Compiled from press releases by Washington Nationals minor league affiliates
Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League
The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, dropped their second straight game to the Columbus Clippers with a 9-6 loss on Saturday night. Syracuse clawed its way back from a 9-0 deficit with a five-run seventh inning and a rally in the ninth, but the Clippers hung on for the victory.
Although Syracuse (23-26) and Columbus (23-25) combined for 14 total runs, neither team scored until the fifth inning. But the Clippers then broke a scoreless game open against right-hander Yunesky Maya. Russ Canzler doubled, Andy LaRoche singled and Matt Pagnozzi walked to start the inning.
Maya struck out Jason Donald on an inside-corner fastball for the first out, but center fielder Ezequiel Carrera laced a two-run double to right-center field, scoring Canzler and LaRoche for the game’s first two runs. Lonnie Chisenhall tacked on a sacrifice fly, upping the lead to 3-0, before Matt LaPorta was intentionally walked to bring up Jared Goedert. But Goedert would make the Chiefs pay by clubbing a three-run home run, putting Columbus ahead 6-0.
The Clippers tacked on some valuable insurance runs in the next two innings. Pagnozzi’s sixth-inning sacrifice fly scored Canzler for a 6-0 lead, with Maya exiting after five and two-thirds innings. In the seventh, Canzler’s run-scoring single and Pagnozzi’s bases-loaded walk each plated a run against right-hander Erik Arnesen.
But Syracuse launched an improbable late-game rally starting in the seventh. Jhonatan Solano’s infield single and Brett Carroll’s walk started the threat against Clippers starter Corey Kluber. Two batters later, Rivero ignited the inning with a two-run double. After a Josh Johnson single and Seth Bynum lineout, Jarrett Hoffpauir hit a pop-up to shallow center field for what looked to be the inning’s final out. However, Carrera dropped the ball for an error, with Rivero and Johnson scoring on the play to cut Columbus’ lead to 9-4. Dan Wheeler then came on in relief of Kluber, but Mark Teahen greeted the veteran right-hander rudely with a run-scoring single, capping the scoring in the inning.
In the ninth, the Chiefs loaded the bases with no outs against right-hander Cody Allen to bring the tying run to the plate. Johnson walked before Bynum and Hoffpauir lined back-to-back singles, bringing up the heart of the Syracuse order. But Allen settled down, retiring Teahen on a run-scoring groundout before Xavier Paul struck out and Solano popped out to end the game.
The Chiefs and Clippers will close out their four-game series on Sunday night at 6:30, with a fireworks show slated for after the game. Syracuse right-hander Tanner Roark and Columbus left-hander Drew Seddon are the scheduled starters.
Harrisburg Senators, AA Eastern League
Saturday night on City Island the Harrisburg Senators snapped a two-game losing streak by knocking off the Reading Phillies 5-4. Harrisburg used two solo-homers to take leads in the first inning and again in the fourth.
The Senators got started in the first when Jose Lozada hit his second home-run in as many nights giving the Senators a 1-0 lead. Reading tied the game in the third on an RBI-single from Tug Hulett.
With the game still tied in the fourth, Tim Pahuta cranked his third home-run in the last week, and his sixth of the season to give the Sens a 2-1 advantage.
The Senators offense continued in the fifth inning. Eury Perez and Jose Lozada, who each had three hits on the evening, singled to begin the frame. Two batters later, Tim Pahuta batted in his 24th run of the season with this one coming on a sacrifice fly to left field. That was followed by Chris Rahl singling and driving in Lozada.
However, Reading would not go quietly. In the sixth inning, Sebastian Valle hit two-run home-run to left-center field to make it a 4-3 game. After Demny issued a two-out walk, Harrisburg called on RH Kevin Pucetas to work out of the jam.
Pucetas forced pinch-hitter Jeremy Barnes to ground out, and the inning was over. Pucetas went on to work 2.1 innings of hitless relief while striking out four.
Harrisburg added a much needed insurance run in the sixth, after Devin Ivany tripled to begin the inning, and scored on a Eury Perez RBI-single.
In the ninth against Eric Davis, Reading scored on a bad-hop single from Cesar Hernandez to make it a 5-4 game. With the count then 3-0 against the next hitter, Tug Hulett, the Senators elected to issue an intentional pass to face Darin Ruf with the bases loaded.
On the first pitch of the at-bat, Davis induced Ruf into hitting a ground ball right at shortstop Chris McConnell, who turned a game-ending double-play.
Game three of the series comes Sunday afternoon from Metro Bank Park. Harrisburg sends RH Jeff Mandel against Reading RH Trevor May.
Potomac Nationals, High-A Carolina League
The Lynchburg Hillcats used three home runs off of Potomac starter Matt Swynenberg to beat the Nationals 7-2 at City Stadium on Saturday night. With the win, Lynchburg increased their Northern Division lead over Potomac to 6.5 games.
P-Nats starter RHP Matt Swynenberg came into tonight’s contest giving up just one home run in 2012 over 45 innings. In the second with a runner at first, Edward Salcedo smacked a 1-1 pitch over the left field fence and the Hillcats took a 2-0 lead.
Lynchburg’s offense continued their barrage in the third inning with Matt Lipka hitting a line drive over the fence in left for his second homer of the year — a solo shot extending the lead to 3-0. The Hillcats added another run in the inning on an Adam Milligan single to expand the lead to 4-0.
The Nationals got to Lynchburg starter Gus Schlosser in the fourth. With the bases loaded and one out, Kevin Keyes hit a sac fly scoring David Freitas to narrow the margin to 4-1. The next batter J.P. Ramirez, who had three hits in the contest, knocked a two-out single to right plating Zach Walters and the Lynchburg advantage was just 4-2.
However, in the bottom half of the inning, Lynchburg responded by scored again on a home run. Mycal Jones hit a solo shot out to left for his first homer of the year in the Carolina League and the lead grew to 5-2. It was the first time in the professional career of Swynenberg he’s given up three home runs. The Hillcats scored one more off of Swynenberg with a Lipka single and the lead was 6-2 after four innings.
The only other run in the game was a RBI single by Jones in the seventh inning that produced the final score of 7-2. Lynchburg reliever Chasen Shreve, a teammate of Bryce Harper in college, tossed the final two innings without giving up a run.
Schlosser (6-2), who tossed eight innings Opening Night against Potomac in a win for the Hillcats, went seven innings scattering six hits which were all singles earning the win. Swynenberg (3-3) took his second loss on the road trip in as many starts.
Sunday the Nationals and Hillcats finish their three-game series at 2:05 PM with RHP Adam Olbrychowski (1-4, 7.20) making his first start off of the DL.
Hagerstown Suns, Low-A South Atlantic League
The Hagerstown Suns (28-20) used a complete game effort from Nathan Karns in game one of a doubleheader to beat the Lakewood BlueClaws(19-29), 7-1, at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J., on Saturday night. The Suns fell in game two, 7-5.
Karns (2-0) struck out a career high ten batters in a complete game one-hitter, leading Hagerstown to a fourth consecutive win. Right fielder Steven Souza went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs to lead the Suns offense. Third baseman Matt Skole also went 2-for-3, blasting his team leading tenth home run of the season. Shortstop Jason Martinson had two hits and an RBI to extend his hitting streak to six games.
BlueClaws starter Lino Martinez (3-3) suffered his second loss to Hagerstown this season, allowing four runs on four hits over three innings pitched. First baseman Kelly Dugan broke up Karns’ no-hitter with an RBI double in the fourth inning, the BlueClaws’ only hit of the game.
In game two, the Suns fell behind 5-0 early and could not recover, despite RBIs from five different players. Brian Goodwin went 2-for-3 with a double, triple, RBI and two runs scored. Martinson extended his hitting streak to seven games with an RBI hit and two more runs scored, raising his league-leading total to 52.
Hagerstown starting pitcher Jason Smith (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on four hits over 1.2 innings in his South Atlantic League debut.
Lakewood right fielder Kyrell Hudson hit his first home run of the season and had three RBIs to lead the BlueClaws offense. Centerfielder Gauntlet Eldemire was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Reliever Luis Paulino (1-1) earned the win with 2.1 scoreless innings pitched, while Colton Murray (2) delivered a scoreless ninth inning for the save.
The Suns will conclude their six-game series with the BlueClaws on Sunday night at 7:05 p.m. The Suns have yet to announce a probable starting pitcher for the game, while the BlueClaws will send RHP Ramon Oviedo (1-0) to the mound for the start.