May 30, 2015

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for May 28

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs lost a heartbreaker to the Norfolk Tides, 6-5, Thursday afternoon at Harbor Park, sweeping the four-game set. Syracuse held a 5-0 lead after four-and-a-half innings, but Norfolk scored six unanswered runs, and Henry Urrutia hit a walkoff home run to win the game for the Tides. Bruce Billings threw another quality outing in an outstanding month of starting pitching for Syracuse, the club’s 19th quality start in 26 games. Dariel Alvarez hit two home runs for Norfolk in the win.

Syracuse (17-30) put the leadoff man on for the third game in a row as Darin Mastroianni singled to start the game. But on this day, the Chiefs rallied for a big inning. After a fielder’s choice and a walk, Mark Minicozzi singled, which put runners on first and third. Matt den Dekker followed with a single to score Tony Gwynn, Jr. to give the Chiefs their second 1-0 lead of the series. A batter later, Jason Martinson doubled in two more runs to extend the lead to three after one inning.

The Chiefs added two more runs in the fifth. Gwynn, Jr. started the rally with a single. Emmanuel Burriss then tripled to left-center field, scoring Gwynn to make the score 4-0. Two batters later, den Dekker picked up his second RBI of the game, doubling to right to score Burriss and take the lead to 5-0.

After a fly out, Michael Almanzar doubled to end Billings’ day in the seventh. The right-hander hurled six and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs on six hits. Billings struck out two and did not walk a batter. The third run charged to Billings came in as an inherited runner, as Almanzar scored on a single by Julio Borbon off Chiefs reliever Manny Delcarmen to make the score 5-3 going to the eighth.

Norfolk completed the comeback in the ninth. Almanzar walked with one out and scored on a Borbon double to cut the lead to one. Norfolk pinch-hit Nolan Reimold, and Martin got him to strike out. However, Urrutia launched an opposite-field, two-run, walkoff home run to end the game and give the Tides the sweep.

Syracuse hits the road and opens a three-game set Friday night in Durham. A.J. Cole is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Matt Buschmann for the Bulls. First pitch from Durham Bulls Athletic Park is slated for 7:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Despite a solid combined effort by the Harrisburg Senators bullpen, an eighth blown save in 18 opportunities led to a 3-2 loss in 10 innings to the Richmond Flying Squirrels Thursday at The Diamond. Richmond swept the three-game series over Harrisburg (20-26).

Thursday’s game lasted roughly seven minutes before going into a rain delay. However, in those seven minutes, Harrisburg loaded the bases with a Derrick Robinson single, a Tony Renda single and a Mario Lisson walk. The delay lasted 1:29, and when the two teams returned to action, Shawn Pleffner laced a two-run single to put the Senators on top, 2-0. Pleffner was the lone Senator with multiple hits in the game, finishing 2-for-4.

The Senators scheduled starter, Joe Ross, did not throw a pitch in the game, and was scratched after the lengthy delay. James Simmons instead began Tuesday’s game and held Richmond to one run on three hits in four innings. Simmons walked none and struck out three. Paul Demny followed with more impressive work as he threw three scoreless innings. Demny has now thrown 14 consecutive innings, allowing just three hits and striking out 13 in that time frame.

Brian Dupra pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning to secure a hold, but once again, the ninth inning was problematic for the Senators. Hector Ambriz walked the first two batters before the Senators were able to secure a force out at second base. Richmond tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center field by Ricky Oropesa. In the 10th, Ambriz allowed a leadoff single, but recorded two outs on a lineout and a sacrifice bunt. However, Richmond’s Kelby Tomlinson came through with a game-winning RBI single to right field.

Harrisburg continues its six-game road trip in Bowie tonight, beginning at 6:35 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina): The Nationals (20-27-Overall, 11-12-Home) offense plated eight runs on 11 hits and six walks to overtake the Wilmington Blue Rocks (27-19-Overall, 8-10-Road) 8-3 on Thursday night at Pfitzner Stadium in Game Three of the Four-Game series.

RHP John Simms (2-4, 4.60) made his sixth start of the season and was looking to continue his stretch of three consecutive quality starts facing Wilmington for the first time in 2015.

Simms gutted out a five inning performance, allowing three runs (all earned) on seven hits and five walks while adding four strikeouts. The hits, walks and strikeouts were season highs for the righty.

RHP Yender Caramo (2-3, 2.84) faced the P-Nats for the third time, while making his sixth start and tenth appearance overall.

2B Ramon Torres homered to begin the ball game for Wilmington. The long ball was the first of the season for the switch hitter and gave Wilmington a 1-0 lead.

Potomac answered in the bottom of the first. With one out SS Stephen Perez singled. He moved to second on a wild pitch and a throwing error charged to the C Santiago Nessy followed to move Perez to third base. DH Isaac Ballou knocked in his 19th RBI of the season with an RBI ground out to tie the game at 1-1.

Simms danced in and out of trouble all night throughout his five innings of work. He issued a walk and relinquished a single in the second but danced out of the jam.

Potomac took the lead for good in the bottom of the second on four straight singles, all with two outs. CF Narciso Mesa singled in 1B Jimmy Yezzo and 2B Christopher Bostick singled home LF Estarlin Martinez for the 3-1 lead.

With one out in the top of the third, Simms walked two and gave up two singles and DH Carlos Garcia banged in 3B Mauricio Ramos to cut the lead to 3-2.

The back and forth affair continued in the bottom of the third for Potomac. Three singles to begin the inning netted a run when 3B Drew Ward knocked in Ballou for his team-leading 22nd RBI of the season and a 4-2 Potomac lead.

Simms had his best inning in the fourth striking out two and issuing a walk to Torres. Simms picked off Torres to only face three batters in the inning.

In Simms final inning he allowed a single to Ramos with one out. Ramos scooted up to second base on Simms first and only wild pitch of the evening and came home to score when 1B Robert Pehl knocked him in for his eighth RBI of the year and made 4-3 Potomac.

Against both LHP Estarlin Cordero and RHP Andrew Edwards Potomac put up a four spot to blow the game open in the fifth. Ward walked to begin the inning and after a ground out Yezzo singled. Wilmington’s skipper Brian Buchanan went the bullpen and brought in Edwards. Martinez hit a bleeder towards second base and reached safely being credited with a fielder’s choice ball and a sacrifice bunt with an RBI to make it 5-3. After a Mesa lineout, Bostick was hit by a pitch and Perez knocked in two for a 7-3 lead and Bostick scored on a wild pitch for the eighth and final Potomac run.

RHP Wander Suero (SV 1) pitched four shutout innings to wrap up the 8-3 contest and earn his first save of the season, giving Simms his second win of the season. Suero, in five appearances out of the bullpen, has not allowed a single run, earned or otherwise in 12.1 innings. The active streak is the longest such streak by a P-Nats reliever this season.

Eight of the nine starters for Potomac had at least one hit and three members (Perez, Kieboom and Yezzo) had two hits apiece while Yezzo and Martinez both scored two runs apiece. Perez, who reached base four times on two hits and two walks, knocked in two in the win.

Tonight’s series finale pits RHP Phillips Valdez (0-0, 0.00), just called up from Hagerstown, against LHP Eric Skoglund 3-1, 2.12) for Wilmington. Potomac will go for the series split before the first place Myrtle Beach Pelicans come to town.

The P-Nats Baseball Network will carry live coverage of the finale starting at 6:50 pm with The P-Nats Lead-Off Show with first pitch set for 7:05 pm from Pfitzner Stadium.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): Home was not so sweet for the Hagerstown Suns (24-23) on Thursday night, as the Suns got shutout by the Kannapolis Intimidators (22-25) by a final score of 4-0 in the first meeting between the two teams this season. It was the sixth time this season the Suns have failed to score a run in a game.

LHP Matt Purke (0-1) wound up suffering the loss for the Suns. In his first start in over a year due to having to undergo Tommy John surgery, Purke was able to complete four innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits while striking out three. Two other lefties, R.C. Orlan and David Napoli, also pitched in the game for the Suns. Both Orlan and Napoli were each charged with allowing a run as combined they walked a total of seven hitters.

These teams will continue their four-game series at Municipal Stadium on Friday May 29. The Suns will send RHP Jefry Rodriguez (1-3) to the mound for his seventh start and appearance this season. He will square off against RHP Luis Martinez (1-4) for Kannapolis. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for May 27

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the third game of a four-game set to the Norfolk Tides, 3-0, Wednesday night at Harbor Park. Scott McGregor threw his fifth straight quality start for Syracuse in the loss, Norfolk’s third straight win to start the series.

Syracuse (17-29) got hits in each of its first two at-bats for the second straight night, after Darin Mastroianni and Tony Gwynn, Jr. each singled. Two batters later, Mark Minicozzi was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Tides starter Michael Bowden then threw a pitch that trickled away from Audry Perez, but Perez found the ball and threw out Mastroianni trying to score. Ian Stewart grounded out to end the threat.

McGregor still put together a quality effort, going seven innings, allowing the two runs on eight hits, and striking out three. Mcgregor has now pitched into the seventh inning in all five of his May starts, holding a 2.11 ERA in the month

The Chiefs did their best to rally in the ninth. Minicozzi picked up his second hit of the game with one out off Patrick McCoy, and was retired on the bases on a ground ball hit by Ian Stewart.  Stewart reached on the fielder’s choice, and moved to second on defensive indifference. McCoy then walked Jason Martinson and Caleb Ramsey to load the bases and put the tying run on first. The Tides turned to the bullpen, and Cesar Cabral got Dan Butler to fly out to the warning track to end the game.

The Chiefs try to avoid the sweep Thursday at 12:05 p.m. Bruce Billings is scheduled to start for the Chiefs, opposite Elih Villanueva for the Tides.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Richmond sent 21 total batters to the plate during back-to-back innings in a 12-0 shellacking at the hands of the Flying Squirrels Wednesday night at The Diamond. Harrisburg (20-25) was shut out for only the second time this season and first since Opening Day.

Harrisburg starter Richard Bleier was cruising along until the fifth inning when Richmond scored eight runs, seven of which with two outs. The damage was enough to knock Bleier out of the game as Sam Runion relieved to record the final out in the inning. In the next frame, Runion would also run into issues with two outs as Richmond poured on four additional runs to put the game far out of reach.

Abel De Los Santos was a bright spot as the reliever threw two scoreless innings for the Senators, allowing a lone hit and striking out three.

Brian Jeroloman reached base three times on one hit and two walks while four other Senators each recorded a base knock. Harrisburg was 1-for-7 batting with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.

The Senators will look to avoid the sweep of the three-game series on Thursday night at 6:35 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (19-27 Overall, 10-12 Home) were tamped in both ends of a Wednesday twin bill at Pfitzner Stadium by the Wilmington Blue Rocks (27-18 Overall, 8-9 Road) losing by the final scores of 3-1 and 5-1 in the first two series games, respectively, of four contests in three days.

The Blue Rocks have clinched a six-game winning streak while the P-Nats are now mired in a three-game losing slide.

The Nationals turned in identical one run on four hits with one error line scores in both seven-inning games.

The red, white, and blue are a (3-7) club in doubleheaders on the current campaign.

In the frontend matchup, Blue Rocks starter, RHP Alec Mills (3-3) was stupendous over the course of a complete 7.0 innings to earn his third win of the season. Mills surrendered just an RBI single shot into left-center field by Nationals C Craig Manuel to plate the double of 3B Drew Ward in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Manuel was retired in between first and second base on a 7-5-3-4 putout.

Wilmington used the first home run of the season for SS Jack Lopez to get a 1-0 lead in the opening stanza.

Lopez sailed a line drive into the second tier of signage in left field off losing pitcher of record, Potomac LHP Matthew Spann (0-5), who remains defeated in five starts in the Carolina League in 2015. Spann allowed three earned runs on nine hits in 6.0 innings to earn a quality start amid one walk and six strikeouts.

The other two runs were plated by the Blue Rocks in the 4th frame to break up a 1-1 tie courtesy of an RBI triple gashed to deep center field by LF Logan Moon and an RBI single corralled not in time by Potomac 2B Christopher Bostick in shallow right field off the stick of C Cam Gallagher, who left the game after stumbling around the second base bag.

Moon doubled, tripled, walked, drove in one run, and score one run in the affair going 2-for-2 in the process.

P-Nats RHP Kevin Perez tossed up a zero in the 7th despite unleashing a wild pitch but Mills shut down the Nationals in the bottom of the 7th submitting a one-two-three frame.

In the nightcap, Potomac RHP Tyler Mapes, in a spot start, was very effective. Mapes tossed 4.0 shutout innings and surrendered five hits, no walks, and fanned a quartet in a no-decision.

The P-Nats witnessed Wilmington bring nine batters to the plate in the 5th frame against reliever, RHP Jake Johansen (1-4), who allowed five runs (four earned runs) on six hits in 3.0 innings of work. Johansen walked no one but struck out just one hitter. Johansen’s offerings resulted in an RBI double to left-center field by 2B Ramon Torres, a two-run single from 2B Carlos Garcia, a throwing error by Ward at third base allowing one run to score, and a run-scoring double sent to the right field wall from 1B Frank Schwindel.

Johansen suffered his fourth losing decision of the 2015 journey.

It was too little, too late for the home club in the 6th when SS Stephen Perez sprayed an RBI sacrifice fly to left field in advance of a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of CF Isaac Ballou.

In series Game Three, the P-Nats will throw RHP John Simms (1-4, 4.44) at Wilmington RHP Yender Caramo (2-2, 2.40) for a 7:05pm first pitch at The Pfitz on Thursday night.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (24-22) could not complete their second series sweep of the Greensboro Grasshoppers (19-27) on Wednesday afternoon, falling in the final game of a three-game series 8-5. Despite the loss Hagerstown finished its seven- game road trip with a 4-3 record, making it back-to-back road trips with winning records.

The Suns got out to a 3-1 lead on Wednesday after two innings, but the Grasshopper bats then came to life as Greensboro plated at least one run in four of the next six innings. The Grasshoppers out-hit the Suns in the game 15-12, and three of those 15 hits were homers. Two of those three homeruns came against starting RHP Luis Reyes, who exited the game after five innings, having allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out four. LHP Brett Mooneyham (0-2) took over for Reyes and wound up suffering the loss. He let up three earned runs on four hits in just one inning of work.

In total Hagerstown outscored Greensboro 19-13 in the series, but the Grasshoppers outhit the Suns 35-29. The Suns next head back home to Hagerstown to take on the Kannapolis Intimidators (21-24) in a four-game series beginning on Thursday, May 28. First pitch on Thursday is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for May 22

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs dropped game one of a three-game series to the Indianapolis Indians, 6-4, on Friday night. Chiefs starter Scott McGregor threw six and one-third innings, striking out five while only surrendering three runs. Shortstop Emmanuel Burriss connected for his second home run of the year in the loss.

After dropping its previous five games, Syracuse (16-25) scored first in the series opener against the Indians. Burriss led off the top of the third with a drag-bunt single. In the next at-bat, with the hit-and-run on, left fielder Tony Gwynn, Jr., lined a double down the right-field line that scored Burriss. The Chiefs led 1-0 at the end of three innings.

Indianapolis took the lead 2-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth. After center fielder Darin Mastroianni struck out swinging to lead off the inning, third baseman Ian Stewart hit his eighth double of the season to give the Chiefs a runner in scoring position with only one out. First baseman Mark Minicozzi then singled to right field, advancing Stewart to third. Following a Matt den Dekker walk, catcher Dan Butler stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and only one out. After falling behind 0-2 in the count, Butler hit a fly ball to center, deep enough for Stewart to tag from third and score, evening the game at two.

The tie would not hold for too long, however, as Indianapolis scored two more runs in the top of the seventh. The Chiefs tacked on a run in the bottom of the seventh off the bat of Burriss. Reliever Deolis Guerra came in and retired pinch-hitter Josh Johnson to start off the inning. With a 1-1 count and one out, Burriss connected and drove his second home run of the season over the right-field wall, cutting the Indians’ lead to 4-3 at the end of seven.

The runs continued in the top of the eight. Felipe Rivero came in at the start of the inning to replace Hill. Indians catcher Tony Sanchez led off the inning with a walk and moved to second after left fielder Jaff Decker hit a bunt single. Rivero then struck out Brent Morel before Hernandez hit into a fielder’s choice, advancing Sanchez to third and putting Hernandez on first. Manny Delcarmen then entered the game to relieve Rivero to face pinch-hitter Elias Diaz. Diaz singled on a ball to right field, driving in Sanchez for the Indian’s fifth run of the game, and giving the Indians’ a 5-3 lead.

The Chiefs would not go down without a fight. In the bottom of the frame, Stewart walked off of new pitcher Josh Wall. Wall retired the next two batters before giving up a single to Butler, and letting Stewart advance to third after he stole second on a wild pitch. With Cutter Dykstra at the plate and a full count, Wall threw a wild pitch and Stewart easily scored from third, bringing the score to 5-4 in favor of Indianapolis.

The Indians tacked on another run in the top of the ninth off of Chiefs pitcher Jose Valverde. Third baseman Debinson Romero doubled with two outs and came around to score when Sanchez singled to center, making the final score 6-4.

The Chiefs and Indians play game two of the three game series Saturday night with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. The Chiefs will send right-hander Bruce Billings to the hill to face right-hander Adrian Sampson.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Richard Bieler pitched eight innings of two hit baseball for his third win of the season (3-0, 2.48 ERA) while Hector Ambriz got the save as the Senators (18-22) blanked the New Britain Rock Cats 1-0 on Friday night at Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg.

The Senators scored their lone run of the night in the bottom of the third inning.  Derrick Robinson got it started with a single to right field.  Two batters later, Brian Goodwin singled to right field to move Robinson to third.  Then Mario Lisson hit an RBI single to left field to score Robinson.

Today at 6:00 is game two of the three game set vs. New Britain.  Joe Ross (2-1, 2.54 ERA) takes the ball for the Sens.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (18-23 Overall, 8-13 Road) snapped a three-game winning streak on the Grand Strand Friday evening on Field at Pelicans Ballpark losing the series opener of the best-of-four Memorial Day Weekend set opener to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (25-14 Overall, 9-9 Home) by the final score of 8-4.

Potomac is now a (5-9) club against teams from the Carolina League’s Southern Division.

Nationals RHP Reynaldo Lopez (2-1) suffered the roughest start of his Potomac Nationals’ career and the phenom took his first losing decision of the 2015 season.

Lopez, amid his fourth Carolina League start, pitched just 2.2 innings and surrendered five earned runs on five base hits including just one extra-base knock while walking one batter, striking out just two men, and unleashing one wild pitch.

The Nationals got to Myrtle Beach RHP Duane Underwood, Jr. (5-0) the eventual winning pitcher, in Act One using solo home runs from RF Brandon Miller and 2B Christopher Bostick in the 2nd and 3rd innings, respectively. Miller’s geyser to the last row of the grandstands in left field was his team-best fifth longball of the 2015 season, and for Bostick it was his first dinger this year which was sent over everything in left field out of the Home of the Pelicans.

Bostick, in his return to Pelicans Ballpark after serving as the Myrtle Beach second baseman last year for the 2014 Southern Division Champions before being traded this off-season to the Nationals in a package for former P-Nats LHP Ross Detwiler, went 2-for-5 with one run scored and one run batted in on the four-bagger.

Underwood, Jr. went on to hurl 6.0 innings in which the power big-bodied righty allowed just two earned runs on two homers and six total hits. Underwood, Jr. walked two P-Nats and fanned four batters en route to staying undefeated with his fifth win to no losses in the circuit.

Kevin Perez dealt 3.1 frames in relief of Lopez, served up just that one earned run on three hits and two walks, and struck out a duo.

Both clubs threw up a two-run spot on the scoreboard in their halves of the 8th stanza. For the Nationals off RHP Juan Paniagua, LF Isaac Ballou blasted a solo home run over the right field barrier, his third deep fly before 1B John Wooten dashed a triple into the left-center field gap setting up a one-out RBI single gunned into center field by 3B Khayyan Norfork to cut the Pelicans’ edge to 6-4.

Paniagua had not allowed an earned run in 2015 in 11.1 innings before this relief appearance.

This was the first three home run game of the 2015 journey for the red, white, and blue.

Pelicans RHP Jasvir Rakkar (6 SV) earned his sixth save in seven save chances with 1.2 scoreless frames in which the crafty reliever allowed one hit, a single to SS Stephen Perez in the 9th. Rakkar entered the game with runners at first and second base in the 8th and Myrtle Beach up two runs before inducing C Craig Manuel into a popup to shallow right-center field and retiring CF Narciso Mesa on a 3-1 groundout. Rakkar sidestepped the Perez single in the final inning by getting Bostick to fly out to left field before Ballou reached on a fielder’s choice groundball cutting down Perez at second base. Then, Wooten scorched a line drive at Pelicans SS Carlos Penalver who squeezed the hot shot to seal the victory for the home club, the Pelicans’ 25th win this season.

Tomorrow night in series Game Two Potomac sends RHP Tyler Mapes (0-0, 3.75) to the hill in a spot start to duel with Myrtle Beach RHP Paul Blackburn (2-2, 5.00) with first pitch slated for 6:05pm.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (21-20) fell to the Lexington Legends 5-1 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Kentucky.  Luis Reyes (1-3, 5.44 ERA) got the loss for Hagerstown.

Hagerstown scored their lone run in the top of the fourth.  With one out Austin Davidson smacked a double to right field, then Brennan Middleton singled on a line drive to left field to score Davidson.

Tonight is game three of the four game series.  First pitch is at 7:05.  Phillips Valdez (4-2, 1.22 ERA) will take the ball for the Suns against Colin Rodgers of Lexington.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for May 20

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs were swept by the Lehigh Valley IronPigs after a third consecutive one-run loss at home on Wednesday afternoon. Syracuse squandered Mitch Lively’s stellar start and Mark Minicozzi’s first home run of the year to drop the final game of the series by a score of 2-1.

The game was a pitchers’ duel until the sixth inning. Two Chiefs pitchers and Anthony Vasquez combined to allow only three hits into the fifth inning. Lively, in his first start since game three of the playoffs in September 2014, turned in four outstanding innings for the Chiefs. The right-hander allowed only one hit and struck out four before Erik Davis replaced him in the fifth inning.

Davis made his first appearance for the Chiefs since being optioned to Triple-A on May 18th. He threw a stellar inning against Lehigh Valley. The right-hander allowed a hit and struck out two in his first appearance back with Syracuse since 2013.

After Lehigh Valley took a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth, Syracuse (16-24) answered immediately in the bottom of the sixth. With one out in the inning, Mark Minicozzi lined an opposite-field drive over the right-field wall to cut the IronPigs’ lead in half. The solo shot made the score 2-1 at the end of six innings.

Neither team would score again as both bullpens were brilliant. Delcarmen allowed the only two runs for Syracuse in his third loss of the season. The IronPigs’ bullpen allowed only two hits and did not surrender a run for three and two-thirds innings to close out the Chiefs and complete the sweep in Syracuse.

After a day off on Thursday, the Chiefs complete the six-game homestand with a three-game series against Indianapolis. The first game of the series will be on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Syracuse sends right-hander Scott McGregor to the mound against right-hander Chris Volstad.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Led by a host of contributors, the Harrisburg Senators beat the Binghamton Mets, 10-1, Wednesday afternoon before 4,859 fans at Metro Bank Park. The Senators (16-22) will have a chance to win the three-game series tomorrow night.

Derrick Robinson’s three-run double in the second inning afforded Harrisburg a 3-1 lead. Harrisburg tacked on in the fifth inning when Shawn Pleffner drove in two with a single. Pleffner, who was 2-for-4 with two singles, has now recorded three consecutive multi-hit games. An inning later, Caleb Ramsey and Kevin Keyes both drove in a run with singles while Tony Renda hit a sacrifice fly. Then in the seventh, Ricky Hague doubled for a team-high 11th time and Mario Lisson launched a two-run, pinch-hit home run to extend Harrisburg’s lead to nine. Lisson now has a hit in 11 straight games.

In his first start with Harrisburg, Matthew Spann was fantastic. The tall lefty pitched seven strong innings, allowing just one run on seven hits. He walked none and struck three out. In his fourth MLB rehab appearance with Harrisburg, Casey Janssen breezed through the eighth inning with three consecutive groundball outs. Hector Ambriz finished the afternoon with a scoreless ninth inning.

Tonight’s series finale will begin at 6:30 p.m. with Dakota Bacus starting for Harrisburg in his AA debut. The pregame show beginning at 6:15 p.m. on Fox Sports 1460am, iHeart Radio, and on Tune In.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The P-Nats (17-22-Overall, 9-10-Home) plated the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning and closed out their second consecutive one-run win in the 4-3 victory that clinched the series against the Carolina Mudcats (19-17-Overall, 6-9-Road) at Pfitzner Stadium on Wednesday night.

Potomac sent RHP Lucas Giolito (1-2, 4.67), who was still searching for his first win in a Red, White and Blue uniform, to the mound for his third start.

Giolito set the Mudcats down in order to begin the ballgame and LHP Blair Walters returned the favor in the bottom of the first.

Potomac fired right back against Walters in the second on back-to-back singles from 3B Drew Ward and 1B John Wooten that put runners on first and second. 2B Khayyan Norfork came up and sliced a line drive down the right field line that scored both Ward and Wooten for a 2-1 Potomac advantage and he extended his hitting streak to six games.

The game remained 2-1 Potomac until the top of sixth inning. Giolito remained on the mound and struck out LF Keith Curcio to begin the frame. Unfortunately for the righty he fired a wild pitch on the final strike and Curcio was able to reach base safely. DH Sean Godfrey singled behind Curcio and 1B Joey Meneses followed with a two-run triple to push Carolina back out in front 3-2. Giolito, undaunted, proceeded to strike out the side, stranding Meneses at third base and fanning four in the inning.

Giolito finished with nine strikeouts over his season-high seven innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits and no walks. Giolito earned his first win of the season and threw 87 pitches with 63 being strikes.

Potomac answered the call in the bottom of the sixth trailing 3-2 when SS Stephen Perez walked. He moved to second on a wild pitch by Walters and moved to third on an infield single by CF Isaac Ballou. C Spencer Kieboom came up and hit an infield single that he legged out allowing Perez to score and tie the game at 3-3 before Ward hit into an inning ending double play.

Walters was lifted prior to the Ward at-bat and finished with 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, he walked two and struck out four. For Walters it was his longest outing of the season after beginning the year in the bullpen and he did not factor in the decision.

LHP Matt Marksberry (2-1, 4.00) induced the double play ball from Ward and then emerged for the seventh inning as well. He retired the first two hitters with ease and then RF Brandon Miller singled. Miller extended his hitting streak to five games before being pulled for a pinch runner in the form of OF Narciso Mesa. Marksberry proceeded to walk the next two hitters to load the bases and with Perez up he delivered a breaking ball that was headed for the back foot of switch hitter. It was ruled the ball hit Perez on the foot and Mesa came home to score the go-ahead run to make it 4-3 P-Nats.

RHP Derek Self came into the ballgame for Giolito and pitched a scoreless eighth inning before turning things over to RHP Cody Davis (SV 1) for his first save opportunity.

Davis walked 3B Carlos Franco to begin the ninth and Briceño followed with a fielder’s choice ball that Wooten threw into left field for an error that pushed Franco all the way to third and allowed Briceño to reach safely. The right fielder Oliver was up next and what happened was wild, Oliver hit a comebacker to Davis who checked Franco at third and threw to Perez at second base to retire Briceño. When Davis spun to throw, Franco broke for the plate causing Perez to throw back home to Kieboom. The ball beat Franco there by five feet and he was eventually tagged out in a rundown by Ward. During the rundown Oliver tried to advance into scoring position and Ward, after applying the tag to Franco, fired to Norfork at second base, who applied the tag to a sliding Oliver but it was just late and Carolina stayed out of what would have been a game ending triple play. Davis then punched out Lien to end the ballgame and notch his first save of 2015.

Potomac, with the victory tonight, has won the series and looks for a series sweep tomorrow night in the finale. It’s the first series win for the P-Nats since they defeated the Wilmington Blue Rocks two games to one on April 20th through April 22nd at Daniel S. Frawley Stadium in the first state.

Potomac, after back-to-back one-run victories are now 7-9 in such affairs and improve to 9-10 at The Pfitz. For the Mudcats the loss is their fifth in a row, the longest losing streak of the season.

The series finale with Carolina begins tonight at 7:05 pm and Potomac will send the RHP John Simms (0-4, 5.60) to the mound against LHP Yean Carlos (0-6, 4.23).

The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will have the game starting at 6:50 pm with the The P-Nats Lead-Off Show and take you up to first pitch.

Tonight is a Thursday Cheers night at Pfitzner Stadium presented by Yellow Cab and will feature discounted beverages all game long.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (20-19) scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on Wednesday afternoon, breaking a 2-2 tie and sending Hagerstown to a 5-2 win over the Greensboro Grasshoppers (17-22). The win gives the Suns a season-best four-game winning streak, and wrapped up the team’s first series sweep of the year.

The eighth inning rally for Hagerstown began with two outs in the eighth. Catcher Jorge Tillero got the rally going by hitting a ground ball single up the middle into center field. Third baseman Brennan Middleton then caught the defense off guard by bunting for a base hit, putting runners at first and second. Right fielder Alec Keller smacked a third straight single, and this one brought home Tillero from second to give the Suns the lead for good. Shortstop Osvaldo Abreu then made it a three-run game with a bases clearing double on a fly ball to center field.

The Suns jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning with a home run off the bat of center fielder Dale Carey.  He led off the frame by jacking a pitch over the center field wall and into the visitors’ bullpen. It was Carey’s third homer of the season and second of the homestand.

The Suns lead increased to 2-0 in the fourth. With a runner on third and one out, LF Jeff Gardner smacked a ground ball double to right, driving home 1B Jose Marmolejos for the two-run lead. It was Gardner’s third RBI of the series and eighth of the homestand, and he’s now on a six-game hitting streak.

RHP Justin Amlung (1-0) was the beneficiary of the eighth inning rally by Hagerstown, as he wound up with the win. He threw 1.1 innings of scoreless relief without allowing a baserunner. RHP Austen Williams started for the Suns and went 5.2 innings without giving up a run. RHP Luis Castillo (1-1) suffered the loss for the Grasshoppers. In 1.2 innings of work he surrendered three earned runs on four hits while striking out two.

The Suns next head to Lexington, Kentucky to begin a four-game series against the Lexington Legends (17-21) starting Thursday May 21. The Suns will send RHP Drew Van Orden (1-1) to the mound for his fifth start of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.


Washington Nationals Minor League Report for May 18

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs were suspended after nine innings of play on Monday due to rain with the score tied, 1-1. The game will be completed at 5:05 p.m. before the start of the regularly-scheduled game on Tuesday. Action will resume in the top of the10th inning.

Taylor Jordan turned in a strong nine innings for Syracuse but left with the score tied in the 10th inning. After allowing an early run, Jordan settled down over the next seven innings to limit Lehigh Valley to only one run on five hits. Jordan retired 12 IronPigs in a row before Dominic Brown broke his streak in the sixth inning.

Syracuse (16-21) used the long ball to tie the score at one in the bottom of the fourth. Phillippe Aumont retired the first two batters he faced in the fourth before Kila Ka’aihue stepped in and lined a home run just inside the right-field foul pole to square the score at one. The Chiefs put two more men on base before Aumont struck out Jordan to escape further damage.

Rain began to fall in the bottom of the ninth inning. Right before Evan Meek threw his first pitch of the 10th inning, they decided to send the game into a rain delay. The game was officially postponed at 10 p.m.

The Chiefs and IronPigs will resume this game in the top of the 10th inning before the scheduled game on Tuesday at 5:05 p.m. The regularly scheduled game begins at 7:05 p.m. Syracuse sends right-hander Taylor Hill to the mound against Lehigh Valley left-hander Adam Morgan.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): OFF. The Senators host Binghampton tonight at 6:30 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals announced Monday that RHP Dakota Bacus was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for the period of May 11th – May 17th.

The Moline, IL native toed the rubber twice for Potomac over that span and compiled a record of 2-0 with a microscopic ERA of 0.82. Both starts came against the Baltimore Orioles affiliated Fredrick Keys and Bacus was at his best against the division rival. On May 11 at Pfitzner Stadium, Bacus hurled 5.0 innings, allowing only one run on two hits, issuing two walks and striking out a season high seven in the 5-1 victory for the P-Nats. As an encore, Bacus came back in his next start on May 16 th at Nymeo Field and danced through six shutout innings against the Keys, allowing four hits and two walks while tying his season high with seven punchouts in the 5-2 Potomac win.

The Indiana State Alumnus has thrown 27.0 innings for the Red, White and Blue to the tune of a 2.33 ERA, going 2-0 with three saves in three opportunities. He’s allowed 23 hits and eight runs (seven earned) with ten walks and 29 strikeouts, holding opposing hitters to a .219 batting average against.

The P-Nats had the night off but take on Carolina tonight at Pfitzner Stadium at 7:05

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic):  The Hagerstown Suns (18-19) came within one strike of tossing their first no-hitter since 2005 on Monday night as they shutout the Greensboro Grasshoppers (17-20) by a final score of 5-0. The shutout was the fifth the Suns have thrown this year.

With two outs and a one ball two strike count against him in the top of the ninth, 1B Arturo Rodriguez sent a fly ball over the head of RF Jeff Gardner. The ball rolled to the wall and Arturo wound up at second with a double. That was the only hit of the night for Greensboro, as the next batter, K.J. Woods, struck out looking to end the ball game.

It was two Hagerstown pitchers who combined for the shutout and the one-hitter. Starting RHP Phillips Valdez (4-2) did the majority of the work and got the win by going seven innings, and giving up just two walks while striking out four. The seven innings pitched is a season-high for a Suns pitcher this year. RHP Justin Amlung threw the final two innings, giving up the lone hit while striking out three.

All five Hagerstown runs crossed the plate in the first inning. The Suns sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, and seven came away with hits. First baseman Jose Marmolejos and SS David Masters each had a two-run double in the frame. The final run of the inning came home on an RBI double by 3B Austin Davidson. In total four of the seven hits in the inning were doubles.

These teams will continue their three-game series at Municipal Stadium on Tuesday May 19. The Suns will send RHP Jefry Rodriguez (0-3) to the mound for his fifth start and appearance this season. He will square off against RHP Jose Adames (1-2) for Greensboro. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Affiliate Report for May 11

Compiled from team press releases and box scores:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Gwinnett Braves, 5-2, Monday night at Coolray Field. The Chiefs used a three-run sixth inning and strong pitching performance from Scott McGregor to guide them to the series-opening win.

McGregor put together his second straight quality start, allowing just one run on six hits in six and two-thirds. He struck out four Braves and walked two.

Syracuse (13-18) took an early lead in the second inning. With one out, Dan Butler walked and Josh Johnson singled off Braves starter Chien-Ming Wang. After a force out, Matt den Dekker slashed a double down the right-field line, driving home Johnson to give the Chiefs the lead.

The Chiefs broke the game open in the sixth. Emmanuel Burriss reached on a bunt single with one out, extending his on-base streak to a Syracuse season-high 14 games. Ian Stewart lined a single off the glove of first baseman Matt Kennelly, advancing Burriss to third, before Jason Martinson walked to load the bases against Wang. Kila Ka’aihue followed with a first-pitch single to right field, scoring Burriss for a 2-0 lead. Butler, the next batter, then lashed a two-run single to left field for a 4-0 Syracuse advantage.

Burriss helped the Chiefs added a fifth run in the next half-inning. He walked against Juan Jaime to start the frame, stole second, reached third on a lineout, and scored on a wild pitch.

Syracuse and Gwinnett are back in action Tuesday night at 6:35 pm. Bruce Billings is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Sugar Ray Marimon for the Braves.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League): The Harrisburg Senators won the first of three against the Reading Fightin’ Phils by a 6-3 count Monday night at Metro Bank Park. Harrisburg (12-18) will try to secure its first series victory of the season tomorrow night.

Richard Bleier turned in a fantastic performance, needing just 72 pitches to complete seven innings. The lefty allowed two runs in the top of the first, but just a couple singles in six scoreless innings afterward. The win was Bleier’s first as a member of the Senators. Bridging the way to victory was Gilberto Mendez, who stranded the bases full of Fightin’ Phils in a scoreless eighth inning. The newest Senator, Hector Ambriz, pitched the ninth inning, allowing a run on two hits.

Harrisburg’s first run came in the bottom of the second inning when Kevin Keyes, Ricky Hague and Pedro Severino all singled consecutively, with Severino plating a run. The RBI for Severino was his 13th of the year. The Senators then took the lead for good with a three-run fifth inning. Harrisburg scored one run on a Reading error, and two more via RBI groundouts by Caleb Ramsey and Mario Lisson. The Senators tacked on in the seventh inning by once again taking advantage of Reading mistakes. Tony Renda stole third and scored on a throwing error by Reading reliever Anthony Vasquez. Lisson then drove in his second run of the night with an RBI infield single.

The second game of the series will begin at 6:30 p.m. with Joe Ross on the mound for Harrisburg

POTOMAC (High A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals used strong pitching to down the Frederick Keys, 5-1, before 2,256 at Pfitzner Stadium.

Dakota Bacus (W, 1-0) was close to spectacular for five innings, allowing just two hits and two walks with one earned run against. He struck out seven along the way to earn his first win of the season. Erik Davis, on an MLB rehab assignment, threw two shutout innings, giving up just one hit. Tyler Mapes picked up the last two innings, allowing two hits and striking out three.

The P-Nats got two in the second inning with two outs, as Khayyan Norfolk singled, then Brandon Miller hit his third home run of the season. Miller homered again in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it 3-1, and Potomac picked up two more in the sixth as Norfolk singled with the bases loaded to drive in a run and a wild pitch brought home the fifth run of the night.

HAGERSTOWN (Low A South Atlantic League): The Hagerstown Suns tied the game in the seventh inning, but gave up two int he bottom half and couldn’t bring it equal again, falling to the Greenville Drive 5-4 before 4,094 at Fluor Field.

Luis Reyes started for the Suns and went five innings, allowing three earned runs on six hit and two walks, striking out four. Greenville got two runs in the bottom of the seventh against Mario Sanchez, who gave up those runs on three hits and two walks.

Grant DeBruin went 1 for 2 with a triple and and RBI. Austin Davidson was 2 for 4 with a run scored and Osvaldo Abreu went 2 for 3 with a run.

Washington Nationals Minor League Affiliate Report for May 10

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the third game of a three-game series to the Durham Bulls, 5-1, on Mother’s Day Sunday. Chiefs starter A.J. Cole started out slow, allowing three runs in the first two innings before settling in. Third baseman Ian Stewart had the Chiefs’ only run, a solo home run in the seventh inning.

All told, Cole allowed three earned runs on three hits — including the two home runs — and one walk, striking out five in six innings of work.

The Chiefs will head out of town for a week-long road trip on Monday, first playing the Gwinnett Braves and then traveling up to Charlotte to take on the Knights. Right-hander Scott McGregor will take the mound for the Chiefs in their first game of the road trip against right-hander Chien-Ming Wang of the Braves. The game is set to start at 6:35 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League): Despite out-hitting the Altoona Curve, the Harrisburg Senators were defeated 7-4 on Sunday before 3,774 fans at Metro Bank Park. The loss prevented Harrisburg (11-18) from winning its first series of the season.

Austin Voth pitched the first four innings for Harrisburg, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts. The usually defensively-sound Senators committed four errors in the ball game.

Harrisburg scored via Mario Lisson sacrifice flies in the first and third innings, respectively. Then in the fourth inning, pinch-hitter Shawn Pleffner hit an RBI single to score Wilmer Difo. Kevin Keyes drove in a run later in the inning with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4-4 through four innings. However, the Curve scored the go-ahead run in the top of the fifth inning. Keyes finished the game 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Tony Renda and Difo, who doubled for the seventh time as a Senator, each had two hits on the afternoon.

The Senators will begin a three-game series with the Reading Fightin’ Phils tomorrow night at Metro Bank Park. The game will begin at 6:30 p.m. with Richard Bleier on the mound for Harrisburg.

POTOMAC (High A Carolina League): With two on and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Christopher Bostick came to the plate and lined a single into deep centerfield for a 4-3 Potomac Nationals (12-18-Overall, 6-10-Home) walk-off win over the Frederick Keys (17-14-Overall, 6-11-Road) on Mother’s Day at Pfitzner Stadium.

RF Brandon Miller connected for his second home run of the season in the bottom of the third in a scoreless game to give LHP Matthew Spann an early 1-0 lead. Spann, making his fifth start of the season for the P-Nats, pitched beautifully, going six innings of scoreless baseball, on four hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four.

With Potomac up 1-0 and Spann out of the ballgame, Tripp Keister went to the bullpen and brought in the big league rehabber RHP Casey Janssen for his second outing with Potomac. Janssen was hit hard by Frederick, allowing a two-run home run, triple and double, with three runs allowed.

Potomac had their fourth comeback victory in the seventh inning or later and their first walk-off win after winning in their final at-bat 14 times in 2014.

Potomac now looks to earn a series split with a win in tomorrow’s series finale with the Keys. The P-Nats will send RHP Dakota Bacus (0-0, 3.38) to the mound vs. LHP Mitch Horacek (2-2, 2.83).

HAGERSTOWN (Low A South Atlantic League): Hagerstown (14-15) used three pitchers to shut out the Greenville Drive 2-0 in Sunday.

Drew Van Orden started and went three innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two. Connor Bach followed and pitched two scoreless, giving up one hit but walking three in addition to two Ks. David Napoli was the star, going four shutout innings with one hit, one walk and six strikeouts.

The Suns runs came in the seventh inning. Grant DeBruin doubled to right to drive in Jose Marmolejos-Diaz, and DeBruin moved up to third on the throw. He scored on Jeff Gardner’s sacrifice fly.

Washington Nationals Minor League Affiliate Report for May 9

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs defeated the Durham Bulls, 9-8, in 12 innings on Saturday. Matt den Dekker drew a walk-off walk as the Chiefs erased a five-run deficit to take the second game of the three-game series.

Just one game after the Bulls’ five-run comeback, Syracuse (12-17) completed a five-run comeback of their own in the bottom of the ninth. Pinch hitter Kila Ka’aihue led off with a single past the shift into right field. After Mastroianni sacrificed the pinch runner Matt den Dekker to second, Gwynn Jr. followed with an RBI single to center field to tie the game at seven.

Once again, Syracuse came back to tie the score with three outs left in the game. Den Dekker singled his way on base with a hit to right field. Two batters later, Gwynn Jr. lined a single to right field.  Motter committed an error, which allowed den Dekker to come around to score all the way from first to tie the game at eight.

The game needed 12 innings to be completed before a walk-off walk gave the Chiefs a 9-8 victory. Ian Stewart led off the 12th with a walk. The next batter, Jason Martinson, singled to third base to put two on with no outs. Cutter Dykstra laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners over to second and third. The Bulls opted to intentionally walk Dan Butler to load the bases. Den Dekker then worked a full count to win the game.

Syracuse aims for a series win in the rubber game with Durham on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. The Chiefs turn to ace A.J. Cole in the rubber match against left hander Enny Romero for the Bulls.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League): The Harrisburg Senators turned a one-run deficit into a two-run lead with a three-run bottom of the seventh inning on their way to a 7-4 victory over the Altoona Curve Saturday night before a season-high crowd of 6,272 at Metro Bank Park. The win for Harrisburg (11-17) snapped a six-game losing streak.

Tony Renda and Brian Goodwin both had run-scoring hits in the go-ahead seventh inning. Harrisburg also added a run scored by Derrick Robinson due to an error in the outfield by Altoona. Matt Skole homered for the second night in a row, and fifth time on the season, in the eighth inning to provide insurance for Harrisburg. Caleb Ramsey and Brian Jeroloman both drove in runs with singles in the second and fourth innings respectively. Wilmer Difo, who reached twice and stole two bases, scored on both of the run-scoring singles. Goodwin also drove in a run with an RBI fielder’s choice in the third inning. Robinson, who extended his hitting streak to seven games, and Renda both had two-hit games.

In his first start since April 26, Paolo Espino pitched the first 3.2 innings of Saturday’s games, allowing three runs on seven hits. Espino threw 75 pitches, 47 of which were strikes.

The Senators will shoot for their first series victory of the 2015 season Sunday with Austin Voth on the mound. The game will begin at 1:30 p.m.

POTOMAC (High A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (11-18 Overall, 5-10 Home) were shut out 4-0 in series Game Two by their Northern Division rivals, the Frederick Keys (17-13 Overall, 6-10 Road) on Saturday night at Pfitzner Stadium. The P-Nats have now lost 13 of their last 16 contests and three straight games after being blanked for the second time in 2015.

Potomac was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in the affair and left six men on base.  

Nationals starting pitcher, John Simms (0-3), the tough luck losing pitcher of record, submitted a quality start after throwing six innings and surrendering two earned runs on four base hits. Simms walked no one and struck out three Keys.  

The Nationals mustered just four hits including a rifled single off the lumber of Isaac Ballou, a pair of bloop singles by Christopher Bostick, and the two-bagger that traveled to the left-center field gap by Drew Ward.

With the Keys guaranteed at least a series split after winning the first two games of the series, the Nationals will send Matthew Spann (0-4, 5.87) to the bump tomorrow in Game Three to face off with Frederick LHP Jhonathan Ramos (0-0, 1.93).  

HAGERSTOWN (Low A South Atlantic League): The Hagerstown Suns posted eight runs in the first inning and held on to register an 11-7 win over the Greenville Drive. Austen Williams (4-1) picked up the win after pitching five innings. He allowed one earned run on six hits and one walk, striking out three.

There were offensive heroes aplenty. D.K. Carey went 4 for 5 win a run scored and an RBI. Jose Marmolejos-Diaz went 3 for 5 with two runs and an RBI, and Grant DeBruin added three hits in five trips and scored twice, with two RBIs. All told, the Suns (13-15) pounded out 20 hits in the game.

Washington Nationals Minor League Affiliate Report May 4

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Norfolk Tides on Monday night, 3-1, in an extra-inning affair. The Chiefs loaded the bases in both the eighth and ninth innings, but were unable to put a run across before losing in 10 innings. Chiefs starter A.J. Cole pitched six strong innings, allowing only one run on seven hits.

Syracuse (10-15) struck first in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs and two on, Cutter Dykstra hit a ground-ball single to right field, scoring Kila Ka’aihue — who had walked — from third. But Dan Butler was thrown out at the plate on the play by right fielder Henry Urrutia to end the inning.

The Tides finally broke the 1-1 stalemate in the top of the 10th inning. Chiefs reliever Rafael Martin gave up a leadoff infield single then walked the next two batters he faced to load the bases. With two outs, Martin gave up a go-ahead, two-run bloop single.

The Chiefs are back in action for another night game tomorrow with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Syracuse will send right-hander Scott McGregor to the hill to face Norfolk right-hander Tyler Wilson.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League): A rough sixth inning was more than the Harrisburg Senators could overcome in a 4-2 loss to the New Britain Rock Cats on Monday night at New Britain Stadium.

Senators starting pitcher Austin Voth started his outing with five scoreless innings and struck out the first batter of the sixth. However, Voth allowed a double which was followed by a Senators error. New Britain then singled in a run off Voth to tie the game at 1-1. Another defensive miscue led to an infield single to load the bases and end Voth’s outing. Reliever Derek Self began his outing by walking in a run and then allowing a two-run double that extended New Britain’s lead to 4-1. Voth was charged with all four runs, but only two were earned. Self finished with 1.2 scoreless innings in which he allowed a hit, a walk, but allowed all three inherited runners to score. Paul Demny followed with a perfect eighth inning.

Harrisburg initially took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth when Ricky Hague scored on a Tony Renda RBI groundout. Hague led the inning off with a single, moved to second and third on a pair of sacrifice bunts before Renda’s grounder. In the top of eighth inning, Mario Lisson and Wilmer Difo both doubled to cut New Britain’s lead to 4-2.

The Senators will send lefty Richard Bleier to the hill Tuesday evening in game two of the series against New Britain’s Matt Flemer. The game is slated to begin at 6:35 p.m.

POTOMAC (High A Carolina League): The Salem Red Sox (13-10-Overall, 8-5-Home) plated two runs in the fourth and two runs in the fifth against Wander Suero and held on for a 4-2 victory in the finale to sweep the Potomac Nationals (10-15-Overall, 6-8-Road) at LewisGale Field on Monday night.

RHP Wander Suero (3-2, 4.14), went six innings allowing four hits and four runs, he walked a batter and struck out three while also hitting two batters.

Potomac’s offense countered in the top of the fifth when CF Narciso Mesa led-off with a single. Mesa stole second base, his second swipe of the game, and scored on C Spencer Kieboom’s RBI double to cut the lead to 2-1 Salem.

3B Drew Ward led-off the sixth inning against Ball with a walk. After retiring DH Khayyan Norfork on a lineout to right field, Ball was lifted for RHP Tyler Grover. Grover gave up a double to 2B Christopher Bostick and an RBI ground out to RF Estarlin Martinez to make it a 4-2 game.

Wilmington comes to town for a three-game series and Potomac will send RHP Dakota Bacus (0-0, 3.21) to the mound in Game One against LHP Luis Rico (2-0, 2.93) for the Blue Rocks

HAGERSTOWN (Low A South Atlantic League): The Hagerstown Suns (10-14) could not cool down the Greenville Drive (15-10) bats on Monday afternoon, as Greenville came away with a 9-6 win to secure a victory in the four-game series.

Already down 3-0, Hagerstown answered with a run in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by catcher Raudy Read. Then, in the third, the Suns responded with a three-run inning of their own to go up 4-3. In that third inning Hagerstown sent eight batters to the plate, and collected the three runs on three hits, a walk, and an error. The biggest hit of the inning was a two-run double by 1B Grant DeBruin, which came with one out in the frame. DeBruin finished with two hits in the game.

The Suns increased their lead to two in the fourth on an RBI double by RF Alec Keller.

All three Greenville runs in the fifth came against RHP Mario Sanchez (0-1), and thus he suffered the loss for Hagerstown. He threw 2.1 innings in relief, allowing the three runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out one.

The Suns next head to Rome, Georgia to begin a three-game series against the Rome Braves starting Wednesday May 6. The Suns will send RHP Luis Reyes (0-2) to the mound for his fifth start of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Affiliate Report May 3

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs completed a three-game sweep of the Columbus Clippers with a 7-3 victory on Sunday afternoon. A six-run second inning and a solid start by Taylor Hill propelled the Chiefs to their 10th win of the season.

Syracuse (10-14) exploded for six runs in the bottom of the second inning against Columbus starter Nick Maronde. After Ian Stewart and Jason Martinson both singled to open up the frame, Matt den Dekker delivered a double deep into the right-center field alley to put the Chiefs up two. Later in the inning, after a single by Josh Johnson, Emmanuel Burriss chased home the third Chiefs run with an RBI single.

Then, complete and utter chaos broke out on the field. The next batter, Tony Gwynn Jr., hit a bloop single in front of Clippers center fielder James Ramsey. Ramsey came up throwing to try and cut down Johnson who was trying to score from second. The throw was too late and allowed Burriss to try and take third. Catcher Adam Moore attempted to throw the Syracuse shortstop out trying to advance, but his throw was too high and not only allowed Burriss to score, but also Gwynn, who raced all the way around the bases.

In the bottom of the fourth, Dan Butler doubled with one out. Two batters later, Burriss drove in his second run of the game with another RBI single to center.

Hill put together a quality start for the Chiefs on Sunday afternoon. The 26-year old right-hander went six and one-third innings against Columbus. He surrendered just six hits and two earned runs while striking out five Clippers hitters. Hill is now 2-1 in 2015 with an ERA of 3.81. Columbus chased Hill in the sixth after a sacrifice fly by Moncrief.

Syracuse opens up a three-game set against Norfolk to continue its nine-game homestand on Monday at 7:05 pm. The Chiefs send right-handed pitcher A.J Cole to the mound for his first start back in Syracuse since being sent back down from Washington on May 1st.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League): Looking for their first series win of the year, the Senators dropped a heartbreaker to Bowie 11-9.  With the loss the Senators drop to 10-13. In the ninth, with Abel De Los Santos on the hill trying to protect a 9-7 Senators lead, Bowie pinch-hitter Chris O’Brien hit a two-out grand slam to ruin the day.

The Senators sent 10 batters to the second inning, scoring six runs on five hits to take an early 6-0 lead. Kevin Keyes and Matt Skole both singled ahead of Ricky Hague, who drove in both with a double to left. Shawn Pleffner and Brian Jeroloman both walked to load the bases, and Derrick Robinson drove in the third run of the inning with a single. Tony Renda followed with a two-run double to score Pleffner and Jeroloman. Capping the rally was Caleb Ramsey, who hit a sacrifice fly to score Robinson.

Harrisburg added a run in the fifth by loading the bases with singles by Renda, Ramsey and Keyes followed by a sacrifice fly from Skole. Two innings later, Skole reached on an error and moved to third on Hague’s team-high eighth double of the season. Wilmer Difo picked up his first RBI as a Senator with a sac fly to score Skole, pushing Harrisburg’s lead to 8-4. With Harrisburg needing insurance, Keyes and Skole continued their big afternoons in the ninth inning. Keyes’ third hit of the afternoon was a single with one out in the top of the ninth. Skole followed with a double into the right-centerfield gap to score Keyes from first and put Harrisburg up 9-7.

In his first start of the season, Colin Bates turned in a solid four innings. Bates allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out three batters.

The Senators will continue their road trip in New Britain Monday with a 6:35 start. The two teams recently split four games at Metro Bank Park. Austin Voth will take the hill for Harrisburg.

POTOMAC (High A Carolina League): On Sunday afternoon, the Potomac Nationals (10-14 Overall, 6-7 Road) were downed by the Salem Red Sox (12-10 Overall, 7-5 Home) inside the walls of Salem Memorial Ballpark on LewisGale Field in Game Three of a four-game road series losing by the final score of 10-6. Potomac has lost eight of their last nine games.

The Nationals left 11 runners on base in their first four-run loss of the 2015 season which marked the team’s third consecutive defeat.

Nationals hurler, RHP John Simms (0-2) was the losing pitcher of record after allowing five earned runs in the 2nd inning. Simms made it through just 2.0 frames in the contest and allowed six hits and three walks while fanning just one.

Potomac plated a trio of runs in the 3rd inning when 1B Jimmy Yezzo worked a leadoff walk, C Craig Manuel punched a single into left field, and SS Stephen Perez ripped a one-base knock into left-center field. On the Perez one-base hit, Red Sox CF Forrestt Allday overthrew the cut-off man and the ball traveled all the way into the Potomac Nationals’ first base side dugout to bring home Yezzo and Manuel. Perez was summoned home on an RBI infield single to the deep hole at shortstop by 3B Khayyan Norfork to cut the Red Sox lead to 5-3.

In the sixth, LF Isaac Ballou lined a two-run single into right field which cut the Salem lead to 9-5. Nationals DH Drew Ward went 0-for-0 in the contest with four walks and a 9th inning RBI sacrifice fly versus Taveras while Potomac made a comeback attempt. 

The Game Four finale in Salem, VA is scheduled for Monday night at 7:05pm as the Nationals will send RHP Wander Suero (3-1, 3.60) to the mound to duel with Salem LHP Trey Ball (1-2, 5.57).

HAGERSTOWN (Low A South Atlantic League): The Hagerstown Suns (10-13) coughed up two different two-run leads on Sunday afternoon, as the Greenville Drive (14-10) scored at least one run in each of the final seven innings to win comfortably by a final of 14-4. The 14 runs are the most the Suns have given up to an opponent this season.

The Drive finished with 18 hits in the game, including seven doubles and three homers, all of which are season-highs for an opponent against the Suns this year.

Hagerstown’s initial two-run lead came in the first inning. The Suns loaded the bases with no one out, and then 1B Jose Marmolejos came through with a ground ball single to right to put the Suns up 1-0 and keep the bases loaded. The second run in the inning came home when the next batter, DH Grant DeBruin, grounded into a double play.

The Suns again took a two-run lead in the fourth. With the game tied at 2-2, a runner at second, and one out, 2B Osvaldo Abreu smacked a double to left field. That gave Hagerstown a 3-2 advantage. Abreu wound up heading to third due to a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, and he scored from third on a groundout to second.

RHP Andrew Cooper (0-2) suffered the loss for Hagerstown. He threw two innings in relief, allowing four earned runs on six hits while striking out one.

These teams will conclude their four-game series at Municipal Stadium on Monday May 4. The Suns will send LHP Connor Bach (0-0) to the mound for his fifth start of the season. He will square off against LHP Jalen Beeks (1-0) for Greenville. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm

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