By Michael Marzzacco
From the wires:
Syracuse Chiefs (AAA International League):
The Durham Bulls beat the Syracuse Chiefs Saturday night 2-0. Durham starter Justin Marks threw a no-hitter in the outing, the first no-hitter by a single pitcher in the International League since Columbus’ Tyler Cloyd threw one on July 30th, 2014.
Durham (41-54) tallied in the top of the fifth inning against Syracuse starter A.J. Cole. Jake Goebbert began the frame with a ground-rule double to left field. He then moved to third on a Hank Conger groundout. Later in the inning, Jaff Decker walked to put Durham runners on the corners with two outs. Daniel Robertson followed with a ground ball to short, which Adrian Sanchez fielded cleanly. However, his throw to first was off line, and the error allowed both Goebbert and Sanchez to score, giving the Bulls a 2-0 lead.
Syracuse (44-49) received a strong outing from Cole despite the loss. He finished his outing after six innings. Cole allowed four hits and the two unearned runs while walking just one batter and striking out six. Erik Davis came on in relief in the seventh, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out three. Bryan Harper worked the ninth without allowing a run.
Marks allowed just two walks and a hit batsman in the game. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Marks got Caleb Ramsey to ground out to short for the first out. Brian Goodwin then followed with another groundout to first base. Syracuse Manager Billy Gardner argued the ball was hit foul, though first-base umpire John Bacon ruled it fair and the call stood. Marks then completed the no-hitter by striking out Matt Skole. This outing was the first time Marks threw more than six and one-third innings this season. It was also the only game this year where he did not allow an earned run.
Syracuse and Durham wrap up their four-game series Sunday afternoon. The Chiefs have slated Paolo Espino for the start while the Bulls are scheduled to throw Jamie Schultz. First pitch in the finale is set for 1:35.
Harrisburg Senators (AA Eastern League): The Harrisburg Senators scored twice in the 12th inning on Saturday night, and then held on as Altoona put the tying runs on base in their 4-2 win over the Curve. Harrisburg used six pitchers in the game, including five in relief of starter Phillips Valdez. With the win the Senators have evened the series with Altoona and moved to 49-43 on the season while Altoona falls to 52-40.
Rafael Bautista doubled with one out in the 12th and then scored on Wilmer Difo’s double to give the Sens a 3-2 lead. Andrew Stevenson drove in Difo with two outs to give the Senators an insurance run and a 4-2 lead.
Abel De Los Santos pitched the 12th inning for the Sens and earned the save when Barrett Barnes hit a fly ball to left with runners on first and third to end the game. De Los Santos earned his fifth save in six tries for the Senators. He made a winner out of Wander Suero who pitched two scoreless innings himself. Suero improve to 2-0 on the season.
Stephen Perez homered in the third inning to give Harrisburg a 1-0 lead. The Senators extended the lead to 2-0 in the fourth on a single by Kevin Keyes that scored Isaac Ballou. Harrisburg would go on to load the bases with no outs but did no further damage.
Altoona scored a run in the fourth and had the bases loaded and two outs when Robert Benincasa entered the game in relief of Phillips Valdez. Benincasa induced an inning ending fielder’s choice to strand the bases loaded. The Curve tied the game in the seventh when Harold Ramirez drove in Kevin Newman with a single.
The teams combined to go five-for-thirty with runners in scoring position and left 25 runners on base. Four different Senators had two hits, Neftali Soto, Stevenson, Difo and Keyes.
The Senators and Altoona Curve play the final game of their five-game series on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. 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 12:45 p.m.
Potomac Nationals (High-A Carolina League): After a pair of tough losses that capped off the series vs. the Winston-Salem Dash, the Potomac Nationals (48-41, 14-7) fell into an early hole Saturday night, but mounted their largest comeback of the season in a 5-4 victory over the hometown Salem Red Sox (54-37, 11-11). The P-Nats fell behind 4-0 after four innings and did not tally a hit until the fifth, but then scored the final five runs of the game. A four-run deficit was the largest that Potomac has overcome in 2016.
Salem got off to a brisk start in the first inning against RHP Whit Mayberry (W, 2-1). Mayberry walked 2B Reed Gragnani while 3B Rafael Devers and 1B Nick Longhi each singled. With the bases loaded and one out, DH Mike Meyers made it 1-0 Salem with an RBI groundout, while RF Danny Mars followed with a two-out RBI single. The Red Sox led 2-0 after one inning.
The Red Sox extended their lead with a run in the second inning and another in the fourth against Mayberry. Gragnani had a two-out RBI triple in the second frame, his first extra-base hit of the season, while SS Jose Sermo tripled in the fourth inning and scored on a wild pitch, as Salem led 4-0 after four innings.
No-hit by LHP Daniel McGrath (L, 3-4) through the first four frames, the Potomac offense came alive in the fifth. DH Jose Marmolejos led off the inning with his league leading 33rd double, while C Raudy Read plated Marmolejos with a double of his own. LF Alec Keller followed with a single, which extended his hit streak to six games and moved Read to third base. With men on the corners, McGrath’s failed pickoff throw to first base resulted in an error and allowed Read to score, as Potomac cut the deficit to two after the top of the fifth.
McGrath remained in the game for the sixth inning and was one strike away from a quality start and departing with the lead. 3B Bryan Mejia lengthened his on-base streak to 17 games with a leadoff single in the inning, while SS Osvaldo Abreu made it a one run game with an RBI double. Marmolejos drew a walk before Read flied out to centerfield for the second out of the inning. Both Abreu and Marmolejos advanced on Read’s deep fly out, which proved beneficial for Potomac. Down in the count 1-2, Keller lined a single to right field, which plated both runners and put Potomac ahead 5-4, the eventual final.
Out of the Salem bullpen, Anyelo Leclerc provided three shutout innings, as he allowed only one man to reach base, but the Potomac bullpen was just as good, as LHP Justin Thomas and RHP Gilberto Mendez (SV, 3) sealed the victory for Potomac. Thomas stranded a man at first base in both the seventh and eighth innings, while Mendez stranded the tying man at second base in the ninth. Thomas has not allowed a run in six straight outings, while Mendez has not allowed an earned run in 11 straight appearances. In the win, Mayberry allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings, while McGrath allowed five runs, four earned, on six hits over six innings in the loss.
In an effort to make it two consecutive wins against the Red Sox, Potomac will turn to RHP Austen Williams (0-3, 4.00) Sunday afternoon. Despite a quality start in five of his six outings, Williams remains winless, though the righty has given up just four total earned runs over his last two outings. For Salem, LHP Trey Ball (5-4, 3.71) will make his first start of the season against the P-Nats. The seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft has been inconsistent through much of the season and has given up at least four earned runs in each of his last three starts. First pitch is set for 4:05pm at LewisGale Field.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will carry live coverage beginning with the “P-Nats Leadoff Show” at 3:50pm. P-Nats Gameday Audio on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network is available atwww.potomacnationals.com or via the TuneIn Radio App.
Hagerstown Suns (Low-A South Atlantic League): The Hagerstown Suns had an unusual formula for success on Saturday night, scoring all of their runs in innings after the first two batters recorded outs.
The night of clutch hitting added up to an 8-5 victory at the Greenville Drive, the Suns fourth straight win in the South Atlantic League.
Leadoff batter Randy Encarnacion led the offensive with two doubles, a single and three RBIs as Hagerstown (57-36, 14-9) moved into a tie in the SAL’s Northern Division second-half standings with the Greensboro Grasshoppers (51-40, 13-8), who were rained out for a second straight night at Kannapolis.
Hagerstown also got stellar relief pitching on Saturday night after starter Joan Baez surrendered five runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Grant Borne (2-0) got the win, limiting Greenville to one hit in 3 1/3 innings. Jake Johansen and Mick VanVossen contributed an inning each of one-hit ball. VanVossen got his seventh save, working out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the ninth, inducing a popup by Kyri Washington and getting Michael Chavis on a called third strike.
Hagerstown broke on top with three runs in the second inning after Matthew Page and Edwin Lora drew two-out walks. One run came home on a single by Telmito Agustin. Two more followed on a single to right by Encarnacion.
Hagerstown increased its lead to 5-1 with two runs in the fourth. Agustin started the two-out rally with a single and scored on a double by Encarnacion. After Ian Sagdal walked, Kelvin Gutierrez singled home Encarnacion.
After Greenville retaliated in the bottom half of the fourth inning to tie it, Hagerstown regained control with a three-run sixth off losing pitcher Trevor Kelley (1-3).
With two out, Sagdal doubled and Gutierrez followed with a walk. One run came home on a single by Rhett Wiseman and Grant DeBruin followed with a two-run double to right for an 8-5 lead.
Luis Alexander Basabe got 3/4 of the cycle for Greenville, hitting a triple, double and a single, driving in four runs.
Hagerstown tries to extend its winning streak at Greenville tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is at 4:05.
Auburn Doubledays (Short Season-A New York Penn League): The Auburn Doubledays lost the final game of a three-game series against the West Virginia Black Bears, 6-5, on Saturday night. Doubledays catcher Tres Barrera hit a two-run home run in the loss.
West Virginia (14-15) scored first in the bottom of the third inning. Erik Forgione led the inning off by reaching base on an error. With Sandy Santos batting, Forgione stole second base. Santos struck out for the first out of the inning. Stephen Alemais then singled to center field. Forgione moved to third base on the play, and Alemais advanced to second on a throw to home plate. Kevin Krause followed with a base hit to left field that scored both Forgione and Alemais to give the Black Bears a 2-0 lead.
Auburn (14-15) responded in the top of the fourth inning. Sheldon Neuse, Tres Barrera, and Oliver Ortiz all singled to load the bases. David Kerian then grounded into a double play in which Neuse was out at home plate and Kerian was out at first base. With Barrera at third base and Ortiz at second, Clayton Brandt came up to bat. During the at bat, there was a passed ball that allowed Barrera to score from third base to cut the West Virginia lead to one, 2-1.
The Doubledays tied the game in the top fifth inning. With two outs, Blake Perkins singled. Jake Noll then tripled to left-center field to score Perkins and tie the game at two.
The Black Bears retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, Will Craig worked a walk. Albert Baur then singled to put runners on first and second. Hunter Owen followed with a single to right field, scoring Craig and moving Baur to third base as West Virginia took a 3-2 lead. Clark Eagan then singled to left field to bring Baur home and advance Owen to second base, extending the Black Bears’ lead to two, 4-2. After a Chris Harvey strikeout, Forgione doubled to right field. Owen scored on the play to give the Black Bears a 5-2 lead.
Auburn cut into West Virginia’s lead in the sixth inning. A pitch hit Barrera to lead off the inning. With Ortiz batting, Barrera advanced to second base on a passed ball. Ortiz walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. Kerian then grounded into a doubled play in which Ortiz was out at second and Kerian was out at first, but Barrera moved to third base. Brandt and Jack Sundberg followed with back-to-back walks to load the bases. With Nick Banks batting, Barrera scored on a balk to cut the Black Bears’ lead to two, 5-3.
The Doubledays tied the game again in the seventh inning. Perkins led off the inning with a single. After Noll popped out and Neuse struck out, Barrera crushed a ball well over the left-field wall for a two-run home run, tying the game at five.
Once again though, West Virginia regained the lead in the eighth inning. With one out, Ty Moore hit a ground rule double to right-center field. Moore advanced to third base on an Alemais ground out back to the pitcher’s mound. Krause followed with a single to left field to score Moore and give the Black Bears their third lead of the game, 6-5.
The Doubledays return home to Falcon Park on Sunday to begin a three-game series against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Game one of the series begins at 5:05 p.m. Right-hander Weston Davis will pitch for Auburn against Mahoning Valley right-hander Aaron Civale. Children 12 and younger will receive free admission as part of Little Abners Club Sunday, a Doubledays player will sign autographs in the concourse area from 4:20 p.m. until 4:45 p.m., and Skaneateles Jewelry is sponsoring a giveaway that fans 18 and older can register to win.