Washington Nationals Farm Report June 21: Future Nats shine in All Star Games

Compiled via team press releases:

Syracuse Chiefs (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs split a doubleheader with the Pawtucket Red Sox Tuesday night at McCoy Stadium. Syracuse held on for a 3-2 win in game two after falling 2-0 in game one.

Pawtucket (38-34) started game one scoring in the fourth against A.J. Cole when Justin Maxwell walked with one out. Henry Ramos and Ryan Court each followed with singles to load the bases. Jantzen Witte then knocked the third single in a row to score Maxwell and give the PawSox a 1-0 lead.

The PawSox added an insurance run in the sixth. Chris Marrero singled and scored on Maxwell’s double for a 2-0 Red Sox lead.

Syracuse (32-38) was held hitless by Henry Owens through the first six and one-third innings. The lefty did walk three and struck out four. But Owens lost the no hitter with one out in the seventh. Matt Skole singled to right field, but Owens retired the next two batters with a pop out and strike out for a one-hit shutout and 2-0 PawSox win.

In game two, Syracuse got on the board first. Matt den Dekker was hit by a Robby Scott pitch in the second. Jhonatan Solano followed with a single to the right-center field gap, deep enough to score den Dekker for a 1-0 Chiefs lead.

Syracuse added two more in the fourth. Skole singled and Martinson doubled with one out. After a strikeout, Chandler Shepherd came into the game in relief of Scott. After Shepherd walked Solano, Tony Campana grounded a single through the right side to score two runs and give the Chiefs a 3-0 lead.

The PawSox bounced right back in the bottom of the frame. Marrero walked to start the inning against Aaron Laffey. Bryce Brentz then doubled to put runners on second and third. After a strikeout, the Chiefs turned to Erik Davis out of the bullpen. Davis walked Court to load the bases and then struck out Chris Dominguez. With two outs, former Chief Dan Butler came through with a two-run single to bring Pawtucket within one.

In the sixth, Koda Glover made his Chiefs debut pitching a 1-2-3 inning. Rafael Martin allowed two hits in the seventh, but got Mike Miller to bounce into a double play to end the game.

Syracuse and Pawtucket return to McCoy Stadium Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Taylor Hill is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Aaron Wilkerson for the PawSox.

Harrisburg Senators (AA Eastern League): Chris Bostick hit his sixth home run of the year, and the Harrisburg Senators finished with nine hits, but fell 10-4 in the first of a three-game series with the Portland Sea Dogs on Tuesday night at Hadlock Field.

Bostick’s home run in the seventh inning over the Maine Monster in left field was his second extra base hit of the evening as he also laced his eighth triple of the season in the second inning. Bostick is tied for the Eastern League lead in triples with Austin Meadows, who was promoted from Altoona to AAA Indianapolis last week.

Isaac Ballou pitched in a pair of RBI singles for the Senators while Rafael Bautista was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.

The Senators (37-32) fell behind 9-2 after three innings as Portland scored nine runs (eight earned) on 10 hits against Harrisburg starter Tyler Mapes. Derek Self followed with 1.1 scoreless innings.

Michael Brady retired the first seven batters he faced before allowing a pair of hits and a run in his third inning of work. Brady struck out four. Robert Benincasa finished off the game for Harrisburg, throwing a scoreless eighth inning. In all, the Senators’ bullpen allowed a run on two hits in 5.1 innings.

The the second game of the series will begin Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. as Lucas Giolito takes the hill against Portland’s Keith Couch. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1460 AM, on the internet at senatorsbaseball.com, or through the TuneIn and iHeart Radio apps with The Matt LeCroy Show beginning the radio broadcast at 6:45 p.m.

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Potomac Nationals (High-A Carolina League): From milb.com:

The California League hosted a spectacle at its annual All-Star showdown with the Carolina League on Tuesday. But thanks largely to a Nationals prospect and several Indians prospects, the visitors stole the show.

Eighth-ranked Nationals prospect Andrew Stevenson claimed MVP honors by going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI triples and two runs scored as the Carolina League held on for a 6-4 victory over the Cal League before a crowd of 4,535 at The Diamond.

“It was a cool experience. I’ve never been to California, so it was cool to see other guys from across the country,” Stevenson said. “Today was about having fun, playing with guys you don’t get to normally play with, so I was just relaxed in the box. The results, in the end, they don’t really matter, but they also kind of do — they’re something you can look at. I was just trying to have fun.”

Greg Allen, the Indians’ 22nd-ranked prospect, played the catalyst all night with three runs scored, while Lynchburg Hillcats teammate and third-ranked Indians prospect Bobby Bradley homered. Another Hillcat, Julian Merryweather, started for the visitors and turned in a 1-2-3 opening frame, striking out the first batter he saw.

“That’s what it’s all about, going out there and enjoy the game,” said Merryweather, a 24-year-old right-hander. “It’s a great honor to be out there, so it was nice to get a good outing.”

Allen, a San Diego native, was a spark plug for the Carolina League from the outset. The speedy outfielder opened the game with a walk, stole swiped second base on the next pitch and stole third on the following one. Mauricio Dubon knocked him in with a sacrifice fly for the first of two RBIs for the12th-ranked Red Sox prospect.

“You just try to be aggressive,” Allen said. “You try to take the opportunity when it’s presented to you. Luckily, [Padres prospect Chris Huffman] wasn’t exceptionally quick to the plate, which gave me a chance to try to steal some bags, and I was fortunate enough to have it work out.

“Obviously, when you come into a game like this, some playing time can be limited, so you’re not always sure the impact you’re going to be able to make. … Just to be able to contribute was huge.”

Allen reached on a one-out infield single in the fifth and a fielder’s choice in the seventh, scoring both times on triples by Stevenson.

“I was expecting a fastball. [Giants prospect Reyes Moronta] threw one elevated and I was able to put a pretty good swing on it,” Stevenson said of the first triple, which the left-handed hitter sent to left-center.

Two innings later, he slugged a pitch from D-backs prospect Bud Jeter to center.

“Once you kind of get going,” Stevenson said, “you’re thinking three if the ball’s in the gap.”

Bradley, who leads the Carolina League with 15 homers, started the fourth by belting a long blast to right-center field off No. 16 Rockies prospect Ryan Castellani.

“Oh, my gosh, that might be the best one all year, to be honest,” Merryweather said.

Bradley wasn’t sure.

“That very well could be the case,” he said. “I don’t really know how far it went or how far my other ones went, but that could very well be the case.”

Two more Lynchburg players — Indians No. 5 prospect Justus Sheffield and catcher prospect Daniel Salters — shut down the California League in the sixth. Stockton’s James Harris led off the inning with a single, but Salters threw him out trying to steal second. When Bobby Boyd, also of the Ports, tried to steal after walking, Salters nailed him, too. Sheffield got Giants prospect Tim Arakawa to fly to center field to end the frame.

The Cal League scored three in the ninth and brought the potential winning run to the plate, with three Giants fueling the rally. Arakawa singled to right off Braves prospect Evan Phillips and C.J. Hinojosa and fifth-ranked San Francisco prospect Chris Shaw followed with back-to-back RBI doubles.

“That was awesome,” Arakawa said. “I’m glad I got to get on base for them, and then C.J. smashed that double in the gap and started a little rally, got us going again. It made the game fun. The whole thing was good fun, but that last inning, we were really getting back into it.”

Lancaster’s Garrett Stubbs added an RBI double with two outs, but Myrtle Beach’s Trevor Clifton ended the game by getting Harris to fly to Allen in center field.

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Hagerstown Suns (Low-A South Atlantic League): From milb.com:

Second baseman Max Schrock had never played a game at Whitaker Bank Ballpark until Tuesday night’s South Atlantic League All-Star Game.

Now he can’t wait to play here again after delivering two RBI hits to lead the North Division to a 2-1 victory over the South in a game that was dominated by pitching — the two teams had a combined 22 strikeouts. Both teams used 11 pitchers.

The 13th-round Washington pick drove in the first run with with a double to right field and his second with a single to left in the fifth before exiting the game.

“This atmosphere was awesome,” Schrock said. “It was a good night to play and I don’t know how big the crowd was, but it was loud and great.”

After several hard downpours early in the afternoon, it turned into a near perfect night for baseball as 8,126 fans turned out for the game that started about 43 minutes late due to the afternoon weather.

The Suns second baseman came into the game hitting .372 in his last 10 games and .327 overall with 33 RBIs.

“I’ve been swinging well and just wanted to keep doing that,” said Schrock, who was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

The North got to South starter P.J. Conlon, who came into the game with an 8-1 record and an 1.84 ERA for Columbia, in the first inning. Schrock’s Hagerstown teammate Victor Robles singled up the middle, stole second and scored on the MVP’s opposite-field double. Conlon regrouped to get the next three outs, including a strikeout of Lakewood’s Jose Pujols to end the inning.

“I had two strikes and was just looking for a pitch to hit. I knew we had a quick runner on second and if I just got a hit, he would score,” Schrock said.The South, who had five hits all game, mounted its first scoring threat in the fourth when Asheville’s Brian Mundell and Greenville’s Josh Ockimey collected one-out singles off Hagerstown’s Jefry Rodriguez. However, he struck out Colorado’s top prospect Brendan Rodgers and induced Asheville’s Sam Hilliard to ground to first to end the inning.

Hickory’s Yeyson Yrizarri and West Virginia’s Daniel Arribas opened the fifth with singles for the North. Arribas was thrown out stealing second and Charleston’s Christian Morris struck out Robles, but Schrock picked up his second RBI with a soft line-drive single.

“That was a 2-0 pitch and I was looking for something to drive,” he said. “I saw it was up and I got a good swing. I didn’t exactly drive it, but it was good enough.”

Greenville’s Mitchell Gunsolus collected one-out double for the South in the fifth, but North pitcher Erik Swanson of Hickory struck out Augusta’s Matt Winn and Columbia’s Vinny Siena.

The fans got a look at relief pitcher Mariano Rivera in the seventh when he easily retired the South on two fly balls and a strikeout of Gunsolus with his father, former New York Yankees closer and 13-time All-Star Mariano Rivera, looking on the stands.

Greenville’s Austin Rei got the South on the scoreboard with a no-doubt homer to left leading off the bottom of the eighth. Didder lined a shot to right that Soto tracked down at the wall to keep the North on top.

Delmarva’s Garrett Cleavinger hit Mundell and Ockimey with pitches, he induced Greenville’s Luis Alejandro Basabe to ground to second base to end the inning. Greensboro closer C.J. Robinson of Greensboro got three quick outs in the bottom of the ninth to close out the game.

North starter Mitch Keller of West Virginia picked up the victory. He struck out two in a perfect first frame.

“I thought when we got up, 2-0, we were in good shape,” Schrock said. “All the pitchers were throwing so well that I just thought that would be enough to do it for us and it was.”

 

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Doubledays right-hander Weston Davis threw five innings of one-hit baseball on Tuesday night at Falcon Park. (Glenn Gaston)

Auburn Doubledays (Short Season-A New York Penn League): The Auburn Doubledays won their second series of the 2016 season with a 5-0 win over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on Tuesday night at Falcon Park. Doubledays starting pitcher Weston Davis retired 15 straight batters in five innings of work to earn the win.

For the second straight game, the Doubledays (4-1) scored in the first inning. Blake Perkins led the inning off with a single. Daniel Johnson then reached base on a fielder’s choice where Perkins was thrown out at second base. Mahoning Valley (1-4) right-hander Ryan Colegate walked Sheldon Neuse to put runners on first and second. After a Ryan Ripken line out to right field, Randy Encarnacion singled to left field. Johnson scored from second and Neuse scored while Encarnacion was stuck in a rundown between first and second base as the Doubledays took a 2-0 lead.

Auburn extended its lead in the third inning. Perkins reached base on a throwing error by shortstop Luke Wakamatsu. Perkins then advanced to third on a Daniel Johnson single. Neuse followed with a triple, scoring Perkins and Johnson to give the Doubledays a 4-0 lead. Two batters later, Encarnacion collected his second RBI of the game with a single to center field that scored Neuse to extend Auburn’s lead to 5-0.

Doubledays pitchers combined to allow only two hits while striking out eight batters. Over the last two games, Auburn has only allowed one run. In four wins this season, the Doubledays are allowing less than a run per game.

Auburn now goes on the road for the first time this season. The Doubledays will travel to Aberdeen to begin a three-game series against the IronBirds on Wednesday night. Right-hander Carlos Acevedo will make his first start of the season for the Doubledays. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from Aberdeen.

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