By Michael Marzzacco
From the wires:
SYRACUSE (AAA International League):
The Syracuse Chiefs knocked off the Gwinnett Braves, 4-3, Tuesday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Lucas Giolito stood out in his first career start with the Chiefs, tossing six and two-thirds innings, allowing just one unearned run while striking out seven.
Syracuse (46-50) opened the scoring in the first against Gwinnett starter Casey Kelly. With one out, Brian Goodwin doubled to left field, over the head of Hector Olivera. Matt Skole followed with a bloop single to left, scoring Goodwin to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead.
The Chiefs crossed the plate again in the fourth. With two outs, Matt den Dekker reached on an infield single and later stole second. Pedro Severino followed with a walk in the next at-bat. Jason Martinson then hit a line-drive single to center field, plating den Dekker to put Syracuse up, 2-0.
Billy Gardner’s bunch brought another run across in the fifth. Adrian Sanchez led off with a single to left field and moved to second on a Giolito sacrifice bunt. Caleb Ramsey followed with a line-drive single to center field, scoring Sanchez to move the lead to three.
Giolito pitched out of a jam in the first inning, loading the bases with no outs. He worked out of it without allowing a run and was electric the rest of the way. MLB.com’s #1 overall prospect surrendered just two base runners from the third through sixth innings. At one point, he retired nine Braves in a row.
Gwinnett (41-56) scored its first run in the seventh. With two outs, Blake Lalli reached base with a single to center. Ronnier Mustelier then pinch-hit for Casey Kelly and doubled down the right-field line. With runners on second and third with two outs, Emilio Bonifacio reached on a Sanchez error at shortstop, scoring Lalli to cut the lead to 3-1. The unearned run brought an end to Giolito’s night, as Bryan Harper came on to record the final out. Jose Lozada was inserted with Harper, replacing Martinson at third in the double switch.
Syracuse retaliated in the bottom of the inning. Stephen Janas entered in relief of Kelly and Sanchez met him with a single to left. Lozada moved Sanchez to second with a sacrifice bunt in the ensuing at-bat. Ramsey followed with a line-drive double to left, scoring Sanchez to put the Chiefs up, 4-1.
The G-Braves rallied in the top of the ninth against Chiefs’ closer Rafael Martin. With two outs, Lalli singled into left field. George Kottaras then pinch-hit for pitcher Jose Ramirez and hit a home run to right field, narrowing the lead to 4-3. Martin rebounded, retiring Bonifacio on a pop out for the final out, ending the game.
The Chiefs return to action Wednesday morning, for the final game of the three-game series. Taylor Hill is scheduled to pitch for Syracuse opposite of Chris Ellis for Gwinnett. Game time is set for 12:05 p.m. at NBT Bank Stadium.
For the second straight game, the Senators scored runs in the first three innings. Andrew Stevenson homered in the first, his first double-A home run. In the second, Isaac Ballou tripled in Spencer Kieboom to give the Senators a 2-0 lead. In the third, Neftali Soto doubled in Stevenson giving the Sens a 3-0 lead. With the score 3-1, Drew Ward homered with two outs in the sixth, his first double-A home run, giving the Senators a 4-1 lead. Ward singled in Wilmer Difo in the eighth for the Senators final tally and a 5-2 lead.
Difo had three hits in the game while Stevenson, Soto and Ward all had a pair of hits. The Senators had four extra-base hits in the game with Soto hitting a double and Ballou a triple to go with the two home runs.
Robert Benincasa pitched the final two innings allowing just one hit to earn his first save in almost two seasons. Blackmar allowed two runs on six hits, struck out one and walked one to earn the win. He also induced fourteen ground ball outs.
The Senators and Erie SeaWolves play the final game of their three-game series Wednesday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. at Jerry Uht Park in Erie. 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 11:50 a.m.
POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): In what must have felt like déjà vu for the Potomac Nationals (49-43, 15-9), they fell victim to another 11th inning walk-off against the Salem Red Sox (56-38, 13-12) Tuesday night. After each side got a dominant start out of their starting pitcher and stellar work from their pen, the Red Sox finally cracked the Potomac staff and used back-to-back doubles from 3B Rafael Devers and 1B Nick Longhi to pick up the 1-0 victory.
For the eighth consecutive outing, RHP Erick Fedde (ND) did not allow multiple earned runs, and for the fifth time in that span, did not give up a single earned run. Fedde, who went six-shutout innings, has now allowed just three earned runs in his last 39 innings. The righty struck out five, walked one, and gave up just five hits in the no-decision.
Opposite Fedde, LHP Matt Kent (ND) had the best start of his career. Kent allowed only three hits and struck out a career high eight over eight-shutout innings. The lefty faced just one over the minimum through the first seven innings, and then escaped with a double play in the eighth frame. Kent had five perfect frames, picked off two runners, and induced a bases loaded inning-ending double play from 3B Austin Davidson in the eighth.
Potomac got the leadoff man on in the fourth inning, as DH Bryan Mejia’s single broke up a perfect game, though Mejia was picked off at first base. Mejia then reached on a fielder’s choice in the sixth frame, stole second base, but was picked off once again.
The P-Nats’ lone offensive threat came in the eighth inning against Kent. LF Alec Keller walked to start the inning, while RF Drew Vettleson reached on a fielder’s choice, as the throw to second base was too late to get Keller. The runners moved to second and third base on a fly out by C Jake Lowery, while Kent then intentionally walked CF Dale Carey. With the bases loaded and one out, Davidson grounded a ball right back to Kent, who threw to C David Sopilka to get Keller, who then threw it to first to get Davidson and escape the jam.
In relief of Fedde, LHP RC Orlan walked all three men that he faced to start the seventh inning, though RF Danny Mars was caught stealing. With two one and one out, the newest member of the Potomac roster, RHP Neil Holland, entered and got the next two hitters out, worked a scoreless eighth inning, and then a perfect ninth frame. RHP Gilberto Mendez (L, 2-2), pitching for the third time in four days, then pitched a perfect 10th inning, but surrendered back-to-back one-out doubles to Devers and Longhi in the 11th, as Salem walked off for the second time in the series.
Out of the Salem bullpen, RHP Jamie Callahan (W, 4-3) gave up just one hit and struck out three over three-shutout innings. The Red Sox went just 1-10 with RISP in the loss, though the lone hit was Longhi’s game-winning double. Potomac left only four men on base in the game.
Wrapping up the road trip at 3-4, Potomac will have Wednesday off before they begin an eight-game, seven-day homestand. The homestand opens up Thursday night at 7:05pm vs. the Winston Salem Dash. The teams will also play at 7:05pm Friday night, play a doubleheader that starts at 5:00pm Saturday, and wrap up the series at 6:05pm on Sunday. The Red Sox will then come to The Pfitz for three games, Monday night at 7:05pm, Tuesday night at 7:05pm, and Wednesday afternoon at 12:05pm.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will carry live coverage Thursday night beginning with the “P-Nats Leadoff Show” at 6:50pm. 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): OFF.
AUBURN (Short Season-A New York Penn League): The Auburn Doubledays lost to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, 9-1, on Tuesday night at Falcon Park. Doubledays designated hitter David Kerian hit his first professional home run in the loss.
Mahoning Valley (12-20) scored first in the top of the first inning. Gabriel Mejia led off with a triple. Silento Sayles then struck out, and Jodd Carter grounded out for the first two outs of the inning. Erlin Cerda singled to center field though, as Mejia scored to give the Scrappers a 1-0 lead. Andrew Calica then walked to put runners on first and second base. With Collins batting, Cerda stole third base. Collins was still the batter when a pickoff attempt at first base tipped off of Ryan Ripken’s glove, allowing Calica to advance to second base and Cerda to score to put Mahoning Valley up 2-0. Collins followed with a double that knocked Calica in to extend the Scrappers’ lead to three, 3-0. Emmanuel Tapia then singled to right field, scoring Collins for a 4-0 Mahoning Valley advantage. Gian Paul Gonzalez put an exclamation point on the inning for the Scrappers with a double down the left-field line that scored Tapia from first base and stretched the Scrappers’ lead to five, 5-0.
The Doubledays (15-17) scored their lone run of the game in the bottom of the third inning. Kerian led off with a solo home run to right field to cut the Mahoning Valley lead to four, 5-1. The home run was Kerian’s first professional home run of his career.
The Scrappers extended their lead in the fifth inning. With two outs, Calica tripled. With Collins batting, a wild pitch allowed Calica to score to put Mahoning Valley back up by five, 6-1.
Mahoning Valley added two more runs in the sixth inning. With two outs, Alexis Pantoja doubled to left field. Mejia then singled to score Pantoja to give the Scrappers a 7-1 lead. Mejia advanced to second base on the throw home. Sayles followed with an RBI triple, scoring Mejia for an 8-1 advantage.
The Scrappers added one more run in the seventh. With one out, Calica homered to right field for the first time in his young career to put Mahoning Valley in front by eight, 9-1.
The Doubledays have an off day on Wednesday before traveling to State College for a three-game series with the Spikes that begins on Thursday. Right-hander Dane Dunning will make his second start for Auburn on Thursday, while left-hander John Kilichowski will be on the mound for State College. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.