Comprised of press releases from the Washington Nationals minor league affiliates
Syracuse Chiefs, AAA International League
Syracuse (22-24) jumped ahead early against Mud Hens left-hander Andy Oliver, who had allowed just 27 hits in 44 and one-third innings entering the game. Brett Carroll doubled to lead off the second inning, and Carlos Rivero, who played his first professional game at first base, singled him home just two pitches later. Jason Michaels followed with an infield single before Oliver recorded two outs, but Brown followed to smash open the inning. He crushed a three-run home run well over the right-field fence, putting the Chiefs on top, 4-0. Brown has now homered in three straight games.
The Chiefs then added to their lead in the sixth. With runners at first and third and one out, Michaels lined a single to center field, scoring Xavier Paul and knocking out Oliver. Left-hander Ryan Robowski then entered for his first Triple-A game of the year after a recent promotion from Double-A Erie. He immediately walked Seth Bynum and James Skelton, loading the bases for Brown. The center fielder added to his big day with a two-run single to center field, capping the scoring.
Meanwhile, Toledo (23-23) was held completely in check by two Syracuse pitchers. Atkins tossed six shutout innings of two-hit ball, walking two and striking out three, to earn his fourth win in eight starts. Atkins lowered his ERA to 3.07. Erik Arnesen then completed the final three innings without allowing a run to pick up his first save of the season.
Syracuse heads home after a scheduled day off to face Columbus on Thursday at 7:00. The Chiefs and Clippers will begin a four-game set.
The Senators send LH Danny Rosenbaum to the mound in game one and RH Rob Gilliam to the hill in game two. Altoona goes with RH Phil Irwin and RH Brandon Cumpton.
Potomac Nationals, High-A Carolina League
The Wilmington Blue Rocks used a three run eighth inning to beat the Potomac Nationals 4-2 in Delaware on Tuesday night. For the first time this season, the P-Nats lost a game they led after seven innings.
Potomac starter Robbie Ray cruised through the first two innings striking out five of the seven batters he faced. Ray had a 10 pitch second inning where he struck out the side. Wilmington did get to Ray in the third. With two outs and no one on, Whit Merrifield worked a walk then stole second. Geulin Beltre lined a single to center that scored Merrifild to give Wilmington a 1-0 lead.
Wilmington hurler Yordano Ventura was excellent for the Blue Rocks tossing four scoreless frames. The P-Nats got to him in the fifth. With two outs, Kevin Keyes stole second base. He then scored on a Blake Kelso single to tie the contest 1-1. Ventura did not get a decision pitching five innings striking out nine while allowing just one run on four hits and a walk.
Ray was very sharp as well as he struck out a season-high nine batters. He was relieved in the sixth inning by Rob Wort who got out of a two-on jam to keep the score tied 1-1.
The P-Nats took their first lead of the series in the seventh with Justin Bloxom smacking a double to left-center to start the frame. The next batter Kevin Keyes knocked in Bloxom on a single to centerfield and Potomac led 2-1.
But, for the first time this season with a lead late, the bullpen tandem of Wort and Cameron Selik could not close out a win with a lead after the seventh inning. In the eighth, Wort walked Brian Fletcher on four pitches to start the inning then Cheslor Cuthbert knocked a one-out single to put runners at the corners with one out. Selik replaced Wort and the first batter he faced was Roman Hernandez who hit a ground-rule double to left scoring Fletcher to even the score 2-2. Next up was Alex McClure who laced a single against a drawn in infield to center scoring both Cuthbert and Hernandez to give the Blue Rocks their first lead of the game 4-2.
Nick Rogers tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth to preserve the win for Wilmington. It was just the second 1-2-3 inning for Potomac in the game. Rogers (1-0) struck out three over two innings. Wilmington as a team struck out 14 Nationals.
Wort (0-2) took the loss giving up his first earned run sine April 17th at Frederick. Selik blew a save for the first time in six chances this season.
The Nationals wrap up their series with Wilmington tomorrow at 11:05 AM with LHP Matt Grace (2-5, 7.34) getting the start for Potomac.
Hagerstown Suns, Low-A South Atlantic League
The Hagerstown Suns (24-18) and the Greensboro Grasshoppers (31-13) split their doubleheader on Tuesday night, with the Suns winning game one, 5-4, in ten innings and the Grasshoppers taking game two, 8-4, in seven innings at Municipal.
The Suns benefited from a walk off single off the wall by catcher Adrian Nieto in the tenth inning to complete a come-from-behind victory in the resumed portion of last night’s suspended game. It was Nieto’s second RBI hit of the game and it gave reliever Aaron Barrett (3-1) the win after suffering a blown save in the ninth. Greensboro’s Daniel Oliver took the loss.
In game two, Suns’ starter Brian Dupra suffered the loss as he was hit for eight runs in 1.2 innings pitched. Billy Burns went 2-for-3 with a double, triple and RBI, while Brett Newsome blasted his fifth home run of the season in the effort for Hagerstown. The Grasshoppers got a three-run homer from DH Matt Smith, followed by a grand slam from third baseman Josh Adams to pace their offense. James Nygren (2-1) earned the win out of the bullpen.
The Suns will conclude the series and home-stand during an RBC Wealth Management Education Day at Municipal Stadium on Wednesday morning at 10:35 a.m. when RHP Alex Meyer (2-3) makes the start for Hagerstown. LHP Charlie Lowell is scheduled to start the game for the Grasshoppers.