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.