Washington Nationals Farm Report June 24

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Courtesy of the Potomac Nationals

Compiled via team press releases:

Syracuse (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Toledo Mud Hens, 3-0, on Friday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Jhonatan Solano and Matt den Dekker collected two hits apiece for the Chiefs in the loss.

Syracuse (34-39) starter Jaron Long held Toledo scoreless through the first five innings. The strong start extended Long’s scoreless innings streak to 12 innings, dating back to his last outing against Columbus. But Long was locked in a pitcher’s duel against Mud Hens starter Matt Crouse, who held the Chiefs scoreless through five as well.

Toledo (32-41) got on the board in the top of the sixth. Dixon Machado singled into right field with one out, followed by an Anthony Gose double to put runners on second and third. Casey McGehee then drove in Machado with a groundout to second base giving the Mud Hens a 1-0 advantage.

The Mud Hens then crossed the plate twice in the top of the seventh. Jacoby Jones led off with a double into left field and moved to third in the ensuing at-bat. John Hicks then drove home Jones with a single to left field. Dean Green followed with a double to right field, plating Hicks to give Toledo a 3-0 lead.

Long finished his night after seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out five. The right-hander did not walk a batter for the second consecutive start. On the Mud Hens side, Crouse wrapped-up his evening going seven scoreless innings giving up six hits with four strikeouts.

The Chiefs threatened in the bottom of the ninth against reliever Bobby Parnell, loading the bases with no outs. Jhonatan Solano and Matt den Dekker opened with back-to-back singles, followed by Scott Sizemore’s third walk of the night. Syracuse could not push across a run though as Caleb Ramsey struck out and Jason Martinson, pinch hitting for Jose Lozada, followed with a double-play groundout to end the game.

The two sides face-off again Saturday night. Paolo Espino is scheduled to take the mound for Syracuse against Thad Webber of Toledo. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. at NBT Bank Stadium.

Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): Harrisburg Senators starting pitcher Greg Ross turned in his fourth consecutive start of seven scoreless innings, but the Senators could not finish a fourth win for Ross as New Hampshire scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Harrisburg, 3-2, Friday at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

The Senators (38-33) suffered their first loss of the season when leading after eight innings. Harrisburg was previously 31-0 in such situations this season.

Ross allowed six hits, walked two and struck out three in extending his scoreless innings streak to 28 since joining the Senators. The closest New Hampshire came to scoring a run came in the fourth inning with a runner on first with one out.

New Hampshire’s Derrick Loveless lined a long drive to right-center field that was tracked down by Senators’ center fielder Rafael Bautista, who made a diving catch on the warning track. The Fisher Cats’ runner, Ryan Lavarnway was at third base already when the catch was made, and Harrisburg was able to double him off first. Ross also stranded the bases loaded in the third inning while leaving a pair on the bases in the sixth and seventh innings.

Michael Brady pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth for his first hold of the season. Nick Lee got the first two outs of the ninth inning, but allowed a solo home run and a single before giving way to Derek Self.

Self intentionally walked pinch-hitter Rowdy Tellez to put runners on first and second, and then unintentionally walked Roemon Fields on four pitches to load the bases for Jason Leblebijian, who doubled to dead center field to score the game.

The extent of the Senators offense came in the second inning when Neftali Soto reached on an error to start the frame. After a strikeout, Kevin Keyes jumped on a first pitch from New Hampshire starter Luis Santos. Keyes, who entered the game on an 0-for-12 skid, hit a towering home run to left to put the Senators up 2-0.

Soto and Bostick both finished with a pair of singles while Chris Bostick.

The Senators and Fisher Cats will play game two of this series Saturday night, beginning at 7 p.m. Reynaldo Lopez will take the hill for the Senators. 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 6:50 p.m.

Potomac (High-A Carolina League): Though the opening to the second half was delayed a day due to rain, the Potomac Nationals (35-34, 1-0) started the second half of the 2016 much like the first half, with a victory on the road. Friday night, the P-Nats scored first, fell behind by three runs, but plated the final five runs of the game in a 6-4 victory over the hometown Lynchburg Hillcats (45-26, 0-1).

After an MVP performance in the All-Star Game, CF Andrew Stevenson started off the second half with a game-opening double against LHP Anderson Polanco (ND). With one out, Stevenson stole third base, his team best 26th steal of the season, and scored on a throwing error by catcher Daniel Salters. Potomac led 1-0 after half an inning, though the lead lasted until only the second frame.

With RHP Boone Whiting (W, 8-2) on the mound, Potomac sat in a good spot up 1-0 early. However, Lynchburg plated three runs in the second and a run in the third, as Salters homered in each inning. The Lynchburg catcher led off the second inning with a game-tying home run, and then hit a two-out home run in the third. In between, three straight singles in the second inning put Lynchburg on top 2-1, and an RBI fielder’s choice groundout by CF Greg Allen made it 3-1 Lynchburg. Salters’ second home run of the night made it 4-1, though that was the final time the Hillcats scored.

Whiting settled down and allowed just one more hit after Salters’ second home run, as the righty went six innings and picked up his team best eighth victory of the season. His offense bailed him out of one of his rare non-quality starts, as LF Alec Keller tripled in the fifth and scored on a safety squeeze bunt single by RF Drew Vettleson. Polanco then stranded men at the corners in the sixth before he turned it over to the bullpen.

The Lynchburg bullpen due of RHP Luke Eubank (L, 1-2) and LHP Matt Whitehouse gave up four runs in the seventh inning. 2B Bryan Mejia led off the inning with a triple and scored on an RBI groundout by DH Khayyan Norfork. Stevenson and SS Osvaldo Abreu followed with singles, as Whitehouse relieved Eubank with two on and one out. 1B Jose Marmolejos doubled into the left field corner, which scored Stevenson and tied the game at four. A wild pitch plated Abreu from third base and moved Marmolejos to third base, while 3B Drew Ward’s sacrifice fly made it 6-4, the eventual final.

Out of the Potomac bullpen, LHP Matthew Spann retired the first five hitters that he faced, but gave up a single to SS Yu-Cheng Chang and walked Salters, both with two outs in the eighth inning.RHP Ryan Brinley (SV, 10) entered in search of a four-out save. He fell behind 2B Mark Mathias 3-0, but battled back and got Mathias to ground out to second base. The All-Star reliever then retired the side in order in the 9th, as he picked up his league leading 10th save of the season.

In the win, Stevenson paced the P-Nats with three hits, including two doubles, and two runs. Marmolejos extended his hit streak to seven games with a two-hit night, while Keller also had a pair of hits. Seven of the nine Potomac starters had at least one hit, while Ward (0-3) and Norfork (0-4) each had an RBI.

With a chance to open up the second half with a series victory, Potomac will turn to RHP Austen Williams (0-2, 2.77) Saturday night. Williams has tallied a quality start in each of his first two 2016 Potomac outings, but the P-Nats have scored just one run combined over his two starts. Opposite Williams, LHP Luis Lugo (3-2, 4.41) will make the start for the Hillcats. Lugo did not factor in the decision in his lone start vs. Potomac, as the lefty allowed four runs, three earned, over five innings at Pfitzner Stadium on April 19th. First pitch Saturday night is set for 6:30pm.

2The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will carry live coverage beginning with the “P-Nats Leadoff Show” at 6:15pm. P-Nats Gameday Audio on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network is available at www.potomacnationals.com or via the TuneIn Radio App.

Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic League): The Suns won both games of a doubleheader at Lexington by scores of 3-1 and 5-1.

Auburn (Short Season-A New York Penn League): The Auburn Doubledays lost the concluding game of a three-game series against the Aberdeen IronBirds, 9-2, on Friday night from Ripken Stadium.

Auburn (5-3) scored twice in the top of the first inning off IronBirds right-hander Lucas Humpal. Blake Perkins led off the inning with a walk. Daniel Johnson then doubled to left-center field to score Perkins and give Auburn a 1-0 lead. Johnson advanced to third base on a Sheldon Neuse ground out to second baseman Collin Woody. Johnson then scored when Ryan Ripken grounded out to second base, and the Doubledays took a 2-0 lead.

Aberdeen (3-5) tied the game in the third inning off Auburn left-hander McKenzie Mills. With two outs, Ryan McKenna walked. With Alejandro Juvier batting, McKenna stole second base and then advanced to third when Mills balked. Juvier followed with a two-run home run to right field to tie the game at two.

The IronBirds took their first lead of the game in the fifth. Mills hit Billingsley with a pitch. Billingsley stole second and then scored when Chris Clare doubled to left field as the IronBirds took a 3-2 lead. After a Kirvin Moesquit pop out, McKenna walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Brayan Serrata then came into the game to replace Mills. Juvier, the first batter Serrata faced, doubled to right field. Clare scored and McKenna moved to third to give Aberdeen a 4-2 advantage. After Mike Odenwaelder struck out, Chris Shaw singled to left field. McKenna and Juvier both scored to give the IronBirds a 6-2 lead.

Aberdeen extended its lead in the sixth inning off right-hander Maximo Valerio. With one out, Clare walked. Moesquit then reached base on a bunt single to put runners on first and second with one out. McKenna followed with a double to left field that scored Clare and moved Moesquit to third, giving the IronBirds a 7-2 lead. Two batters later, Shaw singled to left field again to bring home Moesquit and McKenna for a 9-2 Aberdeen advantage.

The Doubledays look to bounce back Saturday night back home at Falcon Park for the first game of a three-game series against the Williamsport Crosscutters. Right-hander Wilber Pena will be pitching for the Doubledays against Crosscutters right-hander Felix Paulino. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. from Falcon Park. Saturday is Southern Cayuga Little League Night, and after the game, there will be fireworks presented by Tompkins Trust Company and Finger Lakes News Radio WAUB.

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