Washington Nationals Minor League Notebook August 4


From staff and wire reports:

Syracuse (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs topped the Buffalo Bisons, 9-5, in the final game of a three-game series at NBT Bank Stadium. The Chiefs led throughout, with a Matt Skole three-run home run kick-starting the action in the first inning. Michael Taylor also starred with a double, triple and three runs scored.

Syracuse (51-61) opened the scoring in the first inning off Buffalo starter Scott Diamond. Steve Lombardozzi led off with a single to left field. Following a groundout, Taylor reached first base on an error. In the ensuing at-bat, Skole hit a long home run to right field, putting the Chiefs up 3-0. The home run was Skole’s 16th on the year.

The Chiefs crossed the plate again in the second. With two outs, Jhonatan Solano walked and Lombardozzi followed with a single to right field. On the play, Solano scored on an errant throw from right fielder Domonic Brown to put the Chiefs up 4-0.

Billy Gardner’s bunch scored yet again in the third. Taylor led off with a double down the left-field line and moved to third base on a groundout in the next at-bat. He scored on a Jason Martinson sacrifice fly one batter later, giving the Chiefs a 5-0 lead.

Buffalo (56-57) scored for the first time in the fourth inning off Syracuse starter A.J. Cole. With one out, Matt Dominguez singled to right field. Following a fly out, Brown hit a home run over the right-center field fence, cutting the deficit to 5-2.

The Bisons scored again in the sixth. Dominguez led off the inning with a home run to left field, his 14th, making the score 5-3. 

The Chiefs answered back in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Martinson singled to right field, and Matt den Dekker walked in the following at-bat. Christopher Bostick followed with a line-drive single to left field that scored Martinson. Then, with runners on first and third, Caleb Ramsey doubled to left, scoring both den Dekker and Bostick to put the Chiefs on top 8-3.

In the top of the seventh, Casey Kotchman hit a leadoff home run to right field, his sixth on the year, cutting the lead to 8-4.

Syracuse retaliated in the bottom of the inning against Buffalo reliever Chad Girodo. With one out, Taylor tripled, followed by a Skole walk in the next at-bat. With runners on first and third, Martinson doubled down the left-field line, scoring Taylor to give the Chiefs an 9-4 advantage.

Buffalo hit its third consecutive leadoff home run in the eighth. Ryan Goins opened the inning with a home run over the right field fence off reliever Bryan Harper. The home run was the Bisons’ fourth on the night and made the score 9-5.

Syracuse goes on the road Friday night for the first game of a three-game set against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Paolo Espino is scheduled to pitch for the Chiefs opposite Luis Cessa of the RailRiders. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.

Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): The Senators carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning Thursday night, but couldn’t hold the lead and lost to the B-Mets 3-2. The loss means the Senators went three-and-five on their eight-game road trip while the B-Mets earned a split in the series with their win. The Senators are now 60-51 on the season while Binghamton is 51-59.

Jaron Long started and was cruising along until allowing a pair of solo home runs in the sixth inning. He left the game with an apparent injury while facing the third batter in the seventh inning. Nick Lee came on and struck out Jayce Boyd with the go ahead run at third, but then he allowed a single to Victor Cruzado which brought in the go ahead run which became the winning run.

Drew Ward drove in a run with a fielder’s choice in the fourth to give the Sens a 1-0 lead. Rafael Bautista homered in the sixth, his second on the season, giving Harrisburg a 2-0 lead. The Senators worked lead off walks in the seventh and eighth innings but failed to score on either occasion.

The Senators open a three-game weekend series Friday night at 7:00 p.m. against the Trenton Thunder. 

Potomac (High-A Carolina League): With a single run in the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings, the Potomac Nationals (61-48, 27-14) held on for a 4-2 win Thursday night over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (40-69, 13-27). RHP Dakota Bacus (W, 2-2) did not allow a run until the sixth inning, while Potomac scored in four straight frames off of LHP Foster Griffin (L, 2-8). Neither bullpen allowed a run.

Griffin, who entered with a 6.92 ERA, allowed a first pitch leadoff home run to C Raudy Read in the second inning. SS Osvaldo Abreu made it 2-0 with a two-out RBI double in the third frame, while Griffin pitched himself into trouble in the fourth. With two outs, LF Matt Page tripled to right field, CF Dale Carey walked, while Griffin hit DH Austin Davidson with a pitch. With the bases loaded, 1B David Masters walked on four pitches, as Potomac took a 3-0 lead. Abreu then led off the sixth with a double, got to third base on a single by 2B Max Schrock, and scored on a double play groundout by Read, as Potomac took a 4-0 lead into the sixth inning.
For the second straight start, Bacus made it through five innings without allowing a run. Thursday night, he pitched into the sixth, though gave up a pair of runs and did not make it through the inning. SS Carlos Diaz and DH Samir Duenez began the frame with consecutive singles, while 3B Mike Hill made it 4-1 with an RBI groundout. C Luis Villegas followed with an RBI single, his third hit of the night, though the Blue Rocks left the bases loaded. Wilmington went just 1-12 with RISP and left 12 men on base in the loss. In relief of Bacus, RHP Mario Sanchez needed just one pitch to escape the bases loaded jam, as he got 2B Brian Bien to pop out to Abreu.
Sanchez worked through scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings, though Wilmington threatened in both. The Blue Rocks used a two-out single and walk in the seventh to put the tying runs on base, but Hill flied out to Carey in centerfield. LF Anderson Miller tripled with one out in the eighth, but the Blue Rocks left him at third base. Wilmington left four men at third base in the loss. In the ninth, RHP Gilberto Mendez (SV, 8) gave up a leadoff single to CF Cody Jones and issued a two-out walk to RF Brandon Downes, but struck out Hill to earn the save, as the Blue Rocks left the tying runs on base.
With a victory in the series opener, the P-Nats will turn to RHP Erick Fedde (5-4, 3.08) Friday night. Fedde has not allowed more than one earned run in any of his last 10 outings and has a 0.71 ERA over that span. For Wilmington, RHP Zach Lovvorn (2-12, 3.64) is set to take the hill. Lovvorn is 0-2 with a 2.94 ERA in three starts vs. Potomac this season. First pitch Friday night is set for 7:05pm.
Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic League): Telmito Agustin scored on an error in the top of the 10th inning to help lead the Hagerstown Suns to an 8-6 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws on Thursday.

Agustin scored after he entered the game as a pinch runner and stole second. Later in the inning, Hagerstown added insurance runs when Grant DeBruin hit a sacrifice fly and Rhett Wiseman scored on a wild pitch.

In the bottom of the inning, Lakewood scored on a solo home run by Jose Pujols. However, Mick VanVossen got Carlos Duran to fly out with a runner on second to end the game for his eighth save of the season.

The Suns scored two runs in the eighth before Lakewood answered with four in the bottom of the inning to tie the game 5-5.

Jakson Reetz doubled twice and singled, driving home two runs in the win. Ian Sagdal singled three times.

Jake Johansen (2-1) got the win with two innings of scoreless, three-hit relief while Zach Morris (6-2) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game.

For the BlueClaws, Pujols homered and singled twice.

With the win, Hagerstown improved to 14-5 against Lakewood this season.

Auburn (Short Season-A New York Penn League): The Auburn Doubledays fell to the State College Spike, 5-3, on Thursday night. Doubledays infielder Sheldon Neuse hit his first professional home run in the loss.

State College (32-14) jumped out of the gate with four runs in the top of the first inning. Tommy Edman led off with a triple. A pitch then hit Andy Young to put runners on first and third base. Vince Jackson followed with a single that scored Edman and move Young to second base as the Spikes took a 1-0 lead. Ryan McCarvel then hit a ball to third base. Neuse misplayed the ball allowing Young to score, Jackson to move to second base, and McCarvel to reach first, putting State College in front, 2-0. Jeremy Martinez followed with a double that scored Jackson and advanced McCarvel to third base to extend the State College lead to three, 3-0. Two batters later, Danny Hudzina grounded out to third base, but McCarvel scored to give State College a 4-0 advantage.

Auburn (19-27) got on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Andres Martinez led off with a triple to right field. Blake Perkins followed with a ground out to first base, but Martinez scored to cut the State College lead to three, 4-1.

The Spikes scored again in the sixth inning. With one out Mick Fennell reached second on a two-base throwing error. Anthony Ray followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Edman then grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Fennell to put State College back up by four, 5-1.

The Doubledays mounted a late comeback in the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh inning, Ryan Ripken worked a walk to lead off. Jack Sundberg then singled to put runners on first and second. A David Kerian ground out moved the runners up to second and third. After a Paul Panaccione pop out, Andres Martinez singled to score Ripken and cut the State College advantage back to three, 5-2. In the eighth inning, Neuse led off with a home run to left field. Neuse’s first professional home run cut the deficit to two, 5-3. That’s as close as the Doubledays would get though.

Auburn and State College conclude their three-game series on Friday night at Falcon Park. Right-hander Luis Reyes will pitch for the Doubledays, while left-hander Dewin Perez will be on the mound for the Spikes. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

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