Washington Nationals Farm Report June 8-10

Courtesy of the Harrisburg Senators

Compiled via team press releases:

Syracuse Chiefs (AAA International League):

Matt de Dekker homered as part of a two-hit Wednesday night. (Kaimeng Yang | Syracuse Chiefs)

June 8:

The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Louisville Bats, 5-3, on Wednesday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Matt den Dekker went 2 for 4 with a solo home run in the loss.’

Louisville (30-29) scored the game’s opening run in the top of the first inning. With two outs, Scott Schebler hit a solo home run to right field off Jaron Long, to put the Bats on top 1-0. The home run was Schebler’s fourth on the year.

Syracuse (29-28) answered back in the bottom of the inning. Trea Turner led off with an infield single and advanced to second base on a throwing error by the pitcher, Cody Reed. The next batter, Steve Lombardozzi, making his first start of the season, singled to center field, driving in Turner to even the score 1-1.

The Chiefs got back on the board in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Matt Skole and Matt den Dekker hit back-to-back home runs to right field, handing Syracuse a 3-1 lead. It marked the first time the Chiefs hit back-to-back home runs since May 17th.

Louisville answered back in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs, Juan Perez hit a solo home run to right field off Long, cutting the Syracuse lead to 3-2. The solo shot marked the fourth of the game between both sides.

In the top of the sixth the Bats came back to even the score. With one out, Jesse Winker singled to center field, and Chris Berset followed with a base hit to right field.  The next batter, Perez, grounded out, advancing Winker to third base. With two outs, Reed hit an infield single to shortstop, plating Winker to knot the score.

The Bats re-took the lead in the top of the seventh inning.  Matt Belisle came on in relief of Long and Peraza greated him with a single to center field. Following a Schebler strikeout, Brandon Allen hit a line-drive single to left field, advancing Peraza to third base. With one out and runners on first and third, Seth Mejias-Brean hit into a force out at second base, scoring Peraza and giving Louisville a 4-3 advantage.

Louisville scored again in the top of the eighth. Sam Runion entered in relief of Belisle and struck out the lead off hitter, Berset. The next batter, Perez, tripled into right field, followed by back-to-back walks to pinch hitter Jermaine Curtis and Hernan Iribarren to load the bases. With one out, Peraza grounded into a fielder’s choice at the plate for the second out. With two outs, Runion exited in favor of left-hander, Bryan Harper. Following the pitching change, Schebler worked a walk, bringing across Curtis, handing Louisville the final 5-3 advantage.

June 9:

The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Louisville Bats, 3-2, Thursday night in the final game of a six-game homestand. The Chiefs ended up splitting the series with Louisville, heading into a six-game road trip with the Bats and Indianapolis Indians.


Syracuse (29-29) opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning against Dayan Diaz. With one out, Matt den Dekker singled, giving the Chiefs their first baserunner of the night. Scott Sizemore and Caleb Ramsey then earned back-to-back walks to load the bases for Pedro Severino. Severino laced a single to right field, plating den Dekker and giving the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. Syracuse starter Paolo Espino then came to the plate. Espino hit a ground ball to Louisville second baseman Jose Peraza, who threw to second for a force out. Shortstop Juan Perez’ throw to first was late, extending the inning and scoring Sizemore to give Syracuse a 2-0 lead.

Louisville (30-30) responded in the next half-inning. Hernan Iribarren started the frame with a soft single to center field. Scott Schebler then continued his solid series against the Chiefs by lining a single into right field, moving Iribarren all the way to third. Brandon Allen then drove an Espino fastball over the wall in right-center for a three-run homer, giving the Bats a 3-2 lead.

Paolo Espino finished his night on the mound after six innings. He gave up seven hits and three earned runs while striking out two and walking one. Abel De Los Santos, Bryan Harper and Nick Masset all worked a scoreless inning in relief for Syracuse.

For Louisville, Diaz threw just two innings in his spot start. He allowed two earned runs on two hits while striking out one. Matt Magill, Chad Rogers and Wandy Peralta all followed Diaz in relief on the mound. All three pitched two scoreless innings.

Jumbo Diaz entered in the ninth to earn the save for Louisville. He immediately ran into trouble, walking den Dekker and allowing a sacrifice bunt to Sizemore. Ramsey followed with a ground-ball single up the middle into center field. den Dekker, however, ran through Brian Daubach’s stop sign at third base and ended up in a rundown, where third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean tagged him out. Diaz recovered, striking out Severino to end the game.

June 10:

The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Indianapolis Indians, 5-4, Friday night at Victory Field. Matt Skole reached base four times, including a homer, double and single in the win. A.J. Cole was strong for Syracuse, striking out a season-high eight in six innings.

Syracuse (30-29) grabbed a first-inning lead thanks to Skole’s eighth home run of the year. After Indians starter Chad Kuhl hit Brian Goodwin with a pitch with two outs, Skole deposited a fastball over the right-field wall to give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead.

Goodwin helped tack on a third run in the fifth. Trea Turner doubled with one out and scored two batters later on Goodwin’s RBI double for a 3-0 lead. For both Turner and Goodwin it was their 14th double of the year.

Jason Martinson added to Syracuse’s lead in the sixth. Martinson hit an opposite-field home run, just clearing the 362-foot mark in right-center field for his fifth home run of the year and a 4-0 lead.

Indianapolis (31-30) finally got on the board in the sixth against Cole. Adam Frazier singled and Josh Bell walked to start the frame. Frazier’s hit marked the first time the Indians put the leadoff batter on in an inning. Two batters later, Danny Ortiz singled down the first-base line, scoring Frazier to make the score 4-1, with Bell moving to third on the play. Jacob Stallings then hit a ground ball to short and beat the throw to first on the double play attempt, allowing Bell to score to cut the deficit to two.
The Chiefs answered in the seventh. Goodwin and Skole each singled to start the frame against Kelvin Marte. Syracuse completed a double steal two batters later, moving runners to second and third. Then Goodwin scored on Martinson’s groundout to short for a 5-2 lead.
The Indians battled for two more runs in the bottom of the frame off Erik Davis. Max Moroff hit a ground-rule double to straight-away center with two outs. Frazier the singled home Moroff to bring Indianapolis within 5-3. After a walk, Willy Garcia drove in Frazier to bring the Indians within 5-4.  Aaron Laffey came into the game and walked pinch-hitter Jason Rogers, but got Stallings to ground out to keep the Chiefs up one.
That was as close as the Indians would get as Matt Belisle and Rafael Martin held Indianapolis scoreless in the eighth and ninth. Martin recorded his 12th save in 14 chances.
The Chiefs and Indians return to Victory Field Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Taylor Hill is scheduled to start for Syracuse opposite Tyler Glasnow for Indianapolis.
Harrisburg Senators (AA Eastern League):
June 8:

The Harrisburg Senators wasted an overpowering pitching performance from Reynaldo Lopez as the Hartford Yard Goats scored five runs off the bullpen to win 7-6. Harrisburg, who came into the game with the fewest home runs in the Eastern League, also hit four solo home runs in the losing effort.

For the second time in his last three starts, Lopez set a new career high in strikeouts as the right-hander set down 13 Yard Goat batters. The 22-year-old allowed two runs on five hits and a walk over seven innings.

But Hartford turned a 6-2 deficit into a one-run lead against the Senators’ bullpen in the eighth inning to change the fortunes of the game. Nick Lee loaded the bases on a hit batsman and two walks with no outs before yielding to John Simms.

Simms (3-3) induced a double play that scored a run, but ran into more trouble when he walked the next two Yard Goats to load the bases once again. One swing from Jackson Williams cleared the bases as the Hartford catcher deposited a pitch onto the boardwalk for a grand slam and the 7-6 lead.

Wilmer Difo, who hadn’t homered in his first 230 plate appearances this season, hit two solo shots for the Senators (30-27). Chris Bostick and Kevin Keyes also went yard as they became the first Senators to hit back-to-back home runs since July 10 of last season. Adrian Sanchez chipped in with a two-out, two-run single

June 9:

Three Hartford pitchers shut down the Harrisburg Senators’ offense on their way to a 6-0 series-clinching victory at FNB Field in front of 3,767 fans on Thursday night. The shutout was the third time the Senators (30-28) have been blanked this season.

Harrisburg starter Tyler Mapes endured a rough first inning as the third batter of the game, Pat Valaika, launched a two-run home run to give the Yard Goats the early lead. A fielding error by Wilmer Difo and two walks loaded the bases before Mapes worked out of the jam with two consecutive strikeouts.

The 24-year-old Harrisburg right-hander settled down nicely after that and traded zeroes with Hartford starter Antonio Senzatela. Mapes (5-4) went six innings, allowing just those two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out five.

Hartford padded their lead with three runs off reliever Derek Self in the top of the seventh inning. A Raimel Tapia solo home run just inside the left-field foul pole and a Ryan McMahon triple just out of the reach of right-fielder Isaac Ballou accounted for the Yard Goats’ runs.

They tacked on another insurance run off Robert Benincasa when a wild pitch scooted by catcher Brian Jeroloman. Benincasa, who made his 2016 Senators debut with the appearance, struck out two in his return to City Island. Michael Brady worked around a walk to toss a scoreless top of the ninth for Harrisburg.

Harrisburg’s offense was dormant as they mustered only five singles off the bats of Shawn Pleffner twice, Chris Bostick, Difo, and Mapes for the game. The Senators loaded the bases in the final frame with two outs but couldn’t cash in on their first opportunity with a baserunner on third base.

June 10:

Behind a dazzling start by top prospect Lucas Giolito, the Harrisburg Senators sent the Akron RubberDucks to their sixth straight loss, 6-2.

Harrisburg (31-28) raced out to an early lead with two runs in the second inning. Chris Bostick tripled home Neftali Soto all the way from first base and Shawn Pleffner delivered a two-out single up the middle to score Bostick. But Akron answered with two runs of their own in the top half of the third as the RubberDucks took advantage of two Senators’ errors.

Kevin Keyes gave the Senators the lead for good in the fourth when he followed a Bostick lead-off walk with his fourth home run of the season, and second in four games since returning from Triple-A Syracuse.

The two-run cushion was more than enough for Giolito (5-2) who settled down after the ‘Ducks had tied the game up. The 21-year-old dazzled over seven strong innings allowing two unearned runs on four hits and a walk. Giolito set a career-high with 12 strikeouts while picking up his fifth straight victory.

Harrisburg added two insurance runs of Akron reliever Casey Weather in the bottom of the seventh inning. A leadoff walk to Rafael Bautista, two throwing errors on the same play, and a passed ball did the damage for the Senators.

Koda Glover came on in relief of Giolito and dominated over two perfect innings with two strikeouts to secure the victory.

The Senators and RubberDucks clash in the second of their four-game weekend set on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. John Simms gets the spot start for Harrisburg against Akron’s Shawn Morimando.

Potomac Nationals (High-A Carolina League):

June 9:

A return back home did not provide much comfort out on the diamond for the Potomac Nationals (29-28 Overall, 13-13 Home), as a five game road losing streak ran to six games overall in a 6-3 loss Thursday night to the Frederick Keys (29-30 Overall, 17-11 Road). For the third consecutive game, the P-Nats brought the tying run to the plate in the final frame, but for the third straight game, came up short.

The game got off to a tough start for LHP Matthew Crownover (L, 0-2), as in his home debut, the lefty gave up a two-run home run to RF Conor Bierfeldt in the second inning. Already down 2-0, Crownover lost command of the strike zone in the third frame. Walks to LF Jay Gonzalez and DH Wynston Sawyer paired around a single by 2B Steve Wilkerson loaded the bases with one out. After Crownover induced an infield pop-up from 1B Aderlin Rodriguez, the lefty lost a seven-pitch battle with RF Conor Bierfeldt and walked home a run, which made it 3-0 Frederick.

Down 3-0 after 3.5 innings, Potomac cut the deficit to one on 3B Drew Ward’s two-run home run, Ward’s team best 10th home run of the season. After a single by C Raudy Read off of RHP Franderlin Romero (W, 3-0), Ward launched a 2-1 fastball over the wall in right field, as Potomac trailed 3-2 after four innings.

The Keys plated a much needed insurance run in the sixth, the eventual winning run, and then a pair of unearned insurance runs in the eighth. Crownover retired the leadoff man in the sixth inning before Bierfeldt singled to left field and the Potomac lefty walked 3B Jomar Reyes. The P-Nats went to RHP Gilberto Mendez out of the bullpen, and C Jonah Heim greeted the righty with a single to right field. CF Josh Hart drove home Bierfeldt and made it 4-2 before Mendez escaped any further damage.

With Mendez still on the hill in the eighth, a missed catch error on a potential inning-ending double play ball by 2B Bryan Mejia led to two Frederick runs. After Bierfeldt walked, Reyes grounded out to third base, but Mejia came off the bag before he got the ball from Ward, and his relay to first base was late. With two on and one out, Heim had an RBI double to right field, which knocked Mendez out of the game. LHP Justin Thomas allowed an inherited runner to score on an infield groundout by Hart and sent the game to the bottom of the eighth with Potomac down 6-2.

LHP Tanner Scott pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Romero for the Keys. Romero earned his second consecutive win vs. Potomac, as the righty allowed two runs over five innings, struck out seven, and did not walk a batter. Scott walked two and gave up a hit, but kept Potomac scoreless. RHP Michael Zouzalik worked a scoreless eighth frame before he ran into trouble in the ninth, almost solely due to poor defensive plays on the infield. CF Andrew Stevenson reached to start the inning on a throwing error by SS Erick Salcedo. After SS Osvaldo Abreu flied out to centerfield, 1B Jose Marmolejos reached on a throwing error by 2B Anthony Caronia. With men on the corners, Read had an RBI single to centerfield and brought the tying man at the plate in Ward. But the All-Star third baseman grounded into a game-ending double play.

In the loss, Potomac went just 1-10 with RISP and left 11 men on base. The top seven hitters in the Potomac lineup each had at least one hit, while Read, Ward, and RF Drew Vettleson each had a pair of hits. The victory for Frederick was just the second of the year in a game in which the Keys were outhit.

With a season high six straight losses, Potomac needs a victory Saturday night to stay above .500. First pitch at Pfitzner Stadium is set for 7:05pm.

June 10:

Without a win for more than a week, the Potomac Nationals (30-28 Overall, 13-13 Home) jumped on one of the top pitchers in the league in RHP Matthew Grimes (L, 7-3) for five earned runs over the first two innings. Potomac led off the bottom of the first with three straight extra base hits, as Potomac earned its sixth shutout of the season with a 6-0 win over the Frederick Keys (29-31 Overall, 17-12 Road).

In his return from the Temporary Inactive List, RHP Boone Whiting (W, 6-2) dazzled over 6.2 innings of two-hit baseball. Whiting had five 1-2-3 innings and at one point retired 15 consecutive hitters. Whiting gave up an infield single to 1B Aderlin Rodriguez in the second inning and a single to 3B Jomar Reyes in the seventh. His lone walk came in the seventh inning, as the righty struck out a season high six.

The Potomac offense broke out early and gave Whiting plenty of room to work with. Grimes, who entered the game second in the Carolina League with a 1.08 ERA, gave up an extra base hit to each of the first three hitters that he faced. CF Andrew Stevenson led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple to right field, SS Osvaldo Abreu followed with an RBI triple to centerfield, and 1B Jose Marmolejos made it 2-0 with an RBI double to right field. Grimes then got three straight groundouts to end the inning, but struggled again in the second inning.

Grimes faced eight batters in the second frame, as Potomac plated three more runs and made it 5-0.RF Drew Vettleson led off the frame with a single and stole second base. On ball four to 2B David Masters, Vettleson stole third base. With men on the corners, DH Khayyan Norfork made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly. With two outs, Abreu walked, and with two on, Marmolejos had a two-out RBI single. C Raudy Read followed with another two-out RBI base hit, as Potomac led 5-0 after two innings.

The P-Nats capped off the scoring vs. RHP Austin Urban out of the Frederick bullpen. 3B Drew Ward had a two-out double vs. Urban, and LF Alec Keller followed with Potomac’s third two-out RBI hit of the game. Keller’s team best 38th RBI made it 6-0 Potomac, the eventual final.

Out of the Potomac bullpen, RHP Wirkin Estevez made his first relief appearance since 2011. The righty retired seven of the eight hitters that he faced, as only DH Wynston Sawyer reached via a walk over 2.1 innings of shutout relief.

In the victory, seven different Potomac hitters had at least one hit, while Marmolejos had three hits and two RBIs. Whiting improved to 2-0 in his three starts vs. the Keys and now has an ERA of 0.48 vs. Frederick (1 ER/18.2 IP).

Coming off of the victory, the P-Nats will play host to a doubleheader Saturday evening at Pfitzner Stadium vs. the Keys. First pitch of game one is set for 5:00pm, as gates will open at 4:30pm. Game two will start approximately 30 minutes after game one concludes.

Hagerstown Suns (Low-A south Atlantic League):

June 8: @ Asheville L 8-10

June 9: vs. Lexington W 2-1

June 10: vs. Lexington W 4-3



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