Washington Nationals Farm Report May 25

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Courtesy of the Potomac Nationals

Compiled via team press releases:

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Jhonatan Solano drove in a triple-A-best five runs on Wednesday (Kaimeng Yang | Syracuse Chiefs)

Syracuse Chiefs (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs picked up a series victory over the Charlotte Knights with an 8-3 victory Wednesday night. The Chiefs can sweep the series with a win on Thursday night. Jhonatan Solano drove in five RBIs on two hits in the game.

Charlotte (23-24) scored first in the game. Danny Hayes led of the second inning with a double to the right-center gap off of Syracuse starter A.J. Cole. After Jason Coats walked, Nicky Delmonico turned on a fastball and shot a single into right, plating Hayes for a 1-0 Knights lead. The single was Delmonico’s first in a Charlotte uniform after being promoted to Triple-A on Tuesday.

Syracuse (24-20) answered in the bottom half of the second against Charlotte starter Chris Volstad. With one out, Scott Sizemore lofted a 2-0 pitch to deep right field, which fell into the Family Fun Park for a solo home run, tying the game at 1-1. Jason Martinson followed the shot with a single. Caleb Ramsey then walked, putting Chiefs on first and second for Jhonatan Solano. Solano hit a single of his own, scoring Martinson to give Syracuse a 2-1 lead. The throw home went awry, letting Ramsey and Solano to move up to third and second, respectively. Tony Campana then drove in his first run of 2016, plating Ramsey with a groundout to second, giving the Chiefs a 3-1 lead.

Syracuse tallied again in the fifth. With two outs, Matt den Dekker tripled to the left-center-field gap. Matt Skole followed the shot with a single to right which scored den Dekker, giving the Chiefs a 4-1 lead.

The Chiefs tacked on another run in the next frame. Martinson led off the sixth with a single, and later reached second with his third stolen base of the season. After Ramsey’s groundout moved Martinson to third, Solano came up to bat with another RBI opportunity. The catcher topped a grounder to third, Martinson scored on the play, and the Syracuse lead moved to 5-1.

A.J. Cole finished his night after six innings of work. Cole scattered five hits, allowing only one earned run and a walk while striking out two. Matt Grace entered the game in the seventh. The first batter he faced was Jason Bourgeois, who drove a double to left. Omar Narvaez followed up with a groundout, moving Bourgeois to third. Tim Anderson followed with another groundout which scored Bourgeois to cut the Syracuse lead to 5-2.

The Chiefs piled on insurance runs in the eighth. With Tyler Barnette on the mound for Charlotte, Skole started the inning with a double. Sizemore was then hit by a pitch, putting the first two runners aboard. Martinson followed with a groundout, moving Skole to third and Sizemore to second. An intentional walk to Ramsey put Solano at the plate. Solano seized the opportunity, doubling into the right-center-field alley, plating all three Chiefs runners for a 8-2 lead.

The Chiefs and Knights meet again Thursday in the series finale. Taylor Hill is scheduled to pitch for Syracuse opposite Anthony Ranaudo for Charlotte. First pitch is set for 6:35.

Harrisburg Senators (AA Eastern League): A pitcher’s duel by Lucas Giolito and Justin Haley was decided by the bullpens as the Senators used a ninth-inning rally to top the Portland Sea Dogs, 2-1, in front of 2,345 fans at FNB Field.

Zach Collier led off the final frame against Portland reliever Luis Ysla with a single up the middle. After a sacrifice bunt by Spencer Kieboom, the Senators (23-21) used patience at the plate against the suddenly wild Ysla. Consecutive walks to Shawn Pleffner and Cutter Dykstra loaded the bases and brought Adrian Sanchez to the plate. Sanchez watched four straight pitches out of the zone for the walk-off walk and game-winning RBI.

Portland wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard as they got to Giolito for a run in the first inning. Sean Coyle doubled and with Andrew Benintendi at the plate, Coyle took off for third and kept going as Benintendi grounded into the Senators’ shift in shallow right field.

An inning later the Senators evened the score as Collier tripled to lead off the frame and Kieboom singled down the right field line to drive him in. Kieboom was erased as a baserunner, however, as the catcher was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double.

Giolito went seven strong innings, his longest outing of the season, but earned the no decision for his efforts. The 21-year-old allowed one run on four hits and one walk while striking out six. The Sea Dogs threatened in the top of the ninth as they loaded the bases, but Bryan Harper induced a 6-4 fielder’s choice to get out of the inning unscathed and earn the victory.

A Thursday matinee is the last chance to catch the Sea Dogs at FNB Field as the two teams conclude the series at 10:30 a.m. Harrisburg will send Austen Williams to the mound looking for his second straight victory against Portland’s Ty Buttrey.

Potomac Nationals (High-A Carolina League): Courtesy of two home runs, the Potomac Nationals (23-20 Overall, 9-10 Home) leveled their first 2016 series with the league leading Salem Red Sox (31-15 Overall, 16-5 Road) with a 5-2 victory. 1B Jose Marmolejos hit a two-run home run in the first inning off of Salem LHP Jalen Beeks (L, 4-2), and CF Andrew Stevenson led off the bottom of the third inning with his first home run of the season. RHP Phillips Valdez (W, 5-2) did not allow an earned run or walk a batter over six innings in the Potomac win.

For the second straight night, the Red Sox struck in the top of the first inning. 2B Yoan Moncada led off the game against Valdez with a single and moved to second base on a fielder’s choice groundout by SS Mauricio Dubon, paired with a fielding error by Potomac 2B Bryan Mejia. RF Mike Meyers followed with a groundout, which allowed Moncada to get to third base, and 1B Nick Longhi made it 1-0 Salem with a sacrifice fly, his team-leading 31st RBI of the season.

Just as quickly as the Red Sox had scored, the P-Nats offense came alive. After SS Osvaldo Abreu singled against Beeks with one out in the first inning, Marmolejos launched his sixth home run of the season. It was the first home run that Beeks had allowed to a left-handed hitter in his first nine starts. Marmolejos’ home run made it 2-1 Potomac after one inning.

After both pitchers worked a scoreless second frame, both allowed a run in the third inning. Dubon reached with one out in the top of the frame on Mejia’s second error of the game, and went to third base on a single by Meyers. With Longhi at the plate, Meyers broke from second base, and on the throw from Potomac C Raudy Read, Dubon took off from third base. Mejia cut off the throw to second base but never made the throw back to the plate, as Salem pulled off the double steal and tied the game at two.

The tie lasted just a few pitches into the home half of the third inning, as Stevenson tallied his first home run of the season, the second left-handed batter to homer off of Beeks in the game. Stevenson’s leadoff home run, the eventual winning run, was the last run scored until the home half of the eighth inning.

Valdez was great over the quality outing, as both runs he allowed were unearned due to the two errors by Mejia. The righty struck out six in his fourth quality start of the season, all of which have come in his past five outings. Beeks also got credit for the quality start, but the two home runs led to just his second loss of the season.

Potomac capped off the scoring vs. RHP Mario Alcantara in the eighth inning. One-out walks to Abreu and Marmolejos put runners on first and second for Read. The Potomac catcher doubled into the right-centerfield gap and plated both runners, as the P-Nats led 5-2 after eight innings. Potomac RHP Matt Belisle pitched a scoreless seventh frame on rehab from the Washington Nationals and RHP Dakota Bacus struck out one in a scoreless eighth inning. RHP Ryan Brinley (SV, 7) walked one, but struck out Moncada and got Dubon to fly out to end the game and even the series.

In the loss, Salem left nine men on base and went just 1-12 with men in scoring position. Seven different Red Sox players had a single hit but no one had multiple hits. For Potomac, Abreu and Read each had three hits, part of a 10-hit night.

The teams are set to meet in the rubber match of the series Thursday night, as RHP Wirkin Estevez (0-3, 4.41) will get the start for Potomac. LHP Dedgar Jimenez (2-2, 5.75) is set to start for the Red Sox. First pitch at Pfitzner Stadium is scheduled for 7:05.

Hagerstown Suns (Low-A South Atlantic League): The Lakewood BlueClaws capitalized on both of Hagerstown’s errors Wednesday, scoring five unearned runs as they edged the Suns 9-8 to avoid a sweep in the finale of the three-game series.

Hickory also lost Wednesday as the first-place Suns (28-17) remain a half-game ahead of the Crawdads (28-18) in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division.

The BlueClaws (17-28) scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, all with two outs, to take a 9-5 lead. After RBI doubles by Wilson Garcia and Jan Hernandez put Lakewood up 6-5, a throwing error by Suns third baseman Kelvin Gutierez allowed two runs to score, before Jiandido Tromp capped the rally with an RBI double. Hagerstown made it a one-run game in the sixth on Austin Davidson’s three-run homer to right.

 

The Suns had runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth, but Jacob Waguespack, Lakewood’s third pitcher of the game, struck out Ryan Ripken to end it, earning his first save. Hagerstown took a 1-0 lead in the first against BlueClaws starter Luke Leftwich (4-2). Ian Sagdal led off with a double, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gutierrez. The Suns went up 2-0 in the second as Jakson Reetz doubled and scored on a single by Ripken. After Lakewood tied the game in the bottom of the second, Hagerstown went up 4-2 in the third on an RBI single by Matthew Page and a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Reetz.

 

The BlueClaws evened it at 4-4 in the bottom half, scoring two runs with two outs on a fielding error by second baseman Davidson. The Suns retook the lead at 5-4 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Sagdal, and Lakewood responded with its five-run rally in the bottom half against reliever Luis Torres (2-2).Rhett Wiseman went 3-for-4 with a double to lead Hagerstown’s 10-hit attack. The Suns face Lexington today at 7:05 at Municipal Stadium to begin a seven-game homestand

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