Nationals Minor League Notebook: Strasburg Rehab in Potomac and Suns Updates

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Photo: @TheWuWu

Here’s your update down on the farm.

From staff and wire reports:

POTOMAC: The Potomac Nationals (55-64) used an eighth inning rally to defeat the Salem Red Sox (67-53) 3-2 on Monday night at Pfitzner Stadium. RHP Stephen Strasburg  pitched five strong inning in his rehab appearance for the P-Nats. In the eighth, Taylor Gushue  tied the score with a RBI single and SS David Masters  capped off the rally with a go-ahead two-out single to give Potomac the one-run triumph.

Strasburg hurled five strong innings in his first rehab outing since suffering a right elbow nerve impingement on 7/23. He allowed one run on three hits and a walk while striking out five for the P-Nats on Monday. The right-hander was replaced in the top of the sixth inning by RHP Sterling Sharp (W, 2-1) with the score tied at one.

The only run Salem scored against Strasburg came in the top of the third. With two outs and runners on the corners, the Red Sox ran a double steal. After SS Jeremy Rivera‘s single put two runners on, Rivera stole second base. Lovullo took off for home on the throw down to second and scored the games first run.

However, Potomac took Strasburg off the hook in the bottom of the fifth inning. RF Rhett Wiseman  led off the inning with a walk. With Wiseman stealing second, DH Edwin Lora doubled to right-center field. The Potomac right-fielder scored all the way from first and the P-Nats tied the score at one after five.

The score remained tied until the eighth inning when the Red Sox retook the lead. Salem put runners on first and second after a walk, a sacrifice bunt and a walk. Then, DH Jose Sermo singled to center field to give the Sox a 2-1 lead.

The P-Nats rallied for two runs to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth. CF Daniel Johnson  began the frame with a ground-rule double over the left-field wall. Then, LF Jack Sundberg  beat out a bunt down the first base line to put runners on first and third. RHP Pat Goetze (L, 0-1) retired the next two hitters. But, Gushue singled to right-field with two strikes to tie the score. Masters followed with a single to center to give Potomac it’s first lead at 3-2.

Sharp shut down Salem the rest of the way. In his third Carolina League appearance, the right-hander hurled four innings. He allowed one run on three hits and three walks and struck out two. Sharp pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out the Red Sox.

HAGERSTOWN

Thursday: Weston Davis topped West Virginia Power ace Luis Escobar in a pitcher’s duel on Thursday night by retiring 14 batters in a row during the middle innings of a 3-1 victory for the Hagerstown Suns (26-19, 64-50) at Municipal Stadium.

In the top of the first, Davis (Win, 3-4) allowed a leadoff single to Adrian Valerio, who scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Albert Baur. The 20-year-old Suns starter gave up two more hits in the first before silencing the Power bats during his next five frames. Nobody reached base against Davis between the second and fifth innings.

The Suns tallied two hits and struck out six times against Escobar (Loss, 9-6) through the first four innings but manufactured a lead in the fifth. Oliver Ortiz led off with a sharp double down the right field line and Paul Panaccione followed with a walk. Blake Perkins laid down a perfect bunt along the first base line and reached with no throw for an RBI single that scored Ortiz. Telmito Agustin laid down his own bunt single back to the pitcher and Aldrem Corredor rolled a double-play grounder to short that plated Panaccione for a 2-1 Suns lead.

Davis allowed two singles in the sixth but picked up the shut-down inning by stranding runners at second and third with a groundout back to the mound that finished off his night with six complete innings, four hits, one earned run, and three strikeouts.

Hagerstown added an insurance run in the seventh. Ortiz led off with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a flyout, and Agustin picked up an RBI on his groundout back to Power reliever Blake Cederlind. Ortiz led the Suns with two runs scored.

Hayden Howard entered from the pen and battled with seven baserunners aboard through his three innings of relief work but held the Power off the scoreboard. A pair of singles in the top of the ninth brought Andrew Walker to the plate with a chance to tie or take the lead but Howard struck him out swinging to end the game.

Friday: Matthew DeRosier made the best start of his five-year professional career with seven shutout innings and two hits allowed as the Hagerstown Suns (27-19, 65-50) ran their winning streak to five games with a 7-0 romp over the West Virginia Power (25-23, 55-59) on Friday night at Municipal Stadium.

DeRosier (Win, 2-2) joined the Suns rotation on July 30 and has not allowed a run in his last 17 2/3 innings pitched, setting the longest scoreless streak by a Hagerstown pitcher this year. The 23-year-old righty from Lakeside, California sandwiched two Power singles by retiring the first 10 batters and final nine batters he faced, in order. DeRosier finished with six strikeouts and benefitted from sparkling defense around the diamond, including a diving snag by Jake Noll on a sharp comebacker that fired past DeRosier in the sixth.

The Suns jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Power starter Eduardo Vera (Loss, 5-6). Jake Noll opened the scoring in the first with an RBI groundout and Tres Barrera immediately followed with an RBI single to left field. Hagerstown plated two more in the second on a passed ball that allowed Angelo La Bruna to scamper home from third and Agustin drove in Blake Perkins from second with an RBI single to right.

Oliver Ortiz landed the knockout punch with his first home run since May 18 on a three-run shot to right-center field in the fifth inning. That forced Vera out of the game after giving up seven runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings of work. Ortiz led the Suns with three RBI while La Bruna tallied a team-best three hits. The Suns finished with 14 base hits; the most since tallying 15 hits in seven innings at Lexington on July 16.

Sam Held recorded the final six outs and allowed a lone single in the ninth before striking out Oneil Cruzto end the game. Hagerstown secured its seventh shutout win while holding the Power to three singles and a walk.

Hagerstown is tied with the Hickory Crawdads atop the South Atlantic League Northern Division second-half standings with 22 games to go. Following back-to-back losses at Muni, the third-place Power dropped three games behind Hagerstown.

Saturday: Postponed.

Sunday: Oneil Cruz hit a two-run home run and had two hits as the West Virginia Power defeated the Hagerstown Suns 5-2 in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday.

Up 1-0 in the third, West Virginia added to its lead when Cruz hit a two-run home run.

After Hagerstown scored a run in the fourth on a home run by Telmito Agustin, the Suns cut into the deficit in the fifth inning when Angelo La Bruna hit an RBI single, bringing home Nick Banks.

The Power later tacked on two runs in the sixth when Ryan Nagle hit a solo home run and Clark Eagan hit an RBI single to secure the victory.

West Virginia right-hander Mike Wallace (4-6) picked up a quality start and the win after allowing two runs on just four hits over six innings. Opposing starter James Bourque (5-7) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game after giving up five runs and seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. Dylan Prohoroff recorded his fourth save of the season.

Despite the loss, Hagerstown is 8-3 against West Virginia this season.

Stephan Meyer tossed a three-hit complete game, leading the West Virginia Power to a 5-3 win over the Hagerstown Suns in the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday.

Hagerstown had a runner on first in the bottom of the seventh, but Oliver Ortiz flew out to end the game.

Meyer (2-0) picked up the win after he struck out four and walked two while allowing three runs.

Trailing 3-0 in the second, Hagerstown cut into the lead when Nick Banks hit a two-run home run.

After Hagerstown tied the game in the third, the Power grabbed the lead in the sixth inning when Victor Fernandez drew a bases-loaded walk and Garrett Brown hit an RBI single.

Ben Braymer (1-1) went 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs and five hits in the South Atlantic League game. He also struck out seven and walked two.

The Power swept both games of the doubleheader after winning the first game 5-2. Despite the loss, Hagerstown is 8-4 against West Virginia this season.

Monday: OFF.

Tuesday: Jake Noll went deep for a two-run homer that extended his team lead in RBIs, but the Hagerstown Suns (27-22, 65-53) allowed five runs in the fourth inning to drop the opening game of a pivotal series against the Hickory Crawdads on Tuesday night, 9-4.

With the loss, Hagerstown fell three games behind the first-place Crawdads in the South Atlantic League Northern Division second-half standings with 19 games left to play, including two more games ahead in Hickory (31-20, 58-63).

The Suns jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Noll’s home run against Reiver Sanmartin (Win, 3-0). Hagerstown’s cleanup hitter leads the active roster with 16 homers and 67 RBIs this season. Noll added a leadoff single in the eighth inning to finish 2-for-4.

Hickory responded in the bottom of the first against Suns starter Brigham Hill (Loss, 0-1) with an RBI single by Alex Kowalczyk. In the second, with runners aboard, Eric Jenkins swiped second base and a throwing error by Tres Barrera allowed Tanner Gardner to score the tying run, 2-2.

Anderson Franco put the Suns back in front with a line drive to center in the fourth that scored Barrera and Nick Banks but Hickory went ahead for good with a handful of runs in the fourth. All nine Crawdads hitters came to the plate in the decisive frame, highlighted by an RBI double from Gardner and a three-run homer by Texas Rangers top prospect Leody Taveras.

Hill exited with two outs in the fourth after allowing six earned runs on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts. The 22-year-old from Texas A&M suffered his first loss in three games with the Suns.

Kyle Simonds relieved Hill and gave up a solo homer to Blaine Prescott in the sixth but rebounded to allow three hits and no walks with one strikeout in 3 1/3 innings. Phil Morse worked the eighth inning and threw a wild pitch that scored Prescott. Morse gave up two hits and struck out one Crawdad.

In his first game back with the Suns since moving to the Disabled List on May 13, Washington Nationals top-five prospect Carter Kieboom went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Leadoff hitter Blake Perkins posted a 3-for-4 night at the plate with a run and a walk. Banks finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.

On Wednesday, the Suns will send right-handed starter Weston Davis (3-4, 6.89) to the mound against Reid Anderson (1-9, 5.28) with first pitch at 7 p.m. The Suns return to Municipal Stadium on Friday to begin a seven-game homestand with four games against the Kannapolis Intimidators.

Ryan Zimmerman Falls Short of Cycle But Homers Twice as Nats Fry the Fish

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Photo: @ESPNStatsInfo

By Michael Marzzacco

The Nationals bounced back from their tough loss on Tuesday night with a big 10-1 win over the Marlins in the third game of four at Nationals Park. A big day at the plate for Ryan Zimmerman as well as  a dominant start from Gio Gonzalez was the difference in this game.

Continue reading “Ryan Zimmerman Falls Short of Cycle But Homers Twice as Nats Fry the Fish”