Washington Nationals Farm Report May 26

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Courtesy of the Harrisburg Senators

Compiled via team press releases:

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Matt Skole smashed his fifth home run of the season on Friday. (Herm Card | Syracuse Chiefs

Syracuse Chiefs (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Charlotte Knights, 6-5, in the final game of a three-game-set at NBT Bank Stadium Thursday night. Matt Skole, who hit a two-run home run earlier in the game, was thrown out at home plate in the ninth inning with one out by Leury Garcia. The Chiefs next begin an eight-game road trip at Gwinnett Friday.

Syracuse (24-21) opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning. With two outs and no runners on base, Matt den Dekker hit his third double of the series, this time off Knights starter Anthony Ranaudo. The next batter, Skole, followed with a long home run into right-center-field, giving the Chiefs a 2-0 lead. The home run was Skole’s fifth, leading the team.

Charlotte (24-24) answered right back in the top of the fifth. Nicky Delmonico began the inning with a line-drive double to right field. Leury Garcia followed with a base-hit bunt, with Delmonico scoring from second on a throwing error from Chiefs starter Taylor Hill. Garcia moved to second on the throwing error and advanced to third base on an Omar Narvaez groundout in the next at-bat. Shortstop Tim Anderson then doubled down the left-field line, plating Garcia and evening the score at 2-2.

The Chiefs got back on the board in the bottom of the frame. Caleb Ramsey led off with a double to center field. With one out, Pedro Severino singled to left field, advancing Ramsey to third base. Jose Lozada followed with a sacrifice bunt, scoring Ramsey, while moving Severino to second base. The next batter, Trea Turner, hit a line-drive single to right field, scoring Severino, to give Syracuse a 4-2 advantage.

Charlotte then scored in both the top of the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, Danny Hayes hit a home run to right field off Hill, narrowing the Chiefs’ lead to 4-3. The home run was Hayes’ sixth on the year.

In the top of the seventh with one out, Narvaez and Anderson hit back-to-back singles off Chiefs’ reliever Abel De Los Santos, putting runners on first and second. Carlos Sanchez then grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Narvaez advancing to third base on the out.  J.B. Shuck followed with another Knights’ RBI base-hit bunt, plating Narvaez to even the game.

Charlotte then captured its first lead of the night in the top of the eighth. Chiefs reliever Nick Masset began the inning with a leadoff walk to Hayes. Jason Coats followed with a sacrifice bunt, advancing Hayes to second base. After a Delmonico strikeout, Masset intentionally walked Garcia, putting runners on first and second with two outs. The following batter, Narvaez, hit a double to center field, bringing across Hayes and Garcia, to give the Knights a 6-4 advantage.

The Chiefs wouldn’t go quietly, though, rallying in the bottom of the ninth. Matt den Dekker led off with a single to right field, advancing to second base on a wild pitch from reliever Brad Goldberg. A Skole walk followed by a Jason Martinson sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out. The next batter, Ramsey, singled to center field, scoring den Dekker. Skole, however, was thrown out at the plate on a perfect strike from center field by Garcia to keep the score at 6-5. Tony Campana then pinch-hit for Kevin Keyes, but grounded out to first base, ending the game.

Syracuse goes on the road Friday for the first of a three-game series against Gwinnett. Aaron Laffey is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite right-hander Aaron Blair for the Braves. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.

Harrisburg Senators (AA Eastern League): For a second straight game, the Harrisburg Senators won with the rarely seen walk-off walk in a 5-4 decision over the Portland Sea Dogs in front of a big crowd of 5,823 at FNB Field on Thursday afternoon.

Brian Jeroloman started the ninth inning with a walk, which was followed by a sacrifice bunt by Adrian Sanchez, and then three consecutive walks – capped off by a bases loaded, four-pitch walk by Isaac Ballou to win the game.

The walk-off win was Harrisburg’s fourth of the season overall, and a second straight by walk-off walk. The Senators (24-21) are now a season-high three games over .500.

For a third consecutive start, the Senators’ Austen Williams went at least six innings as he allowed four runs on five hits in his six innings of work Thursday. Portland’s Ryan Court did a majority of the damage against Williams as he hit an RBI triple in each of his first two at-bats before tying the game 4-4 with a solo home run in the sixth inning. John Simms continued his stellar pitching out of the Senators’ bullpen as he threw two scoreless innings to keep the game tied into the ninth inning. Despite allowing a leadoff single in the ninth to Portland’s Cole Sturgeon, who advanced to third with two outs, Koda Glover threw another scoreless inning for the Senators.

Harrisburg needed just one hit to score four runs in the first two innings. Rafael Bautista and Wilmer Difo each walked to begin the bottom of the first inning before successfully completing a double steal to put runners at second and third with nobody out. Isaac Ballou and Neftali Soto each followed with RBI groundouts to tie the game 2-2 after one inning. Then in the second inning, Jeroloman walked with two outs and was driven in on an RBI double by Sanchez, who scored on an error by Portland pitcher Ty Buttrey.

The Senators travel to Akron tonight to begin a four-game series with the Eastern League-leading Rubberducks with Jaron Long on the hill.

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Courtesy of the Potomac Nationals

Potomac Nationals (High-A Carolina League): It was not the cleanest game, but Thursday night’s matchup between the Potomac Nationals (24-20 Overall, 10-10 Home) and Salem Red Sox (31-16 Overall, 16-6 Road) turned into a slugfest at Pfitzner Stadium. The teams combined for 16 hits and 15 runs in Potomac’s 9-6 series-clinching victory. Neither starting pitcher made it through four innings, Potomac LF Alec Keller had five RBIs, and Potomac had 10 hits for a second straight night in its second consecutive victory.

After the P-Nats fell behind in the top of the first inning in each of the first two games of the series, they nearly fell behind in the first Thursday night. For the first time in 2016, the P-Nats saw their opponents bat out of order and get run out of a potential bases loaded situation. After RF Danny Mars singled and loaded the bases, Potomac manager Tripp Keister called out Brock Ballou and presented the home plate umpire with a lineup card, which featured 3B Rafael Devers batting fifth, despite Mars hitting in that spot. Mars’ single was erased, Devers was charged with a putout, and Potomac escaped the first inning.

After the strange top of the first, LHP Dedgar Jimenez (L, 2-3) quickly retired the first two Potomac batters that he faced. Jimenez then walked three straight, before Keller’s two RBI single put Potomac ahead 2-0. That lead lasted until the top of the third, when four straight reached against Potomac RHP Wirkin Estevez (ND). An RBI single by 1B Nick Longhi cut the deficit to one, and a three-run home run by Devers put Salem on top 4-2.

Potomac then used four straight hits in the fourth against Jimenez to go ahead 6-4. SS Osvaldo Abreu plated a pair with a bases loaded single, and 1B Jose Marmolejos followed with an RBI double. Jimenez departed after 3.2 innings and was charged with five earned runs. The lefty walked five and gave up six hits in the loss.

Out of the Salem bullpen, RHP Jamie Callahan struggled nearly as much as Jimenez. 2B David Masters had a two-out RBI single for Potomac in the fifth, and Callahan loaded the bases with one out on three walks in the sixth, before RHP Taylor Grover allowed a bases-clearing double to Keller. Keller’s five RBIs tied the Potomac 2016 single game high. Potomac led 9-5 after six innings. Callahan was charged with four earned runs in 1.2 innings.

RHP Matthew Spann (W, 1-0) gave up only one run and two hits over three innings in relief of Estevez. Spann walked Mars to begin the top of the sixth, and Mars later scored on an RBI fielder’s choice groundout by C Ben Moore. RHP Dakota Bacus came in for the seventh inning and gave up a one-out triple to LF Mike Meyers. Longhi’s RBI groundout plated Salem’s sixth and final run of the game. Bacus retired the final five that he faced, which included three straight strikeouts in the eighth. LHP RC Orlan (SV, 5) retired the side in order in the ninth to secure Potomac’s victory.

Potomac drew nine walks, the second most they have drawn as a club this season. Potomac’s pitchers issued seven walks, which tied a season high. Keller, Marmolejos, Abreu, and Masters each had multiple hits, while six of Potomac’s nine starters drew at least one free pass. The P-Nats went 6-13 with men in scoring position in the win. Potomac pitching held Boston’s top prospect 2B Yoan Moncada to just two hits in the series, as he finished the set 2-14 with a walk.

Off of the series win, the P-Nats will welcome the Winston-Salem Dash to Pfitzner Stadium for the first time in 2016. First pitch Friday night is at 7:05, as RHP Greg Ross (1-2, 1.50) will make his third start of the season for Potomac. He is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA over 9.1 innings in his first two starts. For the Dash, RHP Matt Cooper (2-3, 3.88) will take the hill. Potomac tallied six earned runs on seven hits over four innings vs. Cooper on May 16th.

Hagerstown Suns (Low-A South Atlantic League): The way Hagerstown starting pitcher Matt DeRosier cruised through the first five innings Thursday night at Municipal Stadium, it appeared that the Suns were on their way to a stress-free victory in the South Atlantic League.

But the rest of the way was an adventure as Hagerstown survived some shoddy bullpen work in a 9-8 victory over the Lexington Legends.

After DeRosier limited Lexington (19-27) to three hits and no runs in five innings, staking the Suns to a 3-0 lead, the Legends busted loose, collecting nine hits and eight runs in the final four innings off three ineffective Suns relievers.

When Mick VanVossen got the game’s final out — inducing a popout from Ben Johnson to earn his third save of the year — Hagerstown (29-17) breathed a sigh of relief as it remained in first place in the Northern Division of the SAL, holding a slim lead on the Hickory Crawdads (28-19) and Delmarva Shorebirds (27-19).

Kelvin Gutierrez was the offensive standout for Hagerstown. His bases-loaded, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Suns the lead for good. Four innings earlier, he had another two-run single.

Jakson Reetz also had a two-run single. Coming in the bottom of the seventh it provided some needed insurance, along with an RBI hit by Rhett Wiseman. Mike Hill was the offensive star for Lexington, going 4-for-4 and keying the Legends’ rally.

In the sixth inning off Suns reliever Tommy Peterson (3-1), Hill singled and eventually scored on a two-out double by Samir Duenez. In the seventh, Hill hit a two-out double off Peterson which scored Tanner Stanley with the tying run.

In the ninth inning off Mariano Rivera, Hill’s single touched off a two-run rally which made for some anxious moments for Hagerstown.

It wasn’t all good for Hill, however, as his two errors in the seventh inning paved the way for Hagerstown to score five unearned runs and make starting pitcher Emilio Ogando (4-3) a tough-luck loser. Travis Maezes hit a two-run home run for Lexington in the eighth inning. The four-game series resumes on Fireworks Friday, Andrew Lee (2-1, 3.89 ERA) of the Suns opposing Scott Blewett (2-4, 4.74 ERA) of the Legends.

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