Washington Nationals Farm Report May 23 and 24th

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Matt den Dekker went 4 for 4, reaching base five times on Tuesday. (Kaimeng Yang | Syracuse Chiefs)

Compiled via team press releases:

Syracuse Chiefs (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs topped the Charlotte Knights, 10-6, on Tuesday night. Matt den Dekker went 4 for 4 with a walk as the Chiefs tallied 14 hits in the win. Syracuse’s seven doubles were its most as a team since May of 2013.

Syracuse (23-20) took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Jason Martinson singled into right field, and Caleb Ramsey followed with a double to left field, setting up runners on second and third with one out. Charlotte starter Jacob Turner then retired Pedro Severino to get the second out, scoring Martinson.

Charlotte (23-23) answered in the top of the third inning off Syracuse starter Paolo Espino. Jason Bourgeois led off with a double into right-center field. He later moved to third base on a groundout off the bat of Tim Anderson. Carlos Sanchez then drove in Bourgeois on a sacrifice fly, knotting the score at 1-1.

The Chiefs retailed quickly in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Syracuse saw three consecutive batters reach base. Brian Goodwin doubled, Matt den Dekker walked, and Matt Skole singled, to load the bases. Scott Sizemore was then retired on an infield fly, giving the Chiefs two outs. The next batter, Jason Martinson, capitalized with a bases-clearing double to deep center field, giving Syracuse a 4-1 advantage.

The Knights narrowed the Chiefs’ lead in the top of the fourth. Danny Hayes led off with a single and with one out, Nicky Delmonico walked, putting runners on first and second with one out. After a Kevan Smith strikeout, Bourgeois tripled down the left-field line, scoring Hayes and Delmonico, cutting the Syracuse lead to 4-3.

The floodgates would later open for the Chiefs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ramsey led off with a line-drive single to center field. Turner then hit Severino with a pitch, and Campana followed with a sacrifice bunt, moving Ramsey and Severino to second and third, respectively. With one out, Trea Turner walked, to once again load the bases. Brian Goodwin followed the Turner walk with the Chiefs’ second bases-clearing double of the night, plating Ramsey, Severino, and Turner, to give Syracuse a 7-3 lead. den Dekker followed up Goodwin with an RBI single, pushing the lead to 8-3.

Espino finished his night for Syracuse going six innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits, while striking out five. Espino has yet to allow more than three earned runs through his eight starts this season. Turner finished going five and one-third innings allowing eight earned runs on 11 hits for Charlotte.

The Knights picked up another run in the top of the seventh frame. With two outs and Anderson on first base, Matt Davidson singled into center field. Hayes followed up Davidson with a double into right field, scoring Anderson, making it 8-4.

The Chiefs got back on the board again in the bottom of the inning.  Caleb Ramsey opened the frame with a double to left field. Severino then popped out to the pitcher, Ynoa, before Campana reached on a walk. Trea Tuner then singled, to load the bases once again for the Chiefs. After a Goodwin strikeout, den Dekker singled into left field, scoring both Ramsey and Campana, giving Syracuse a 10-4 lead.

The Knights scored two more runs in the top of the eighth inning, but Rafael Martin pitched a scoreless ninth, to give the Chiefs the 10-6 victory.

Syracuse returns to action Wednesday night for the second of a three-game-set against Charlotte at NBT Bank Stadium. A.J. Cole is slated to take the mound for the Chiefs, opposite of Chris Volstad of the Knights at 6:35 p.m.

Harrisburg Senators (AA Eastern League):

May 23: The Harrisburg Senators fought their way out of a 4-1 hole and again at 5-4 to best the Portland Sea Dogs, 6-5, in the series-opening game. The victory extended the Senators’ winning streak to seven games.

Harrisburg (22-20) pushed a run across in the second inning as Adrian Sanchez’ swinging bunt scored Zach Collier from third base. The lead was short-lived, however, as Portland broke through for a big inning in the top of the third when they plated four runs off Harrisburg starter Tyler Mapes. In the frame, the Sea Dogs rapped out a double, triple, single, and a home run to take a 4-1 lead. Mapes would hold the Sea Dogs at bay the rest of the way, scattering eight hits over six innings with four strikeouts.

After scoring a run on a Shawn Pleffner RBI single earlier, Spencer Kieboom delivered the big blow, an opposite field home run, to tie the game up at four headed into the seventh inning.

Portland reclaimed the lead off Harrisburg reliever Derek Self, but the Senators had one more answer for the Sea Dogs. Chris Bostick led off the eighth inning with a triple, his second of the game, to the right-center field gap. Zach Collier followed with his own triple to score Bostick and put the go-ahead run 90 feet away.

After a walk and a groundout, Sanchez came through with the two-strike sacrifice fly to score Collier with the deciding run.

Self (2-1) picked up the win and Koda Glover worked a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts to pocket his second save of the season.

Bostick went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, Collier rapped out two hits and scored three times, and Shawn Pleffner chipped in two singles to lead the Senators’ offensive attack.

May 24: 

A career day from Shawn Pleffner was not enough to carry the Harrisburg Senators as they dropped a 5-4 contest to the Portland Sea Dogs on Tuesday night at FNB Field before 2,787 fans. The loss ended the Senators’ winning streak at seven games.

Portland struck first as Senators’ starter Reynaldo Lopez allowed two hits, two walks, and two sacrifice flies in the opening frame to give the Sea Dogs a 2-0 lead. Sean Coyle tacked on another run for the Sea Dogs with a towering home run that barely reached the Ollie’s Cheap Seats in left field.

But Harrisburg (22-21) responded as a Neftali Soto single and two walks loaded the bases for Pleffner. The 26-year-old first baseman delivered with a sharp single into right field that scored two and left the Senators trailing by a lone run.

The Sea Dogs regained the three-run cushion in the sixth inning as they plated two without the benefit of a base hit. A lead-off walk, throwing error, sacrifice fly, and fielder’s choice did the damage and ended Lopez’ night after 5.1 innings.

Pleffner once again pulled the Senators within a run in the bottom of the seventh as he hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot, onto the boardwalk in left-center field. But 5-4 was the closest the Senators would get as the Portland bullpen preserved the lead and victory.

Pleffner went 2-for-3 with a walk and a career-high four runs batted in. The only other Senator with a multi-hit night was third baseman Stephen Perez who recorded a single and double in four trips to the plate.

Lopez (1-4) scattered four hits, walked five, and struck out four while collaring the loss. Andrew Robinson was stellar in relief as he threw 2.2 scoreless innings allowing one hit while striking out two.

The third game of the four game set between the Senators and Sea Dogs will be Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. as Harrisburg sends Lucas Giolito to the mound versus Justin Haley for Portland.

Potomac Nationals (High-A Carolina League):

May 23:

It took until the final half inning of the first half of Monday night’s doubleheader for any scoring at Harry Grove Stadium. With the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the seventh of a scoreless game, Frederick C Jonah Heim hit a fly ball single down the left field line, which plated 1B Aderlin Rodriguez and got Frederick a 1-0 walk-off win. In game two, Potomac plated two runs off of Keys’ LHP Max Schuh (L, 0-3) in the second inning and cruised the rest of the way to a 2-0 win.

Game one of the twin bill was as much a pitcher’s dual as one could ask for. RHP Erick Fedde (ND) and LHP John Means (W, 5-0) both took complete control of the game. For Potomac, Fedde tossed five-shutout innings, gave up just three hits, and struck out six in the no-decision. Means meanwhile got credit for the complete game, as the lefty went seven innings, struck out eight, gave up three hits, and walked just one in the victory. In two starts vs. Potomac, Means has struck out 18 and walked just two over 13 innings.

Potomac had a least one base runner in four innings in game one but never advanced anyone beyond second base. CF Andrew Stevenson led off the game with a walk but he was left at second base. DH Khayyan Norfork singled to start the second but was left at first base. 2B Bryan Mejia singled in the fifth but nothing came of it, and C Raudy Read did the same in the seventh, but again, Potomac could not turn it into a run.

Fedde worked out of multiple jams himself, as the first two reached in the second inning on singles by Rodriguez and DH Wynston Sawyer, but the right-handed starter got a strikeout and a double play. RF Conor Bierfeldt then led off the third frame with a double but was left at third base.

On rehab from the Washington Nationals, RHP Matt Belisle worked around a leadoff single in the sixth to provide a scoreless inning of relief and gave way to RHP Greg Ross (L, 1-2) for the seventh. Rodriguez led off the seventh frame with a single and took second base on a wild pitch by Ross. Sawyer walked before 3B Jomar Reyes singled, which loaded the bases. Playing with five men on the infield and only two outfielders, Potomac saw Heim loft a ball down the left field line, past the outstretched glove of LF Dale Carey, as the walk-off hit gave Frederick a 1-0 win.

Game two featured more stellar pitching from Potomac, as RHP Boone Whiting (W, 5-1) matched Fedde with five-shutout frames. Whiting gave up just four hits, struck out three, and did not walk a batter as he pitched one batter into the sixth inning. The righty gave up three hits, two doubles, in the first frame, but did not allow a run, as LF Jay Gonzalez ran into an out at third base. After a double by Rodriguez with two outs in the inning, Whiting then retired 13 straight Frederick hitters until SS Erick Salcedo ended Whiting’s night with a leadoff double in the sixth.

Offensively in the back half of the doubleheader, Potomac’s lone run-scoring inning came in the second frame. Carey started the inning with a single and LF Alec Keller reached on a single hit five feet in front of the plate, as Schuh and C Austin Wynns both pointed at one another to pick it up. A groundout by Norfork put men at second and third with one out before a wild pitch plated Carey and made it 1-0, the eventual winning play. 1B Grant DeBruin followed with an RBI double, which plated Keller and made it 2-0, the eventual final.

After Salcedo’s double in the sixth, Potomac turned to its two best bullpen arms thus far in 2016. LHP RC Orlan came in and got Gonzalez to ground out, which moved Salcedo to third base. After CF Josh Hart walked, Orlan struck out 2B Steve Wilkerson, before Potomac went to the pen again. In came RHP Ryan Brinley (SV, 6), who got Rodriguez to fly out to centerfield to end the sixth. Brinley gave up a single in the seventh but induced a game-ending double play groundout by Wynns to secure the 2-0 victory.

With the split, the P-Nats moved to 5.5 games back of division leading Lynchburg. Done in Frederick, Potomac will head back to Woodbridge, VA to start a seven-game homestand, as they welcome the Salem Red Sox to town for the first time in 2016. After three games vs. the Red Sox, the Winston-Salem Dash make their first appearance at The Pfitz for a four-game series taking the clubs through Memorial Day weekend. Game one of the homestand gets underway at 7:05 Tuesday night at Pfitzner Stadium.

May 24:

It took 42 games into the 2016 season for the Potomac Nationals (22-20 Overall, 8-10 Home) to run into the league leading Salem Red Sox (31-14 Overall, 16-4 Road), and game one ended with a Salem 3-1 victory behind six strong innings from RHP Travis Lakins (W, 5-2). The P-Nats managed just five base runners in the loss, as they fell a season high 6.5 games behind the Lynchburg Hillcats.

The Red Sox got on the board in the top of the first inning on a peculiar play. After SS Mauricio Dubon tripled, RF Mike Meyers struck out on a pitch on the dirt. After Potomac catcher Raudy Read threw to first, Dubon broke for the plate and scored before 1B Jose Marmolejos’ return got to Read. Salem led 1-0 after half an inning and maintained that lead behind Lakins until the fifth frame.

Lakins faced just two over the minimum threw the first four innings, but gave up two doubles in a span of three hitters in the fifth. 2B Bryan Mejia led off the home half of the fifth with a double and scored two batters later on DH Grant DeBruin’s second RBI double in as many games. The two doubles tied the game, but Lakins stranded the Potomac DH at second base.

In his eighth start of the season, RHP Luis Reyes (L, 3-3) was solid through five innings, but ran into trouble with walks in the sixth. Reyes walked Dubon to begin the frame, before Potomac RF Dale Carey made a catch of the year candidate to rob Meyers of an RBI double. After a balk by Reyes, his second of the night, 1B Nick Longhi walked. With two on, CF Danny Mars had an RBI double, which plated Dubon, the eventual winning run. 3B Rafael Devers followed with a sacrifice fly, as Salem led 3-1 after 5.5 innings, the eventual final score.

The Salem starter pitched through six frames, as Lakins struck out six and did not walk a batter in his fifth victory of the season. RHP Ben Taylor (SV, 2) entered to start the sixth inning and allowed just one base runner over three-shutout innings. Taylor retired the side in order in the seventh, allowed a leadoff single to DeBruin in the eighth but stranded him at third, and set down the side in order in the ninth. Taylor struck out five in the three-inning save.

Out of the Potomac bullpen, RHP Mario Sanchez, RHP Robert Benincasa, and LHP Justin Thomascombined to pitch 3.2 innings of shutout, one-hit relief. The trio kept the P-Nats in the game, but Potomac’s offense could not get going in the loss, as they tallied just five hits.

The teams will be back at it Wednesday night, as RHP Phillips Valdez (4-2, 4.31) will get the ball for Potomac. LHP Jalen Beeks (4-1, 3.10) is set to start for the Red Sox. First pitch at Pfitzner Stadium is set for 7:05.

Hagerstown Suns (Low-A South Atlantic):

May 23:

Ryan Ripken hit his first home run of the year, and the Hagerstown Suns defeated the Lakewood BlueClaws 7-4 on Monday night to snap a four-game losing streak and take over first place in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division. At 27-16, the Suns have a half-game lead over the Hickory Crawdads (27-17).

Hagerstown went up 4-0 with a four-run fourth against Lakewood starter Jose Taveras (1-3). With two outs, Jakson Reetz hit a two-run double, and Ripken followed with a two-run blast to right-center field. That helped make a winner out of Suns starter Pedro Avila (3-2), who allowed two hits and three walks while striking out five in five shutout innings.

After Lakewood (16-27) scored three in the eighth against reliever Taylor Guilbeau to cut its deficit to 4-3, Hagerstown answered with three runs in the ninth. Edwin Lora led off the ninth for the Suns with a double and scored on a out-single by Max Schrock. After Kelvin Gutierrez drew a two-out walk, Matthew Page capped the rally with a two-run double.

The BlueClaws scored a run in the ninth against Mariano Rivera, who pitched two innings to earn his third save. Schrock, Ian Sagdal and Page each had two of Hagerstown’s 11 hits.

 

May 24:

Jefry Rodriguez pitched six innings of two-hit ball and two Hagerstown Suns relievers finished off a four-hit shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Lakewood BlueClaws on Tuesday. The Suns (28-16) remained in first place in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division by a half-game over Hickory, a 3-1 winner over Rome.

Rodriguez (4-2) walked one and struck out two while lowering his ERA to 3.25. Jorge Pantoja allowed two hits and struck out three in two innings of work, and Mick VanVossen earned his second save with a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out one.

 

Hagerstown could have won by more, finishing with 12 hits, but stranded 10 runners. Nonetheless, Edwin Lora’s two-run double in the fourth and Cody Dent’s RBI single in the sixth were more than enough with the Suns’ arms dominating. Ryan Ripken went 3-for-4 and Max Schrock, Jorge Tillero and Lora each had two hits. Tyler Gilbert (1-5) took the loss, allowing three runs on eight hits in six innings for the BlueClaws (16-28).

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