October 18, 2018

Washington Nationals Minor League Report for September 4

Compiled from team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs dropped their final road game of the season, 4-1, to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Friday night at Coca-Cola Park. The IronPigs slugged two home runs to split the two-game series.

Lehigh Valley (63-78) got on the board in the second inning. Cord Phelps doubled to start the inning off Scott McGregor. Three batters later, Logan Moore singled in Phelps to give the IronPigs a 1-0 lead.

Syracuse (64-77) squared the game in the fourth. Scott Sizemore reached on a fielder’s choice with one out. Caleb Ramsey followed with a single and Isaac Ballou singled home Sizemore for Ballou’s first Triple-A RBI.

The IronPigs grabbed the lead back in the bottom of the frame. Tommy Joseph launched a home run over the left field wall with one out to get the led back at 2-1.

Another home run finished the scoring in the fifth. Dakota Bacus made his Triple-A debut, and hit Kelly Dugan with two outs. Russ Canzler followed with his tenth home run of the season to lift the IronPigs to a 4-1 lead.

Syracuse returns home for the final three games of the season, starting Saturday night against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Taylor Hill is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Brady Lail for the RailRiders. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): The Harrisburg Senators used two big innings to handle the Akron RubberDucks, 7-4, in front of 5,245 fans on Friday night at Metro Bank Park. Despite getting outhit 10-5 by the RubberDucks, the Senators (67-72) took advantage of eight walks issued by four Akron pitchers.

Akron got on the board first as they plated two runs off starter Lucas Giolito as Nellie Rodriguez delivered a two-out single into left field. The Senators responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Reegie Corona started the rally with his first home run of the season and the Senators scored two more on an RBI groundout and wild pitch.

Giolito settled down and although Akron would score four runs off the right-hander, he picked up his fourth Double-A victory of the season. The 21-year-old allowed seven hits, walked one, and struck out four in his last start of 2015.

The Senators broke the game open with four runs in the fifth inning. A Wilmer Difo double, Chris Bostick single, and Drew Vettleson single with the bases loaded chased Akron starter Duke von Schamann from the game.

Relievers Nick Lee, Gilberto Mendez, and Paul Demny each worked one inning of scoreless relief to secure the victory.

The Senators continue their final series of the 2015 season against Akron on Saturday with Colin Bates on the mound, starting at 6:00 p.m.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): On Friday night under the lights at Pfitzner Stadium, the Potomac Nationals (64-72 Overall, 33-34 Home, 31-35 Second Half) were usurped by the Salem Red Sox (64-72 Overall, 33-34 Road, 26-40 Second Half) in the series opener of four games to finish the 2015 regular season by the final score of 6-3.

Knuckleballer RHP Jeff Howell (1-2), a former professional catcher, made his third Carolina League start and suffered his second loss with the P-Nats after getting bombarded by Salem in a six-run 2nd inning.

Howell walked one batter in the 1st frame after garnering two outs but his battery mate, C Raudy Read fired out Red Sox CF Kevin Heller from his knees with a 77 miles per hour throw down to second base.

An inning later, Howell walked four, balked once, and surrendered three hits including a leadoff single to 1B Mario Martinez, an RBI free pass to 3B Jordan Betts, a bases loaded three-RBI triple off the bat of LF Yoilan Cerse, and a gargantuan two-run home run blasted by 2B Wendell Rijo off the third tier of signage in left field. Salem DH Zach Kapstein, SS Deiner Lopez, and Heller also received first base due to excessive balls out of the strike zone.

In all, Howell went just 1.2 innings and gave up the aforementioned six earned runs on three hits and five walks while fanning just one man.

Opposite Howell, Salem starter, LHP Trey Ball (9-13) earned his ninth win with the requisite 5.0 innings worked to qualify for a victory. Ball allowed two runs (one earned run) on six hits and two walks. Ball struck out six hitters.

The Red Sox went just 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base but lived off their six runs in Act One to garner their 64th “W” of the season despite not scoring for the rest of the game.

Meanwhile, the P-Nats plated individual runs in the 3rd, 4th, and 9th innings.

Potomac got on the scoreboard in the 3rd via an RBI 4-3 groundout from 1B Grant DeBruin. Prior to that run, Nationals CF Rafael Bautista was thrown out at home plate on an infield single rapped by RF Narciso Mesa along the third base line that was thrown away at first base by Betts. Salem RF Franklin Guzman picked up the ball and fired it to the dish. Betts was on the receiving end and he applied the tag to the sliding Bautista as Red Sox C Carlos Coste was backing up at first base and unavailable to cover the plate.

In the 4th stanza, the leadoff double of Nationals 3B Drew Ward blasted to left-center scored when SS Stephen Perez muscled an RBI single to right-center field.

In the 9th off Salem reliever, RHP Brandon Show (2 SV), The Red, White, and Blue received a single off the lumber of Read nailed into center field before Perez grounded into a 1-6-3 double play. Potomac LF Estarlin Martinez sprayed a single on the ground back up the middle, advanced to second base on defensive indifference, and scored on the second error of the night committed by Betts at third base on a throw-away at first base. Bautista tested Betts again with a groundball his way and it appeared Bautista was safe on the bang-bang play but he was called out and the ballgame was over.

Nationals bullpen slingers, LHP Jake Walsh, in long-man duty, and RHP Derek Self in short relief, both gave up no runs in 3.2 innings.

Walsh allowed two hits plus one walk and the southpaw fanned five men.

Self’s offerings resulted in three base knocks by the Red Sox but also three strikeouts of visiting club swingers.

Show converted his second save in as many save chances with 4.0 frames out of the bullpen. Show allowed the one unearned run on four hits but no walks.

The Nationals cart RHP Tyler Mapes (5-3, 2.47) to the mound tonight in series Game Two. Mapes will gun against Red Sox RHP Ty Buttrey (8-9, 3.98).  First pitch is at 6:35

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): Alexis Rivera had two hits and three RBIs, including the go-ahead two-run triple in the sixth inning, as the Lexington Legends edged the Hagerstown Suns 5-4 on Friday night in the South Atlantic League.  The Suns (67-68, 32-35) and Legends (56-79, 25-40) will play three more games to wrap up the season-ending five-game series.

Osvaldo Abreu led off Friday’s game by taking Matt Tenuta deep to left center for his sixth home run of the season and a 1-0 Suns lead.  Hagerstown added two runs in the third. Abreu hit a one-out double, went to third on Matt Reistetter’s single and scored on Jose Marmolejos’ double.  Reistetter came home on a groundout by Matthew Page to make it 3-0.  The Legends got on the board in the bottom of the third against Justin Amlung (3-4), who retired the first two batters before hitting Austin Bailey with a pitch.  Chad Johnson singled and Wander Franco drove in both runners with a double to cut the lead to 3-2.

Hagerstown got singles from Wilman Rodriguez, Abreu and Reistetter in the fourth, but Rodriguez was thrown out trying to score on Reistetter’s hit to end the inning.  Lexington tied the game at 3 in the bottom of the fourth when Samir Duenez hit a leadoff single, stole second and scored on Rivera’s double.  Amlung got out of the inning with a double play.  Rodriguez gave the Suns a 4-3 lead in the sixth, greeting reliever Torey Deshazier (4-5) with a leadoff home run to left, his third of the year.  But in the bottom of the sixth, two walks led to Rivera’s two-run triple, giving the Legends a 5-4 lead.

Hagerstown loaded the bases on three walks with two outs in the eighth, chasing Deshazier, but Jake Newberry got Marmolejos to ground out to first to end the threat.  Newberry worked through the ninth to finish off a game in which the Suns stranded 12 runners.  Abreu finished 3-for-5 and Marmolejos had two hits and two RBIs.

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