July 4, 2015

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 2

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the opening game of a two-game series, 3-2, Thursday night at Coca-Cola Field in downtown Buffalo. Caleb Gindl’s three-run homer in the second inning was enough to lift the Bisons to a victory.

Buffalo’s (38-42) three-run second was all it would need. Luke Scott singled with one out off Paolo Espino, followed by a walk to Brad Glenn. Espino then surrendered a three-run home run to Gindl to give the Bisons a 3-0 lead.

Syracuse (28-53) got its two runs in the third. Darin Mastroianni and Trea Turner each singled to start the inning against Jeff Francis. Newly named International-League All-Star Jason Martinson then doubled in both runners to cut the lead to 3-2.

That would be it for the scoring, as Espino and Francis shut down the bats. Each pitcher allowed six hits, with Espino striking out six Bisons and Francis posting 10 strikeouts of his own.

Syracuse and Buffalo plays the finale of this two-game series Friday. Taylor Hill is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Felix Doubront for the Bisons. First pitch is slated for 6:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators’ season-long eight-game winning streak came to end Thursday as they lost, 2-0, to the Richmond Flying Squirrels before 4,275 fans at Metro Bank Park. The Senators (38-42) will try to win the four-game series tomorrow night.

Despite some command issues, Austin Voth pitched well again, firing six scoreless innings. The righty threw 101 pitches, 55 of which were strikes, and scattered five hits in his eighth quality start of the season. In his first Double-A appearance, right-hander Wander Suero pitched two scoreless innings before allowing a go-ahead 2-run home run in the top of the ninth inning. Suero allowed three hits and walked one in three innings of work.

Meanwhile, the Senators were almost completely shut down by Richmond starter Kelvin Marte. Wilmer Difo led off the bottom of the first with a single, but he was picked off. Marte then retired the next 22 Senators consecutively before Shawn Pleffner doubled with two outs in the eighth inning. Against Richmond closer Derek Law in the ninth, Jose Lozada and Difo both singled with one out but were stranded when Law finished off the inning with two strikeouts.

The Senators finish a seven-game homestand Friday night against Richmond with first pitch coming at 7:00 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Nationals (37-40-Overall, 16-23-Road, 4-3-Second Half) blew a one run lead in the bottom of the eighth to fall to the Frederick Keys (35-43-Overall, 21-19-Home, 3-5-Second Half) 4-3 at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium on Thursday night.

Leading 3-2 heading to the bottom of the eighth frame with RHP Derek Self (2-2, 4.79) on the mound in relief of RHP Reynaldo Lopez, rehabbing big Leaguer 2B Jonathan Schoop hit a monster home run over three tiers of signage in left to tie the game 3-3 followed by a C Chance Sisco single with two outs. SS Jeff Kemp came up and hit a dump shot double to right field that RF Brandon Miller came charging in on. At the last minute he lunged forward for the ball but had it go off his glove for an RBI double with Sisco scoring from first base with two outs and a 4-3 Keys lead.

Lopez made the start for Potomac needing a win to clinch back-to-back series wins for the Nationals and Lopez did not disappoint, logging seven innings allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits, he did not issue a walk and he struck out seven Keys in the loss.

RHP David Hess, the reigning Carolina League Pitcher of the Week, made the start for Frederick, his second against Potomac this season. Hess logged a career high seven innings, giving up identical hits and runs as Lopez, two runs (both earned) on five hits, he walked two and struck out four.

The game was scoreless through three frames until Potomac broke the stalemate in the fourth when SS Stephen Perez doubled to begin the frame. Three batters later with two outs 3B Drew Ward knocked in Perez with an RBI single to give the P-Nats a 1-0 lead.

It remained 1-0 Potomac until the top of the sixth when 1B John Wooten crushed a pitch from Hess over the signage in left field for his fifth home run of the season, a solo blast that gave Potomac a 2-0 lead.

Frederick was held scoreless by Lopez through the first six innings but in the seventh they finally got to the Dominican born righty. Lopez retired the first two batters of the inning only to allow a single to 1B Wynston Sawyer. DH Brenden Webb then singled, moving Sawyer to second base and RF Connor Bierfeldt brought them both home with a two-run double to tie the game. The two runs for the Keys in the inning broke a 29.2 consecutive innings streak of having not scored a single run.

Frederick went to the bullpen in the eighth frame and in came LHP Donnie Hart for the second consecutive night. LF Alec Keller laced a double and moved to third on CF Narciso Mesa’s infield bunt single. Perez then hit into a 6-4-3 double play but Keller came home from third for a 3-2 Nationals lead.

Potomac countered in the bottom half of the eighth with Self that set up the two run come-from-behind victory for Frederick.

The P-Nats tied their season long winning streak of four consecutive games but saw it end in the 4-3 loss and now Potomac looks to win back-to-back series for the first time since June 15th – June 21st when they took two-out-of-three from Lynchburg followed by three-out-of-four from Carolina.

The rubber match is now set for tonight in the series finale with Potomac sending RHP Phillips Valdez (2-2, 5.34) to the mound against LHP Ariel Miranda (0-0, 4.50) for the Keys.  First pitch in Game Two is set for 7:00 pm.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): One night after getting shutout for the seventh time this season, the Hagerstown Suns (4-4, 39-37) returned the favor and blanked the Greensboro Grasshoppers (1-7, 30-47) by a final of 5-0 on Thursday night. It was the seventh shutout thrown by the Suns this season, as they limited Greensboro to just two hits in the game.

LHP Connor Bach (2-1) and RHP Andrew Cooper combined to keep the Grasshoppers off the board in the game. Bach got the start and the win for the Suns, going six innings and allowing both hits and three walks while striking out eight. The eight strikeouts and the six innings pitched both matched a season-high for Bach, who has now not allowed a run over his last 11.1 innings. Cooper picked up his first save of the season by tossing the final three innings without allowing a hit, run, or walk, and striking out two. His only blemish was hitting one batter.

Offensively Hagerstown opened up the game with a four-run frame in the fifth. With two on and one out 3B Bryan Mejia stepped to the plate, and he delivered a blast over the left field wall for his first homerun of the season in just his second game with the Suns. Then, RF Dale Carey also left the yard with a shot to left, giving the Suns back-to-back homeruns for just the second time this season. Carey’s solo shot was his team-leading seventh homer of the season, and wound up setting the final score.

The first Suns run crossed the plate in the first inning. Shortstop Osvaldo Abreu led off with a double to center field, his 21st of the season, which is second most in the South Atlantic League. Abreu finished the night with his first four-hit game of the season. Abreu went on to steal third following his double, and he scored from third when 1B Jose Marmolejos knocked a ground ball single up the middle to make it 1-0.

All five Hagerstown runs were charged to starting LHP Ben Holmes (2-5), who suffered the loss for Greensboro. In 5.2 innings pitched he gave up eight hits and two walks while striking out six. RHP Tyler Kane tossed 2.1 innings of scoreless relief for the Grasshoppers, surrendering one hit and one walk while striking out three.

These teams will conclude their four-game series at Municipal Stadium on Friday July 3. The Suns will send RHP Luis Reyes (3-4) to the mound for his 14th start and appearance this season. He will square off against LHP James Buckelew (3-3) for Greensboro. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 1

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs slugged their way to a series-clinching 10-1 victory over the Louisville Bats Wednesday night at Louisville Slugger Field. Kevin Keyes hit two home runs and drove in five runs and Trea Turner hit his first Triple-A home run in the victory.

Syracuse (28-52) got its first of three home runs in the second inning. Keyes hit a solo home run to lead off the inning to give Syracuse an early 1-0 lead. It was Keyes’ first Triple-A home run. An inning later, Turner picked up his first Triple-A home run, a two-run shot, to give the Chiefs a 3-0 advantage. It was also Turner’s first Triple-A hit in his fifth start.

Louisville (39-41) ended the streak of two shutouts to start the series in the fourth. Jermaine Curtis homered off Joe Ross to left field to cut the lead to 3-1. That would be the only run Ross allowed in five solid innings.

Keyes was not done, however. The Chiefs left fielder hit his second home run of the game, a two-run shot, to the back row of the seats beyond the left-field wall to extend the lead to 5-1.

Syracuse broke the game open in the eighth. Nick Christiani walked Scott McGregor and Darin Mastroianni to start the inning. After a force out and strikeout, the Chiefs had runners on first and second with two outs. Keyes then picked up his fourth RBI on a single up the middle scoring Mastroianni to give Syracuse a 6-1 lead. Christiani then walked Mario Lisson and Caleb Ramsey to force in a seventh Chiefs run. The Bats brought Joe Paterson on in relief of Christiani. Paterson surrendered a single to Ricky Hague to score an eighth run. Then with Steve Lerud batting, Patterson threw a wild pitch, scoring Lisson to extend the lead to 9-1.

Keyes finished off his stellar night in the ninth. A ninth-inning single scored Turner, who had reached on a force out, for Keyes’ fifth RBI and a 10-1 Chiefs lead.

Syracuse hits the road and opens a two-game series with the Buffalo Bisons Thursday night. Paolo Espino is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Jeff Francis for the Bisons. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Matt Skole’s walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the 13th inning sealed a 6-5 victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels Wednesday at Metro Bank Park. The win extends Harrisburg’s (38-41) season-high winning streak to eight games.

Brian Goodwin doubled to lead off the 13th and Skole followed with a long fly ball that landed on the warning track in left-center field, allowing Goodwin to score and win the game. Skole also homered earlier in the game for Harrisburg’s first run in the fourth inning. Chris Bostick drove in a run with a bases loaded walk in the fifth inning, but Harrisburg trailed 5-2 entering the bottom of the seventh. The Senators scored a run in the seventh on an RBI fielder’s choice by Wilmer Difo. In the eighth, Pedro Severino doubled in a run to cut the deficit to one and Shawn Pleffner beat out a potential double play to bring home the game-tying run. Severino, Goodwin and Derrick Robinson all had two hits while Skole finished 4-for-6 with the homer, the double and a pair of singles.

Dakota Bacus allowed five runs in 6.1 innings of work, and was mainly victimized by a pair of home runs. His fifth run allowed came across when Paul Demny surrendered a run-scoring double in the seventh inning. Demny, however, did not allow a run of his own in 1.2 innings. Bryan Harper and Abel De Los Santos followed with two scoreless innings each while Sam Runion received the win after pitching a scoreless 13th inning.

The Senators will try to extend their winning streak to nine and clinch a series win Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Potomac (37-39-Overall, 16-22-Road, 4-2-Second Half) was two outs away from history with RHP Aaron Barrett, RHP Lucas Giolito and RHP Manny Rodriguez having thrown a combined no hitter through 8.1 innings before it was broken up by a single in the ninth but they held on for the 4-0 win over Frederick (34-43-Overall, 20-19-Home, 2-5-Second Half) on Wednesday night at Nymeo Field.

RHP Manny Rodriguez entered in the ninth inning after Major Leaguer RHP Aaron Barrett, on a rehab assignment with Potomac, threw a hitless, scoreless first frame, allowing a walk and striking out two. RHP Lucas Giolito’s (3-4, 3.08) entered in the second inning and threw seven hitless, scoreless innings where he walked one, hit two batters and struck out seven to earn the win before giving way to Rodriguez in the ninth.

Rodriguez retired the first hitter in the ninth, CF Josh Hart on a fly ball to centerfield. 2B Jeff Kemp was the next hitter and he lined a hard single to left field that LF Alec Keller came rushing in on and at the last second decided not to dive and played it on a bounce, it went off his glove and Kemp moved to second base after breaking up the no hitter with a single and moved to second on an error charged to Keller. Rodriguez retired the next two hitters to complete the 4-0 shutout victory for Potomac, their fourth win in a row.

LHP Chris Lee (2-4, 4.58) made the start for Frederick, his second against Potomac in 2015.

The P-Nats broke the scoreless tie in the top of the second when Lee, with one out, issued back-to-back walks to DH Grant Debruin and RF Brandon Miller. 2B Adrian Sanchez, the reigning Carolina Player of the Week, lined an RBI double to give Potomac a 1-0 lead and extend his hitting streak to eight games.

That was the only blemish for Lee on the night as he hurled six innings allowing one run (earned) on two hits, he walked three and struck out six, logging a quality start despite taking the loss.

RHP Jimmy Yacabonis entered in the seventh and pitched a one, two, three seventh inning to keep it at a 1-0 lead for Potomac. The eighth inning wasn’t so kind to Yacabonis. Potomac scored three times when Keller reached on an infield single followed by a CF Narciso Mesa RBI double to make it 2-0. SS Stephen Perez, the hero from an evening ago, reached on an error charged to Kemp at second base to put runners on first and third. Two batters later C Spencer Kieboom lined a two-run double down the left field line to make it a 4-0 lead for the P-Nats, which was plenty for Giolito and company.

Yacabonis pitched two innings allowing three runs (one earned) on three hits, he didn’t issue a walk and struck out three.

RHP Donnie Hart pitched one inning, allowing two hits and no runs with a strikeout.

Potomac tied their season high winning streak with their fourth straight win after sweeping the Carolina Mudcats and look to win back-to-back series for the first time in 2015 tonight in Game Two against Frederick.

Potomac is now 8-4 in shutouts.

Potomac fell two outs short of throwing the franchise’s first no hitter since May 19th, 1995 when RHP Rich Pratt hurled a seven inning no hitter against Frederick in a 3-0 Cannons win. The last franchise combined no hitter was on April 8th, 1995, as a White Sox affiliate, when RHP Brian Woods and RHP Archie Vazquez combined for an 8-0 win over Salem in a nine hitter no-no.

Game Two tonight from Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium puts RHP Reynaldo Lopez (4-4, 4.88) for Potomac against RHP David Hess (3-4, 5.43), the reigning Carolina League Pitcher of the Week, for Frederick.  First pitch in Game Two is set for 7:00 pm

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (3-4, 38-37) were in a scoreless duel with the Greensboro Grasshoppers (1-6, 30-46) on Wednesday night until the top of the ninth inning, when Greensboro plated three runs to come away with a 3-0 win. It was the seventh time this season the Suns have been shutout, and it was the first win this season for Greensboro in Hagerstown.

The ninth inning rally for Greensboro began with one out. Third baseman Brian Schales started it with a line drive single to left. Catcher Roy Morales followed with another single to left, and that was followed by LF Ryan Aper reaching on a fielder’s choice play at second in which the runner was safe, thereby loading the bases. That’s when CF Zach Sullivan came to the plate, and he delivered with a line drive single to right to knock home the first run of the game and break the scoreless tie. Then, two batters later, with the bases still loaded and two outs, RF John Norwood hit a fly ball single to right, driving in two more runs and setting the final score.

LHP R.C. Orlan (2-1) was responsible for letting up all three Greensboro runs and thus was tagged with his first loss of the season. The ninth inning was his only inning of work, and he wound up allowing four hits while striking out one. RHP Josh Hodges (3-2) earned the win for Greensboro. He threw three innings in relief, also giving up four hits while striking out one. LHP Michael Mader started for the Grasshoppers and threw six innings, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out five. LHP Matt Purke and RHP Deion Williams combined to keep Greensboro off the board for the first eight innings, with Purke tossing five frames and giving up five hits and one walk while striking out two, and Williams surrendering two hits and two walks while striking out two over three frames.

In total the Grasshoppers outhit the Suns 11-8, and the teams combined to leave 17 men on base. These teams will continue their four-game series at Municipal Stadium with game three on Thursday July 2. The Suns will send LHP Connor Bach (1-1) to the mound for his ninth start and 15th appearance this season. He will square off against LHP Ben Holmes (2-4) for Greensboro. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

 

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for June 30

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the second game of a three-game series to the Louisville Bats, 4-0, Tuesday night at Louisville Slugger Field. Kristopher Negron homered and Irving Falu drove in two as the Bats returned the favor after the Chiefs shut out Louisville Monday night.

Louisville (39-40) scored first on Negron’s first-inning home run off Chiefs starter Taylor Jordan. The Bats pushed across two more runs in the second. Chris Dominguez singled with one out and Ramon Cabrera walked. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, Dominguez left the game with an apparent injury and was replaced by Jermaine Curtis. Irving Falu then singled home both runners to stretch the Bats lead to 3-0.

The Bats finished the scoring in the eighth. Hernan Iribarren reached base on a fielder’s choice with two outs against Rafael Martin. A batter later, Irving Falu singled to right. Caleb Ramsey overran the ball in right, allowing Iribarren to score on the error to extend the lead to 4-0.

Syracuse (27-52) could not solve four Louisville pitchers. Raisel Iglesias threw the first three innings in a rehab start, followed by Sam LeCure, Drew Hayes and Jumbo Diaz.

The Chiefs and Bats meet for the rubber game of the series Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Joe Ross is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite David Holmberg for Louisville.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators extended their season-long winning streak to seven with a 2-0 victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels Tuesday at Metro Bank Park. The Senators (37-41) are within four games of .500 for the first time since May 26.

Matt Skole ended June in a big way by doubling twice in four at-bats. His first double, which came in the first inning, scored Chris Bostick, and put the Senators on top, 1-0. The Senators finished with just five hits, but left the bases loaded in the sixth inning before adding insurance in the eighth. Brian Goodwin walked with one out, and came around to score on an RBI double by Drew Vettleson with two outs.

Richard Bleier continued his outstanding season by throwing seven innings of shutout baseball. The lefty scattered six hits, walked one and struck out two while throwing 60 of his 80 pitches for strikes. The closest Richmond came to scoring was when it strung together three straight hits in the sixth inning, but the first hit – a single – was followed by a caught stealing. Another single followed, but then Bleier picked that runner off first. A triple followed the pickoff, and Bleier stranded that runner by snaring a liner right back to him on the mound. Sam Runion earned a hold by pitching a scoreless eighth and Gilberto Mendez saved his eighth game by striking out a pair of batters in a scoreless ninth.

The Senators will try to extend their winning streak to eight tonight at 7:00 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (36-39 Overall, 21-17 Home, 3-2 Second-Half) used a 9th inning walk-off double from SS Stephen Perez blasted to right-center field to down the Carolina Mudcats (37-38 Overall, 14-22 Road, 3-3 Second-Half) by the final score of 6-5 in the series finale of a three-game series at Pfitzner Stadium on Tuesday evening.

With the “W,” the P-Nats have won a season-best six consecutive home games and have now swept the Mudcats for the second time amid the 2015 campaign.

The see-saw affair began with the Red, White, and Blue jumping on the scoreboard first in the opening inning as Nationals DH John Wooten grounded into an RBI fielder’s choice to bring the leadoff single of CF Narciso Mesa to the plate giving the home club a 1-0 lead.

In a no-decision, Carolina starter, RHP Brandon Barker dealt 5.1 innings and surrendered five runs (four earned runs) on nine hits while walking one batter, hitting a man, and fanning four hitters.

Conversely, as Barker dug a hole for the Mudcats, the quality start of Nationals RHP Nick Pivetta put Potomac in position for a victory, and the ace of the Nationals’ staff was in line for his seventh win when he exited the game after six innings.

Pivetta, who like Barker did not receive a decision, allowed just one earned run on two hits despite walking three and letting go of a wild pitch. Pivetta fanned four Carolina swingers in the process.

The Nationals added two runs in the 2nd inning on back-to-back RBI singles lashed by RF Estarlin Martinez and Mesa through the right side of the infield and passed the six hole at shortstop, respectively to put Potomac on top 3-0.

Carolina scored their first run in the 5th on an RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of 2B Keith Curcio which resulted in a double play after the run had scored. Mudcats SS Johan Camargo was out 9-3-5 at the third base bag to end the frame with a 3-1 score.

In the last of the 5th, the P-Nats made it a 4-1 contest when Wooten socked an RBI single to left field off Barker to deliver Mesa, who led off the inning as a hit batter.

In the 6th, Potomac upped the ante to a 5-1 advantage on account of a bases loaded hit batter in Martinez on a ball out of the hand of Carolina RHP Richie Tate. The run was charged to Barker.
Tate went 2.2 scoreless innings in relief of Barker walking two and striking out one in his appearance.

Nationals 1B Grant DeBruin, in his Carolina League debut, stashed a single, one double, and one run scored. DeBruin ranked third in the South Atlantic League in batting (.327) prior to his promotion to the Potomac Nationals earlier today.

Trouble arose for the Nationals’ bullpen as RHP Justin Amlung served up a solo home run swatted over the dead center field 400-foot marker by Mudcats 3B Carlos Franco. The clout was his seventh dinger of the season. Amlung would also surrender an RBI two-bagger ripped inside the first base bag by Curcio to catalyze a 5-3 score.

Nationals RHP Brian Dupra stranded the tying run in scoring position by getting Carolina CF Connor Lien to strike out swinging to wrap the 7th stanza.

In the 8th against Dupra, Mudcats LF Dustin Peterson stroked a single to center field off the end of his bat before 1B Taner Krietemeier reached on a fielding error by DeBruin halfway between first and second base. Nationals LHP Nick Lee (BS 2) entered and induced a fielder’s choice groundball off the stick of Franco. Carolina DH Jose Briceno then worked a walk in advance of RF Joey Meneses striking out hacking for the second out. Mudcats C Joe Odom then worked a full count and nailed a two-run single up the middle to tie the game at 5-5 forcing Lee’s second blown save of 2015. Ironically, Odom hit a go-ahead grand slam on June 9th at Five County Stadium against Lee which was the southpaw closer’s first blown save. Lee got the final out on a Camargo fielder’s choice hopper to strand the go-ahead run on board.

Lee (1-1), the eventual winning pitcher, turned in a one-two-three top of the 9th as Curcio popped up in foul territory, Lien struck out waving for his fourth “K” of the night, and Peterson supplemented the evening breeze with his swinging strikeout.

In the bottom of the 9th, Martinez worked a one-out, 3-2 pitch walk against the losing pitcher Mudcats LHP Andy Otero (0-3) before Mesa fanned cutting. With two outs, Perez, the evening’s P-Nats’ hero, saw Otero unleash a wild pitch getting Martinez into scoring position at second base then on a 3-2 offering belted a changeup over the outstretched glove of the galloping Meneses in the right-center alley which got down in deep waters allowing Martinez to chug home to score the game-winning run. Perez was mobbed by his teammates around the second base sack after his walk-off RBI double which registers as his second game-winning hit of the 2015 season as a member of the Nationals.

Potomac travels to Frederick, MD to engage the Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles) in a three-game “Battle of the Beltway” set from Wednesday to Friday.

Washington Nationals unanimous number one overall prospect, RHP Lucas Giolito (2-4, 3.55) gets the ball for the P-Nats in Game One on Wednesday night. With a 7:00pm first pitch scheduled, Giolito will pitch against Frederick LHP Chris Lee (2-3, 5.13) in the opener.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (3-3, 38-36) remained undefeated against the Greensboro Grasshoppers (0-6, 29-46) at Municipal Stadium this season thanks to a 4-3 victory on Tuesday night. The win ensures that Hagerstown will finish with a winning record against the Grasshoppers this season.

The win on Tuesday was of the comeback variety for Hagerstown, as the Suns found themselves trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth. With the bases loaded and two outs in the inning, 3B Austin Davidson struck out swinging, but the third strike pitch got past catcher Roy Morales, allowing Davidson to reach first safely and DH Diomedes Eusebio to score from third to make it 3-2. Then, RF Cody Dent came to the plate, and he smacked a double into the gap in left-center field, driving in two to give Hagerstown the lead for good.

Greensboro had taken an initial 2-0 lead in the top of the third. With a runner on second and one out 2B Rony Cabrera smashed a line drive down the left field line. Center fielder Zach Sullivan scored easily from second on the play, and Cabrera wound up at third with a triple. Two batters later, Cabrera cruised home from third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of 1B Arturo Rodriguez to give the Grasshoppers the two-run cushion.

That two-run advantage was short lived, however, as Hagerstown plated its first run in the bottom of the third. With a runner on second and two outs SS Osvaldo Abreu came through with a double to left, driving in Dent to make it 2-1. The double was the 20th of the year for Abreu.

The score remained 2-1 until the fifth. Right fielder Ryan Aper led off the frame with a ground ball single to left. He moved to second on a groundout, and scored from second when Cabrera laced a single to left. Cabrera finished the game with four hits in four at-bats, and was a homerun shy of the cycle.

Starting RHP Drew Van Orden (5-1) was the beneficiary of the three-run sixth by Hagerstown as he wound up with the win. Van Orden tossed six innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits and one walk while striking out two. LHP James Buckelew (3-3) suffered the loss in relief for the Grasshoppers. He lasted just 0.1 innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits and one walk while striking out two. RHP Sam Johns pitched the final three innings for Hagerstown to record his second save in three tries this season.

These teams will continue their four-game series at Municipal Stadium on Wednesday July 1. The Suns will send LHP Matt Purke (1-3) to the mound for his seventh start and appearance this season. He will square off against LHP Michael Mader (3-7) for Greensboro. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for June 29

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs took game one of a three-game series from the Louisville Bats, 5-0, Monday night at Louisville Slugger Field. The Chiefs scored twice in the sixth inning, and broke the game open with three in the ninth to snap their five-game losing streak.

Syracuse (27-51) broke a scoreless tie in the sixth. Darin Mastroianni doubled to start the frame off Bats starter Keyvius Sampson. After a strikeout, Jason Martinson singled in Mastroianni to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. Syracuse continued to rally as Kevin Keyes singled and Chris Nelson walked to load the bases. Mario Lisson lined a hard-hit ball to center field, scoring Martinson on a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 2-0.

The Chiefs broke the game open in the ninth. Dan Butler doubled with two outs and scored on a Caleb Ramsey single to make the score 3-0. A batter later, Josh Johnson hit his second career Triple-A home run, and first off a non-position player, to push the Chiefs lead to 5-0.

Louisville (38-40) couldn’t scratch across a run against four Chiefs pitchers. A.J. Cole left the game after throwing just two pitches in the third inning with an apparent injury. Bruce Billings came out of the bullpen and was excellent in long relief, throwing four scoreless innings. Matt Grace and Jose Valverde combined to shut out the Bats in the final three frames.

The Chiefs and Bats play game two of the series Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Taylor Jordan is scheduled to start for Syracuse opposite David Holmberg for Louisville.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Timely hitting and solid pitching continued to be the formula Monday night as the Harrisburg Senators won their sixth straight, 4-2, over the Altoona Curve at Metro Bank Park. Harrisburg (36-41) swept the three-game series with the Curve by four runs.

Altoona jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the first, but in the bottom of the third, Wilmer Difo walked and Chris Bostick reached on an error before Matt Skole drove both in with a two-run single. Skole, who now has 44 RBI this season, has driven in half of his season total in the month of June. Altoona tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth, but Harrisburg responded quickly. Cutter Dykstra doubled with two outs, pitcher Matthew Spann walked, and Difo singled in Dykstra to make it 3-2, Senators. Shawn Pleffner extended Harrisburg’s lead to two in the sixth inning with a pinch-hit, RBI triple into the right-center field alley.

Isaac Ballou was 2-for-4 in his second Double-A game. He also stole a base, and was one of four Senators to steal a base Monday night.

Spann turned in a quality start Monday, going six innings and allowing two runs on five hits, three walks and three strikeouts. Erik Davis picked up his first hold with Harrisburg in 2015 by pitching a scoreless seventh and eighth inning. Gilberto Mendez earned his seventh save in eight chances with a perfect ninth inning.

The Senators welcome in Richmond Tuesday night to begin a four-game series with first pitch at 7:00 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): On the strength of RHP John Simms’ eighth quality start in his last nine starts, the Potomac Nationals (35-39 Overall, 20-17 Home, 2-2 Second-Half) hooked the Carolina Mudcats (37-37 Overall, 14-21 Road, 3-2 Second-Half) by the final score of 7-2 in series Game Two of a three-game homestand on Monday evening at Pfitzner Stadium in front of 5,137 fans.

The Nationals captured their third series win over Carolina in 2015 and the Red, White, and Blue is now a (10-3) club against the Southern Division squad.  The P-Nats are now riding a season-best five-game winning streak at home inside the friendly confines of The Pfitz.

Simms (4-5), the winning pitcher, dealt 6.0 innings and allowed just one unearned run on three singles without walking a batter. Simms tied his season-high with four strikeouts overcame hitting one batter.

Mudcats RHP Max Povse (0-1) took the loss in his Carolina League debut after surrendering six runs (five earned runs) on nine hits. Povse issued two free passes, struck out only one batter, hit a man, and let go of one wild pitch.

Carolina struck first in the opening frame as RF Connor Lien was plunked close to his hands by Simms and scored after stealing second base and advancing to third base on a groundout. Lien was plated when a swept grounder by DH Jacob Schrader resulted in an errant throw by Nationals SS Stephen Perez that pulled Potomac 1B John Wooten off the first base bag.

Potomac tied the contest in the last of the 1st when C Spencer Kieboom, as part of a three-RBI night, delivered CF Narciso Mesa on a 6-3 run-scoring groundout. Mesa reached on an infield single behind the pitcher’s mound to begin the Nationals’ offensive story.

The Nationals exploded with four runs off Povse in the 2nd inning to grab a 5-1 lead. Back-to-back RBI singles off the sticks of Mesa to left field against a drawn-in infield defense and Perez through Carolina 2B Reed Harper into right-center field led to a bases-loaded two-run single punched into right field by Kieboom.

The Nationals got to Povse for another run in the 3rd inning to take a 6-1 advantage when DH Brandon Miller socked a single into right-center before 2B Adrian Sanchez doubled to the right field corner. Miller scored on a passed ball charged to Mudcats C Jose Briceno.

After blasting a double to the dead center field wall against Carolina RHP Mauricio Cabrera in the 5th, Miller got to third base on Cabrera’s first wild offering and took the home plate dish on his second wild one giving the home club a 7-1 edge.

Mudcats RHP Britt Robertshaw pitched 2.0 scoreless frames behind Cabrera to prevent further damage created by the Nationals.

The duo of Potomac RHP Derek Self and RHP Brian Dupra combined to turn in one scoreless inning per hurler in the 7th and 8th innings, respectively. Self walked two but fanned a pair while Dupra struck out one in a perfect stanza.

Nationals RHP Manny Rodriguez finished the game in a non-save situation. “Man-Rod” struck out Schrader hacking and Carolina 3B Carlos Franco looking but then allowed a string of three straight singles. Briceno dumped a single into the right-center alleyway, 1B Joey Meneses sprayed a one-base knock into right field, and SS Johan Camargo ripped an RBI single into right field to cut Potomac’s lead to 7-2. Then, Harper hooked a line drive to Sanchez at second base to end the game.

The Nationals are (26-0) when leading after eight innings thus far in 2015.

In the series finale tonight at 7:05 p.m., Potomac will park RHP Nick Pivetta (6-4, 2.45), a 2015 Carolina League All-Star, on the mound to face off against Carolina RHP Brandon Barker (3-1, 2.48).

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): Hagerstown’s Grant DeBruin made things grizzly for Delmarva to start a doubleheader on Monday.  But Logan Uxa got even by making it unbearable for the Suns in the nightcap as the Shorebirds earned a split to end a five-game series.

Grant DeBruin had three hits and drove four runs — including Hagerstown’s first three of the game — to lead the Suns to a 9-3 win over Delmarva on Monday in the first game of a doubleheader.  Delmarva topped that in the nightcap. Uxa hit a walk-off grand slam off Hagerstown reliever Kevin Perez for a 7-3 win. The Shorebirds (36-37, 3-2) loaded the bases without the benefit of a hit before Uxa — who drove in all seven Delmarva runs — connected on a 3-2 pitch and drove it over the right-field fence.

The Suns (37-36, 2-3) scored the first nine runs of the opener to make it easy for starter Austen Williams (7-1), who went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out five.  DeBruin was a double short of the cycle and scored two runs.

DeBruin gave the Suns a 2-0 lead in the first off Delmarva starter Brian Gonzalez (4-5). Alec Keller and Jose Marmolejos each singled to set up DeBruin’s two-run, two-out triple to right.DeBruin made it 3-0 in the fourth with a one-out drive to right-center field for his second home run of the season.

Hagerstown blew the game open with six runs in the fifth, sending 11 hitters to the plate.  Matt Reinstetter singled and Brennan Middleton walked to begin the rally. After Keller’s bunted into a fielder’s choice to eliminate Reinstetter at third, Osvaldo Abreu singled to center to score Middleton. After Keller and Abreu stole bases, D.K. Carey was hit by a pitch to end Gonzalez’s day.

Mike Burke came and was tagged with a two-run double by Marmolejos and RBI singles by DeBruin, Jeff Gardner and David Masters to finish the scoring.  Delmarva scored two runs in the fifth off Williams on a bases-loaded single by Jared Breen and a walk to Jay Gonzalez. Jay Gonzalez added an RBI single in the ninth off Hagerstown reliever Robert Orlan.  Abreu and Marmolejos each had two hits in the game.

The nightcap was a back-and-forth battle until the final swing by Uxa.  Delmarva took a 1-0 lead in the first inning off Hagerstown starter Mario Sanchez. Steve Wilkerson hit a one-out triple and scored on Uxa’s sacrifice fly.
The Suns tied the game in the second as Jeff Gardner and Matt Reistetter led off with singles against Delmarva starter Daniel Delgado. David Masters hit a one-out RBI single to score Gardner.
Hagerstown took a 2-1 lead in the third on Jose Marmolejos‘ drive to right field for his sixth home run of the season.

The Shorebirds moved to a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the inning on a two-run triple by Uxa.  Hagerstown tied the game in the fifth on leadoff singles by Cody Dent and Keller, a sacrifice bunt by Osvaldo Abreu and a sacrifice fly by Marmolejos.

Delmarva got the decisive rally when Phildrick Llewellyn reached on an error before Jay Gonzalez and T.J. Olesczuk drew walks to load the bases for Uxa.

The Suns return home to take on Greensboro at 7:05 p.m.

 

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for June 28

Compiled from team press releases: 

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the finale of a three-game series to the Indianapolis Indians, 5-1, Sunday afternoon at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis. The Indians scored runs in the fifth, sixth and three in the seventh to overcome a 1-0 deficit and sweep the three-game series.

Syracuse (26-51) grabbed a first-inning lead. Jason Martinson hit his team-leading 10th home run of the season off Indians starter Clayton Richard. It was the first home run hit by a Chief in nine games, breaking a streak of 77 innings without a long ball.

Indianapolis (46-31) tied the game in the fifth. Tony Sanchez doubled off Taylor Hill to start the inning, followed by an infield single from Keon Broxton and bunt single by Pedro Florimon. Two batters later, Jaff Decker drove in his first of two runs on a sacrifice fly, scoring Sanchez to tie the game at one.

The Indians took the lead for good in the sixth. Brent Morel doubled off Eric Fornataro to start the inning. He moved to third on a groundout, and scored on a wild pitch to give Indianapolis a 2-1 lead.

The Indians broke the game open in the seventh. Florimon started the inning with an infield single, then stole both second and third base. After a walk, Decker singled in Florimon to make the score 3-1. Rafael Martin came out of the bullpen in relief of Fornataro and struck out the first two batters he faced. With two outs, Morel doubled again, this time plating two runs and extending the lead to 5-1. Of the 18 runs Indianapolis scored in the series, 14 came with two outs.

Syracuse hits the road to open a three-game series Monday night in Louisville. A.J. Cole is slated to start for the Chiefs opposite Keyvius Sampson for the Bats. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators swept a doubleheader from the Altoona Curve on Sunday winning game one 3-2 and game two 4-3. The Senators rallied from deficits in both games to earn a pair of one-run wins. With their win in game two they equal their season high five-game winning streak.

In game one, Shawn Pleffner homered to give the Sens a 1-0 lead. It was his first home run on the season. Trailing 2-1 into the bottom of the sixth inning, Brian Goodwin doubled in Cutter Dykstra with the tying run and Matt Skole followed with a double to drive in Goodwin with the go ahead run. Sammy Solis retired the side in order in the seventh to earn his second save. Sam Runion pitched one inning for the win. Colin Bates started and pitched five innings allowing a run on three hits.

Altoona scored three in the third inning of game two to take a 3-0 lead. The Senators, though, rallied again this time with three runs in the fourth. Jose Lozada drove in a run with a fielder’s choice and Chris Bostick doubled in two runs to tie the game. The game stayed tied into the bottom of the sixth inning when with two outs the Senators had three straight hits capped by a run scoring single off the bat of Isaac Ballou, scoring Lozada, to give the Senators a 4-3 lead. Abel De Los Santos pitched the final two innings allowing just a hit while earning the win. Bryan Harper pitched a scoreless inning in relief of James Simmons. Bostick had two hits in game two.

The Senators and Altoona Curve wrap up their three-game series on Monday night at Metro Bank Park. Game time Monday is at 7:00 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Potomac (34-39-Overall, 19-17-Home, 1-2-Second Half) broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth against the Carolina Mudcats (37-36-Overall, 14-20-Road, 3-1-Second Half), scoring two runs and holding on for the 3-1 win in the series opener at The Pfitz on Sunday night.

RHP Phillips Valdez (2-2, 5.34) made his sixth start of the season and second consecutive against the Carolina Mudcats. Valdez had his best outing in a P-Nats uniform tying a Potomac season high with six solids innings and allowing one run (earned) on four hits, he did not allow a walk and tied a season high with six strikeouts in the win.

Valdez had four strikeouts through the first three innings of the ballgame that went scoreless through the first three innings.

LF Dustin Peterson led-off the fourth with a two-bagger and after 1B Jacob Schrader was hit by a pitch, 3B Carlos Franco hit into a double play that moved Peterson to third base with two outs. Valdez then delivered a wild pitch that allowed Peterson to scamper home for Carolina’s only run of the game and a 1-0 lead.

RHP Seth Webster (3-4, 2.96) made his seventh start of the season and third against Potomac in 2015. Webster held Potomac scoreless through four innings on three hits, including inducing two double play balls to end rallies but ultimately took the loss for his seven innings of work allowing three runs (all earned) on 10 hits and a strikeout, issuing no walks.

In the bottom of the fifth with two outs RF Brandon Miller singled to get aboard. 2B Adrian Sanchez, who is now on a five-game hitting streak, then doubled and Miller got the wheel from third base. The left fielder Peterson threw into Franco allowing Miller to score the tying run. On the play Sanchez got hung up in the base paths and was tagged out by Franco to end the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth Potomac took the lead for good with one out when 1B Jimmy Yezzo doubled and moved to third on CF Narciso Mesa’s single, Mesa then swiped second and SS Stephen Perez on a 3-2 pitch lofted a ball into centerfield that got Yezzo home form third for a 2-1 P-Nats lead. The next batter, 1B John Wooten doubled home Mesa for the insurance run and a 3-1 lead.

RHP Wander Suero entered the game in the seventh and pitched two scoreless frames, giving up one hit and adding two strikeouts.

RHP Justin Jackson pitched the eighth for Carolina allowing a hit and a walk but stranding both P-Nats on the base paths heading to the ninth.

LHP Nick Lee (SV 9) came in for the ninth and faced five men, allowing a hit and a walk but inking his ninth save of the season stranding two on the base paths and securing the 3-1 win.

Potomac will now attempt to win the series tonight against Carolina in Game Two at the Pfitz and improves to 9-3 against Carolina on the season.

Tonight sets RHP John Simms (3-5, 3.79) for Potomac against RHP Max Povse (0-0, 0.00), who’s making his first Carolina League start.

First pitch is set for 7:05 pm

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): Grant DeBruin’s RBI triple to right gave Hagerstown the lead in the top of the 12th inning, and the Suns rallied from an 8-3 deficit to stun the Delmarva Shorebirds 11-8 on Sunday night.

With the Suns (36-35, 1-2) on the verge of their third straight loss to start the second half, Matt Reistetter hit a dramatic three-run homer — his first of the year — with two outs in the top of the ninth off Garrett Cortright for an 8-8 tie.  Down to their last out in the ninth, Alec Keller hit an infield single and Osvaldo Abreu reached on third baseman Cameron Kneeland’s fielding error to set up Reistetter.  D.K. Carey led off the 12th with a single and stole second before DeBruin’s three-bagger. Nigel Nootbaar (1-1) uncorked a wild pitch to allow DeBruin to score for a 10-8 lead, and David Masters drove in another run with a single.

Delmarva (35-36, 2-1) scored two in the second, one in the third and two in the fourth to build a 5-1 lead and chase Hagerstown starter Luis Reyes. A three-run fifth gave the Shorebirds an 8-3 advantage. The Suns scored twice in the sixth to get within three.

DeBruin, Keller and Jeff Gardner each had three hits for the Suns, while Masters had two hits and two RBIs.   Jake Walsh (1-0) earned the win, getting out of jams in the ninth and 10th.

Hagerstown and Delmarva will take part in a doubleheader with game one beginning at 4:30 p.m. with game two following shortly after.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for June 27

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the second game of a three-game series to the Indianapolis Indians, 4-0, Saturday night at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis. The Indians homered twice on the way to a second straight win to start the series.

Indianapolis (45-31) scored its first three runs on home runs. In the first inning, Jaff Decker doubled against Chiefs spot starter Paolo Espino with two outs. Brent Morel followed with a two-run home run, his third straight game with a home run, to give the Indians a 2-0 lead. Three innings later, John Bowker homered deep to right field, again with two outs, to give Indianapolis a 3-0 edge. In the first two games of the series, 10 of Indianapolis’ first 12 runs came with two outs.

Syracuse (26-50) surrendered a fourth run in the sixth. Espino walked Decker with one out to start the inning. After a Morel single, Steve Lombardozzi singed up the middle, scoring Decker to give the Indians a 4-0 lead.

Syracuse and Indianapolis return to Victory Field for the finale of the three-game series Sunday afternoon. Taylor Hill is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Clayton Richard for the Indians. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Saturday night’s game between the Altoona Curve and the Harrisburg Senators has been postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Sunday, June 27 beginning at 5:00 p.m. The doubleheader will consist of two seven-inning games with a break of approximately 30 minutes between games.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (33-39 Overall, 15-22 Road, 0-2 2nd Half) and Wilmington Blue Rocks (40-32 Overall, 26-11 Home, 2-0 2nd Half) were washed away of an opportunity to play their series finale of a three-gamer on Saturday at Frawley Stadium due to severe weather that begin around 12:00pm.

Constant rainfall and the projected threat of continued severe thunderstorms later this evening forced the postponement of set Game Three after Wilmington captured a series triumph with two wins over Potomac yesterday to usher in the second half of the 2015 Carolina League campaign.  A makeup date for this June 27th clash is to be determined.

Tonight at Pfitzner Stadium, the Red, White, and Blue open up a three-game homestand against the invading Carolina Mudcats (Atlanta Braves) with first pitch for the series opener slated for 6:05pm with gates opening at 5:00pm.

Nationals RHP Phillips Valdez (1-2, 6.35) will gun against Carolina RHP Seth Webster (3-3, 2.79) in Game One on Sunday.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): Last night’s game got postponed due to rain.  Hagerstown and Delmarva’s series resumes today at 5:05 p.m at Delmarva.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for June 26

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Indianapolis Indians, 9-1, Friday night at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis. The Indians put together six runs on five straight first-inning singles to take a 6-0 lead after one.

Indianapolis (44-31) started its first inning with a Jaff Decker walk off Scott McGregor. After a sacrifice bunt and pop out, McGregor walked Brent Morel to put runners on the corners. The Indians then started their singles attack, with Steve Lombardozzi, John Bowker, Wilkin Castillo and Gorkys Hernandez each singling in a run to make the score 4-0. Indians starter Radhames Liz then helped his own cause with a two-run single to increase the first-inning lead to six. P.J. Walter then came in to relieve McGregor and after another single, got Gustavo Nunez to ground out to end the inning.

The Indians scored a seventh run in the second. Brent Morel homered off Walters to extend the lead to 7-0.

Syracuse (26-49) got on the board in the sixth. Trea Turner reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on an throwing error by Lombardozzi trying to turn a double play from second base. He scored two batters later on a single by Kevin Keyes to make the score 7-1.

The Indians finished off the scoring in the seventh. Lombardozzi singled with one out, followed by a two-out hit by pitch and walk loading the bases. Pinch hitter Kelson Brown doubled home two more runs to finish the scoring at 9-1. Eight of Indianapolis’ nine runs were scored with two outs.

The Chiefs and Indians return to Victory Field Saturday for game two of the three-game set. Taylor Jordan is scheduled to start for Syracuse opposite Wilfredo Boscan for Indianapolis. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators won their third consecutive game by beating the Binghamton Mets, 7-3, Friday night at NYSEG Stadium. With the win, Harrisburg (33-41) secured its first winning road trip of the season.

For the third time in the series, Harrisburg scored multiple runs in the first inning as the Senators loaded the bases with one out. Drew Vettleson followed with a sacrifice fly, and Pedro Severino drove in a run with a two-out base hit. The Senators added a run in the second inning when Derrick Robinson singled home Jose Lozada to make it 3-0, Senators. However, the B-Mets responded with one in the second and two in the third to tie the game at 3-3. The score remained that way until the eighth inning, when Harrisburg loaded the bases with nobody out on a walk and two bunt base hits. Lozada continued his outstanding night with a go-ahead, two-run double to right-center field. Later in the inning, Robinson beat out a double play attempt by the Mets, and the heads up baserunning of Chris Bostick and Lozada allowed two runs to score on the play, and open the Senators’ lead to four.

The three RBI for Robinson tied a season-high, while Lozada notched his first three-hit game with the Senators this season. Bostick extended his hit streak to five games with a 2-for-4 night that included his second triple with Harrisburg. Severino also had two hits, and now has a hit in 14 of his last 17 games.

Another night, another quality start for the Senators as Austin Voth allowed three runs in six innings of work. He allowed a solo homer and a two-run homer, but struck out seven in his outing. Abel De Los Santos picked up the win – his second – as he pitched a scoreless seventh before Harrisburg’s four-run eighth inning. Paul Demny pitched a scoreless eighth, working around a pair of walks and striking out two. Erik Davis allowed a single, but breezed otherwise in a scoreless ninth inning.

The Senators returned home but tonight’s game will be postponed due to inclement weather.  It will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow beginning at 5 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Nationals (33-39-Overall, 0-2-Second Half, 15-22-Road) were downed by the Wilmington Blue Rocks (40-32-Overall, 2-0-Second Half, 22-15-Home) in both ends of their suspended game double header at Daniel S. Frawley Stadium 6-4 in the resumed game and 5-1 in the nightcap on Friday night.

RHP Yender Caramo made the start for the Blue Rocks against RHP Lucas Giolito for the Nationals in the game that was ultimately suspended.

The game was scoreless when suspended heading to the bottom of the third but for Caramo he was perfect through his three innings of work, retiring all nine P-Nats that came to the plate with six of the nine going down on ground balls.

Giolito committed an error in the bottom of the first that put runners on second and third for Wilmington with nobody out. The righty then dispatched 3B Mauricio Ramos on a ground out before striking out both DH Cody Stubbs and 1B Frank Schwindel to dance out of the jam. In the bottom of the second, his final inning of work, Giolito once again pitched through a miscue. With one out RF Dex Kjerstad reached on an error charged to 1B John Wooten. Then with LF Logan Moon at the plate Kjerstad broke for second base on a steal attempt. The ball snuck past C Craig Manuel and went to the backstop. Kjerstad seemed to think it was a foul ball and headed back to first base as Manuel fired to Wooten who then relayed to SS Stephen Perez, who applied the tag to a sliding Kjerstad at second base. Moon then popped out to end the inning before the rain became too much.

Giolito went two scoreless innings without allowing a hit and pitching through the two miscues while issuing one walk and striking out two.

When play resumed at 5:03 pm from Wilmington on Friday evening RHP Tyler Mapes (1-1, 2.84) took the mound, lasting four innings and giving up four runs (all earned) on seven hits with no walks and he set a new season high with five strikeouts in his outing but unfortunately took the loss in the ball game.

Mapes continued the scoreless streak for the P-Nats in his first 2.1 innings on the mound but it came to an end after 25.0 innings going back to Friday June 19th against Carolina and set a new season standard.

The rally for Wilmington against Mapes began in the bottom of the fifth when Kjerstad began the frame with a single. Two batters later CF Dominique Taylor singled moving Kjerstad to second base. 2B Carlos Garcia, who had a fantastic evening began it with a two-run triple scoring both Kjerstad and Taylor and giving Wilmington a 2-0 lead. SS Jack Lopez was hit by a pitch and then back-to-back to singles ensued from 3B Mauricio Ramos and DH Cody Stubbs for a 4-0 Blue Rocks advantage.

LHP Justin Thomas came out of the bullpen for Potomac and gave up two runs in the eighth inning. With one out 1B Frank Schwindel doubled and scored on C Cam Gallagher’s RBI single for a 5-0 lead. Gallagher moved to second on Kjerstad’s single and then to third on Moon’s fielder’s choice ball before coming home to score on Garcia’s RBI single. Garcia had three hits on the evening including the three-bagger and knocked in four across both games. The single gave Wilmington a 6-0 lead.

RHP Ashton Goudeau began the resumed portion of the ballgame and was great out of the bullpen, pitching five scoreless innings allowing six hits, no walks and he added two strikeouts. He gave way to RHP Robinson Yambati in the ninth and Potomac beat him up.

With one out Yambati drilled Wooten and then two batters later with two outs he walked DH Brandon Miller. 2B Adrian Sanchez followed with a single that brought home Wooten to break up the shutout and make it 6-1 Blue Rocks. C Craig Manuel was then hit by a pitch, the second of the inning to load the bases and RF Estarlin Martinez drew an RBI walk to cut the lead to 6-2 when Miller scored. Wilmington skipper Brian Buchanan had seen enough and he went to the bullpen bringing in RHP Kevin McCarthy (SV 3). Yambati pitched .2 of an inning and on one hit, two walks and two hit batters gave up four runs while striking out two. McCarthy came in and faced CF Narciso Mesa in the ninth and Mesa slapped a two-run single scoring both Sanchez and Manuel and cut the lead to 6-4 Wilmington. The Next batter, Perez, then hit a hard comebacker that went off the leg of McCarthy but he was able to recover and throw Perez out to end the ballgame and seal the 6-4 win.

Game Two saw the P-Nats send RHP Reynaldo Lopez (4-4, 4.88) to the hill to take on LHP Matthew Strahm 1-0, 1.50) for the Rocks. Strahm, who was making his first start of 2015 after being recently promoted from Class-A Lexington pitched 5.0 innings with nine strikeouts, while only giving up two hits and a walk and one run (earned) on Sanchez’s first blast of the season that gave Potomac a 1-0 lead in the third.

Lopez ran into trouble in the bottom of the third when C Santiago Nessy led-off the frame with a single. Moon then was issued a free pass and Taylor, on a bunt attempt, reached on a fielder’s choice ball when Lopez fielded the ball and fired to third to retire the lead runner. SS Ramon Torres, who has hit P-Nats pitching well all season came up and stroked a two-out, two-run single and reclaimed the lead for Wilmington at 2-1. Ramos then doubled home Torres for a 3-1 lead after three frames. Of the nine hits Lopez gave up in his complete game loss seven of them were singles, he walked one batter and struck out one batter while allowing five runs (all earned).

LF Afredo Escalara began the fourth with an infield single followed by a 3B Robert Pehl single. In between the two singles a wild pitch by Lopez moved Escalara to second base and then he moved to third on the one-bagger. Nessy hit into a twin killing but with nobody out Escalara came home from third for a 4-1 advantage.

The final run of the ballgame came against Lopez in the bottom of the fifth frame after Taylor began the inning with a triple. He scored one batter later when Garcia knocked him in for the 5-1 Wilmington Lead.

That was your final in the nightcap as RHP Andrew Edwards entered in relief of Strahm in the sixth and gave up three hits, all singles, to Potomac over the final two frames and sealing the 5-1 win in the backend ballgame and sealing the defacto double header sweep for the Blue Rocks.

Potomac is now 5-9-7 in series in 2015 and looks to salvage one win in the opening three-gamer against their Northern Division Rival Blue Rocks

Tonight features RHP Phillips Valdez (1-2, 6.35) for Potomac vs. LHP Eric Skoglund (6-2, 2.74) for the Blue Rocks, who look for the series sweep.  First pitch set from Daniel S. Frawley Stadium is at 7:05 pm

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): Big innings played a part in Thursday’s game and another big inning for Delmarva was just what the Shorebirds needed to post a 5-2 win over Hagerstown on Friday, leaving the Suns with their second straight loss to open the second half of the South Atlantic League season.

Delmarva (35-35, 2-0) hit the Suns for a five-run first inning and made it stand, collecting two hits the remainder of the game.  Matt Purke (1-3) started for the Suns (35-35, 2-0) and made it through just two-thirds of inning, allowing four earned runs, four hits and three walks. Derek Peterson and Elier Leyva each had a two-run single in the inning for Delmarva.

Connor Bach slammed the door with 5 1/3 innings of hitless relief, walking only one and striking out six, trying to keep the Suns in the game.  But Hagerstown could only muster two runs, despite a nine-hit attack.
In the sixth, Alec Keller singled, went to second on an error and moved to third on a single by Osvaldo Abreu. He then scored on a flyout that Randy Read hit to right that was turned into a double play by the Shorebirds.  Hagerstown put a second run on the board in the eighth on singles by Austin Davidson, Keller and Brennan Middleton, but scored only on a sacrifice fly by Read.The teams square off tonight at 7:05 in the third game of a five-game set.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for June 25

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs split a four-game series with the Charlotte Knights with a 4-2 loss on Thursday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Syracuse brought the game within one in the seventh, but Charlotte scored in the eighth to beat Syracuse by two. Joe Ross allowed three runs in five innings in his Triple-A debut for the Chiefs.

Charlotte (42-31) scored first in the top of the second inning against Syracuse starter Joe Ross. Tyler Colvin led off the inning with a double down the right-field line. The next batter, Trayce Thompson, drew a five-pitch walk. With Chris Curley at the plate two batters later, Ross threw a wild pitch to allow the runners to move up to second and third with two outs. Curley proceeded to tap an infield single to the second baseman Ricky Hague, who bounced a throw to first base. One run scored on the hit and another came across the plate on the throwing error to give the Knights an early 2-0 lead.

George Kottaras added to the Knights’ lead in the top of the fourth inning with one swing of the bat. With two outs in the frame, Kottaras blasted a solo home run over the right-field fence. The catcher’s fifth home run of the season gave Charlotte a 3-0 lead.

Syracuse (26-48) scratched back in the bottom half of the fourth inning against Kyle Drabek. Jason Martinson began the frame with a single to center field. After Kevin Keyes grounded into a fielder’s choice to the shortstop Tyler Saladino, Hague lined a single to left field to advance Keyes to third and put runners on the corners with one out. Tony Gwynn Jr. stepped in next and grounded into a fielder’s choice to the third baseman Drew Garcia, who threw out Keyes at home plate for the second out. Then, Mario Lisson lined a single up the middle to plate Hague to decrease the Chiefs deficit to 3-1.

The Chiefs cut the lead to one in the bottom of the seventh inning against Dan Jennings. Lisson led off the seventh with a double down the left-field line. Caleb Ramsey followed with a bloop single to left field to put runners on the corners with no outs. Two batters later, Darin Mastroianni grounded out to third, allowing Lisson to score. Syracuse trailed 3-2 after seven innings.

The Knights answered in the top of the eighth inning against Bruce Billings. Micah Johnson started off with a single and stole second base with Saladino batting. With Saladino still at the plate, Billings threw a wild pitch to allow Johnson to move to third. Saladino battled against Billings and drew a walk. The next batter, Jason Coats, lined a double into the left-field corner to plate Johnson. Saladino tried to score from first but was thrown out at the plate on a relay throw from Lisson.

Syracuse hits the road for eight consecutive games. The Chiefs open up the road trip against the Indianapolis Indians at 7:05 p.m. on Friday night at Victory Field. Syracuse sends right-hander Scott McGregor to the mound against right-hander Radhames Liz.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Two first-inning runs were enough for the Harrisburg Senators Thursday night in a 2-1 victory over the Binghamton Mets at NYSEG Stadium. The Senators (32-41) have taken two of the first three games in the series.

Dakota Bacus was fantastic again, lasting a season-high 7.2 innings in which he scattered five hits and four walks, but allowed only one run. Bacus struck out six as well, and exited with runners on first and second with two outs in the eighth inning. Bryan Harper entered and allowed a single to right field, but Drew Vettleson notched his fifth outfield assist of the year by cutting down the potential game-tying run at home. Catcher Pedro Severino also ended the bottom of the seventh inning by picking a runner off first while there were two men on base. Gilberto Mendez allowed a single in the 9th inning, but stranded the runner at first while striking out a pair of batters in a scoreless ninth inning. The save was the sixth of the season for Mendez.

Harrisburg started quickly as Cutter Dykstra walked and Brian Goodwin singled with one out in the first inning. Matt Skole then singled Dykstra home with a single, and two batters later, Pedro Severino hit an RBI single to score Goodwin. Shawn Pleffner followed with a single of his own, but Skole was thrown out at the plate by Binghamton LF Michael Conforto. Chris Bostick was the only Senator to have multiple hits in the game, as he went 2-for-3 with his third double with the Senators.

The finale of the four-game series – and Harrisburg’s nine-game, eight-day roadtrip – will begin in Binghamton Friday night at 7:05 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (33-37-Overall, 15-20-Road, 0-0 Second Half) and the Wilmington Blue Rocks (38-32-Overall, 24-11-Home, 0-0 Second Half) were scoreless heading to the bottom of the third inning when the game was put into a weather delay and ultimately suspended to be resumed this evening.

The resumed game will be finished as a nine inning contest with first pitch set for 5:05 pm and then the regularly scheduled game will follow as a seven inning contest.

RHP Yender Caramo (3-6, 3.41) made the start for the Blue Rocks against RHP Lucas Giolito (2-4, 3.71) for the Nationals.

The game was scoreless when suspended heading to the bottom of the third but for Caramo he was perfect through his three innings of work, retiring all nine P-Nats that came to the plate with six of the nine going down on ground balls.

Giolito committed an error in the bottom of the first that put runners on second and third for Wilmington with nobody out. The righty then dispatched 3B Mauricio Ramos on a ground out before striking out both DH Cody Stubbs and 1B Frank Schwindel to dance out of the jam. In the bottom of the second, his final inning of work, Giolito once again pitched through a miscue. With one out RF Dex Kjerstad reached on an error charged to 1B John Wooten. Then with LF Logan Moon at the plate Kjerstad broke for second base on a steal attempt. The ball snuck past C Craig Manuel and went to the backstop. Kjerstad seemed to think it was a foul ball and headed back to first base as Manuel fired to Wooten who then relayed to SS Stephen Perez, who applied the tag to a sliding Kjerstad at second base. Moon then popped out to end the inning before the rain became too much.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): A seven-run lead was not enough for the Hagerstown Suns in their opening game of the South Atlantic League’s second half.  Taking advantage of seven walks and getting timely hitting in the clutch, the Delmarva Shorebirds rallied for a 9-7 victory on Thursday night.

Hagerstown (35-34, 0-1) collected as many hits as Delmarva (11), getting a two-run home run from D.K. Carey and six doubles, including four in the third inning when the Suns scored all of their runs.  Austin Davidson led off the inning with a double and closed the scoring in the frame with an RBI single. In between, Osvaldo Abreu, Jose Marmolejos and Grant DeBruin also had doubles.

Hagerstown did all of its scoring off starter Josh Walker. But its bats went silent the rest of the way as Delmarva relievers Mike Burke, Nigel Nootbaar (1-0) and Stefan Chrichton (three saves) combined to set down 17 of the last 18 Hagerstown batters. Crichton was especially effective, fanning five in his 2 2/3 perfect innings.

Hagerstown starter Drew Van Orden, a representative of the team in Tuesday’s SAL All-Star Game, blew a 7-0 lead, giving up six hits and as many runs. Reliever Deion Williams (0-1) took the loss, departing after giving up two walks to start the ill-fated sixth inning. Robert Orlan surrendered singles to three of the next four batters, accounting for the three Delmarva runs.

The teams resume their five-game set tonight at 7:05, with Hagerstown lefty Matt Purke (1-2, 2.45) opposing right-hander Matthew Grimes (5-4, 4.59).

 

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for June 24

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs lost to the Charlotte Knights, 2-0, in ten innings on Wednesday night. Syracuse pitching combined for nine shutout innings in regulation. Jason Martinson had two doubles and Dan Butler had three singles in the game.

Starting pitchers A.J. Cole and Terance Marin were locked in a pitchers’ duel through their outings. Cole pitched six shutout innings for Syracuse (26-47), allowing only three hits while striking out four. Marin was just as dominant for Charlotte (41-31), throwing seven scoreless innings and totaling three strikeouts and five hits. Marin has yet to give up an earned run this season over 22 innings with the Knights.

The game was scoreless through nine innings of baseball, though the Chiefs threatened in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, left fielder Ricky Hague reached on a single to right field. In the next at-bat, Caleb Ramsey reached first on a fielder’s choice with two outs. During Josh Johnson’s at-bat, Ramsey stole his fourth base of the season. On the next pitch, Johnson hit a hard ground ball down the third-base line that Matt Davidson could not field cleanly, allowing Johnson to reach first and Ramsey to reach third on the error. Butler struck out swinging, sending the game to extras.

The Knights finally opened up the game in the top of the tenth inning. Tyler Colvin led off the inning with a double to right-center field. With Tyler Saladino batting, Colvin advanced to third after a wild pitch from Syracuse reliever Rafael Martin. Saladino walked, bringing up Jason Coats with one out and runners on the corners. Coats smacked a double down the left-field line, plating both runners and securing the 2-0 win for Charlotte.

The Chiefs and Knights play the final game of the four-game series Thursday night with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Syracuse will send newcomer Joe Ross to the mound to face Charlotte’s Kyle Drabek.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Wilmer Difo hit a go-ahead two-run single in the top of the eighth inning as the Harrisburg Senators’ beat the Binghamton Mets, 4-1, Wednesday at NYSEG Stadium. Harrisburg (31-41) and Binghamton have split the first two games of the four-game series.

Pedro Severino started the top of the eighth inning with a single, and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Bostick. Cutter Dykstra then walked, and the runners moved to second and third on a Jose Lozada ground out. Difo’s single back up the middle with two outs put the Senators on top and Trea Turner (3-for-4) followed with an RBI triple to extend the Senators lead to two. An inning later, the Senators added insurance when Severino was hit by a pitch, then moved to second on a wild pitch before being driven in by a Bostick single.

Harrisburg’s starting pitcher, Richard Bleier, continued his outstanding season with seven strong innings, in which he allowed six hits, and one run on a solo homer. Bleier walked none and struck out five while lowering his season ERA to 3.13. Sam Runion preserved Bleier’s victory by securing a six-out save. The right-handed reliever retired the side in order in the eighth and worked around a pair of baserunners in the ninth. The save for Runion is his fourth in as many tries this season.

The third game of the four-game series in Binghamton will begin tonight at 6:35 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): OFF.  The PNats return to action tonight at 6:35 p.m. at Wilmington.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): OFF. The Suns return to action tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Delmarva.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for June 23

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs defeated the Charlotte Knights, 4-3, for the second straight night on Tuesday at NBT Bank Stadium. Chiefs starter Taylor Hill threw a strong five and two-thirds innings in his first start back since being optioned to Syracuse. The Chiefs came back for the second straight night against the Knights to give Syracuse a third consecutive victory.

Charlotte (40-31) got on the board first in the top of the first inning against Hill. The leadoff hitter, Micah Johnson, lined a single to left field to open up the game. With Jason Coats at the plate, Johnson stole second to put himself in scoring position with one man out. Coats proceeded to hit an RBI single to left to drive in Johnson for the first run of the game.

Syracuse (26-46) answered right back in the bottom of the first inning against Shawn Haviland. After Haviland retired the first two batters, Jason Martinson reached on an error by the shortstop Drew Garcia. International League Batter of the Week Kevin Keyes followed with a single to left field. With runners on first and second and two outs, Chris Nelson lined a double down the right-field line in his first at-bat as a Chief to tie the score at one after one.

The Knights retook the lead in the top of the second inning. Matt Tuiasosopo led off the frame with a walk. Trayce Thompson blooped a double off of the glove of a diving Darin Mastroianni to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. The next two batters, Tyler Colvin and Kevan Smith, each had an RBI groundout to the shortstop to give Charlotte a 3-1 advantage.

The Chiefs squared the score in the bottom of the sixth inning. Emmanuel Burriss dropped a bunt single down the third-base line to start the sixth. Then, Martinson lined a double into the left-field corner to plate Burriss for the second Syracuse run. With Keyes at the plate, Haviland threw a wild pitch, which allowed Martinson to move to third. Two batters later, Nelson drove in his second run of the game with an RBI groundout to the shortstop.

Syracuse took the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning against Blake Smith. With one out, Caleb Ramsey hit an infield single off of the third baseman Matt Davidson’s glove. With Dan Butler at the plate, Smith threw a wild pitch that allowed Ramsey to move to second. Later in the at-bat, Butler drew a walk. Smith threw his second wild pitch of the inning with Mastroianni at the plate, which allowed Butler and Ramsey to move up to second and third respectively. Mastroianni proceeded to work a walk. Then, with Burriss batting, Kevan Smith surrendered a passed ball, which allowed Ramsey to race home and give Syracuse a 4-3 lead after seven.

Syracuse plays the third game of a four-game set against Charlotte on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. The Chiefs throw right-hander A.J. Cole against Knights right-hander Terance Marin.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators suffered their 23rd one-run loss of the season in a 6-5 loss to the Binghamton Mets Tuesday night at NYSEG Stadium. The 23 one-run losses for Harrisburg (30-41) are the most in the Eastern League. The next closest is Erie with 15.

The Senators held a 3-0 lead after the top of the first as Matt Skole hit a two-run single followed by a Chris Bostick RBI single. After falling behind 4-3, Harrisburg responded with two runs in the fifth inning as Bostick tripled home Pedro Severino. The next batter, Shawn Pleffner, singled to score Bostick and put Harrisburg up by a run. However, the Senators again fell behind and could not scratch across a game-tying run. The Senators had a runner reach second in the eighth inning when Wilmer Difo reached on a fielder’s choice and then stole second, but he was stranded. Drew Vettleson doubled in the ninth but left there as well. Harrisburg, which had five hits in the first inning, outhit Binghamton 12-11. Difo, Trea Turner, Vettleson (two doubles), Skole and Bostick all had two hits in the loss.

Senators’ starter Matthew Spann allowed a pair of runs in each of the first two innings, but settled in to throw five innings in which he allowed nine hits. Spann walked the leadoff batter of the sixth and was lifted for Sammy Solis, who allowed an RBI double that tied the game, followed by a go-ahead sacrifice fly. Overall, Solis pitched two innings, allowing a run on a hit and a walk. Erik Davis pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his third appearance with the Senators this season.

Game two of the four-game series in Binghamton will begin tonight at 6:35 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Spencer Kieboom and Nick Pivetta represented the PNats in the Carolina League vs. California League All Star Game in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Kieboom was 0 for 2 at the plate.  Pivetta got the loss as he went one inning allowing two hits, two runs that were earned, and two walks.  He got the loss as the California League got the 9-2 victory.

Potomac has the night off but returns tomorrow night at 6:35 p.m. at Wilmington.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): Austen Williams, Drew Van Orden and Grant DeBruin represented the Suns for the South Atlantic All Star game in Asheville, North Carolina.

They represent the North division and got the win over the South 7-5.  Grant DeBruin started and went 0 for 2 with a walk.  Williams pitched one inning allowing one hit and two strikeouts.  Van Orden didn’t play.

Hagerstown is off today but plays at Delmarva tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m.

 

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