May 20, 2022

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 12

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs won their ninth straight game and second in a row over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs with a 9-5 victory on Wednesday night. Emmanuel Burriss, Jason Martinson and Dan Butler each had two RBIs and a double in the win.

Lehigh Valley (53-65) opened up the scoring in the top of the third inning. Catcher Logan Moore led off the inning with a ground-rule double down the right-field line off Chiefs starter Paolo Espino. With two outs later in the inning, Chase d’Arnaud singled to right, scoring Moore to make the score 1-0.

Syracuse (52-67) answered immediately in the bottom of the third. Caleb Ramsey walked to start the inning and then moved to third when Butler singled to center. Espino then laid down a sacrifice bunt that scored Ramsey on the throw to first. During Burriss’ following at-bat, IronPigs starter Anthony Vasquez threw a wild pitch that allowed Butler to advance to third. Burriss then promptly singled to center to drive in Butler and give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead.

The IronPigs continued the scoring in the top of the fourth. Second baseman Tyler Pastornicky led off with a single to center and then advanced to second when Brian Bogusevic walked. After a double play that ended in Pastornicky moving to third, Kelly Dugan singled in Pastornicky to tie the score at two.

The Chiefs broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth. Following a groundout to begin the inning, Matt den Dekker and Ramsey hit back-to-back singles. With runners on first and second, Butler lined a double to left, driving in both den Dekker and Ramsey. Espino grounded out, advancing Butler to third, who then scored on a Burriss double to left. Trea Turner followed Burriss with a walk to put runners on first and second for Martinson. The Syracuse third baseman followed with a two-run double to center to put the Chiefs up 7-2 after four innings.

In the top of the fifth, Lehigh Valley scratched across three more runs in a small comeback attempt. Serna led off the inning with a single and advanced to third when Pastornicky doubled. With two on and two out, Bogusevic homered to right, bringing the score to 7-5.

Syracuse, however, shut the door in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of runs. Nefi Ogando came in as the IronPigs third pitcher of the evening and walked Chiefs reliever P.J. Walters to start the inning. After a fly out, Trea Turner reached on an error by Pastornicky to put runners on first and second. Following a Martinson strikeout, Kevin Keyes and Matt Skole hit back-to-back singles to score Walters and Turner, respectively, to put the Chiefs up 9-5.

The Chiefs and IronPigs play the final game of a three-game set on the final Dollar Thursday this season with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. Syracuse will send left-hander Richard Bleier to the mound to face fellow left-hander Jesse Biddle.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Despite being tied at three entering the sixth inning, Harrisburg Senators did not finish well in a 8-4 loss to the Reading Fightin’ Phils Wednesday at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Senators (56-61) fall to five games under .500 for the first time in August.

Harrisburg scored first in the third inning as Isaac Ballou singled, was sacrificed to second, stole third and scored on a Wilmer Difo ground out. Reading scored two in the fourth off Harrisburg starter Matt Purke, but the Senators responded with two in the fifth on a two-run homer by Difo – his first at Double-A. However, Reading tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on a wild pitch by Purke with a runner at third. The left-hander, Purke, needed just 58 pitches to finish five innings, allowing three runs on six hits.

Unfortunately for Harrisburg, the bullpen allowed the game to get away. Bryan Harper allowed a go-ahead, leadoff homer to Reading’s J.P. Crawford to start the sixth inning, and recorded just one out before being relieved by Erik Davis. Harper was charged with three runs, although only two were earned. Davis allowed one of Harper’s runners to score, but threw 1.2 scoreless innings of his own with three strikeouts. Paul Demny allowed a two-run homer while pitching the bottom of the eighth inning.

Shawn Pleffner walked to lead off the ninth, and moved to third on defensive indifference and a groundout. Pleffner then scored on a Reading error that allowed Adrian Sanchez to reach. Sanchez, however, was stranded at second to end the game.

Difo finished 2-for-3 with a triple, a homer and all three Senators’ RBI. Cutter Dykstra, Drew Vettleson and Isaac Ballou each singled in the loss.

The Senators will try to avoid the three-game sweep tonight with another 7:05 p.m. start.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Reynaldo Lopez turned in a career night for the Potomac Nationals (53-62-Overall, 27-29-Home, 20-25-Second Half) against the Winston-Salem Dash (59-57-Overall, 27-29-Road, 29-17-Second Half) on Wednesday night in an 8-2 win at Pfitzner Stadium.

RHP Reynaldo Lopez (6-7, 4.22) hurled a season high tying seven frames, holding the Dash scoreless while relinquishing just two hits, he hit a batter, and he struck out a career high 11 batters en route to earning his sixth win of the season. Lopez was so dominant he only went to a three-ball count three times and never allowed a Dash baserunner to get to second base. The Dominican born righty hurled 103 pitches with 69 in the zone, also a season high. Lopez held the number four and five hitters of 3B Trey Michalczewski and 1B Keon Barnum to a combined 0-for-6 with six strikeouts and he struck out the final four batters he faced in the outing, including the side in the seventh.

Potomac, against RHP Yency Almonte (2-1, 2.29), was held off the scoreboard for the first three frames. In fact, Almonte was perfect through three innings, retiring all nine P-Nats he faced.

In the bottom of the fourth Potomac took the lead for good. CF Rafael Bautista reached on an infield single. OF Narciso Mesa was the next man up and Bautista decided to swipe second and then third. Mesa reached on a tapper infield single that scored Bautista for a 1-0 Potomac lead.

The Red, White and Blue blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth, plating four runs against Almonte. The first five Potomac batters reached base starting with DH Alec Keller singled to extend his hitting streak to eight games. SS Stephen Perez followed with a double, pushing Keller to third. 2B Khayyan Norfork walked to load the bases. C Craig Manuel, with the infield pulled in, singled through the right side scoring Keller and Perez for a two-run knock to push the lead to 3-0 P-Nats. LF Estarlin Martinez laced a double down the left field line for an RBI that scored Norfork for a 4-0 advantage. Two batters later Mesa roped a sacrifice fly out to left field that scored Manuel for a 5-0 lead.

Almonte pitched a scoreless sixth inning and that spelled the end of the night for the righty. He logged six innings and got dinged for five runs (all earned) on six hits, two walks and four strikeouts, taking his first loss in the Carolina League.

LHP Jefferson Olacio entered for Winston-Salem and Potomac picked up where they left off in the fifth, scoring three times. Manuel reached on an error charged to Olacio and moved to second base on a Mesa single with two outs. 3B John Wooten extended his on-base streak to 21 games with an RBI single that scored Manuel and increased it to a 6-0 lead. 1B Grant DeBruin followed with an infield RBI single, plating Mesa for a 7-0 lead and Keller notched his second hit of the night, an RBI single that scored Wooten for the final run and an 8-0 Potomac lead.

RHP Jake Johansen entered and threw a scoreless eighth inning with a strikeout and RHP Brian Dupra entered for the ninth. Dupra hit a bump in the road when CF Adam Engel led-off with a double. SS Eddie Alvarez drew a free pass. 2B Jake Peter struck out for the first out and Michalczewski knocked in the first run for the Dash with an RBI groundout to cut the lead to 8-1. Barnum followed with an RBI single to make it an 8-2 ballgame and that was the final after LF Nick Basto struck out to end it.

Dupra ended his night with an inning pitched, allowing two runs (earned) on two hits, a walk and he struck out two.

Potomac’s pitching staff recorded 14 total strikeouts in the ball game and Winston-Salem never took an at-bat with a runner in scoring position against Lopez and went 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position in the game.

Potomac now sits 6.5 games behind the Lynchburg Hillcats with 25 games remaining on the 2015 schedule, including three against Lynchburg.

Today’s rubber match will feature RHP Ian Dickson (1-2, 4.24) for Potomac against RHP Matt Heidenreich (12-2, 2.67) for the Dash.

First pitch is set for 12:05 pm at Pfitzner Stadium.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic):  A one-out walk and a pair of singles turned the trick for Augusta on Wednesday in a 3-2 victory over Hagerstown.  On to pitch his first inning, Ryan Brinley walked Chase Compton with one out. Andrew Cain, running for Compton, came around to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a two-out single by Johneshwy Fargas.

Down 2-0 and collecting only one hit through five innings off Augusta starter Chris Johnson, the Suns finally broke through on a one-out double by Raudy Read and a walk to Matthew Page, at which time Johnson was removed from the game.  Wilman Rodriguez was the first batter that Eury Sanchez faced and his first pitch was wild that moved runners up a base and Rodriguez then delivered a sacrifice fly scoring Read.

In the seventh, Hagerstown knotted the score at 2-2 when Conor Keniry had a leadoff walk and moved up to second base on a wild pitch.  Keniry was sacrificed to third and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Stevenson.

Augusta (25-20) had taken an early 2-0 lead on an inside-the-park homer by Skylar Ewing, his first of the year.  The Suns (21-24) managed only four hits, two by Jose Marmolejos. Luis Reyes started for Hagerstown and worked six innings with six strikeouts.  Brinley (1-1) took the loss.  The series concludes tonight at 7:05 p.m.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 11

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs won their eighth straight game with a 4-1 win against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Tuesday night at NBT Bank Stadium. The Chiefs used a four-run second inning to power past the IronPigs.

Syracuse (51-67) scored first in the bottom of the second inning against Lehigh Valley starter Sean O’Sullivan. Kevin Keyes led off the frame with a double into the right-center-field gap. Matt Skole followed with a single to center to put runners on the corners with no outs. Then, Matt den Dekker lined a triple over the center fielder, Aaron Altherr, to plate two and give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Steve Lerud reached base on a hit-by-pitch to put runners on the corners for Syracuse for the second time in the inning. With two outs, Emmanuel Burriss tripled down the right-field line to double the Syracuse lead to 4-0.

Lehigh Valley (53-64) got on the board in the top of the fourth inning against Scott McGregor, who came in in relief of Taylor Jordan in the top of the third. Altherr began the inning with a double to right field. Then, with Altherr on third, Tyler Pastornicky doubled to right to plate Altherr for the lone Lehigh Valley run in the game.

Rafael Martin notched his eighth save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning against the IronPigs. The right-hander allowed two hits with two outs but struck out Tyler Henson to end the game. The strikeout was the 59th strikeout for Martin in 49 innings in Triple-A this season.

The Chiefs and IronPigs continue a three-game series Wednesday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Syracuse sends Paolo Espino to the mound against left-hander Anthony Vasquez. The game is set to start at 7:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators could not hold an early 6-0 lead in an 11-8 loss to the Reading Fightin’ Phils Tuesday at FirstEnergy Stadium. Six runs ties the biggest lead lost by Harrisburg (56-60) this season.

The Senators started fast by scoring four in the second inning on RBI singles by Wilmer Difo and Shawn Pleffner that sandwiched a two-run triple by Chris Bostick. Harrisburg then added two in the third on RBI singles by Pedro Severino and Difo. Reading began to chip away with a sacrifice fly in the third and a two-run homer in the fourth off Senators’ starter Austin Voth. The right-hander finished with five innings pitched, allowing three runs on four hits. He walked a season-high four and struck out seven.

Harrisburg responded with a run on a Brian Goodwin sac fly in the sixth an RBI infield single by Isaac Ballou – his fourth hit of the game – in the seventh to make it 8-3, Senators. Senators reliever Wander Suero threw a perfect sixth inning with three strikeouts, but the seventh inning quickly went off the rails. The leadoff man reached on an error, and Suero struck out the next batter, but then allowed an RBI double a two-run home run and two walks before being lifted for Gilberto Mendez. He allowed four straight hits – two singles, a double and a triple – that put Reading on top, 11-8. Five runs (four earned) were charged to Suero and three earned runs were placed on Mendez’ record. Nick Lee stranded a Mendez runner and recorded the final two outs of the seventh inning. The lefty then threw a scoreless eighth inning.

The Senators were able to bring the tying run to the plate in the eighth inning after singles by Difo and Pleffner, but could not cash in. Ballou finished 4-for-4 with a walk while Difo was 4-for-5 with two RBI. Pleffner also contributed three hits in four at-bats. The Senators as a team finished with 16 hits and 10 men left on base.

The Senators and Reading will be back at it Wednesday night, starting at 7:05 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): On Tuesday evening at Pfitzner Stadium, the Potomac Nationals (52-62 Overall, 26-33 Road, 26-29 Home, 19-25 Second Half) split their de facto doubleheader with the Winston-Salem Dash (59-56 Overall, 32-28 Home, 27-28 Road, 29-16 Second Half) after taking the completion of a suspended July 13th contest that started at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem, NC by the final score of 8-5 but losing the nightcap, a seven-inning game, 1-0.

With the Nationals serving as the visiting club at their own ballpark, play resumed in the frontend of the makeshift twin bill with the Dash leading 3-1 on a two-run home run clubbed off Potomac LHP Matt Purke, now a member of the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, by Dash 1B Keon Barnum and an RBI single ripped by Winston-Salem DH Jeremy Dowdy in the 1st inning on 7/13.

The P-Nats lone run scored in the 3rd frame off Winston-Salem LHP Brian Clark (3-4) that night in the Tar Heel State via a fielding error charged to Dash 3B Trey Michalczewski on a ball ripped by P-Nats CF Narciso Mesa.

The same reliever as was used on 7/13, Clark toed the rubber in the resumption and was hit with (retroactively) his fourth loss of the campaign. Clark allowed eight runs (seven earned runs) on 11 hits in 4.1 innings with one walk and six strikeouts to his line.

Once action picked back up a month later, the Nationals tied the game at 3-3 in the 4th vs. Clark when 1B Grant DeBruin blasted a two-run double to the gap in right-center field scoring the single of Potomac CF Rafael Bautista and the ground-rule two-bagger swatted to left-center by C Zach Wright.

The Dash took a 4-3 lead in the 5th stanza on a 4-3 Barnum RBI groundout scoring Winston-Salem 2B Jake Peter, who sliced a one-out double to the left field corner to get aboard.

Then, the Nationals exploded for five runs on six base hits in the 6th inning to take an 8-4 lead. Wright and DeBruin went back-to-back with doubles for the second time in the game, 2B Khayyan Norfork laid down a bunt single, LF Estarlin Martinez sprayed an RBI single to center field, 3B David Masters moved two runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, RF Narciso Mesa lined a two-run single to the left field alley then stole second and third base, and SS Stephen Perez capped the scoring by blooping a run-scoring single into shallow right-center.

Winston-Salem plated their final run, a solo tally, in the 6th on an RBI sacrifice fly lofted by Dash RF Nolan Earley to score the leadoff single nailed by C Omar Narvaez.

Nationals RHP Tyler Mapes (2-1) piggybacked the work of Purke by going 4.0 innings and allowing two runs (one earned run) on five hits and one walk while fanning three en route to (retroactively) his second win in 2015.

P-Nats LHP R.C. Orlan fired two scoreless innings in relief of Mapes surrendering two hits and one walk but fanning one.

Dash RHPs Euclides Leyer and Michael Ynoa combined to toss 3.2 scoreless frames in back of Clark.

Potomac RHP Phillips Valdez turned in a perfect 9th to technically ink his first save of the 2015 season due to the backdated nature of recording statistics for the completed suspended 7/13 game.

The contest took three hours and four minutes to complete the affair with a 57 minute thunderstorm stoppage from 7/13.

With the win, The Red, White, and Blue took the four-game set from 7/10 to 7/13 three games to one.

In the second game played on Tuesday, the regularly scheduled clash, Nationals starter, RHP Brian Rauh (2-1) pitched a gem but did not receive any run support and took his first loss of the 2015 season with Potomac. Rauh tossed 7.0 innings and allowed just one earned run on five base knocks (four singles and one double) while walking one hitter and fanning a season-high nine batters.

The Nationals went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and squandered run-scoring situations in the 1st inning with Bautista at third base and one out, Perez at second base with two outs in the 2nd, runners on the corners with no one out in the 5th, and the bases loaded in the 6th with two outs.

Bautista was thrown out by Earley on a one-hop bullet to home plate in the opening frame, Norfork flew out to end the 2nd, P-Nats C Craig Manuel lined into a twin killing to Peter at second base to wrap the 5th, and Dash CF Adam Engel made a sprawling catch in the 6th towards the infield diamond to rob Potomac LF Alec Keller of a potential go-ahead two-run base hit.

Dash starter, LHP Andre Wheeler took a no-decision despite throwing 4.0 scoreless innings. Wheeler gave up two hits and one walk.

Winston-Salem RHP Jake Cose (6-3) grabbed his sixth victory with 2.0 no-run frames. Cose allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out one.

The Dash got the victory despite going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position on an RBI double cranked to right-center field by Engel in the 6th inning off Rauh.

Dash RHP Brad Goldberg (6 SV) stayed perfect in saves (6-for-6) by sidestepping a leadoff single allowed to Perez in the 7th inning before Norfork grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Manuel then chopped a 6-3 groundout to Dash SS Eddy Alvarez who narrowly collided with Peter, to end the game.

Potomac now owns a record of (7-3) in makeshift “doubleheaders” that consist of the completion of a suspended game followed by a regularly scheduled clash in 2015. The Nationals are (17-22) in one-run games thus far during the 2015 ledger.

In series Game Two of their three-game set on Wednesday night, the P-Nats send RHP Reynaldo Lopez (5-7, 4.55) to the hill to gun against Winston-Salem RHP Yency Almonte (2-0, 0.00) with first pitch slated for 7:05pm.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic):  The Augusta GreenJackets must have been out of cigars.  They made sure that there wasn’t anything close about their game with the Hagerstown Suns.  Will Callaway hit a three-run double to highlight a seven-run fifth inning on Tuesday to lift Augusta to a 9-1 win over Hagerstown.

The GreenJackets (57-56, 24-20) sent 10 men to the plate in the inning and used a variety of methods to score, including a pair of Hagerstown wild pitches.  Augusta quickly loaded the bases against Suns starter Erick Fedde (0-1) to extend its 2-1 lead.  Chuckie Jones singled and Matt Winn walked to lead off the inning before Johneshwy Fargas hit a one-out single to load the bases.  Callaway followed with his double to center to chase all the runners home for a 5-1 lead.

Fedde was lifted for Hagerstown reliever Drew Van Orden, who didn’t fare much better.  Dylan Davis greeted Van Orden with a single to drive in Callaway.  After Jonah Arenado singled, Van Ordan moved up the runners on a wild pitch.  Skyler Ewing hit a two-run triple and then scored on a wild pitch to give Augusta a 9-1 edge.  Augusta starter Patrick Young (8-2) and reliever Connor Kaden combined to retire the last 12 Suns hitters to complete the victory.

Hagerstown (56-56, 21-23) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Andrew Stevenson led off with a walk and stole second.  Osvaldo Abreu singled him to third before he scored on Jose Marmolejos’ double play grounder.  Augusta took a 2-1 lead in the second on a two-run double by Winn.

Young allowed a run on six hits while striking out four over six innings for Augusta before Kaden pitched three innings of hitless relief for the save.  Fedde (0-1) allowed six runs on five hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings for Hagerstown.  Hagerstown managed six hits, led by Marmolejos and D.K. Carey with two each.  The series continues tonight at 7:05 p.m.


Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 7

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs shut out the Pawtucket Red Sox for the second straight game, winning 5-0 Friday night. Richard Bleier recorded his first complete-game shutout since July 2010, leading the Chiefs to a season-high fifth straight victory and eighth straight over Pawtucket.

Syracuse (48-67) used the solo home run early in the game for the second straight night. Matt Skole hit a home run in the second inning to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. The home run was Skole’s fourth in 13 games with the Chiefs.

The Chiefs stretched the lead in the third. With one out, Josh Johnson and Emmanuel Burriss each walked. Trea Turner followed with a single to load the bases. Keith Couch then walked Jason Martinson to make the score 2-0. A batter later, Kevin Keyes singled in Burriss to add a third Chiefs run of the game. Skole then hit a ground ball to first. Allen Craig got the force out at second base, but the return throw to first was late, allowing Turner to score for a 4-0 Chiefs lead.

The Chiefs finished the scoring in the eighth. Caleb Ramsey walked against Heath Hembree to start the inning. Ramsey moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a groundout and scored on a two-out single from Burriss against new PawSox pitcher Noe Ramirez to extend the lead to 5-0 on a run charged to Hembree.

Pawtucket (44-69) couldn’t solve Richard Bleier all night. Bleier induced 21 ground-ball outs in nine shutout innings. Bleier was the second straight Chiefs starter to throw at least eight shutout innings, after Paolo Espino did so Thursday night. Chiefs pitchers have now thrown 19 consecutive scoreless innings, dating back to the ninth inning Wednesday night.

Syracuse goes for a sixth straight win over the PawSox in the seven-game, two-city series Saturday at 6:05 p.m. Bruce Billings is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Jess Todd for the PawSox.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Wilmer Difo’s go-ahead RBI double in the top of the ninth inning surged the Harrisburg Senators to a 5-4 win over the Erie Seawolves Friday night at Jerry Uht Park. The victory brings the Senators (55-58) back within three games of .500.

The Senators scored first Friday night as Difo doubled to lead off the game and Brian Goodwin followed with a walk. The duo double stole second and third, but the throw went past second and into centerfield, allowing Difo to score. Erie responded quickly with two in the first and one in the second off Senators starter, John Simms, to take a 3-1 lead.

Harrisburg’s offense remained quiet until the sixth inning Chris Bostick and Shawn Pleffner singled in front of Cutter Dykstra, who doubled into the left field corner. Both runners scored to tie the game and Dykstra scored on a sacrifice fly later in the inning by Pedro Severino to take the lead, 4-3.

Simms settled down to throw 6.1 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and leaving in line for the win. Simms walked two and struck out three while throwing 94 pitches and 60 strikes. Bryan Harper entered and induced a ground out followed by a strikeout, but the third strike bounced away, allowing the runner to reach. After a walk, Gilberto Mendez entered and finished the seventh inning with a groundout. However, Mendez walked the leadoff runner in the eighth inning and followed that by allowing a game-tying RBI double.

Severino started the top of the ninth with a single and Adrian Sanchez walked with one out to set up Difo, who doubled off Erie first baseman Dominic Ficociello’s glove down the right field line. Severino sped around third to score the go-ahead run. The Senators left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, but Paul Demny pitched a scoreless ninth, working around a Senators’ error, to earn his second save.

Harrisburg and Erie will play game two of three tonight at 7:05 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): In the series opener, Carolina (57-54-Overall, 35-24-Home, 23-18-Second Half) scored two runs in the first, a run in the second and four in the fourth to cruise to a 9-4 victory over Potomac (50-60-Overall, 24-32-Road, 17-23-Second Half) at Five County Stadium on Friday night.

Carolina, at one point led 7-0 over Potomac, before the P-Nats made a game of it by scoring two runs in back-to-back innings before the Mudcats added two tallies in the bottom of the eighth to put the 9-4 game away.

RHP Ian Dickson (1-2, 4.24) made his fourth start for Potomac since coming off the disabled list July 2nd and for the second consecutive outing issued a lead-off walk. This time to 2B Keith Curcio in the bottom of the first. Two batters later LF Dustin Peterson reached on an error charged to SS David Masters, who just joined the team tonight, and then with two outs 3B Carlos Franco drove them both in with a two-run double for a 2-0 lead.

RHP Brandon Barker (7-3, 3.13), after a scoreless top of the first, went on to hold Potomac off the scoreboard until the top of the fifth, only allowing two hits in his first four shutout innings.

Carolina added to their lead with a solo run in the bottom of the second inning off Dickson when 1B Tanner Krietemeier led the inning off with a walk. A wild pitch moved him to second base and he scored two batters later on CF Connor Lien’s RBI base knock for the 3-0 lead.

Dickson recorded a one, two, three third inning before the wheels fell off in the fourth, his final frame. RF Joey Meneses began the rally with a one out single. Krietemeier followed with a walk for the second straight plate appearance. SS Johan Camargo hammered an RBI single into right field that went off the glove of 1B Grant DeBruin and ricocheted into the outfield for a 4-0 Mudcats lead. A two out walk to Lien loaded the bases and then Peterson was plunked, pushing home Krietemeier for a 5-0 lead. The DH Jacob Shrader then shredded a two-out double down the left field line to score both Camargo and Lien for a 7-0 Carolina advantage.

Dickson pitched four innings and was tabbed with seven runs (five earned) on seven hits, a season high five walks and a season high tying five strikeouts in his second loss of the season.

Potomac cracked the scoreboard in the fifth against Barker with a lead-off single by hot-hitting LF Alec Keller. 3B Khayyan Norfork followed with a double and C Craig Manuel brought home Keller with an RBI groundout to the right side to make it 7-1. Masters, in his first game with Potomac, then skied a ball out to left field that was deep enough to score Norfork to cut it to 7-2. For Masters the sacrifice fly netted his first RBI of the season with Potomac.

After RHP Tyler Mapes hung a zero in the bottom of the fifth, Potomac brought home two more in the sixth against Barker. With two outs DH John Wooten doubled. DeBruin walked and Keller lined an RBI single into left field for a 7-3 ballgame. Norfork stepped up and lined an RBI single right back up the middle to make it 7-4 Carolina.

The combination of Keller and Norfork went a combined five-for-eight with two runs and two RBIs in the loss.

Barker pitched seven innings and allowed four runs (all earned) on eight hits, a walk and he struck out two in the win, his seventh of the year.

Mapes added a perfect sixth inning to keep it a 7-4 game. For Mapes, he pitched two innings and didn’t allow a base runner while striking out two.

LHP Justin Thomas entered and hurled a scoreless seventh frame but relinquished the final two runs to Carolina in the bottom of the eighth. 2B Reegie Corona committed the second error of the game for Potomac to begin the frame, allowing Meneses to reach base. Krietemeier banged a single that pushed Meneses to third and Camargo flied a sacrifice fly out to right field for an 8-4 lead. After an infield bunt single by Curcio put runners on first and second, Peterson capped the scoring with an RBI single for a 9-4 Muddies advantage.

Thomas pitched two innings and gave up two runs (none earned) on three hits, a walk and he struck out.

RHP Carlos Salazar (SV 1) entered for Barker in the eighth and logged two scoreless innings to close out the 9-4 win and earn his first save of the season. Salazar walked two and allowed one single in his two frames of work.

Potomac is now 11-4 against the Carolina Mudcats and the loss dropped them to their low water mark of the season, now ten games under .500 and six behind the Lynchburg Hillcats for the second half Northern Division race.

In Game Two of the series Potomac will send RHP Austen Williams (2-3, 2.70) to the mound against RHP Andrew Thurman (5-3, 3.33) for the ‘Cats.

First pitch is set for 6:00 pm from Five County Stadium.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (19-22, 54-55) put up four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday night, erasing a one-run deficit and defeating the Delmarva Shorebirds (22-19, 55-54) by a final of 8-5. It was the second straight night the Suns were able to erase an eighth inning deficit against Delmarva, and the win ensures Hagerstown of at least a series split as well as a split in the overall season series with the Shorebirds.

The eighth inning rally for Hagerstown began when the first batter of the inning, catcher Matt Reistetter, smacked a double to right. Following a groundout to first, which pushed Reistetter to third, DH Jeff Gardner drew a walk. Then, 3B Austin Davidson was hit by a pitch. All three runners wound up scoring when the next batter, CF Andrew Stevenson, stroked a ground ball single to right. Stevenson got credit for two RBI, and Davidson also scored on the play as he came home when the throw home from RF Derek Peterson bounced into the Delmarva dugout. Stevenson wound up advancing to third on that throwing error by Peterson, and he scored from third on a groundout to third by SS Osvaldo Abreu, thereby giving the Suns a three run cushion and setting the final score.

The Shorebirds had broken a 4-4 tie in the top of the inning. Shortstop Jomar Reyes hit a two-out line drive single up the middle. First baseman Logan Uxa followed with a line drive that hugged the right field line and just barely stayed fair, allowing Reyes to score all the way from first and Uxa to wind up with a triple. It was his fifth triple of the season.

The Suns knotted the score at 4-4 in the fourth. Reistetter began the frame by reaching on a fielding error by SS Guillermo Salas. Second baseman Bryan Mejia then hit a line drive triple to right to bring in Reistetter and make it a 4-3 with the Shorebirds on top by just a run. Mejia then scored the tying run for Hagerstown on a throwing error by catcher Yermin Mercedes on a pickoff attempt of Mejia at third.

The Suns were in a position where they needed to score two runs to tie the game, because Delmarva had plated two in the top of the third. Center fielder T. J. Olesczuk began that inning with a solo homerun over the center field wall, his fourth long ball of the year. Later in the inning Mercedes drove in a run with a single to left to make it 4-2 Shorebirds.

That was the third consecutive inning in which Delmarva had plated a run. In the first LF Ademar Rifaela led off with a double for the second straight game, and he came around to score on a sacrifice fly. In the second DH Riley Palmer smacked a double to right with two on and one out, making it 2-1 at the time.

Hagerstown also scored a run each in the first and second, as the Suns came back four different times in the game. In the bottom of the first RF Dale Carey hit an RBI single to center field. In the second Davidson hit a solo homerun to right field in his first plate appearance since being activated off the seven-day DL. It was Davidson’s fifth homerun of the season and all five have come at Municipal Stadium.

RHP Ryan Brinley (1-0) earned the win for Hagerstown in his third appearance with the Suns this year. He threw two innings in relief and allowed one earned run on three hits. RHP Stefan Crichton (4-4) suffered the loss for Delmarva. He allowed four earned runs on four hits and one walk while striking out one over 1.2 innings in relief.

These teams will continue their four-game series at Municipal Stadium with game three on Saturday August 8. The Suns will send RHP Jeff Howell (0-0) to the mound for his first start and appearance with the Suns this season. He will square off against LHP Brian Gonzalez (4-7) for Delmarva. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 4

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs won their second straight game on Tuesday, beating the Pawtucket Red Sox, 3-1. Syracuse pitching allowed only one run while striking out seven in the win. Matt Skole and Matt den Dekker each hit solo home runs. The Chiefs moved into a fifth-place tie with the Red Sox after the win.

Syracuse (45-67) struck first, taking a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Skole led off the inning with a solo home run off of Pawtucket starter Zeke Spruill. Not to be outdone, den Dekker blasted a solo shot of his own over the right-center field wall in the next at-bat, giving the Chiefs a 2-0 advantage.

The Chiefs had the 2-0 lead until Pawtucket (44-66) put a run on the board in the top of the sixth. Cole surrendered back-to-back singles to former Chief Sandy Leon and Allen Craig to put runners on the corners with two away. Garin Cecchini followed with a single of his own, scoring Leon to make the score 2-1.

In the bottom of the sixth, however, the Chiefs answered with another run of their own. After a line out and a fly out, Spruill surrendered back-to-back triples to den Dekker and Ricky Hague, bringing the score to 3-1.

The Syracuse pitching staff threw lights-out baseball on Tuesday night. Cole started very strong, bringing a one-hitter into the sixth inning. Cole struck out six while only allowing four hits. Blake Treinen came in the game in relief of Cole and only allowed one hit while striking out a batter in two and one-thirds innings of work. Finally, Rafael Martin pitched a scoreless ninth to close the game out.

The Chiefs and Red Sox play the final game of a three-game series Wednesday evening with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. Syracuse will send right-hander Taylor Jordan to the mound to face right-hander Matt Barnes.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators could not sustain their fast start in a 9-5 loss to the Akron RubberDucks Tuesday in front of a crowd of 5,721 at Metro Bank Park. The Senators (53-57) have dropped three of four to Akron this season.

The Senators took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on RBI hits by Brian Goodwin, Shawn Pleffner and Drew Vettleson. Pedro Severino’s sacrifice fly rounded out the scoring in the first. Senators’ starter Colin Bates threw two perfect innings to begin Tuesday night, but ran into trouble quickly in the third. Akron scored five runs on six hits before Bates was pulled in favor of Dakota Bacus with one out. Bacus allowed Bates’ runner on base to score, making it 6-4, RubberDucks. The Senators responded quickly, though, as Pleffner doubled in Goodwin to make it a one-run game.

However, Akron starter Ryan Merritt was able to settle in and post four consecutive scoreless innings. The game remained 6-5 into the seventh inning, but Akron extended its lead to four with a two-out, two-run single followed by an RBI double off Senators’ reliever Paul Demny. None of the three runs were earned to Demny due to two Senators errors in the inning. Nick Lee followed with two scoreless innings to keep the Senators within four.

Wilmer Difo continued his hot hitting with a 4-for-5 night. He now has nine hits in his last two games. Pleffner finished with three hits and two RBI while Derrick Robinson had two hits in four trips.

Game two of three will begin tonight at 7:00 p.m. with Harrisburg sending Austin Voth to the mound.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): On Tuesday night inside Lynchburg City Stadium on Calvin Falwell Field, the Potomac Nationals (50-57 Overall, 24-29 Road, 17-20 Second Half) chiseled down the Lynchburg Hillcats (54-55 Overall, 25-26 Home, 21-18 Second Half) holding the home club to just six base hits to take a 3-1 win in the opener of a three-game road series.

Potomac improved to (11-8) against Lynchburg in 2015 and with the triumph are now just 3.0 games back of the Northern Division-leading Hillcats in the second half playoff race.

P-Nats 2B Reegie Corona, in his Carolina League debut, missed hitting for the cycle by a home run and submitted four hits and two RBIs. Corona singled, ripped an RBI double, cranked a run-scoring triple, and sliced another one-base knock in his four plate appearances while scoring one run in the contest.

Nationals starter, LHP Matthew Spann (1-6) captured his coveted first win of the ’15 campaign as a Potomac National in his ninth appearance and eighth start after hurling 5.0 innings and surrendering just one earned run on four base knocks (three doubles) and a quartet of walks (a season-high total). Spann struck out six batters which evened his campaign-best amount of Ks.

The Hillcats scored the first run of the game in the 2nd inning when Hillcats RF Mike Papi blasted a double off the right field wall, C Sicnarf Loopstok singled to right field, SS Ivan Castillo drew a walk, and SS Yhoxian Medina was also given a free pass with the bases-loaded to garner an RBI.

The P-Nats evened the score in the 4th frame against the eventual losing pitcher, Lynchburg RHP Mitch Brown (7-10), who suffered his 10th loss of the year and his third defeat vs. Potomac. Nationals 1B Grant DeBruin singled to center field and a passed ball charged to Loopstok got him to second base. Corona then swept his run-scoring double into the right field corner to tie the game at 1-1.

Brown gave up three runs (two earned runs) on 10 hits in 5.2 innings without walking anyone while fanning six men.

Two runs in the 6th stanza for the Nationals on the Corona run-scoring three-bagger to the right field corner and an RBI single lined back up the middle by Potomac C Craig Manuel gave the P-Nats a 3-1 lead they would not give up.

Lynchburg right-handed pitchers, Perci Garner, J.P. Feyereisen, and Trevor Frank combined for 3.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

Potomac RHP Jake Johansen pitched out of two jams to turn in a pair of scoreless innings allowing two hits and two walks in the process. Johansen induced a line drive double play in the 6th off the bat of Castillo and started a 1-6-3 twin killing in the 7th on a hot-shot comebacker from Lynchburg LF LeVon Washington to aid his no-runs-allowed bullpen work.

Nationals RHP Derek Self worked a scoreless 8th as the setup man for closer, RHP Phillips Valdez (SV 1), who inked his first save of the season in his first save opportunity. Self witnessed DeBruin make a sensational glove-side diving stop on a ball smoked by Papi for the second out in the 8th and a great backhanded pick by SS Stephen Perez to assist a 6-3 putout of Loopstok for the final out of the inning.

In the 9th, Valdez induced a 6-3 groundout off the lumber of Hillcats DH Claudio Bautista, walked Castillo, worked Medina into a fielder’s choice groundball to 3B Khayyan Norfork to cut down Castillo at second base, and then Washington scorched a liner to DeBruin at first to seal the Nationals’ 50th victory in 2015.

Norfork replaced P-Nats 3B Drew Ward who left the game mid at-bat in the 2nd inning on a groundball hit foul that caused Ward some pain.

The Nationals are now a (10-10) team in their two-run games in 2015.

In series Game Two on Wednesday night, Potomac RHP Brian Rauh (2-0, 0.76) will duel on the mound with Lynchburg RHP Dace Kime (2-5, 4.34).

First pitch is slated for 6:30pm at Lynchburg City Stadium.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (17-21, 52-54) limited the Charleston RiverDogs (14-24, 48-60) to two innings of offense on Tuesday night, but those two innings resulted in seven runs as Charleston cruised to a 7-2 victory. The RiverDogs win sets up a rubber game in the three-game series.

The two innings of offense for Charleston on Tuesday consisted of a four-run sixth and three-run seventh. In the sixth starting LHP Connor Bach (4-3) issued back-to-back walks before exiting the game. A groundout to short by 3B Isaias Tejeda pushed both runners into scoring position. Then, DH Austin Aune laced a single to left to drive in one and even the game at 1-1. Two batters later, catcher Collin Slaybaugh reached on a fielding error by 3B David Masters, allowing another run to score and the inning to be extended. That proved very costly as the next hitter, LF Griffin Gordon, doubled to right, driving in two more runs to make it 4-1.

Errors were also costly for the Suns in the seventh, when back-to-back fielding errors by Masters and SS Osvaldo Abreu allowed two runners to get aboard with just one out. Tejeda brought one of those runners in with a double off the center field wall to make it a 5-1 ballgame. One out later, RF Alexander Palma hit a ground ball single up the middle, plating both runners on board to make it 7-1.

Hagerstown also had only two innings of offense in the game. In the second catcher Raudy Read led off with a solo homerun over the center field wall. It was his fifth long ball of the season and the Suns first of the series. In the eighth Abreu brought Masters home from third with a two-out single to second, setting what turned out to be the final score.

Despite not actually being in the game when the first runs against him crossed the plate, Bach got tagged with the loss for Hagerstown. He threw five plus innings and was charged with two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks while striking out five. Starting RHP Joey Maher (3-4) earned the win for Charleston. He matched a season high by tossing seven innings, giving up one earned run on three hits and three walks while striking out five.

These teams will conclude their series at Municipal Stadium on Wednesday August 5. The Suns will send RHP Drew Van Orden (5-5) to the mound for his 15th start and 20th appearance this season. He will square off against LHP Justin Kamplain (3-12) for Charleston. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for August 3

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs defeated the Pawtucket Red Sox, 9-3, on Monday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Stephen Strasburg gave up two earned runs and struck out 11 in five and two-thirds innings of work in his second start on Major-League rehab. Jason Martinson drilled a grand slam to left field in the sixth en route to the six-run win.

Syracuse (44-67) scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning against Pawtucket starter Edwin Escobar. With one out, Trea Turner lined a double to right field and Martinson drew a walk. Then, Turner scored on a bloop RBI single to right field by Kevin Keyes to put the Chiefs on the board. The next batter, Matt Skole, drove in Martinson with a sacrifice fly to center field. Matt den Dekker drilled an infield single off of Escobar to put runners on first and second with two outs. Josh Johnson followed with an RBI single to center field to give Syracuse an early 3-0 lead.

Pawtucket (44-65) answered Syracuse with two runs in the top of the second inning against Strasburg. Allen Craig and Garin Cecchini each singled to start the frame. After Strasburg retired the next two batters, Mike Miller doubled down the right-field line to score two. Miller was thrown out trying to advance to third on the throw to the plate.

Matt Skole added another Chiefs run in the bottom of the third inning with one swing of the bat. The first baseman launched a solo shot over the right-field fence with two outs in the frame. The home run was the second on the season for Skole and it gave Syracuse a 4-2 lead.

The Chiefs built one more run on their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning against Robby Scott. Turner led off with a single to center field. Two batters later, Keyes doubled into the left-field corner to score Turner and give Syracuse a 5-2 advantage.

Strasburg finished his rehab outing at 85 pitches in the top of the sixth inning for Syracuse. The right-hander ended his outing with two earned runs on five hits and 11 strikeouts in five and two-thirds innings of work. Matt Grace got the final out of the sixth inning to finish the frame.

Martinson blew the game wide open in the bottom of the sixth inning with a grand slam against Scott. With two outs, Dan Butler hit a ground-rule double into the Chiefs bullpen down the left-field line. Emmanuel Burriss reached on an infield single and Turner walked to load the bases. Martinson followed with his team-leading 18th home run of the season over the right-center-field fence to give Syracuse a 9-2 lead.

The PawSox scratched across a run in the top of the eighth against Sam Runion. Jemile Weeks led off the inning with a strikeout but reached first base on a wild pitch by Runion. With Weeks on second after a fielder’s choice by Deven Marrero, former Chief Sandy Leon lined a single to center to score Weeks and cut the deficit to six runs.

The Chiefs and PawSox play again Tuesday night in the second game of a three-game series at NBT Bank Stadium. Syracuse sends right-hander A.J Cole to the mound against right-hander Zeke Spruill for Pawtucket. The game is set to start at 7:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): OFF.  The Senators will host Akron tonight at 7:05 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): OFF.  The PNats will travel to Lynchburg.  Series starts tonight at 6:30 p.m.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (17-20, 52-53) notched their first walk-off win of 2015 on Monday night when they bested the Charleston RiverDogs (13-24, 47-60) by a final of 5-4. It was the first game between the two teams in Hagerstown since June 12, 2010.

With a runner on second and two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the game knotted at 4-4 SS Osvaldo Abreu came to the plate for Hagerstown. He hit a bouncer up the middle which snuck into the shallow center field grass, allowing LF Jeff Gardner to turn on the jets and score from second on the play to deliver the win to the Suns. It was Abreu’s only hit of the night, and resulted in the first run for Hagerstown since the fourth inning.

The RiverDogs had tied the game in the top of the ninth. First baseman Bo Thompson began the inning by reaching on a fielding error by RHP Andrew Lee (1-0). He moved to second on a groundout to short, and scored from second with two outs when 2B Billy Fleming struck a hard ground ball single that ramped off the mitt of 1B Matthew Page. That evened the score for the first time since the second inning.

Hagerstown took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second and had remained on top until the ninth. The three run rally in the second began when RF Dale Carey was issued a walk. Second baseman Bryan Mejia then sent a triple to right, driving in Carey to make it 1-0. Mejia scored when the next batter, Gardner, singled to right. The final run of the inning came home on a sacrifice fly by CF Andrew Stevenson, giving the Suns the three run advantage.

That advantage was trimmed each of the next two innings. In the third LF Griffin Gordon smacked a solo homerun over the right field wall to put Charleston on the board for the first time in the game. It was Gordon’s first homerun of the season as he had entered the game with an average under .100. In the fourth the RvierDogs deficit was sliced to one thanks to an RBI double by 3B Isaias Tejeda, making it a 3-2 ball game.

The Suns responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the fourth. Mejia led off with a double to left, and advanced to third on a groundout to first. Two batters later Stevenson hit an infield single back to the mound, driving in Mejia to make it 4-2. That lead held up until the sixth, when Thompson again made it a one-run game with an RBI fly ball single to left, setting up the ninth inning dramatics.

Lee wound up earning the win for Hagerstown. He threw two innings and gave up one unearned run on one hit while striking out three. LHP Caleb Frare (4-2) suffered the loss for Charleston. He pitched 1.2 innings, giving up the one earned run on two hits while striking out one.

These teams will continue their series at Municipal Stadium with game two on Tuesday August 4. The Suns will send LHP Connor Bach (4-2) to the mound for his 14th start and 20th appearance this season. He will square off against RHP Joey Maher (2-4) for Charleston. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 31

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the first game of a three-game weekend series to the Rochester Red Wings, 8-3, Friday night at Frontier Field. The Red Wings hit two home runs in the first three innings on the way to victory.

Rochester (55-51) started the scoring in the first inning off Paolo Espino. Reynaldo Rodriguez doubled with two outs, followed by an Oswaldo Arcia walk. Danny Ortiz then doubled home both runs to give the Red Wings a 2-0 lead.

The home-run ball then paced the Red Wings the next two innings. Chris Herrmann led off the second with a solo home run to make the score 3-0.

Syracuse (42-66) got on the board in the top of the third. Dan Butler walked to lead off the inning followed by a Josh Johnson double. Darin Mastroianni and Trea Turner each followed with RBI singles to cut the gap to 3-2.

The Red Wings began the third with another long ball. Rodriguez knocked a solo home run over the left-field wall to give Rochester a 4-2 lead. Two batters later, Ortiz walked and Jose Martinez doubled him home to make the score 5-2. The Chiefs turned to P.J. Walters out of the bullpen. After a hit-by-pitch, Argenis Diaz singled home Martinez to push the lead to 6-2.

The Chiefs answered back in the top of the fourth. Matt den Dekker was hit by a pitch, went first to third on a Tony Gwynn, Jr. single, and scored on Butler’s sacrifice fly to bring Syracuse within three.

The Red Wings finished off the scoring in the fifth. Herrmann singled with one out, followed by back-to-back walks to load the bases. After P.J. Walters struck out Xavier Avery, the Chiefs turned to Blake Treinen out of the bullpen. James Beresford doubled off Treinen, scoring two more runs to cap the scoring at 8-3.

Syracuse and Rochester return to Frontier Field Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Richard Bleier is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Tyler Duffey for the Red Wings.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Chris Bostick had three hits, including a home run, and four RBI in the Harrisburg Senators’ 9-4 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs Friday night at Hadlock Field. The win snaps a five-game losing streak for the Senators (51-56) and evens the series at one apiece.

With the game tied at 1-1 in the fourth inning, Bostick hit his third home run of the season just to the right of the Maine Monster in left-center field to put Harrisburg on top. Cutter Dykstra and Brian Goodwin then singled in front of Shawn Pleffner, who doubled home a run. Three batters later, Reegie Corona hit an RBI single to make it 4-1, Senators. Portland was able to add a run in the bottom of the fourth inning off Senators’ starter Matt Purke, but then stranded two.

Purke was solid through five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and walking just one. The win was Purke’s first at Double-A since May 7, 2014. Nick Lee pitched a scoreless sixth inning, and the Senators went back to work in the seventh. Derrick Robinson singled and Wilmer Difo was hit by a pitch before Bostick doubled to left, scoring both runners. Bostick scored later on a wild pitch to make it a 7-3 Senators lead. Bostick picked up his fourth RBI in the ninth inning with a run-scoring single. Pleffner added his second RBI of the night with a single through the right side later in the inning.

Lee finished two innings Friday night, allowing a run on two hits with two strikeouts. Abel De Los Santos surrendered a run in the eighth, but then pitched a scoreless ninth to finish the Senators’ win off.

Dykstra and Pleffner both finished 3-for-5, with Dykstra driving in one and Pleffner two. Corona had two hits while Wilmer Difo reached three times and scored each time. Harrisburg, as a team, recorded 14 hits, including six knocks with runners in scoring position.

Saturday night’s game between the Senators and Sea Dogs will begin at 6:00 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Salem (52-54-Overall, 26-26-Road, 14-22-Second Half) used a three run second inning and added runs in the fourth and sixth frames to walk away with a 5-1 win over Potomac (48-56-Overall, 25-27-Home, 15-19-Second Half) at Pfitzner Stadium on Friday night.

RHP Reynaldo Lopez (5-7, 4.77), making his third start against Salem, and only his fifth start at home. Lopez wasn’t his sharpest in five innings of work, allowing seven hits and four runs with two walks and five strikeouts.

RHP Kevin McAvoy (6-9, 4.12) was brilliant for the Salem Red Sox. He logged seven innings allowing five hits and one unearned run on three walks and two strikeouts. McAvoy, in back-to-back starts against Potomac has logged 13.2 innings and allowed no earned runs (four total) on 13 hits.

RF Kevin Heller Smashed a home run over all three tiers of signage in left field to begin the scoring in the second, his fifth home run of the year, giving Salem a 1-0 lead. CF Forrestt Allday followed with a hard single and then 1B Mario Martinez whacked a hard single. After a sacrifice bunt by DH Cole Sturgeon, C Jordan Procyshen dumped a two-run double into left field scoring both Allday and Martinez for a 3-0 Red Sox lead.

Potomac answered with their only run of the game in the bottom of the third. RF Estarlin Martinez singled and swiped second base. 2B Cody Dent walked on a full count pitch and a passed ball charged to Procyshen moved both runners up. Two batters later, LF Alec Keller lined a ball into left field for a sacrifice fly bringing home Martinez to cut the lead 3-1.

Salem added their fourth run in the fourth inning when Martinez doubled and after an infield single by Sturgeon moved him to third, Procyshen brought home Martinez with an RBI ground out for a 4-1 lead.

The final run of the ball game came in for Salem in the sixth against RHP Derek Self who entered in the sixth in relief for Lopez. With one out, Martinez struck again with his second double of the game and third hit of the evening. Sturgeon followed up with an RBI single to make it 5-1.

Self pitched two innings and allowed one run (earned) on five hits, he didn’t walk anyone and he didn’t record a strikeout.

LHP Jake Walsh entered in the eighth and logged two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit, two walks and he picked up one strikeout.

RHP Taylor Grover entered in the eighth for Salem in relief of McAvoy and he finished out the game, walking one and striking out three to seal the 5-1 Salem victory.

Salem snapped a six game losing streak, while Potomac’s losing streak has reached four in a row and sits now at eight consecutive losses at home. Potomac has also now allowed a home run in four straight contests (five total).

Tonight Potomac takes on Salem in Game Two at The Pfitz. Potomac will send RHP Ian Dickson (1-0, 2.50) against LHP Daniel McGrath (1-4, 3.86) for the Sox.  First pitch is set for 6:35 pm.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hickory Crawdads opened up a six-run lead in the seventh inning, then withstood Hagerstown’s late rally to beat the Suns 9-6 in a South Atlantic League game Friday night.

The Crawdads (63-39, 19-15) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Suns starter Drew Van Orden (5-5). Jose Cardona drew a leadoff walk, stole second with two outs and scored when Jose Trevino’s grounder was mishandled by second baseman Bryan Mejia for an error.

Hickory made it 3-0 in the second. Jairo Beras led off with a home run, his fifth of the season, before Xavier Turner tripled and scored on Juremi Profar’s sacrifice fly.  Crawdads starter Yohander Mendez struck out six through the first four innings before Hagerstown (50-52, 15-19) got on the board in the fifth.  David Masters hit a leadoff double and came around on two groundouts, with Osvaldo Abreu picking up an RBI to make it 3-1.  Mendez was pulled after 4 2/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits and one walk.

The Suns cut the lead to 3-2 off Ariel Jurado (11-0) in the sixth on Jeff Gardner’s two-out RBI single.  Hickory pulled away with a three-run sixth — all with two outs. Carlos Arroyo had the biggest blow, a two-run triple that ended Van Orden’s night, and Profar followed with an RBI double off Luis Torres for a 6-2 lead.Trevino hit a two-run homer in the seventh, his 13th of the season, to make it 8-2.

Hagerstown cut the lead to two with a four-run eighth.  The Suns scored their first run of the inning on a hit batter, Mejia’s single and two walks, all with no outs against Chris Duda.  Andrew Stephenson greeted Scott Williams with an RBI infield single, Abreu drove in a run with a groundout and Jose Marmolejos added a sacrifice fly to cap the rally and make it 8-6.

The Crawdads made it 9-6 in the bottom of the eighth.  Josh Morgan singled with one out, Eduard Pinto doubled and Trevino hit an RBI single.  The series continues tonight at 7.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 16

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Gwinnett Braves, 2-0, on Thursday night in the first game back from the All-Star break. Both Chiefs runs were scored due to throwing errors by the Braves’ infield. Chiefs starter Joe Ross pitched five scoreless innings.

Syracuse (36-57) struck early against Gwinnett, scoring its first run in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs, right fielder Caleb Ramsey reached on an infield single back to Braves starter Williams Perez. Perez made a wild throw to first, allowing Ramsey to advance to second on the throwing error. In the next at-bat, Dan Butler grounded to Adonis Garcia at third, who also made a wild throw to first. Butler reached second on the error and Ramsey scored from second to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead.

The Chiefs doubled their lead in the bottom of the fourth with another run. First baseman Kevin Keyes led off the bottom of the frame with a ground-rule double to right-center field. Chris Nelson grounded out to short in the next at-bat, advancing Keyes to third. With Butler batting, Gwinnett (45-46) shortstop Daniel Castro threw the ball wide of first, letting Keyes score for the Chiefs’ second run of the night.

Four Chiefs pitchers combined to throw a four-hit shutout on Thursday night. Ross allowed only two hits over five innings while striking out three. Matt Grace came in next, giving up two hits and striking out one in two innings of work. Rafael Martin replaced Grace to pitch a perfect eighth inning, striking out two in the process. Finally, Jose Valverde secured the save, throwing a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout.

The Chiefs and Braves will play the second of a four-game set Friday night with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Syracuse will send right-hander Taylor Hill to the mound to face Gwinnett’s right-hander Tyrell Jenkins.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Matt Skole’s go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 11th inning propelled the Harrisburg Senators to a 4-1 victory over the Bowie Baysox Thursday at Prince George’s Stadium. The Senators (46-46) have reached .500 for the second time this month.

Richard Bleier turned in yet another quality start, pitching seven one-run innings. Bleier threw 54 of his 87 pitches for strikes, walking two and striking out two. Thursday’s start marked the seventh time this season that the left-hander has thrown seven-plus innings and allowed one run or less this season. Sam Runion then followed with back-to-back scoreless frames to force extra innings.

Bowie scored its run off Bleier in the bottom of the second inning, and then held the Senators at bay until the sixth inning. Harrisburg, which entered the sixth with just one hit off Bowie’s Elih Villanueva, started a rally with Brian Jeroloman’s single. Jeroloman then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Derrick Robinson and scored three batters later on a Brian Goodwin RBI single.

Chris Bostick singled and Goodwin walked in front of Skole in the 11th. As he has multiple times this season, Skole came through with an RBI single to center, scoring Bostick. An errant throw trying to catch Goodwin at third rolled away, allowing a second run to score on the play. Skole scored later in the inning after Isaac Ballou walked and Bowie pitcher Ashur Tolliver tried a pickoff throw with nobody at first base to extend Harrisburg’s lead to three. Abel De Los Santos, who pitched a scoreless 10th inning, returned in the 11th and held the lead to pick up the win.

Eight of the nine Senators’ starters recorded a hit, including Jose Lozada’s two-hit game.

The second game of a four-game set will begin tonight at 7:05 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (44-45 Overall, 25-21 Home, 11-8 Second-Half) were clipped by the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (51-39 Overall, 29-17 Road, 10-11 Second-Half) on Thursday night at Pfitzner Stadium 1-0 in series Game Two amid their current best-of-four set with the “birds.”

The Pelicans took a 2-0 lead in the set with their 14th one-run win of the 2015 season.

Washington Nationals OF Jayson Werth rehabbed with the Potomac Nationals for the fifth time in his professional career and second time in 2015. Werth was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 19th after being hit by a pitch on his left wrist on May 15th in San Diego, CA in a road contest vs. the San Diego Padres at Petco Park thrown by Padres RHP Odrisamer Despaigne. An MRI revealed two fractures in Werth’s wrist which landed him on the DL before his assignment to Potomac.

Werth went 1-for-2 at the plate with a sharp single belted into left-center field in the 1st inning on a 2-2 pitch from the eventual winning pitcher, RHP Pelicans RHP Jonathan Martinez (6-1) before striking out swinging on a 3-2 changeup dealt low out of the hand of Martinez in the 3rd stanza.

Werth factored on defense only once in three innings of play when chasing down a double ripped to the left field corner in the 3rd by Pelicans CF Trey Martin.

Martinez was exquisite through 7.0 scoreless frames in which the crafty righty scattered four base hits, walked none, and fanned four batters. Martinez faced 25 P-Nats’ hitters while dealing 95 total pitches with 62 offerings in the strike zone.

Meanwhile, P-Nats RHP Austen Williams (1-1) took a tough-luck loss which equalized his win/loss record for the P-Nats despite throwing his second straight quality start in his second career outing in the Carolina League.

Williams went 5.0 innings and surrendered one unearned run on three hits, one walk, and one wild pitch while fanning a trio.

The only run of the clash scored in the 4th for Myrtle Beach. Pelicans 3B Jeimer Candelario singled into left-center field, 1B Jacob Rogers grounded a one-base knock into right field, and with C Victor Caratini batting, Nationals C Spencer Kieboom committed his seventh passed ball of the season allowing both runners to move into scoring position. Caratini then sprayed an RBI sacrifice fly to center field as Candelario’s spikes-first slide was just ahead of the tag applied by Kieboom on a lazer beam throw from Potomac CF Narciso Mesa.

The P-Nats got RF Estarlin Martinez into scoring position on an infield single and a right-side groundout by Mesa but Martinez was backpicked and caught stealing 2-6-5.

Nationals LHP Justin Thomas and RHP Tyler Mapes were great out of the Potomac bullpen going a combined 4.0 scoreless innings and allowing just two total hits. Thomas struck out three Pelicans and Mapes walked a pair.

Mapes stranded the bases loaded in the 9th by inducing a popout to shallow center field off the bat of Martin caught by the galloping Nationals SS Stephen Perez.

The Red, White, and Blue mustered just five base knocks (four singles and a double raked by Nationals 3B Drew Ward) in the affair.

Ward committed a season-high three errors in the game including a pair of fielding miscues and a dropped popup in foul territory.

Potomac went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base.

Myrtle Beach RHP Dave Berg slung a scoreless 8th inning before Pelicans closer, LHP Michael Heesch (SV 3) converted his third save in 2015 with a de factor 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th. Nationals LF Alec Keller, who spelled Werth in the top of the 4th, fanned swinging before Perez worked a walk. Kieboom then chopped into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to seal the Pelicans’ victory albeit by the smallest margin of triumph possible.

The Nationals send the number one overall prospect in baseball per, RHP Lucas Giolito (3-4, 2.76) to the mound in series Game Three on Friday night to sling against Myrtle Beach RHP Daury Torrez (6-5, 3.65).

A first pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm tonight at Pfitzner Stadium as Potomac looks to begin a salvage job of their current homestand.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): Connor Bach pitched seven strong innings and D.K. Carey drove in three runs, leading the Hagerstown Suns to a 5-0 victory over the first-place West Virginia Power in the rubber match of their three-game series Thursday night.

The Suns (46-43, 11-10) trail the Power (51-39, 14-7) by three games in the South Atlantic Northern Division second-half standings.  Hagerstown took a 3-0 lead in the third inning against West Virginia starter Colten Brewer (2-7).  David Masters doubled, Wilman Rodriguez reached on an error and Austin Davidson walked to load the bases for Carey, who delivered a two-run single.  Davidson later scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Jose Marmolejos.

The Suns added a pair of runs in the seventh.  After Masters and Rodriguez walked to chase Brewer, Davidson greeted reliever Jared Lakind with an RBI single to center. Carey followed with a bunt single, scoring Rodriguez for a 5-0 lead.

That was more than enough support for Bach (3-1), who allowed only two hits and four walks while striking out six.  Relievers Koda Glover and Jake Walsh each pitched an inning to complete the four-hit shutout.

Carey and Davidson each finished with two of Hagerstown’s eight hits.  Hagerstown begins a weekend series tonight at Kannapolis with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 15

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): Last night in Omaha, Nebraska manager Billy Gardner and shortstop Jason Martinson participated in the AAA All Star Game at Werner Park.  The International League rallied to beat the Pacific Coast League 4-3.

Martinson went 0 for 1 on the night but in the top of the ninth, he got the rally started by drawing a walk and scoring a run.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Pitchers Paul Demny, Gilberto Mendez, Austin Voth, and catcher Pedro Severino represented the Senators for the Western Division in the Eastern League All Star Game in Portland, Maine at Hadlock Field.

Mendez was the only pitcher that saw action in the game as he pitched one inning and struck out two.  Severino went 1 for 2 at the plate and scored a run in the 4-4 tie.  There would be a Home Run Derby shootout and the Eastern Division won thanks to a walk-off home run by Brian Pointer, a prospect of the Philadelphia Phillies.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Myrtle Beach Pelicans (50-39-Overall, 28-17-Road, 9-11-Second Half) used three home runs to cruise to a 5-2 victory over the Potomac Nationals (44-44-Overall, 25-20-Home, 11-7-Second Half) in Game One of the series at Pfitzner Stadium on Wednesday night.

RHP John Simms (5-6, 3.01) gave up a season high three long balls to the Pelicans en route to taking his sixth loss of the season, pitching six innings and giving up five runs (three earned) on six hits, three walks and three strikeouts even though he logged his tenth quality start of the season.

After an 18 minute delayed start, the game got under way with a scoreless first inning on both sides of the diamond as RHP Jen-Ho Tseng (3-6, 3.67) made the start for Myrtle Beach. He logged a quality start and in his seven innings on the mound he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits, he walked three and struck out two.

The Flock got on the board in the second against Simms when DH Kevin Brown banged a two out single and LF Pin-Chieh Chen laced a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third. Simms then issued back-to-back free passes with CF Trey Martin taking the RBI on ball four that pushed home Brown for a 1-0 Pelican lead.

The scoring continued for Myrtle when in the third inning and again with two outs when 1B Jacob Rogers absolutely crushed a ball from Simms over all three tiers of signage in right field for a 2-0 Pelicans lead. After a 2B Khayyan Norfork made an error on a ground ball by C Victor Caratini kept the inning going, Brown slammed another home run over the right field wall for a 4-0 Pelican lead.

Myrtle Beach plated its final run in the top of the fifth on a SS Chesney Young solo bomb for a 5-0 Pelican advantage.

Potomac cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth When OF Narciso Mesa reached on a fielder’s choice ball against Tseng. On the play an error moved Mesa to second base and he then swiped third before coming home on a SS Stephen Perez RBI groundout to cut the lead to 5-1 Myrtle.

In Tseng’s final inning, the seventh, Potomac scored their final run of the game after Norfork led-off with a triple, his third hit of the night and scored on a DH Jimmy Yezzo RBI Single to make it a 5-2 Pelican lead. For Norfork, he set a season high with his three hit night.

RHP Justin Amlung came into the game for Simms in the seventh and was excellent out of the bullpen logging three perfect innings to wrap up the game for Potomac.

RHP Josh Conway threw a scoreless eighth inning and RHP Fernando Cruz (SV 2) earned his second save of the season pitching a perfect ninth inning.

Tonight’s Game Two will see RHP Austen Williams (1-0, 3.00) toe the rubber for Potomac against RHP Jonathan Martinez (5-1, 2.92) for the Pelicans.

Game Two of the series is set for a 7:05 pm first pitch.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns held on for a 3-2 victory over host West Virginia in the opener of a doubleheader Wednesday, but the Power bounced back with a five-run third inning for a 5-0 win in the nightcap.

The Power (51-37, 14-6) maintained a four-game lead over the Suns (45-43, 10-10) in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division second-half standings.  The two teams will finish their three-game series Thursday night.

• In the opener, the Suns touched Power starter Alex McRae (4-6) for two runs in the second and another run in the third to build a 3-0 lead.  Matthew Page led off the second with a double to left and came around on singles by Jeff Gardner and David Masters. Gardner later scored on a sacrifice fly by D.K. Carey.

Jose Marmolejos led off the third with an infield single, took third on a double to left by Raudy Read and scored on Gardner’s single to center.  Gardner finished 3-for-4 in the game.  A two-base throwing error by second baseman Bryan Mejia opened the door for West Virginia to score twice in the fifth, cutting the lead to 3-2.  Pablo Reyes hit an RBI single and Cole Tucker followed with a sac fly.

David Napoli (3-3) slammed the door on the Power, working a perfect final 2 2/3 innings for the Suns. Starter Luis Reyes allowed two runs — neither earned — on three hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.

• In the nightcap, West Virginia used the long ball to take control against Hagerstown starter Mario Sanchez (4-4).  Elvis Escobar drove a three-run shot right and Jordan Luplow followed with a deep fly to center for a 4-0 lead.

Michael Suchy doubled and scored on a single by Chase Simpson for a five-run cushion.  Three pitchers did the rest of the Power, holding the Suns to just three hits.  Yeudy Garcia (7-5) allowed two hits and a walk while fanning three in five innings, Sam Street allowed one hit in the sixth and Nick Neumann tossed a 1-2-3 seventh.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 13

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): OFF.  AAA All Star Game is Wednesday night at 8:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Cutter Dykstra’s go-ahead home run in the seventh inning lifted the Harrisburg Senators to a 2-1 win over the Erie Seawolves Monday afternoon at Metro Bank Park. The win secured a series split for the Senators (45-46).

Harrisburg scored its first run in the third inning when Isaac Ballou walked and then stole second with two outs. Derrick Robinson followed with an RBI double to tie the game at 1-1. The Senators remained quiet until the seventh inning when Dykstra untied the score with a home run to left field off Erie’s Joe Mantiply. Ballou reached base three times with three walks and scored a run. Robinson finished with two hits and an RBI while Pedro Severino had the only other Harrisburg hit.

Austin Voth continued his All-Star campaign by throwing seven innings, allowing four hits and one run. Voth also walked one and struck out eight, extending his Eastern League lead to 98 punchouts. Abel De Los Santos fired two scoreless innings to earn his sixth save in eight tries this season.

The Senators won’t play again until Thursday at Bowie, beginning at 6:35 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (44-43 Overall, 19-24 Road, 11-6 Second-Half) and Winston-Salem Dash (40-47 Overall, 21-23 Home, 10-7 Second-Half) were suspended on Monday night at BB&T Ballpark with the Dash leading 3-1 headed to the bottom of the 3rd inning due to a series of torrential thunderstorms carrying consistent lightning.

The ballgame went into a thunderstorm delay at 7:45pm in the middle of the 3rd, and after approximately an hour into the stoppage, the clash was frozen due to the threat of approaching storms.

With Potomac not scheduled to return to Winston-Salem, NC during the 2015 Carolina League regular season, the completion of this suspended contest will be slated during Winston-Salem’s August 11th to August 13th series at Pfitzner Stadium. The Dash will serve as the home team in the to-be-announced completion of this suspended affair.

Winston-Salem got out to an early 3-0 lead in the 1st frame as Dash 1B Keon Barnum clubbed a mammoth two-run home run to right-center field off Nationals LHP Matt Purke. The no-doubt bomb was Barnum’s fourth home run clout of the 2015 campaign. Winston-Salem DH Jeremy Dowdy added an RBI single grounded into center field.

The Nationals scored their lone run off Dash LHP Brian Clark in the top of the 3rd via a run-scoring double slapped into the left field corner by Potomac CF Narciso Mesa that scored P-Nats LF Cody Dent.

After a league-wide scheduled off-day today, the P-Nats will usher in the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs) for a four-game series from Wednesday, July 15th to Saturday, July 18th.

Potomac RHP John Simms (5-5, 2.89) will oppose Myrtle Beach LHP Michael Heesch (5-0, 1.62) in the series opener at Pfitzner Stadium on Wednesday night.

Action will get underway for a Bellybuster event at The Pfitz with a 7:05pm first pitch.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): OFF. Suns play tonight at West Virginia at 7:05 p.m.

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for July 12

FUTURE’S GAME: Pitcher Lucas Giolito (Potomac, High-A) and Shortstop Trea Turner (Harrisburg, AA) represented the Washington Nationals Organization in the MLB Futures game at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Giolito, who is the Nationals number one prospect, got the start and pitched the first two innings.  He allowed just two singles, no walks, and struck out one in two scoreless frames.

Turner also turned in an impressive performance going 2 for 2 at the plate with a double, a triple and two RBI’s in the USA’s 10-1 victory over the World.

Here’s the rest of the minor league report that is compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs took the final game of the series against the Rochester Red Wings, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. Taylor Jordan hurled six scoreless innings and four different Chiefs drove in a run to give Syracuse its seventh win in 10 games.

Syracuse (35-57) scored first in the bottom of the fourth inning against Rochester starter Greg Peavey. With two outs in the frame, Chris Nelson doubled into the left-field corner. The next batter, Ricky Hague, blooped a single to right-center to plate Nelson for the first run of the game.

The Chiefs added two more in the bottom of the fifth inning. Dan Butler and Josh Johnson each had a single to start the inning to put runners on the corners with no outs. With Johnson stealing second, Darin Mastroianni lined a single to center field to plate Butler and put runners on the corners again. Two batters later, Jason Martinson lined a double to the left-field corner to plate Johnson to give Syracuse a 3-0 lead.
Jordan put together a quality start on Sunday against Rochester. The Syracuse right-hander pitched six shutout innings against the Red Wings. He allowed only five hits and one walk while striking out four hitters. The six scoreless innings lowered Jordan’s season ERA to 2.71 in 12 starts.

Rochester (49-42) got on the board in the top of the eighth inning against Rafael Martin. Jorge Polanco led off with a double to left field. James Beresford advanced Polanco to third on a ground ball to second base. Then, Chris Herrman drove in Polanco with a sacrifice fly to left field to cut the Red Wings deficit to two.
Syracuse added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning against Rochester reliever Aaron Thompson. With one out, Nelson singled to left field. With Hague at the plate, Nelson stole second as Hague struck out swinging to put a runner on second with two outs. The next batter, Mario Lisson, lined a single to center field to extend the lead to 4-1 after eight innings.

The All Star Break gives Syracuse a three-day rest. Billy Gardner Jr. will manage the International League All Stars and Jason Martinson will represent the Chiefs in the Triple-A All Star Game on Wednesday at 8:05 p.m. The Chiefs return home on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.against the Gwinnett Braves. Syracuse will send Joe Ross to the mound against a pitcher to be named for Gwinnett.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators fell behind early and struggled to piece together a rally in an 8-1 loss to the Erie Seawolves Sunday at Metro Bank Park. The Senators (44-46) will try to secure a series split tomorrow afternoon before observing the Eastern League All-Star break.

Dakota Bacus struggled in his 10th start with Harrisburg, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in four innings. Wander Suero and Bryan Harper combined for three scoreless innings out of the Senators’ bullpen before Erie scored a run off Erik Davis in the top of the eighth inning.

After double-digit hits in each of the first two games of the series, Harrisburg was limited to six hits Sunday. Shawn Pleffner (double and a walk) and Jose Lozada (single and a walk) both reached twice for the Senators Sunday. Pleffner was driven in by an RBI single from Isaac Ballou in the bottom of the fifth inning for the Senators only run of the afternoon.

The final game of this series will begin Monday at noon.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): Sunday night baseball in the Tar Heel State at BB&T Ballpark featured an 8-2 victory for the Potomac Nationals (44-43 Overall, over the Winston-Salem Dash (40-47 Overall, 21-23 Home, 10-7 Second-Half) in series Game Three as the Red, White, and Blue pulled ahead for good with a four-run 7th inning to break up a 1-1 tie.

Potomac’s 44th triumph in 2015 catalyzed an overall winning record in 2015 for the visiting club.  Nationals starter, RHP Reynaldo Lopez (5-5) now owns a .500 win/loss record after garnering his fifth win this season.

Lopez submitted his sixth quality start of the season in outing number 13 with 6.0 innings on the mound in which the phenom allowed just one earned run on five hits but no walks. The power righty fanned seven Dash hitters.

Light rain delayed the contest from a scheduled 5:00pm start to 6:07pm (one hour, six minute rain delay).

The P-Nats plated the first run of the game off the losing pitcher of record, Dash RHP Brandon Brennan (0-3) in the 2nd inning. Potomac 2B Khayyan Norfork chopped an RBI single into center field to deliver the leadoff walk issued to C Spencer Kieboom.

Winston-Salem tied the game at 1-1 in the 6th frame with an RBI double ripped inside the first base bag that traveled into the right field corner off the stick of 3B Trey Michalczewski.

Potomac then turned in a four-run 7th stanza vs. Brennan and Winston-Salem RHP Brad Goldberg. Brennan served up the go-ahead run on a two-out, run-scoring single filleted into the power alley in left-center field by Nationals LF Alec Keller before Michalczewski committed a throwing error from third base that scored P-Nats 1B Grant DeBruin, who walked. Nationals SS Stephen Perez then nailed a two-run double into left-center on the first pitch he saw from Brennan to chase the Dash starting hurler and propel the P-Nats to a 5-1 lead.

Brennan surrendered five runs (two earned runs) on six hits and three walks in 6.2 innings.

Goldberg’s line was 1.1 frames and one earned run on three hits as Potomac collected three singles from Kieboom, DeBruin, and Norfork in the 8th on offerings from Goldberg which led to an RBI sacrifice fly lofted by Nationals DH Jimmy Yezzo.

Two runs for the Nationals in the 9th came against Winston-Salem RHP Michael Ynoa via back-to-back RBI doubles off the lumber of Kieboom into the left field corner and 3B Drew Ward, who one-hopped the left field wall with a swing.

Potomac RHP Brian Dupra (3 SV) earned his third save in as many save opportunities by finishing the game with 3.0 innings under his belt.

Dupra allowed one earned run on just one hit and three walks while fanning one man.

In the last of the 9th, Dupra walked a pair but got Dash 1B Keon Barnum on a 6-3 groundout and C Omar Narvaez on a RBI 4-3 swept baseball. Then, the final out of the game came on a corner-to-corner groundout from LF Toby Thomas.

This Nationals’ victory was the most lopsided win (six-run differential) in their Second-Half play.

In the Game Four series finale on Monday evening, Nationals LHP Matt Purke (0-0, 0.00) will make his 2015 Carolina League debut against Winston-Salem RHP Robinson Leyer (3-6, 4.30).

Purke began the 2015 season with Class-A Hagerstown following Tommy John surgery performed in 2014.

First pitch at “The Bank” will be tossed at 7:00pm.  Potomac goes for their fifth consecutive series victory with a “W” tonight at BB&T Ballpark.
HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns (9-9, 44-42) couldn’t muster much offense on Sunday afternoon, as they fell to the Delmarva Shorebirds (9-9, 42-44) by a final of 3-1. Despite the loss Hagerstown won the five-game series with Delmarva 3-2.

Delmarva took the lead for good on Sunday with a two-run frame in the top of the second.  Hagerstown sliced its deficit in half in the fifth. Catcher Matt Reistetter led off with a double. He moved to third on a groundout, and scored from third with two outs on a single to left by 3B Austin Davidson. Davidson finished with two of the Suns five hits in the game.

Starting RHP Drew Van Orden (5-2) suffered the hard-luck loss for the Suns. He threw five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out one.

After a day off today, the Suns next head to Charleston, West Virginia to begin a seven-game road trip with a three-game series against the West Virginia Power (12-5, 49-37) on Tuesday, July 14. The Suns will send RHP Luis Reyes (4-5) to the mound for his 16th start and appearance this season. He will square off against RHP Alex McRae (4-5) for West Virginia. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05pm.

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