Compiled from team press releases:
SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs swept the Lehigh Valley IronPigs for their tenth win in a row with an 11-2 victory on Thursday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Seven Syracuse starters drove in a run and eight had a hit in the game against Lehigh Valley. Richard Bleier allowed one run in seven innings against the IronPigs.
Syracuse (53-67) scored first in the bottom of the first inning with four runs against Lehigh Valley starter Jesse Biddle. Emmanuel Burriss led off the inning with a bunt single down the third-base line. He advanced to second on a throwing error by the third baseman Tyler Pastornicky. Trea Turner hit an infield single and Jason Martinson reached on a hit-by-pitch to load the bases with no outs. Then, Kevin Keyes lined an infield single off the glove of Biddle. The pitcher tried to throw Keyes out at first, but committed a throwing error to allow Turner to score from second to give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead. The next batter, Matt Skole, drove in the third Syracuse run with a sacrifice fly to left field. After a Matt den Dekker walk, Ricky Hague drove in the fourth Chiefs run of the inning with an RBI single to right.
The Chiefs added another run in the bottom of the second inning. Burriss lined a double to left to open up the frame. Then, Turner doubled to left to plate Burriss and give Syracuse a 5-0 lead.
Matt den Dekker increased the Syracuse advantage to six with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the third. The center fielder drove a solo home run over the right-center-field fence to lead off the inning. Den Dekker has now hit three home runs since returning from Washington on July 29th.
Turner and the Chiefs pushed the lead to seven in the bottom of the fourth inning. The shortstop singled to start the frame for Syracuse. Two batters later with Keyes at the plate, Biddle threw a wild pitch to allow Turner to move to second. With Turner on third and two outs, Biddle threw his second wild pitch of the inning to score Turner for the seventh Chiefs run.
Lehigh Valley (53-66) got on the board in the top of the sixth against Syracuse starter Bleier. Chase d’Arnaud tripled to deep center field to lead off the inning. With Pastornicky batting, Bleier threw a wild pitch to plate d’Arnaud for the lone Lehigh Valley run against the Syracuse starter. Bleier allowed six hits and two walks while striking out three en route to his fourth win for the Chiefs this season.
Syracuse sealed the game in the bottom of the sixth with another four-run frame against Lehigh Valley pitching. Martinson singled to left to start the inning. The next batter, Keyes, doubled down the left-field line to score Martinson. IronPigs reliever Chris Leroux issued two walks in four batters to load the bases. Then, with Bleier batting, Leroux walked the pitcher to plate another Chiefs run. Next, Burriss drove in two runs with a single up the middle give Syracuse a 10-run advantage.
The Chiefs open up a three-game series against the Buffalo Bisons on Friday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Syracuse sends A.J. Cole to the mound against right-hander Scott Copeland for Buffalo. The game is set to start at 7:05 p.m.
HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Reading Fightin’ Phils blanked the Harrisburg Senators, 3-0, at FirstEnergy Stadium in the last game between the two teams in 2015. The Senators (56-62) were swept in a series for the fifth time this season.
Harrisburg’s lack of offense wasted a stellar outing by starting pitcher John Simms. The right-hander collared the loss despite allowing only one run over six strong innings on five hits and two walks while striking out three. Former Senator Destin Hood drove in the deciding run with a single off Simms in the fourth inning. The effort was Simms’ third consecutive quality start for the Senators.
Reading added one run off both Senators’ relievers Abel De Los Santos and Dakota Bacus to afford the Fightin’ Phils some breathing room in the pitcher’s duel. Reigning Eastern League Player of the Week Andrew Knapp hit his seventh home run in the final frame to finish the scoring for the Phils.
Harrisburg managed only three hits off Nick Pivetta and three Reading relievers. Pivetta earned his first Double-A win with 5.2 scoreless innings facing his former team for the first time since he was traded from the Nationals for Jonathan Papelbon.
The Senators struggled at the plate as they advanced only two base runners past first base all night. Pedro Severino reached third after a single and error while Shawn Pleffner doubled in the fourth inning. Harrisburg’s last hit was a single by Cutter Dysktra in the sixth.
The Senators will return to Metro Bank Park on Friday to begin a three-game homestand against the Bowie Baysox with a 7:00 p.m. start.
POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): On Thursday afternoon at Pfitzner Stadium, the Potomac Nationals (54-62 Overall, 28-29 Home, 21-25 Second Half) took their rubber match finale with the Winston-Salem Dash (59-58 Overall, 27-30 Road, 29-18 Second Half) with a 5-1 victory to improve to (7-6) head-to-head with the Dash in 2015.
The P-Nats are now a (4-5) club in their rubber games (series tied entering finale) on the current campaign.
Nationals starter, RHP Ian Dickson (2-2) equalized his win/loss record this season in the Carolina League with his second win. Dickson qualified for the victory after hurling the requisite 5.0 frames and allowed one earned run on three singles and five walks (tied a season-high) while fanning two and hitting one batter.
Meanwhile, Dash starting pitcher, RHP Matt Heidenreich (12-3), the circuit leader in wins and ERA entering the affair, suffered his third loss in ‘15. Heidenreich dealt 6.0 stanzas and surrendered three earned runs on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts to his line, as well.
Dickson tossed 83 pitches with only 42 registering as strikes, and Heidenreich threw 107 offerings and 71 pitches were in the strike zone.
Washington Nationals OF Reed Johnson played left field for Potomac on rehab while on the mend from a damaged tendon in his left foot in the clash. Johnson rapped two groundouts and made a pair of catches in foul ground along the left field line in the opening inning. Johnson played three innings and was lifted in favor of Nationals LF Alec Keller in the 4th.
The Nationals plated a pair of runs in the 2nd inning on back-to-back RBI singles from C Zach Wright swatted to left field and RF Estarlin Martinez nailed into left field too.
Winston-Salem plate a run in the 4th frame on a run-scoring single to right field by Dash LF Nick Basto.
Potomac took a 3-1 advantage in the last of the 4th courtesy of an RBI single shot into left-center field by 3B David Masters. The bottom four swingers in the P-Nats’ lineup went a combined 8-for-13 with four runs scored, two doubles, four RBIs, and two walks.
P-Nats LHP Justin Thomas turned in 2.2 scoreless innings of bullpen work behind Dickson. Thomas struck out a campaign-best five men. Thomas walked one batter and hit one man.
Dash RHP James Dykstra, who earlier this season tossed a 7.0 inning no-hitter, gave up two runs (one earned run) on four hits and one walk.
Potomac scored two runs in the 8th on an RBI double ripped by Martinez to left field scoring the leadoff walk issued by Dykstra to 2B Khayyan Norfork then Nationals CF Rafael Bautista socked the first pitch he saw to right field to deliver Martinez propelling the home club to a 5-1 lead they would not relinquish.
Nationals closer, RHP Phillips Valdez (SV 3) got the final out of the 8th after entering the game with two outs and walking Basto by inducing Dash RF Nolan Earley into a 6-3 groundout.
In the 9th, Valdez inked his third save in as many save chances despite loading the bases. Valdez got Winston-Salem C Sean O’Connell on a groundout to Norfork at second base before Dash SS Cleuluis Rondon reached on an error made by Valdez on a comebacker to the mound. Pinch runner T.J. Williams spelled Rondon then Williams took second base on defensive indifference. Dash CF Adam Engel drew a walk and 2B Eddy Alvarez sliced a single into left field to load the bases. Winston-Salem DH Jake Peter lofted a popup to Bautista in shallow center field for the second out. Dash 3B Trey Michalczewski lined out to left-center field and the galloping Keller made the squeeze to culminate the Nationals’ “W.”
The Red, White, and Blue went 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position in the contest and submitted a total of 11 base hits in their 54th win of the season.
The P-Nats will entertain the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Royals) for a three-game weekend series at Pfitzner Stadium beginning this evening with a 7:05pm first pitch for the series opener.
Nationals RHP Austen Williams (3-3, 2.48) will be on the hill gunning against a to be determined hurler for the Blue Rocks in set Game One.
HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (22-24, 57-57) notched their 10th shutout of the season on Thursday night and avoided being swept in a series for the first time this year by downing the Augusta GreenJackets (25-21, 58-57) by a final of 12-0. The 12-run difference is the largest margin of victory for the Suns this season.
Hagerstown plated a run in all but two innings to methodically build its 12-run advantage on Thursday, while three pitchers combined to keep the GreenJackets off the board in all nine frames. RHP Justin Amlung (3-1) got the start and win for the Suns. He threw 6.2 innings, giving up five hits while striking out seven. It was his longest outing of the season and he has not walked a batter all year while pitching with the Suns. RHP Andrew Copper followed for Hagerstown, working 1.1 innings and allowing one hit while walking and striking out one. RHP Koda Glover completed the shutout for the Suns by throwing a hitless ninth inning in which he struck out two. Starting LHP Mark Reyes (7-5) got tagged with the loss for Augusta. In six innings he allowed five runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out four.
In game two of the series on Wednesday night the Suns suffered their first walk-off loss since June 29, falling by a final of 3-2. Center fielder Johneshwy Fargas singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth for Augusta. He had come to the plate with runners on the corners and two outs. It was his second hit of the game, making him the only GreenJackets hitter to have multiple hits in the contest.
It was RHP Ryan Brinley (1-1) who gave up the game-winning hit to Fargas, and thus he got tagged with the loss for the Suns. Brinley threw 0.2 innings in relief, giving up the one earned run on two hits and one walk. LHP Carlos Diaz (4-3) picked up the win for Augusta. He threw a scoreless and hitless top of the ninth, while striking out one. RHP Luis Reyes started for Hagerstown and went six innings, surrendering two earned runs on four hits and one walk while striking out six.
In the first game of the series on Tuesday night the GreenJackets put up seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to cruise to a 9-1 win. That snapped a four-game winning streak for the Suns, who had sent last year’s top draft pick for the Nationals, RHP Erick Fedde (0-1), to the mound to start and try to extend the streak. In his Suns debut Fedde went 4.1 innings and gave up six earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three as he suffered the loss. Starting RHP Patrick Young (8-2) earned the win for Augusta. He threw six innings, surrendering one earned run on six hits and one walk while striking out four. RHP Connor Kaden tossed the other three innings for the GreenJackets to pick up his first save of the season.
In total Hagerstown out-scored Augusta 15-12 in the series, and the Suns outhit the GreenJackets 23-20. The Suns next head to Kannapolis, North Carolina to take on the Kannappolis Intimidators (23-23, 58-57) in a three-game series beginning on Friday, August 14. RHP Jeff Howell (0-0) will head to the hill for the Suns to make his second start and appearance with the Suns this season. He will square off against RHP Luis Martinez (4-10) for Kannapolis. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 7:05pm.