By Michael Marzzacco
From the wires:
Syracuse (AAA International League):
July 24: The Syracuse Chiefs defeated the Rochester Red Wings Sunday afternoon, 6-0. Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez threw his first career complete-game shutout, pitching for the first time after making his Major League debut earlier in the week. The Chiefs backed him with five runs in the third inning.
Rochester (60-43) was silenced by Reynaldo Lopez, who turned in his best start of the year. Lopez pitched all nine innings on the mound, allowing only four hits to Rochester one night after the Red Wings slugged an International League-season-high 22 hits. Lopez also struck out seven batters in the game with no walks. The game marked the right-hander’s debut at NBT Bank Stadium after pitching his first two Triple-A outings on the road.
The Chiefs now hit the road for a week-long trip that begins in Lehigh Valley.
July 25: Postponed. Doubleheader today starting at 6:05 at Lehigh Valley
Harrisburg (AA Eastern):
July 24: The Harrisburg Senators couldn’t complete the series sweep against Richmond as the Flying Squirrels won 6-2 in front of 3,024 fans at FNB Field. Isaac Ballou and Wilmer Difo both struck solo home runs for the Senators in the defeat.
Richmond broke the scoreless tie in the fourth with three runs off Harrisburg starter Mark Blackmar. The Flying Squirrels singled, drew a walk, tripled, and doubled to lead off the frame and plate three. Blackmar (1-1) worked five innings allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out six.
Harrisburg (55-45) struggled to get anything going off Richmond starter Andrew Suarez as the southpaw worked through the lineup the first time without allowing a base hit. Ballou and Difo would hit their fourth and fifth home runs of the season, respectively, but Richmond responded both times with a run in the next half-inning to keep the margin at three.
Derek Self and Nick Lee each allowed a run in relief, while Ryan Brinley worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
The Senators scratched out only seven hits on the afternoon including three infield singles from Rafael Bautista.
July 25: Postponed with a doubleheader tonight beginning at 6:00 vs. New Hampshire
Potomac (High-A Carolina League):
July 24: In a back and forth battle, the Potomac Nationals (54-43, 20-9) held off multiple late rallies in a 7-6 victory over the Winston-Salem Dash (40-60, 12-18) Sunday night. The Dash left the tying man in scoring position in the final two frames, as Potomac wrapped up its second five-game sweep of the season.
A game that featured 25 hits and seven total errors started off very sloppy for both sides, as both teams scored as the result of an error in the first inning. After two outs on three total pitches to start the game,LHP Matthew Spann (ND) gave up a single to RF Mason Robbins, who then advanced to second base on a passed ball. LF Nick Basto hit what appeared to be an inning-ending ground ball to SS Bryan Mejia, but the shortstop’s throw sailed over everything at first base, as Robbins scored and the Dash led 1-0 after half an inning.
Making a start against Potomac for the second time in three appearances, LHP Tanner Banks (ND) saw his defense plague him throughout the outing as well. LF Alec Keller reached on a throwing error by 3B Gerson Montilla to start the bottom of the first, while 2B Max Schrock’s one-out single put men on the corners. 1B Jose Marmolejos beat out a potential double play ball, which plated Keller, and C Raudy Read followed with a two-out RBI single. Potomac led 2-1 after one inning, though neither pitcher allowed an earned run in the frame.
The Dash then scored in three of the next four innings, all against Spann. The Potomac starter walked DH Marcus Davis to start the second inning and allowed a double to 2B Toby Thomas. With men at second and third base, SS Cleuluis Rondon’s RBI groundout tied the game at two, while Montilla’s two-out single made it 3-1 Winston-Salem. Basto tripled to start the third and scored on an RBI single by 1B Telvin Nash, as the Dash led 4-2 after 2.5 innings. Winston-Salem added a run on a leadoff solo home run by Zack Collins in the fifth inning, as Spann departed with two outs in the frame with Potomac down 5-2. Spann allowed five runs, four earned, over 4.2 innings in the no-decision.
Potomac clawed back into the game with multi-run innings in the sixth and seventh. Banks, who did not allow an earned run until the sixth inning, gave up back-to-back hits to Schrock and Marmolejos to start the sixth frame. With runners at second and third base, Read reached on a fielding error by Montilla at third base, which brought home Schrock. A misplay on a bunt by 3B Austin Davidsonresulted in an error on Banks, which loaded the bases. Mejia brought home a run with an RBI groundout, which cut the deficit to one, but RHP Manny Martinez (L, 1-6) came out of the bullpen and got the final two outs in the inning, as the P-Nats left the bases loaded.
Down 5-4 at the seventh inning stretch, Potomac tallied three runs against Martinez, who had trouble finding the strike zone, in the bottom half of the frame. Martinez issued a leadoff walk to DH Osvaldo Abreu but then quickly got the next two outs. Read singled, while Davidson walked, which loaded the bases. Mejia put Potomac on top 6-5 with a two-run double, while back-to-back walks to CF Dale Carey and 3B David Masters plated another run and made it 7-5, though Potomac once again left the bases loaded. Potomac went just 2-12 with RISP and left 10 men on base, seven over the final three innings.
In relief of Spann, RHP Mario Sanchez (W, 4-0) got the final out of the fifth inning and then faced the minimum over the next two frames. Back out for the eighth, he gave up a leadoff triple to Thomas, who finished the night with four hits. An RBI single by Rondon made it a one-run game, though he was stranded at third base. Sanchez struck out CF Landon Lassiter, LHP RC Orlan got Robbins to fly out to left field, while RHP Gilberto Mendez (SV, 5) induced a lineout from Basto. Mendez returned for the ninth and got the first two outs in quick fashion, before back-to-back singles by Davis and Thomas put the tying runner in scoring position once again. With a chance to tie the game with a hit, Rondon flied out to centerfield, as Potomac won 7-6.
With a five-game sweep and now six consecutive victories at home, the P-Nats welcome the Salem Red Sox to town for a three game series that gets underway Monday night. RHP Erick Fedde (5-3, 3.45) is set to take the hill for Potomac, while the Red Sox are scheduled to start LHP Trey Ball (5-4, 3.89). Fedde has allowed one earned run or less in each of his last eight outings and is 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA over that span.
July 25: In the longest game of the season thus far, on the hottest day of the 2016 season, the Potomac Nationals (54-44, 20-10) surrendered five runs over the final two innings in a stinging 7-4 loss to the Salem Red Sox (59-40, 16-14) Monday night at Pfitzner Stadium. Potomac took a 4-2 lead into the eighth inning, while C Jordan Procyshen made it a one-run game with a leadoff home run in the eighth, and RHP Gilberto Mendez (L, 2-3) saw six straight Salem hitters reach base in a four-run ninth inning.
The series opener featured two highly touted starters, though neither RHP Erick Fedde (ND) or LHP Trey Ball (ND) made it into the sixth inning. Fedde allowed one run over five innings and threw 98 pitches, while Ball allowed one run over 4.1 innings and threw 97 pitches. The humidity caused problems for pitchers on both sides throughout the night, as both starters and both bullpens had trouble with command throughout the game.
Salem scored the game’s only run in the first half of the matchup, as the Red Sox had three consecutive two-out singles off of Fedde in the third inning. 1B Nick Longhi’s RBI base hit put the Red Sox on top 1-0, though Potomac answered against Ball in the fifth. Ball walked SS Osvaldo Abreu with one out and then gave up a single to 2B Max Schrock. RHP Anyelo Leclerc entered for Ball and immediately gave up a game-tying single to 1B Jose Marmolejos. Leclerc escaped the inning on what appeared to be a missed “infield fly” call on a pop up to shallow left field hit by C Raudy Read. A ball that dropped by the feet of SS Deiner Lopez was not ruled an “infield fly”, and it turned into an unconventional 6-1-4 double play. Leclerc however was not so lucky in the sixth inning, as he gave up three runs.
The Red Sox took their second lead of the night on an RBI single by Procyshen against RHP Tommy Peterson in the sixth inning, but gave the lead away quickly in the home half of the frame. Leclerc walked the first three batters that he faced in the sixth, while 3B David Masters tied the game with an RBI single. Leclerc departed, as RHP Jorge Morban (W, 1-0) entered and immediately gave up a go-ahead RBI single to RF Alec Keller. Potomac made it 4-2 on an RBI groundout by Schrock.
The P-Nats took the 4-2 lead into the top of the eighth inning, but Procyshen quickly cut the deficit in half with a solo home run against Peterson. RHP Gilberto Mendez (L, 2-3) entered for the ninth inning and retired the leadoff man, but then six consecutive Red Sox hitters reached base. A double by LF Mike Meyers tied the game at four, while three straight RBI singles from RF Danny Mars, Procyshen, and Lopez made it 7-4. RHP Simon Mercedes (SV, 3) quickly loosened in the Red Sox bullpen and then struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth, as Potomac lost when leading after eight innings for just the second time in 2016.
It was the third time in less than two weeks that the Red Sox got the better of Mendez, as the righty gave up walk-off hits twice in three nights in Potomac’s last series vs. Salem at LewisGale Field. CF Dale Carey tied a 2016 Potomac single game high with four walks, while Schrock, Marmolejos, and Masters each had two hits.
Off of one of the more stinging losses of the season, Potomac will turn to LHP Matthew Crownover(1-4, 4.87) Tuesday night. For the Red Sox, RHP Travis Lakins (6-3, 5.65) is scheduled to take the hill. First pitch is set for 7:05pm.
Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic):
July 24: The Hagerstown Suns (61-39) defeated the Charleston RiverDogs (55-43) 3-2 on Sunday at Municipal Stadium.
Charleston out-hit Hagerstown 7-6.
After three scoreless innings, Jhalan Jackson hit a solo home run to center field with two outs in the top of the fourth inning.
The RiverDogs could not hold on to their lead and the Suns scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Kelvin Gutierrez and Rhett Wiseman singled with one out and scored on a double by Grant DeBruin.
Matt Page had an RBI double to put the Suns up by two-runs.
The RiverDogs cut the Suns’ lead to one run in the eighth inning on a ground out by Luis Torrens, scoring Nathan Mikolas. Mikolas hit a ground-rule double.
Winning pitcher, James Bourque (3-4), allowed two hits and one earned run though four innings.
Philip Walby allowed two hits through one inning and earned his fourth save.
July 25: The Hagerstown Suns (62-39) defeated the Charleston RiverDogs (55-44) 5-4 on Monday at Municipal Stadium.
The Suns trailed the RiverDogs by two-runs going into the bottom of the ninth inning when Matthew Page tied the game up with a two-run home run.
With two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning, Ian Sagdal hit a solo home run to edge the RiverDogs in the third game of the series.
Sagdal had two hits and two RBIs for Hagerstown.
After three scoreless innings, Charleston scored one run in the top of the fourth inning on a single by Alexander Palma and Hagerstown scored one run in the bottom of the fourth inning on a solo home run by Rhett Wiseman.
Charleston scored two more runs in the fifth inning on back-to-back RBI doubles by Cesar Diaz and Ricardo Ferreira to take a two-run lead.
Jhalan Jackson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth inning to bring in Charleston’s fourth run.
Sagdal singled to score Telmito Agustin from second base with two outs in the eighth inning, cutting the RiverDogs’ lead to two runs. Agustin walked and advanced to second on a passed ball.
Trailing by two runs going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Rhett Wiseman singled and Page hit a two-run home run to right-center field to tie the game at four-runs and send the Suns into extra innings.
The Suns held the RiverDogs in the top of the tenth inning and Sagdal hit a walk-off solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning.
Christian Morris started for Charleston, holding Hagerstown to four hits and one earned run through seven innings.
Winning pitcher, Grant Borne (3-0), allowed two hits and one earned run through three innings.
Charleston’s Daris Vargas (6-5, 3.59) will face Hagerstown’s Jefry Rodriguez (7-6, 4.40) in the final game of the series on Tuesday at Municipal Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 10:35 a.m. ET.
Auburn (Short Season-A New York Penn League):
The Auburn Doubledays fell in extra innings to the Williamsport Crosscutters, 2-1, on Sunday evening. The Doubledays tied the game in the ninth inning, but the Crosscutters won in the eleventh inning on an infield single.
Williamsport (22-14) scored first in the bottom of the eighth inning. With one out, Luis Encarnacion hit a line drive that just cleared the left-field fence for a solo home run to put the Crosscutters up 1-0.
The Doubledays (16-20) tied the game in the top of the ninth inning. Tres Barrera led off with a double. Ryan Ripken then grounded out to first base, but Barrera moved to third base on the play. Jake Noll followed with a single to right field that scored Barrera and tied the game at one.
The Crosscutters won the game in the bottom of the eleventh inning. Chandler Hall worked a walk to lead off the inning. Juan Luis then laid down a sacrifice but to move Hall to second base. Mark Laird followed with a groundout to second base, but Hall advanced to third base on the play. With two outs and a runner on third, Arquimedez Gamboa hit a ball to first baseman Ryan Ripken. Ripken flipped the ball to pitcher Nicholas Conner who was covering first base. Gamboa was called safe on the play though and Hall scored from third base on the play to give Williamsport the 2-1 win.
July 25: Monday’s game between the Auburn Doubledays and the Williamsport Crosscutters was postponed because of rain.
The Doubledays and Crosscutters will play a doubleheader on Tuesday night. Left-hander Tyler Watson will pitch game one for Auburn, while right-hander Dane Dunning will be on the mound for the second game of the doubleheader. The first game is scheduled to start at 5:05 p.m. with the second game to follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.