Half), the Potomac Nationals (40-41 Overall, 23-18 Home, 7-4 Second-Half) were edged 2-1 in 10 innings on a solo home run off the bat of Blue Rocks C Cam Gallagher swatted over all three tiers of signage in left field at Pfitzner Stadium.

The Nationals are now (15-13) in one-run contests in 2015 and have logged a (3-2) extra-inning record this season.  The Blue Rocks have played to a (4-4) win-loss ledger in bonus baseball situations in ’15.

Wilmington avoided a set sweep with their Game Three victory after starter, Blue Rocks RHP Jake Junis went 6.0 innings in a no-decision. Junis allowed one earned run on four hits and one walk while striking out one batter.

Nationals RHP Lucas Giolito, the number one overall prospect in baseball per MLBPipeline.com, like Junis, did not factor into a decision despite striking out 10 batters in 6.0 innings of relief work. Giolito surrendered one unearned run on three base knocks, including a pair of doubles to the Carolina League leader in two-baggers, Blue Rocks 1B Frank Schwindel. Giolito unleashed a wild pitch, hit a batter, and balked for the first time in his professional career.

Giolito tossed 86 total pitches and 60 offerings for strikes while submitting a trio of one-two-three innings in back of the one-inning rehabilitation start of Washington Nationals RHP Aaron Barrett.

Barrett fanned the side all swinging in the opening inning getting 2B Carlos Garcia, SS Jack Lopez, and 3B Mauricio Ramos.

The first run of the game scored for Wilmington in the 2nd stanza as Schwindel lined a double to the left field wall before Blue Rocks DH Robert Pehl reached on an error committed by Giolito. A dribbler was bobbled by the number one overall prospect in Washington’s farm system (Giolito) putting runners on the corners. With one out, Gallagher lofted an RBI sacrifice fly to center field to score Schwindel.

Potomac evened the score in the 4th frame after SS Stephen Perez cranked a leadoff double to the gap in left-center field. P-Nats C Spencer Kieboom raised a ball up to right field deep enough to get Perez over to third base on a tag-up. Perez was plated on a sac fly off to the left field warning track off the lumber of 3B Drew Ward.

In the top of the 8th, a 34-minute rain delay froze the action before play was re-started at 9:39pm.

Five innings of zeroes from the 5th to the 9th led up to Gallagher’s blast off the losing pitcher of record, RHP Derek Self (2-3), in the 10th inning.

Self dealt 2.0 scoreless innings en route to his third loss over the 8th and 9th before Gallagher led off the 10th with a tiebreaking solo bomb on a 1-0 pitch to give the visiting club a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish. Self’s line was: 2.1 innings, one earned run, two hits, one walk, three strikeouts, and one home run.

Nationals LHP Justin Thomas got the final two outs of the top of the 10th on balls in the air.

Wilmington RHP Austin Goudeau (4-1) earned his fourth victory victory with 4.0 innings of bullpen duty. Goudeau did not allow a run while surrendering two hits, walking no one, and fanning a duo.

The P-Nats are now an (8-9) club vs. the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Royals) in 2015.

Potomac prepares for the series opener of a three-game home series against the Lynchburg Hillcats (Cleveland Indians) the Nationals ship RHP Reynaldo Lopez (4-4, 4.58) to the mound to face off against Lynchburg RHP Dace Kime (2-4, 4.41).  First pitch is slated for 7:05pm at Pfitzner Stadium on Tuesday.
HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): After blowing a three-run lead in the top of the eighth inning, the Lakewood BlueClaws showed their resilience in the bottom half of the inning, scoring twice on their way to a 5-3 South Atlantic League win over the Hagerstown Suns on Monday night.

Lakewood’s decisive runs came off Hagerstown relievers Sam Johns (0-2) and David Napoli. After Johns was replaced with a runner on and one out, Herlis Rodriguez greeted Napoli with his third hit of the game, a single.

When Cord Sandberg grounded out to first, Kyle Martin scored the go-ahead run from third base.  When Jiandido Tromp followed with a double, Rodriguez scored the insurance run.  After he surrendered three runs in the eighth, Matt Hockenberry (2-3) stayed in the game and made quick work of Hagerstown (40-40, 5-7), facing just three batters. Diomedes Eusebio opened the inning with a single, but was immediately erased when Matt Reistetter grounded into a double play.

Martin had two hits and scored three runs for Lakewood (39-41, 6-6). Sandberg added two hits.  Lakewood got a strong start from Will Morris, who fired five innings of scoreless, two-hit ball without a walk and five strikeouts. He faced the minimum (15 batters) as both runners who reached base were eliminated via double plays. Calvin Rayburn followed with two scoreless frames.

Hagerstown starting pitcher Drew Van Orden allowed seven hits and three runs in his six innings of work.  Hagerstown’s rally came after Cody Dent and David Masters drew walks.  With two out, Osvaldo Abreu doubled both runners home. Abreu later scored on a throwing error by Lakewood shortstop Emmanuel Marrero.

Tonight the Suns will try to square the series in the final of the four-game set before returning to Municipal Stadium on Wednesday night for the first of a five-game series with Delmarva.  First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.

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