From staff and wire reports:
Syracuse (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 5-0, Sunday afternoon at PNC Field. Reynaldo Lopez was strong for most of his fourth start with the Chiefs, but two home runs were the difference as the RailRiders clinched the series sweep. Michael Taylor had two hits in the loss for the Chiefs.
Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): For the second straight game the Trenton Thunder broke out the bats in a 7-2 win over the Senators on Sunday afternoon. With the win, Trenton wins the series and moves to 72-42 on the season while the Senators fall to 51-43.
Rafael Bautista led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run, his third on the season, to give the Sens a 1-0 lead. Senators starting pitcher Michael Brady then retired the first two batters in the second, but three straight Trenton hits produced two runs for a 2-1 Thunder lead.
Nick Rickles tied the game in the second with a solo home run to left, his third on the season. The game remained tied at two until the sixth inning when the Thunder tallied a run taking a 3-2 lead. They tacked on in the eighth, scoring two runs and then a final tally in the ninth.
The Senators loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Bautista hit into an inning ending fielder’s choice. Brady took the tough luck loss and falls to 3-6 on the season. He tossed six innings and allowed just three runs for another quality start.
The Senators open a three-game series in Altoona on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.
Potomac (High-A Carolina League): For the second time this season, the Potomac Nationals (64-48, 30-14) picked up a sweep of at least four games over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (40-72, 13-30). After a five-game sweep at Frawley Stadium in April, Potomac capped off a four-game sweep Sunday night with a 6-2 win at Pfitzner Stadium. RHP Austen Williams (W, 3-3) allowed two runs, one earned, over eight innings. It was the longest start for a Potomac starter in 2016.
The P-Nats fell into an early hole, as the Blue Rocks tallied a two-out RBI base hit in two of the first three innings. After DH Brandon Downes reached on a fielding error by 3B Austin Davidson, C Chad Johnson put the Blue Rocks on top 1-0 with a two-out RBI single. After two quick outs in the third, Williams gave up a two-out double to LF Anderson Miller, while 1B Samir Duenez drove him home with a single. The next two Blue Rocks hitters reached base, but Williams struck out RF Elier Hernandez and ended the inning, as the Blue Rocks led 2-0 after 2.5 innings.
Potomac managed just one base runner over the first three innings against RHP Andy Ferguson (L, 0-3). SS David Masters drew a two-out walk in the third inning, as Ferguson struck out three men the first time through the order and faced only 10 hitters over three innings.
The P-Nats got help from two Wilmington errors in the fourth inning and tied the game at two. RF Alec Keller led off the frame with a single and scored on an RBI base hit by DH Raudy Read. After CF Cody Jones dropped a fly ball hit by Davidson, 1B Matt Page tied the game with a two-out RBI groundout to second base.
Ferguson worked a perfect fifth inning, but failed to get through the sixth. The righty gave up a leadoff double to Keller before he retired the next two hitters. Davidson drew a walk, and Page put Potomac on top 3-2 with an RBI single, which ended Ferguson’s night. Out of the Wilmington bullpen, LHP Jake Kalish left the first pitch of his night over the plate, as C Jake Lowery made it 6-2 with a three-run home run to right field. It was the first home run for Lowery in 2016.
Williams settled into a groove after the third inning, as just three more men reached base over his eight-inning outing. The righty faced the minimum from the fourth through sixth innings, gave up a single in the seventh, and a double in the eighth. RHP Neil Holland came in for Potomac to start the ninth and gave up two singles through his first four hitters, as the P-Nats went back to the bullpen with the tying run on-deck and two outs. RHP Ryan Brinley (SV, 13) fell behind Jones 3-1, but got the Wilmington centerfielder to pop out to end the game.
With the victory, Potomac improved to a season best 16 games over .500, and paired with a loss by Lynchburg, now leads the Northern Division by a season high four games. Potomac picked up a win despite getting outhit 9-5, the second straight win with fewer hits than the opponent. Both sides made a pair of errors through four innings, but then played error-free baseball the rest of the night.
Following a league wide off day Monday, the P-Nats will welcome the Lynchburg Hillcats to Pfitzner Stadium for a three game series that gets underway Tuesday night. In the opener, RHP Boone Whiting (9-2, 3.30) will get the nod for Potomac. Whiting allowed one earned run over 6.1 innings in his return to Potomac against the Hillcats on August 3rd. For Lynchburg, RHP Matt Esparza (0-2, 3.18) is set to make his second straight start against Potomac. Esparza allowed two earned runs over 5.1 innings in a loss to Potomac last time out. First pitch Tuesday night is set for 7:05pm.
Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns came all the way back from a five-run deficit against the Lakewood BlueClaws on Sunday afternoon, only to dig themselves into another five-run hole from which they couldn’t escape in an 11-6 South Atlantic League loss.
Hagerstown (68-45, 25-18) saw its lead shrink further in the SAL’s Northern Division, where four teams are within 1 1/2 games of first place, including Lakewood (52-59, 23-19).
The Suns kicked the game away on Sunday, committing four errors, all in innings in which the BlueClaws scored. The Suns also had a run-scoring passed ball and a run-scoring wild pitch.
The costliest errors happened in the bottom of the eighth, with the score tied 6-all, when reliever Grant Bourne booted leadoff batter Grenny Cumana’s grounder, then threw the ball away, allowing Cumana to reach second base.
After Philip Walby replaced Bourne (3-1), Lakewood took advantage, scoring five runs in the frame as Jose Pujols (2-for-4) singled to drive in his third run of the game, Wilson Garcia (2-for-5) hit an RBI double and Deivi Grullon (2-for-3) capped the scoring with a two-run single.
The rally made reliever Zach Morris (7-2) the winning pitcher on a day when he blew a lead, giving up four hits and two runs in two innings. Sutter McLoughlin retired the Suns 1-2-3 in the ninth to wrap it up.
Lakewood jumped to an early lead, scoring a pair of runs in each of the first two innings off starting pitcher Joan Baez, who lasted five innings, giving up five runs, only two of them earned.
In the second inning, when Lakewood got just one hit, an error by shortstop Edwin Lora and two wild pitches by Baez, paved the way for two runs to score.
In the fifth, Lakewood expanded its edge to 5-0 as Pujols led off by reaching on an error by Suns center fielder Randy Encarnacion, moved to third on a single by Garcia and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gullon.
After BlueClaws starter Alberto Tirado threw zeroes at Hagerstown in the first five innings, the Suns finally got to him and reliever Jacob Waguespack in the sixth. The big blow was a two-run double by Jake Noll (2-for-4). When Lora (2-for-3, two stolen bases) singled home Noll from second base, the Suns had cut the deficit to 5-4.
Down by two runs in the eighth, Hagerstown completed their comeback, with Lora driving in a run with a groundout and Narciso Mesa hitting an RBI double.
But it all went for naught a half-inning later as Lakewood earned a split of the four-game series.
Kannapolis will play tonight at Hagerstown as the Suns begin a seven-game homestand.
Auburn (Short Season-A New York Penn League): The Auburn Doubledays won their third straight game with a 4-3 victory over Batavia. Right-hander Dane Dunning threw five innings for the Doubledays en route to his first professional win.
The Muckdogs (11-38) jumped on the board first in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Isaiah White singled. With Pablo Garcia batting, White stole second base. Garcia then doubled to left field to score White and give Batavia a 1-0 lead.
The Doubledays (22-27) tied the game in the top of the third inning. Andres Martinez singled. Dalton Dulin then grounded into a fielder’s choice in which Martinez was out at second base, but Dulin was safe at first base. With Blake Perkins batting, Dulin advanced to second base on a passed ball. Perkins followed with a single to left field that scored Dulin to tie the game at one.
Auburn took the lead in the sixth inning. Perkins reached first base because of an error on second baseman Michael Garzillo. Daniel Johnson then singled to put runners on first and third. With Sheldon Neuse batting, a wild pitch allowed Perkins to score and Johnson to advance to second base as the Doubledays took a 2-1 lead. Neuse worked a walk, but on the play Johnson was thrown out trying to steal third base. Oliver Ortiz followed with a single that put runners on the corners once again for the Doubledays. Tres Barrera followed with a single to center field that scored Neuse and put Auburn up by two, 3-1.
The Doubledays extended their lead in the seventh inning. Martinez worked a walk to lead off the inning. With Dulin batting, two separate wild pitches were thrown that allowed Martinez to move to second base and then to third. Dulin struck out for the first out of the inning. Perkins then grounded out to second, but Martinez scored on the play to give the Doubledays a 4-1 advantage.
Batavia mounted a late comeback in the eighth inning. Walker Olis led the inning off with a double down the left-field line. Eric Gutierrez followed with a two-run home run to left field to cut the Doubledays’ lead to one, 4-3. That’s as close as the Muckdogs would get though.
Dunning collected his first professional win after throwing five innings of three-hit, one-run baseball. Dunning walked two batters and struck out five en route to the win.
The Doubledays and the Muckdogs conclude their three-game series Monday night at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia. Left-hander Tyler Watson will pitch for Auburn. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.