May 4, 2016

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 27

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Rochester Red Wings, 6-0, Thursday night as the five game home-and-home series shifted to Frontier Field. The Red Wings strung together six runs in their first seven batters to take an early lead off Chiefs starter Taylor Jordan en route to the win.

Syracuse (59-74) allowed just four hits the rest of the game after the six run first, thanks to four and one-third scoreless innings of relief by Bruce Billings. Offensively, the Chiefs could not solve Michael Bowden, who held Syracuse scoreless in seven innings of work. Matt Skole did pick up two hits for the second straight night.

Syracuse and Rochester play the finale of this five-game series Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Paolo Espino is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Taylor Rogers for the Red Wings.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Isaac Ballou went four-for-four with a home run and two doubles, but it wasn’t enough for the Senators as they fell to Erie 5-4. With the loss the Senators drop 62-69 while Erie improved to 57-73.

The Senators took a 1-0 lead in the first on a single by Wilmer Difo and a run scoring double by Reggie Corona. Trailing 2-1 into the 2nd, Isaac Ballou homered and Derrick Robinson drove in Adrian Sanchez with a single to give the Sens a 3-2 lead. They extended the lead when Corona scored on a wild pitch in the fifth.

Austin Voth started and took the loss, going five innings and allowing all five runs. Wander Suero and Gilbert Mendez pitched the final three scoreless innings for the Senators.

Along with Ballou’s four hits, Corona had three in the game drove in a run and scored a run.

Game two of the four-game series is Friday night at 7:05 p.m. with RH Brian Rauh on the mound for the Senators.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Salem (59-70-Overall, 30-36-Home, 21-38-Second Half) broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the bottom of the seventh before adding two more in the eighth and cruising to the 5-2 win over the Potomac Nationals (60-69-Overall, 29-37-Road, 27-32-Second Half) in the series opener at LewisGale Field on Thursday night.

The bottom of the seventh, where Salem broke the tie was a wild one with RHP Jake Johansen (1-7, 5.84) on the mound in relief of the Starter RHP Austen Williams, who logged six innings and allowed three hits, one run (earned), four walks and he struck out four. RF Franklin Guzman laced a triple high off the left-centerfield wall but was then called out on appeal at second base for the first out. 1B Jordan Betts then reached on the third error charged to 3B Drew Ward and after a fielder’s choice ball allowed 3B Deiner Lopez to reach safely, an infield single by SS Mauricio Ramos loaded the bases. 2B Wendell Rijo laced a two-run single into left field to break the tie and give Salem a 3-1 lead. On the play, Rijo was caught in a rundown between first and second base after LF Estarlin Martinez’s throw came to the plate. Ultimately Ramos tried to score from third and the putout went 7-2-4-3-2 with Ramos being tagged out at the plate by C Craig Manuel. CF Forrestt Allday then grounded out to end the inning but the damage was done.

Salem took an early 1-0 lead against Nationals the starter Williams, who was making his ninth start of the season with Potomac. In the bottom of the second after a scoreless first frame, Williams issued a one out walk to C Jordan Procyshen. Guzman singled and then Betts took a free pass to load the bases. Lopez then worked an RBI walk, pushing home Procyshen for the 1-0 Salem lead.

Potomac, against RHP Kevin McAvoy (10-9, 3.93), was held off the scoreboard through the first six frames. The Nationals offense generated only four hits in those six innings and had their best chance to score in the fifth. They got back-to-back singles from 3B Drew Ward and SS Stephen Perez to begin the frame. Ward was retired on a fielder’s choice ball by 2B Khayyan Norfork and then a double play ball from Manuel ended the inning.

Williams, after walking in the run in the second, faced only two hitters over the minimum from the third through the sixth. Williams finished with six innings, allowing three hits and one run (earned) with four walks and he struck out four. He didn’t factor into the decision.

Potomac scored the equalizer in the top of the seventh in McAvoy’s final frame. A one-out walk to RF Brenden Webb, who then stole second base, began the rally. Two batters later, with two out, Perez came up and laced an RBI single in left-centerfield to tie the ballgame at 1-1.

McAvoy earned the win for his seven innings of work. He allowed one run (earned) on five hits, he walked two and struck out five.

Salem broke the tie against Johansen, who took the loss, in the seventh before adding two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. DH Kevin Heller walked against J.J. LF Yoilan Cerse dropped down a sacrifice bunt to push Heller to third after he swiped the second base bag and Procyshen brought him home with a sacrifice fly for a 4-1 lead. Guzman then hit a ball that might still be going over the left field wall for a solo home run, his fifth of the year, to push the lead to 5-1 Salem.

Johansen pitched two innings and gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits, a walk and he did not record a strikeout in the outing.

RHP Kyle Kaminska (SV 3) came in and pitched a scoreless eighth inning before Salem added to their lead and then closed out the 5-2 win. Potomac did push across a run in the ninth after 1B Grant DeBruin extended his hitting streak to three games with a lead-off triple. Webb brought him home for his third RBI with the Nationals by lofting a ball out to right field and the score was 5-2.

Kaminiska pitched two innings, giving up one run (earned) on two hits and he struck out one.

That was final in the opener from Salem. Lynchburg picked up another come-from-behind win over Carolina so the elimination number for the Nationals is now at 3 with 10 games to play and Potomac falls to 6-9 against the Red Sox in 2015.

Game Two tonight at 7:05 will see LHP Matthew Spann (2-6, 4.67) against LHP Daniel McGrath (2-6, 4.05) for the Red Sox.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): As an 11th-round draft choice out of Tennessee this June, Andrew Lee was hardly considered a hotshot major league prospect.  But the Hagerstown Suns right-hander has been brilliant in his first few months of professional baseball.

On Thursday night, Lee pitched five dominant innings, getting the Suns off to a good start in a 3-1 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws.  In his third minor league start, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Lee allowed two hits — both singles — didn’t walk a batter and fanned five.  Lee retired the final 13 he faced and didn’t allow a runner past first base.

In his hop, skip and jump through three Single A stops this summer, Lee has pitched 36 1/3 innings, allowed just 14 hits and six walks while fanning 38. He hasn’t allowed a home run and his ERA (0.28) and WHIP (.066) are microscopic.  After working in relief in his first 11 minor league appearances, Lee has taken over a spot in the starting rotation for Hagerstown. In his three starts — each lasting one inning longer than the previous — Lee has allowed only three hits, two walks and one run in 12 frames.

On Thursday, Hagerstown (64-63, 29-30 second half) got all the runs it needed in the third and fourth innings.  Jeff Gardner led off the third with a single, moved to second base on Conor Keniry’s walk, to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a sacrifice fly by Osvaldo Abreu.  In the fourth inning, Bryan Mejia had a two-out RBI triple and scored on the play as Lakewood right fielder Herlis Rodriguez committed a throwing error to put the Suns up 3-0.

Lee wasn’t the only Suns pitcher who excelled.  David Napoli fanned four in 2 2/3 relief innings and Koda Glover earned his fifth save, escaping jams in the final two innings.  Entering in the eighth with two out and runners on second and third base, Glover fanned Drew Stankiewicz with a 96 mph fastball.  In the ninth inning, when Glover surrendered three hits and a run, he induced a pop out from Deivi Gruilon with two out and runners at the corners.  Lakewood (65-62, 32-27) can win the series tonight when it hosts Hagerstown in the finale of the four-game set.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 26

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs were shut out 6-0 by the Rochester Red Wings on Wednesday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Jose Berrios struck out 12 Chiefs and allowed only three hits in seven shutout innings of work. Matt Skole had two hits against the Red Wings in the loss.

The Chiefs and Red Wings continue their five-game home-and-home series on Thursday night at Frontier Field in Rochester. Syracuse sends right-hander Taylor Jordan to the mound against right-hander Michael Bowden. The game is set to start at 7:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators got shutout at Richmond 3-0.  The Senators will travel to Erie for a four game series beginning tonight at 7:05

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): On Wednesday night at Pfitzner Stadium, the Potomac Nationals (60-68 Overall, 31-32 Home, 27-31 Second Half) rocked the Frederick Keys (61-68 Overall, 28-38 Road, 29-30 Second Half) 10-0 in their rubber match series finale.

The Nationals’ triumph represented their 15th shutout victory this season (most in the Carolina League).

This was the final meeting between the Northern Division “Battle of the Beltway” rivals in 2015.

Potomac pounded out 11 base hits and scored in each of the first four innings of the game while Frederick scattered just six base knocks in the clash.

The Nationals jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Keys starter, LHP Luis Gonzalez (5-11), the losing pitcher, in the opening inning as Potomac 1B Grant DeBruin smacked an RBI double down the left field line that scored the leadoff single of CF Rafael Bautista. P-Nats RF Narciso Mesa, who collected four RBIs in the affair, cranked his second home run of the season, a three-run shot off the very top of the left field foul pole. Rehabbing Washington Nationals 2B Dan Uggla (back spasms), who ripped a first-pitch single into left field, and DeBruin were both summoned home on the blast.

Uggla went 1-for-4 with one run scored and one strikeout. Washington Nationals LF Tyler Moore, who like Uggla was down with Potomac on rehab (left ankle sprain), walked twice while going 0-for-2 with one run scored.

Potomac plated three runs in the 2nd inning to make it a 7-0 game courtesy of a throwing error committed by Frederick 1B Yaisel Mederos, a DeBruin RBI walk, and a sacrifice fly from Mesa.

The home club added one run in the 3rd on a run-scoring double raked by Bautista before the Nationals brought home two runs in the 4th on a pair of wild pitches hurled by Frederick RHP Dylan Rheault. Moore, who walked, came around to score along with DeBruin, who doubled.

Gonzalez lasted just 2.2 innings and gave up eight runs (six earned runs) on eight hits, two walks, and a wild pitch in suffering his 11th loss in ‘15.

Washington Nationals RHP Tanner Roark, who was optioned yesterday to Potomac, was stellar through 4.0 scoreless frames in his first career start for the P-Nats. Roark allowed three singles, walked no one, and struck out five batters.

Roark did not go the minimum 5.0 innings to qualify for the win. P-Nats RHP Brian Dupra (3-0) came out of the bullpen to capture his third win and stay undefeated in the circuit. Dupra tossed 4.0 scoreless innings and turned in a near-identical line to Roark’s performance. Like Roark, Dupra fanned five and allowed three hits. Dupra walked only one.

Keys LHP Matt Taylor, RHP Stefan Crichton, LHP Donnie Hart, and LHP Cody Wheeler each dealt 1.0 innings of relief per arm and did not allow a run.

Nationals RHP Derek Self worked a perfect 9th inning to finish the game.

This evening in Salem, VA, the Potomac Nationals begin their final road series of the 2015 regular season, a four-gamer against the Salem Red Sox (Boston) at Salem Memorial Ballpark.

The set opener begins with a 7:05pm first pitch on LewisGale Field.

Nationals RHP Austen Williams (4-4, 2.62) opposes Red Sox RHP Kevin McAvoy (9-9, 4.08) in series Game One.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic):  After making the South Atlantic League playoffs for three straight seasons, 2015 has been an uncharacteristic waltz around the .500 mark for the Hagerstown Suns.  Never this year has the team been better than four games over the break-even mark or worse than four games under.

Wednesday night at Lakewood, Hagerstown’s gravitational pull toward .500 continued with a 7-6 loss to the BlueClaws.  After 126 games, Hagerstown (63-63, 28-30 second half) is right where it has been for much of the season — stuck in neutral and unable to put together any kind of definitive streak, positive or negative.

Hagerstown got all of the runs back in the top of the second inning, scoring them with one swing of the bat.  After Raudy Read and Matthew Page singled and Bryan Mejia reached on an error, Jeff Gardner ripped a grand slam home run to right off Lakewood starter Elniery Garcia.

The Suns obliged with a Mejia solo home run in the fourth inning and a run-scoring single an inning later from SAL RBI leader Jose Marmolejos which tied it 6-6.  Hagerstown will try to salvage the final two games of the series, playing tonight and Friday in New Jersey.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 25

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Rochester Red Wings, 4-1, on Tuesday night. Syracuse starter A.J. Cole pitched a gem for the Chiefs, striking out seven and only giving up three hits. The win improved Syracuse to an International-League-best 17-6 in August.

Syracuse (59-72) scored first against Rochester after being shut out in Monday’s game. Second baseman Scott Sizemore led off the bottom of the third with a double to deep right-center field, his second hit in as many Chiefs at-bats. The next batter, Steve Lerud, flied out to center, deep enough to advance Sizemore to third. With one out, Darin Mastroianni singled in Sizemore to give the Chiefs an early 1-0 lead.

The Chiefs continued the scoring in the bottom of the fourth off of Rochester starter Pat Dean. With one out, Jason Martinson singled. Following Martinson, Matt Skole singled to center and advanced Martinson to third. Ricky Hague continued the rally with an RBI single to left that scored Martinson and pushed Skole to third. Mario Lisson then stepped to the plate, grounding into a fielder’s choice that scored Skole to bring the Chiefs’ lead to 3-0. With two outs, Sizemore walked to put runners on first and second, and then Lerud lined a single to right field that scored Lisson.

Rochester (67-64) ran into myriad trouble against Cole. The right-hander pitched six and two-thirds innings, allowing one run and striking out seven while only allowing three hits and one walk. This was Cole’s fifth straight start in which he left the game with a lead.

Syracuse and Rochester will play the final game between the two teams at NBT Bank Stadium on Wednesday night before the series shifts to Rochester for two games. Right-hander Taylor Hill will be on the hill for the Chiefs to face right-hander Jose Berrios with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): For the second night in a row, the Senators entered the ninth inning trailing and for the second night in a row, they put two runners on with no outs but on Tuesday they couldn’t move the runners around the bases and lost 2-1. Richmond evened the series with the win, improved to 63-64 on the season while the Sens dropped to 62-67.

Lucas Giolito started for the Senators and went 6.2 innings allowing two runs, both earned, while striking out eight. He was bettered by Kelvin Marte of the Flying Squirrels who went eight innings and struck out a career high in moving to 10-5 on the season. Brian Harper retired the only batter he faced and Wander Suero pitched a scoreless eighth for Harrisburg.

Trailing 1-0 in the fourth, the Senators scored their lone run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Reegie Corona, scoring Chris Bostic which tied the game. Richmond came right back with a run in the bottom of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead and from there, the pitchers really took over. The Senators went oh-for-six with runners in scoring position while Richmond was one-for-eight. Both teams stranded six on the bases and both teams stranded three runners in scoring position. The Senators managed just four hits, all singles.

The rubber game of the three-game series is Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at the Diamond in Richmond. RH Colin Bates is on the hill for the Senators against LH Matt Lujan for Richmond.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Nationals (59-68-Overall, 30-32-Home, 26-31-Second Half) and the Keys (61-67-Overall, 28-37-Road, 29-29-Second Half) traded shutout victories in the twin bill with Frederick picking up a Game One 4-0 win and Potomac coming back with a Game Two 7-0 win on Tuesday night at Pfitzner Stadium.

RHP Taylor Mapes (4-3, 2.70) made the start in Game One that featured Washington Nationals 2B Dan Uggla and OF Tyler Moore in the lineup behind him.

Uggla made three trips to the plate, finishing 0-for-3 with a strikeout but did make three defensive plays in the field at second base. Moore started at first base and finished 0-for-2, reaching on an error and then flying out to left field.

RHP David Hess (9-3, 3.58) was brilliant for the Keys, logging the first complete game victory in his professional career in the 4-0 shutout win for Frederick. Hess gave up just one hit in his seven innings of work while issuing one walk and striking out five Nationals and improving his second half record to 7-0 with an ERA of 1.34.

The game was scoreless until the top of the third when Frederick scored three times when SS Adrian Marin walked to kick off the rally. 1B Yaisel Mederos singled, putting men on first and second. After a DH Conor Bierfeldt comebacker, 3B Derek Peterson lined a two-run single into centerfield for a 2-0 Keys advantage. LF Josh Hart then put a double into the left-centerfield gap bringing home Peterson for a 3-0 lead.

Frederick added an unearned run in the top of the third when C Wynston Sawyer struck out against Mapes but was able to reach base on a passed ball charged to C Craig Manuel. A RF Tad Gold groundout moved Sawyer to second base and Mederos reached on an error charged to 3B David Masters that brought home Sawyer from second base, an unearned run, that gave Frederick a 4-0 advantage.

Mapes lasted five innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits, two walks and he struck out three. Mapes hurled 85 pitches with 55 hitting the zone in the loss.

LHP Justin Thomas came out of the bullpen and was exceptional for Potomac. Thomas pitched two perfect innings and of the six men he retired he struck out five of them.

Potomac mustered only one hit against Hess and he issued one free pass. The Nationals also had two men reach on errors in the ballgame but both were erased on the base paths.

Game Two saw RHP Ian Dickson (3-2, 3.57) make the start against RHP Mikey O’Brien (3-5, 1.94), who was coming off a seven inning no-hit effort against the Lynchburg Hillcats.

Potomac cracked the scoreboard first in the bottom of the third when LF Estarlin Martinez reached on an error charged to 3B Anthony Caronia and then scooted to second base on a CF Rafael Bautista groundout. After a wild pitch from O’Brien moved Martinez to third, DH Alec Keller brought home Martinez with an RBI infield single for a 1-0 advantage.

The Nationals added two runs in the bottom of fifth, which proved to be O’Brien’s last inning, when 2B Khayyan Norfork walked. Two batters later Martinez hit an RBI double into the left-centerfield gap that scored Norfork from first base and pushed the National advantage to 2-0. Martinez moved to third on a Bautista infield single and then scored on a wild pitch, the second of the ballgame, by O’Brien for 3-0 lead.

O’Brien didn’t last the fifth inning, pitching 4.2 frames and three runs (two earned) scored against him on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts in the loss.

Dickson danced through five innings of work just allowing one hit but walking four and setting a new season high with six strikeouts, throwing 85 pitches with 44 in the strike zone.

LHP R.C Orlan pitched a scoreless sixth inning, issuing two, two-out walks but ultimately ending the inning.

RHP Garrett Cortright entered the game and the Nationals, in the bottom of the sixth, blew the game open with four runs in the inning. With two outs and a runner, RF Brendon Webb, on second base after doubling, SS Stephen Perez snuck a ball through the right side for an RBI single to make it 4-0 Nats’. Norfork then walked and C Zach Wright lined an RBI single into left field for a 5-0 lead. Martinez hit a little comebacker and Cortright air-mailed the ball over the first baseman allowing both Norfork and Wright to score for a 7-0 lead for the Nationals.

That was the final as RHP Phillips Valdez entered in the top of the seventh and faced four men closing out the 7-0 nightcap victory for the Nationals.

Potomac is now 14-9 in shutout ballgames and 8-8 in double header games in 2015. The Nationals are now 8-13 against the Frederick Keys and their elimination number is down to 6.

The rubber match series finale tonight will see the newest member of the Potomac Nationals, RHP Tanner Roark (0-0, 0.00) make his first start in the Carolina League this season against LHP Luis Gonzalez (5-10, 6.79) for the Keys.

First pitch is set for 7:05 pm from Pfitzner Stadium.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns are on the verge of elimination from the postseason in the South Atlantic League.  On Tuesday night they showed why as they were out-hit, out-pitched and out-fielded by the Lakewood BlueClaws in a 6-3 loss.

Lakewood got nine hits to five for Hagerstown and played flawlessly in the field while the Suns made two errors, both coming in run-scoring frames for the BlueClaws.

Lakewood (64-61, 31-26 second half) got all the runs it needed in the second inning when its first five hitters reached via base hits off Suns’ starter Will Amlung (3-3).  Lakewood starter Austin Davis (4-5) got the win, giving up four hits in five innings and surviving a momentary fitof wildness in the fifth when he surrendered all of the Suns’ runs.

On consecutive at-bats, Davis hit Austin Davidson and Stevenson with pitches and then issued a bases-loaded walk to Osvaldo Abreu. Jose Marmolejos followed with a two-run single, expanding his RBI lead in the SAL.

Entering the evening, the first baseman had driven in 77 runs, seven more than any player in the league.   In the final four innings, Hagerstown (63-61, 28-29) went quietly getting only two men on base against Jairo Munoz, who fanned four in three innings, and Matt Hockenberry, who pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save.  The series continues tonight at 7:05 p.m.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 24

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Rochester Red Wings, 9-0, on Monday night.

Syracuse (57-72) could not solve Rochester starting Logan Darnell who pitched a complete game shutout. The left-hander pitched a gem for Rochester, throwing a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Emmanuel Burriss broke up the no-hitter on an infield single in the seventh.

Syracuse and Rochester play the second of five consecutive games on Tuesday at NBT Bank Stadium with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Right hander A.J. Cole will get the start for Syracuse against left-hander Pat Dean of Rochester.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): For just the fourth time this season the Senators won a game when trailing after eight innings, rallying for three in the ninth at Richmond to beat the Flying Squirrels 4-3. With the win the Senators improve to 62-66 while Richmond falls to 62-64.

Trailing 3-1 into the ninth inning, Brian Jeroloman singled with one out. Isaac Ballou and pinch-hitter Adrian Sanchez followed with walks to load the bases off of Richmond closer Derek Law. After the walk to Sanchez, Richmond summoned Tyler Mizenko in to pitch. Wilmer Difo reached on an infield single, scoring Jeroloman, and trimming the Richmond lead to 3-2. Brian Goodwin followed with a two-run single driving in the tying and go ahead runs for the Senators. On the play Difo was thrown out trying to advance to third.

Paul Demny pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth, pitching around a leadoff single, to record his fifth save on the season. Nick Lee pitched a perfect eighth inning to earn the win and move to 2-0 with the Senators.

Harrisburg scored their first run in the second inning when Ballou hit into a bases-loaded fielder’s choice, scoring Shawn Pleffner. Chris Bostick was the only Senator with two hits in the game.

John Simms started for Harrisburg and pitched six shutout innings allowing five hits while striking out nine but took a no-decision when Richmond scored three times off Erik Davis in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Game two of the three game series is Tuesday night with RH Lucas Giolito on the hill for the Senators against LH Kelvin Marte for Richmond.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Tonight’s series opener between the Potomac Nationals (58-66-Overall, 29-31-Home, 25-30-Second Half) and the Frederick Keys (60-66-Overall, 27-36-Road, 28-28-Second Half) was postponed at Pfitzner Stadium due to weather and has been rescheduled for tonight as part of a double header.

A late blooming storm came in about an hour before first pitch was scheduled and rained consistently for over an hour creating an unplayable baseball field.

First pitch in Game One of the twin bill is set for 5:00 pm with the gates opening at 4:30 pm. Game Two will follow 30-40 minutes following the conclusion of Game One and both games will consist of seven innings.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): OFF.  The Suns will travel to Lakewood to begin a four game set tonight at 7:05

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 23

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bisons, 3-0, Sunday afternoon at Coca-Cola Field. Paolo Espino allowed just one hit in seven shutout innings to lift the Chiefs to their first series win of the season against the Bisons.

Syracuse (58-71) started the scoring in the first inning. Matt den Dekker hit his eighth home run of the season to give the Chiefs an early 1-0 lead.

The Chiefs scratched across a second run in the second inning. Caleb Ramsey tripled to lead off the frame, giving him a season-high six game hit streak. He scored a batter later on Mario Lisson‘s groundout to short to push the lead to 2-0.

Syracuse finished off the scoring in the seventh. Ricky Hague led off with a double, and scored two batters later on den Dekker’s single to push the lead to 3-0.

Buffalo (65-64) couldn’t solve Espino, managing just a Ty Kelly fifth-inning single in seven innings. After picking up 18 hits Friday night, the Bisons managed just eight in the final two games of the series.

Syracuse returns home Monday and opens a five-game home-and-home series against Rochester at 7:05 p.m. Richard Bleier is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Logan Darnell for the Red Wings.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern) via pennlive.com: The Portland Sea Dogs gave the Harrisburg Senators a taste of their own medicine with an 8-run fourth inning to win going away, 9-0. Harrisburg (60-66), which scored nine runs in the first inning on Saturday night, was shutout for the tenth time this season.

Senators starter Brian Rauh cruised through three innings before running into trouble in the decisive fourth. Rauh (1-4) allowed six runs on seven hits while striking out two as he made his first start with Harrisburg since May 13.

“For the first three innings I thought he did a pretty good job keeping the ball down in the zone and also getting the ball in on some guys,” pitching coach Chris Michalak said. “In that fourth inning, it didn’t seem like that there were that many pitches going in. And then the fact that the pitches away were elevated, those are easy balls to put in play especially with two strikes because you’re looking for pitches out over there.”

Nationals’ reliever David Carpenter, in Harrisburg on a Major League rehab assignment, worked a scoreless 2/3 of an inning before his outing was cut short by sprinkler system malfunction that forced the right-hander to stand around longer than Michalak thought was in his best interests.

The Senators were only able to scratch out three singles off Portland starter Aaron Wilkerson and reliever Williams Jerez. Denard Span, Adrian Sanchez, and Wilmer Difo got the base knocks for Harrisburg which only batted once with a runner in scoring position.

The Senators head out for their final road trip of the 2015 season as they begin a series in Richmond on Monday evening with John Simms on the mound, starting at 7:05 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Lynchburg (65-61-Overall, 34-28-Home, 32-24-Second Half) plated two runs in the bottom of the first and three pitchers combined to shutout the Nationals (58-67-Overall, 29-36-Road, 25-30-Second Half) 2-0 in the rubber match at Calvin Falwell Field to win the series.

RHP Michael Peoples (10-3, 3.55) made his 21st start of the season for the Hillcats and he did not disappoint the first place ball club. Peoples shutout the Nationals through seven innings and relinquished only four hits, two walks and he struck out one, earning his tenth win of the season.

RHP Justin Brantley entered in the eighth and fired a scoreless frame allowing one hit and striking out one batter and RHP Trevor Frank (SV 1) was summoned to close out the 2-0 win, which he did by retiring all three men he faced in the ninth, sealing the 2-0 series winning victory.

Against newly promoted RHP Jeff Howell (0-1, 3.00), the Hillcats scored two runs in the home half of the first inning and that proved to be enough. DH Levon Washington walked against Howell to begin the ballgame for the ‘Cats. 2B Claudio Bautista followed with a double that pushed Washington to third. CF Clint Frazier knocked in Washington with an RBI groundout to the left side and the score was 1-0. After a walk to 1B Joe Sever, LF Dorssys Paulino doubled home Bautista for a 2-0 advantage.

Howell pitched six-plus innings and allowed only five hits and the two runs (both earned) on four walks and he struck out two, taking the loss in his Carolina League debut, despite a quality start.

After the two run first, the knuckleballer settled in nicely for Potomac, facing only one man over the minimum of 15 from innings two through six and never allowed a Hillcats runner to reach second base during that stretch.

Peoples faced only three men in four of his six innings and only allowed a man to reach second base three times in the entire game. Potomac had rallies cut down in the second inning due to a caught stealing, the fourth inning due to a 5-4-3 twin killing and in the fifth inning courtesy of a 4-6-3 twin killing. Potomac’s last real rally was in the sixth when they picked up an infield single by RF Narciso Mesa and then DH Alec Keller extended his hitting streak to four games with a single to push Mesa to second, but with two outs. 1B Grant DeBruin lined out hard to left field to end the threat.

RHP Jake Johansen came in from the bullpen when Howell ran into trouble in the bottom of the seventh. Paulino reached on an infield single that saw 3B John Wooten make an incredible diving stop in foul territory behind the third base bag but the throw was late and then RF Mike Papi singled him to third base. Johansen entered struck out C Eric Haase and 3B Paul Hendrix before he got SS Ivan Castillo to pop out to end the inning. Johansen came back out for the bottom of the eighth and faced only four men, giving up a two-out single but that was it. Johansen logged two scoreless innings giving up one hit and striking out three.

Frank entered for the top of the ninth and inked his first save of the 2015 season with the perfect ninth inning.

Potomac falls, once again, to 6.5 games back of Lynchburg with only 14 games remaining on the schedule and their elimination number is now down to eight. The Nationals were shutout for the eighth time in 2015 and will end the season 12-12 against the Hillcats, their Northern Division rival.

Tonight from Pfitzner Stadium Potomac will send RHP Tyler Mapes (4-2, 2.51) to the mound against the Frederick Keys RHP David Hess (8-4, 2.78).

First pitch from the friendly confines is set for 7:05 pm.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (28-28, 63-61) put up four runs in the bottom of the third inning on Sunday afternoon and cruised to a 7-4 win over the Lexington Legends (21-33, 52-72), salvaging a split of the four-game series. The season series between the two clubs is now split at four wins apiece, and Hagerstown improved its record on Sundays this season to 14-6.
Going into the bottom of the third on Sunday Hagerstown held a slim 1-0 lead, but that quickly changed. Center fielder Andrew Stevenson led off the inning with a fly ball single to left. The next batter, SS Osvaldo Abreu, was hit by a pitch. First baseman Jose Marmolejos then brought both runners home with a double to left, making it 3-0 Suns. Catcher Raudy Read followed with a double of his own to plate Marmolejos and put Hagerstown up by four. Two batters later, Read moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored from third on a sacrifice fly by RF Dale Carey to make it 5-0 Suns.

Lexington responded by scoring its first run in the fourth. Second baseman Austin Bailey hit a one-out double to left, giving the Legends their first hit and base runner of the game. Bailey went to third on a single by catcher Chad Johnson. He scored from third on a passed ball by Read, making it a 5-1 game.

Hagerstown then took its largest lead in the fifth. Read hit a one-out line drive single up the middle. Two batters later Carey stroked a single to right, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Second baseman Bryan Mejia then stepped to the plate, and he delivered with a line dive double to right, driving in both Read and Carey to make it 7-1.

In the seventh Lexington closed the gap by plating three. Center fielder Anderson Miller led off with a double to center field. Following a pop out by RF Brandon Downes, DH Chase Vallot and LF Samir Duenez drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. First baseman Mike Hill then hit a line drive single to right, driving in Miller and Vallot to make it 7-3. Duenez scored the final run of the inning on a groundout to first by SS Luis Valenzuela.

Starting RHP Luis Reyes (6-7) limited Lexington to one unearned run on two hits and one walk over six innings while striking out four to earn the win for Hagerstown. Starting RHP Yunior Marte (4-3) suffered the loss for the Legends. He lasted just three innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out one. RHP Ryan Brinley pitched the last 1.1 innings for the Suns to earn his first save of the season in his second attempt.

After a day off tomorrow, the Suns next head to Lakewood, New Jersey to begin a four-game series against the Lakewood BlueClaws (30-26, 63-61) starting on Tuesday, August 25. The Suns will send RHP Justin Amlung (3-2) to the mound on Tuesday for his sixth start and 17th appearance for the Suns this season. He will square off against LHP Austin Davis (3-5) for Lakewood. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 20

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): OFF.  The Chiefs travel to Buffalo tonight at 7:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Behind home runs from Drew Vettleson and Isaac Ballou, the Harrisburg Senators won the rubber game, 5-3, over the Akron RubberDucks Thursday at Canal Park. The Senators (59-65) have won back-to-back games for the first time since July 7-8.

Senators starter Lucas Giolito threw 87 pitches in five innings of work to pick up his second with Harrisburg. The tall right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks while striking out five. The Senators scored in the top of the first inning when Wilmer Difo and Brian Goodwin both singled before completing a successful double steal. Shawn Pleffner drove in Difo with a sacrifice fly. Akron responded with a run in the first and third off Giolito to take a 2-1 lead, but Harrisburg shot back in the fourth.

Vettleson led off the fourth with his fifth home run of the year and was followed by Pedro Severino’s 13th double. Severino moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sac fly by Ballou. Giolito gave way to Gilberto Mendez after five, and again the Senators’ bullpen was solid. Mendez fired a scoreless sixth after Harrisburg added a run on Ballou’s solo shot in the top half. Cutter Dykstra then led the seventh inning off with a triple and scored on a Pleffner RBI single. Mendez, however, ran into trouble in the seventh and left the game with two on and two out. Bryan Harper entered and struck out Akron’s Bradley Zimmer to end the threat.

Harper allowed Akron to come a run closer as the RubberDucks’ Nellie Rodriguez hit a solo home run to lead off the eighth inning. Harper bounced back, though, and struck out the next three batters in order. Paul Demny allowed two runners to reach in the ninth, but shut the door with a strikeout of Zimmer for his fourth save in five tries with Harrisburg.

The Senators now return home for a weekend series with the Portland Sea Dogs. Tonight’s series opener will begin at 7:00 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Nationals (57-65-Overall, 28-34-Road, 24-27-Second Half) and Blue Rocks (56-66-Overall, 34-25-Home, 18-34-Second Half) were washed away at Frawley Stadium on Thursday night in the series finale and the game will not be made up.

After a steady rain pelted the Wilmington, DE area all afternoon and into the evening the tarp was never pulled and game was canceled. Due to the fact that Potomac and Wilmington do not play again throughout the remaining 2015 Carolina League season the game will be lost to both squads. The wash out marks the first time this season Potomac has lost a game completely.

The Nationals now jump on the bus and head to the home of the first place Lynchburg Hillcats, Calvin Falwell Field to open up a three game series starting tomorrow night from Lynchburg with a 6:30 pm scheduled first pitch.

The Nationals will send LHP Matthew Spann (1-6, 4.92) to the mound against the Hillcats RHP Mitch Brown (8-11, 4.99).
HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (26-26, 61-59) game against the Lexington Legends (19-31, 50-70) scheduled for Thursday (August 20) has been postponed. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader at Municipal Stadium on Friday August 21. The first game of the doubleheader will begin at 4:35pm. The second game of the doubleheader will begin no earlier than 7:05pm. In the South Atlantic League doubleheaders consist of two seven-inning games. Gates tomorrow will open at 3:30pm.

 

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 18

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Pawtucket Red Sox, 6-2, Tuesday night at McCoy Stadium. The Chiefs scored three runs in the third inning to snap a three-game losing streak. Richard Bleier turned in another tremendous start, allowing just one earned run in seven innings of work.

Pawtucket (48-77) started the scoring for the second straight night. Deven Marrero singled to start the game, and reached second when Emmanuel Burriss dropped the throw from the outfield after the single. Marrero reached third on a groundout and scored on another groundout, hit by Carlos Rivero, to give the PawSox a 1-0 lead on the unearned run.

Syracuse (55-70) grabbed the lead for good in the third. Josh Johnson tripled off Shawn Haviland with one out, and scored on Burriss’ double to tie the score. After a fly out, Jason Martinson drew a two-out walk to extend the inning. Haviland then hit Kevin Keyes to load the bases. Matt Skole followed with a two-run single to center field to push the Chiefs’ lead to 3-1.

Pawtucket answered with a run in the bottom of the inning. Jemile Weeks singled to lead off the frame. After Marco Hernandez singled with one out, Rivero drove in his second run of the game with a single to cut the lead to 3-2.

The Chiefs grabbed a fourth run in the fourth. Caleb Ramsey reached on a leadoff single. He moved to second on Dan Butler‘s walk. Johnson sacrificed Ramsey to third, and Ramsey scored on a groundout by Burriss to make the score 4-2.

Syracuse finished off the scoring in the eighth. Kevin Keyes started the inning with a fly ball to shallow left-center field, which Weeks dropped for an error. Skole followed with a walk. Keyes advanced to third on a flyout and scored on Ramsey’s single to extend the lead to 5-2. Butler followed with a double to score Skole and cap the lead at 6-2.

Syracuse and Pawtucket play the rubber game of the three-game set Wednesday, the final game between the two clubs this year. A.J. Cole is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Zeke Spruill for the PawSox. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Alex Lavisky’s walk-off RBI double lifted the Akron RubberDucks to a 4-3 win over the Harrisburg Senators Tuesday at Canal Park. The walk-off loss was the 10th of its kind for the Senators (57-65) in 2015.

Senators’ starter Matt Purke struggled greatly with his control early on, but battled well. Akron loaded the bases against him in the first inning with a walk, a single and a hit by pitch, but scored just one run on a passed ball by Pedro Severino. After recording the first out of the second inning, Purke walked the bases loaded. Again, Akron managed just one run on a fielder’s choice. However, on the fielder’s choice, Purke injured himself running off the mound, and he was forced to leave the game.

Dakota Bacus entered for Purke, and stranded two runners in the second before allowing a run by hitting a batter with the bases loaded. But once again, that was the only run Akron could muster despite loading the bases. Nick Lee followed Bacus with two scoreless innings of his own in which he struck out two. Erik Davis allowed a single and two baserunners in the ensuing two innings, but he also had a scoreless outing.

Harrisburg scored its first run in the second inning when Drew Vettleson singled, stole second, stole third and scored when the throw to third went into left field. Isaac Ballou’s solo home run in the top of the fifth inning cut Akron’s lead to 3-2. Three straight singles in the seventh inning by Ballou, Reegie Corona and Adrian Sanchez, who picked up the RBI, tied the game 3-3.

Paul Demny came on in the ninth inning and allowed Akron to place runners on first and third with two out, but Demny struck out Ronny Rodriguez with a high fastball to send the game to extras. Brian Goodwin reached second base with one out in the top of the 10th but was stranded there after a pair of strikeouts. In the bottom of the 10th, Demny allowed the leadoff man, Jordan Smith, to reach. Smith moved to second on a wild pitch, but Demny recorded back-to-back outs to keep Smith at second. However, Akron’s Lavisky came through with a deep drive to center field to win the game.

The Senators outhit Akron 11-6, but the RubberDucks drew nine walks – a season-most issued by Senators pitching. The two teams combined to strand 20 runners and go 2-for-26 with runners in scoring position.

Game two of the three-game series will begin Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (57-64-Overall, 28-33-Road, 24-27-Second Half) blanked the Wilmington Blue Rocks (55-66-Overall, 33-25-Home, 17-34-Second Half) 5-0 in Game One of the scheduled twin bill tonight and then followed up with a sweep 4-2 in the nightcap on Tuesday night from Frawley Stadium.

RHP Reynaldo Lopez got the nod for Game One against the Rocks and he only pitched three innings but he allowed just one hit and it was an infield single by DH Carlos Garcia. On the play Lopez appeared to tweak something and despite throwing some practice pitches to make sure it wasn’t anything serious he remained in the game to finish out the bottom of the third but he did not come back out for the fourth. Lopez recorded five strikeouts before departing.

Potomac, against LHP Matthew Strahm (1-4, 3.25) took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third of the seven inning contest. Washington Nationals LF Reed Johnson, continuing his rehab appearance with Potomac, hit a solo home run off Strahm to give the P-Nats the advantage.

The Nationals added a run in the top of the fifth inning against Strahm when C Zach Wright led-off the inning with a walk. 3B David Masters grounded out, moving Wright to second base and CF Rafael Bautista moved him to third with an infield single. RF Narciso Mesa picked up the RBI with a sacrifice bunt bringing home Wright for a 2-0 lead.

Strahm logged five innings for Wilmington, taking the loss and giving up two runs (earned) on four hits, a walk and he struck out five.

RHP Robinson Yambati entered in relief of Strahm in the sixth.

RHP Brian Dupra (2-0, 3.27) came in for Lopez in the fourth and continued the scoreless stretch for the Nationals, logging four scoreless frames to close out the eventual 5-0 win, Dupra gave up only one hit and walked one and struck out four.

The Nationals in the top of the seventh hit Yambati around, scoring three times to put the game away. 2B Khayyan Norfork reached on an error to begin the inning. Wright laced a ground ruled double that bounced over the left field wall that pushed Norfork to third base and then Masters hit a sacrifice fly to left field to make it a 3-0 lead. Mesa followed with an RBI triple and then scored himself on a wild pitch by Yambati for the 5-0 score.

Game Two saw RHP Tyler Mapes (4-2, 2.51) make a spot to start, his fifth of the year for Potomac. Mapes earned the win, pitching six innings. Wilmington scored one run against Mapes on five hits, a walk and Mapes struck out five in the win.

In the backend ballgame the Blue Rocks sent RHP Jakob Junis (4-10, 3.70) to the hill. Potomac took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Bautista began the game with a single. A Junis wild pitch moved him to second base and he scored on 1B Grant DeBruin’s RBI single.

C Craig Manuel doubled with one out for Potomac in the second inning and he scored on Masters RBI single for a 2-0 lead.

Wilmington plated a run against Mapes in the bottom of the third. CF Dominique Taylor singled with one out and then Garcia doubled. SS Humberto Arteaga knocked in Taylor with an RBI ground out to cut the lead in half at 2-1 Nationals.

The last two runs for Potomac came in the top of the fourth when Norfork blasted a home run over the left field wall to 4-1 Nats’. For Norfork, it was his second long ball of the season. RHP Derek Self (SV 1) inked his first save of the season, pitching the ninth inning and giving up one run. A lead-off walk to LF Alfredo Escalera began it and Self then fired back-to-back wild pitches to moved Escalera all the way to third. It was the C Santiago Nessy who brought home Escalera with another RBI ground out to make it 4-2 Nationals. That was as close as Wilmington got, falling in both games of the twin bill to Potomac.

The series continues tomorrow night from Frawley Stadium with a 635 pm first pitch and RHP Ian Dickson (2-2, 3.81) will make the start for the Nationals against RHP Pedro Fernandez (0-3, 8.78) for Wilmington.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (26-25, 61-58) erased a six-run deficit on Tuesday night and walked off with a 9-8 win over the Hickory Crawdads (28-23, 72-47) in the bottom of the ninth. The six-run hole that Hagerstown faced is the largest deficit it has come back from to win a game this season.

Hagerstown entered the bottom of the ninth with the score knotted at 8-8. Right fielder Matthew Page led off the inning by drawing a walk. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by 2B Bryan Mejia. Designated hitter Matt Reistetter then drew another walk, putting runners on first and second with one out. Up stepped LF Jeff Gardner to the plate, and he lined a single into left, brining home Page from second for the win.

The Suns had trailed 6-0 after three and a half innings, but they scored eight runs over the next three and a half frames to take a two-run lead. In the bottom of the fourth Hagerstown plated its first run on an RBI triple by Mejia. Then in the fifth, the Suns plated four more runs to cut their deficit to just one run. Hagerstown sent eight men to the plate during that fifth inning, with the biggest hit coming from Page. He ripped a two-out, two-run double to center field. All four runs in the inning scored with two outs.

The seventh inning was when Hagerstown finally completed its comeback and took its first lead of the night. First baseman Jose Marmolejos began the frame with a line drive double to left. A throwing error by SS Michael De Leon allowed the next hitter, catcher Raudy Read, to reach second and Marmolejos to advance to third with no outs. Page then brought Marmolejos home from third with a sacrifice fly. Mejia followed with a single up the middle to plate Read and make it 7-6 Suns. The final run of the inning scored on a triple by Gardner.

That initial lead by the Suns did not last long, as in the top of the eighth Hickory tied the game with two runs of its own. Both runs came home on a two-run double by De Leon, making up for his error the inning before. That set the stage for Gardner’s ninth inning heroics.

The Crawdads built their initial 6-0 lead with one run in the second, two in the third, and three in the fourth. All six runs were charged to Suns starting RHP Luis Reyes, who because of the comeback did not factor into the decision. Instead it was RHP Koda Glover (1-1) who wound up with the win for Hagerstown despite blowing the save. In two innings he allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits while striking out two. RHP Chris Dula (1-1) suffered the loss for Hickory. He pitched 1.2 innings and gave up one earned run on two hits and two walks while striking out one.

These teams will conclude their three-game series at Municipal Stadium with a rubber game on Wednesday August 19. The Suns will send RHP Justin Amlung (3-1) to the mound for his fifth start and 16th appearance with the Suns this season. He will square off against RHP Collin Wiles (10-3) for Hickory. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 17

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the series opener to the Pawtucket Red Sox, 6-1, Monday night at McCoy Stadium. The PawSox scored four runs in the sixth inning, three with two outs, to snap a ten-game losing skid to the Chiefs.

Pawtucket (48-76) started the scoring in the fourth inning off Paolo Espino. Carlos Rivero singled to lead off the inning, moved to second on a single, and advanced to third on a double-play groundout. Rivero scored on Sandy Leon’s RBI single to give the PawSox a 1-0 lead.

The Red Sox opened the game up in the sixth. Rivero hit his first home run as a PawSox this year with one out to stretch the lead to 2-0. Then after a fly out, Chris Marrero singled to reach with two outs. Espino walked Leon, then walked Marco Hernandez on 11 pitches to load the bases. Syracuse went to the bullpen, and P.J. Walters walked Jemile Weeks to bring in the third PawSox run. Jonathan Roof followed with a two-run single to push the lead to 5-0.

Syracuse (54-70) got on the board in the seventh. Caleb Ramsey singled off PawSox reliever Jorge Marban. Two batters later, Emmanuel Burriss doubled to left field, scoring Ramsey to cut the lead to 5-1.

The PawSox answered the Chiefs run with one of their own in the bottom of the seventh. Quintin Berry walked and scored two batters later on Allen Craig’s single to extend the lead back to five at 6-1.

Syracuse and Pawtucket return to McCoy Stadium for the second game of a three-game set Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Richard Bleier is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Shawn Haviland for the PawSox.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): OFF.  The Senators begin a three game series at Akron tonight at 7:05 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): OFF.  The P-Nats play at Wilmington tonight in a doubleheader beginning at 5:05 p.m.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (25-25, 60-58) lost an extra-inning game for the first time since May on Monday night, falling to the Hickory Crawdads (28-22, 72-46) in 11 innings by a final of 3-2. The loss snapped both Hagerstown’s four-game home winning streak and four-game overall winning streak.

The winning run in the 11th crossed the plate thanks to a wild pitch from LHP David Napoli (5-4). With two outs in the inning 1B Jonathan Meyer drew a walk, followed by back-to-back singles by CF Jose Cardona and pinch hitter Jose Trevino. That loaded the bases for 2B Carlos Arroyo, but he didn’t need to lift the bat from his shoulder as Meyer came home from third on Napoli’s wild pitch to wind up giving Hickory the win.

Napoli had retired 10 batters in a row before issuing the walk to Meyer. Napoli’s final line read 3.2 innings pitched, one earned run allowed on three hits and two walks while striking out three as he suffered the loss. RHP Scott Williams (4-0) earned the win for the Crawdads. He threw two innings, giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out three.

The score had been deadlocked at 2-2 since the sixth. In the top of the inning Hickory loaded the bases with no one out. Third baseman Juremi Profar and SS Edwin Garcia hit back-to-back singles to begin the frame, and then DH Luke Tendler drew a walk. That’s when RF Jairo Beras came to the plate, and he smacked a fly ball off the center field wall, driving in two and ending up with a double. That turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 Hickory lead.

In the bottom of the inning the Suns responded with a run of their own. Left fielder Matthew Page led off with a double. He wound up moving to third on a wild pitch, and scored from third when RF Wilman Rodriguez hit a one-out groundout to first to even the game. The Suns had taken their only lead in the game in the third thanks to a sacrifice fly to center field by catcher Raudy Read.

These teams will continue their three-game series at Municipal Stadium with game two on Tuesday August 18. The Suns will send RHP Luis Reyes (5-7) to the mound for his 22nd start and appearance this season. He will square off against RHP Ariel Jurado (11-0) for Hickory. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 14

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Buffalo Bisons, 8-2, en route to a season-high 11th straight win on Friday night. Chiefs starter A.J. Cole went six innings allowing only one earned run while striking out two. Kevin Keyes hit his sixth home run of the season on a three-run home run in the Chiefs’ win. Every Chief batter recorded a hit and five players reached base multiple times.

Buffalo (62-59) struck first at NBT Bank Stadium, scoring in the top of the fourth. With one out, Matt Hague lined a solo home run to right-center field to give the Bisons an early 1-0 lead.

Syracuse (54-67) responded immediately in the bottom of the fourth with force. Jason Martinson and Matt Skole led off the inning with back-to-back singles off Buffalo starter Scott Copeland. With runners on first and second, Keyes blasted a three-run home run to center to make the score 3-1. Matt den Dekker followed Keyes with a double to center and then advanced to third when Caleb Ramsey hit a single in the next at-bat. Josh Johnson plated another run with a sacrifice fly to left field that scored den Dekker. Steve Lerud continued the rally in the next at-bat with a double to right field that scored Ramsey to make the score 5-1. Darin Mastroianni was the next batter and singled in Lerud and advanced to second on the play. Trea Turner then grounded out for the second out of the inning, but was able to advance Mastroianni to third. Martinson was the next batter for his second plate appearance and promptly lined a double to center that scored Mastroianni to increase the score to 7-1. After reliever Bobby Korecky replaced Copeland, Matt Skole doubled to center, scoring Mastroianni and capping the Chiefs’ rally at 8-1.

The win moved Syracuse within one game of tying the Chiefs’ all-time franchise record. In 1979, the Chiefs won 12 straight games, a record that has not been matched in the 36 years since. Syracuse currently owns the longest winning streak and losing streak in the International League this year.

The Chiefs and Bisons play game two of a three-game series Saturday evening with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Taylor Hill will get the start for Syracuse opposite Buffalo right-hander Chad Jenkins.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Lucas Giolito threw seven shutout innings, retiring the final 17 batters he faced, in the Harrisburg Senators’ 2-0 win over the Bowie Baysox Friday at Metro Bank Park. The win snaps a four-game losing streak for Harrisburg (57-62).

Giolito walked just one and allowed one hit in his seven innings of work while tying a season-high with 11 strikeouts. Giolito threw 99 pitches Friday, with 63 for strikes, in his first win as a member of the Senators. Bryan Harper then threw a perfect eighth inning with a pair of strikeouts and Paul Demny earned the save with a 1-2-3 ninth. Overall, the Senators sent down the final 23 Bowie batters consecutively to finish off the combined one-hitter.

Offensively, the extent of Harrisburg’s damage came in the 3rd inning after Pedro Severino doubled and Jose Lozada pushed a bunt single up the first base side to put runners on first and third with nobody out. Wilmer Difo knocked in a run with a groundout and Brian Goodwin hit an RBI single to make it 2-0, Senators. Harrisburg had a chance to add to its total in the fourth as Shawn Pleffner walked and Cutter Dykstra singled to start the inning, but the two were stranded there after a pair of pop outs and a strike out.

Goodwin was the only Senator with a multi-hit game as he finished 2-for-4.

The Senators will try to secure a series win tonight in a 6:00 p.m. start on Pink Night.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Potomac (55-62-Overall, 29-29-Home, 22-25-Second Half) took an early lead and rolled to a 4-0 shutout victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (53-63-Overall, 20-41-Road, 15-31-Second Half) at Pfitzner Stadium on Friday night.

RHP Austen Williams (4-3, 2.09) got Potomac in the win column in the series opener against the Wilmington Blue Rocks for their third win in a row. He hurled six innings, logging a quality start, and allowed three hits, a walk and he struck out three. Williams, earned his organization leading 12th win of the season combing both his work with Hagerstown and Potomac.

The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when CF Rafael Bautista walked against RHP Pedro Fernandez, the starter for Wilmington. After walking Bautista swiped second and third base before coming home on 1B Grant DeBruin’s first of three RBI singles.

In the fifth Potomac added to their lead with two runs in the frame. Again Bautista started the rally, with a one out double. Bautista swiped third base and finished with a single season game high of four stolen bases in the win. LF Alec Keller brought Bautista home with a fly ball to centerfield for a 2-0 lead. DH John Wooten extended his on-base streak to 23 consecutive games with a two out double followed by DeBruin’s second straight run scoring single for a 3-0 lead. Fernandez didn’t survive the fifth, pitching 4.2 innings, allowing eight hits and three runs (all earned) without issuing a walk and striking out one in the loss.

Potomac added their final tally in the bottom of the eighth against RHP Matt Alvarez. It was Wooten who singled and stole second base and DeBruin struck again, with an RBI single, his third of the game, to make it a 4-0 lead.

RHP Ashton Goudeau hurled a scoreless 2.1 innings in between Fernandez and Alvarez, allowing one hit and he struck out three.

RHP Derek Self came in for relief of Williams in the seventh innings and continued to hang zeros, pitching two innings and giving up three hits and picking up one strikeout.

RHP Brian Dupra logged an inning, giving up one hit and striking out batter to close out the 4-0, shutout victory for Potomac, the 12th of the season for The Red, White and Blue.

Tonight’s Game Two features RHP Brian Rauh (2-1, 2.21) for Potomac against RHP Alec Mills of the Blue Rocks (6-6, 2.73).

First pitch is set for 6:35 pm at Pfitzner Stadium with gates opening at 5:00 pm.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): Jeff Howell pitched six solid innings and the Hagerstown Suns took advantage of three Kannapolis errors to beat the Intimidators 7-2 on Friday night in the South Atlantic League.  Howell (1-0) allowed one run on four hits and four walks for the Suns.  He has a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings covering his two starts with Hagerstown.

The Suns (58-57, 23-24) opened the scoring in the first inning.  Osvaldo Abreu singled, went to third on a double by Jose Marmolejos and scored on a wild pitch by Luis Martinez (4-11) with two outs.  Hagerstown extended the advantage to 3-0 in the fourth.  Raudy Read hit a leadoff double, Matthew Page singled and stole second, Read scored on a wild pitch and Page came home on Wilman Rodriguez’s single.

The Suns scored three runs in the fifth with the help of two errors.  Abreu was hit by a pitch, took second on Marmolejos’ single, went to third on a double-play grounder and scored when Page reached on a miscue by left fielder Alexander Simon.  Bryan Mejia drove in Page with a single, and later stole third and scored when catcher Ryan Plourde’s throw was wild for a 6-0 lead.

Kannapolis (58-58, 23-24) finally got on the board against Howell in the sixth when Mason Robbins drew a leadoff walk, took second on a wild pitch, went to third on a groundout and scored on Toby Thomas’ two-out single.

Hagerstown made it 7-1 in the seventh after Abreu reached on an error by third baseman John Ziznewski.  Abreu took second on a wild pitch and scored on Read’s second double of the night.  The Intimidators got a run in the bottom half off Mario Sanchez, as Michael Suiter hit a two-out single and Robbins ripped an RBI double.

Martinez was charged with six runs, but only three were earned, on seven hits while striking out four in five innings of work.  David Napoli pitched a scoreless ninth to finish off the Suns’ win.  Hagerstown pitching held Kannapolis to 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.  Marmolejos also had two hits for Hagerstown.  The series continues tonight at 7:05 p.m.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 13

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.

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