Washington Nationals Minor League Notebook August 22


By Michael Marzzacco

(Almost) daily updates from the Nationals Minor League system:

Syracuse (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Pawtucket Red Sox, 2-1, Monday night at McCoy Stadium. Mat Latos was strong in his second start with the Chiefs, allowing just a lone unearned run in six innings on six hits. Marco Hernandez hit the go-ahead home run for the PawSox in the seventh for the series-opening win.

Pawtucket (66-61) grabbed the lead first in the bottom of the opening inning. Ryan LaMarre led off against Latos with a double and moved to third on a groundout. Latos then struck out Christian Vazquez, but the ball got away from Pedro Severino on a passed ball, allowing LaMarre to score for a 1-0 lead.

Syracuse (57-71) tied the game in the fifth against Brian Johnson. Jason Martinson led off with his second of two hits in the game, followed by a Steve Lombardozzi walk. After a sacrifice bunt, Johnson walked Michael Taylor to load the bases. Two batters later, Neftali Soto singled home Martinson to tie the score at one.

The PawSox took the lead back in the seventh. After Erik Davis struck out the first two batters he faced out of the bullpen, Marco Hernandez hit his fifth home run of the season over the right-field fence for a 2-1 lead.

The Chiefs and PawSox will close out their two-game series Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Lucas Giolito is scheduled to start for Syracuse opposite Roenis Elias for Pawtucket.

Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): The Altoona Curve slugged three home runs to best the Harrisburg Senators, 7-1, in front of 3,348 fans at FNB Field on Monday evening. The loss coupled with Akron’s victory over Reading pushed the Senators 2.5 games out of the playoff picture.

Altoona jumped on Harrisburg starter Mark Blackmar for two runs on four singles and a walk in the first inning before the Senators even came to bat. Harrisburg looked to respond as they loaded the bases off Tyler Glasnow making a rehab start for Altoona, but a strikeout and fly out ended the threat.

Blackmar struggled working down and away from hitters, until Altoona used the long ball to extend their lead. In the fourth, Stetson Allie and pinch-hitter Tomas Morales went back-to-back to give the Curve a 6-0 advantage. The Senators got one back in the bottom half of the inning on a pair of singles and an error, but it was the only run they would plate in the game.

Altoona would go yard once more off Blackmar (3-4) as Brandon Barnes clubbed a solo shot to make it 7-1. Blackmar allowed seven runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out four.

Relievers Robert Benincasa and Mitch Lively worked three scoreless innings to finish the game.

Adrian Sanchez accounted for three of the Senators’ seven hits. Jose Marmolejos also reached base three times on a double and two walks.

The Senators continue their three-game series with the Altoona Curve on Tuesday evening at FNB Field as Michael Brady squares off against Clay Holmes.

Potomac (High-A Carolina League): OFF. PNats host Salem tonight at the Pfitz.

Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic League): Legends starter Gerson Garabito pitched six no-hit innings, but the Hagerstown Suns took the lead against Lexington’s bullpen and got strong pitching of their own in a 3-1 South Atlantic League victory Monday night.

Kelvin Gutierrez led off the seventh with a single off reliever Mark McCoy (4-2) for the Suns’ first hit of the night. Grant DeBruin hit a one-out single that sent Gutierrez to third, and he scored on a wild pitch for a 2-1 lead.

Hagerstown added an insurance run in the ninth when McCoy walked the bases loaded and Brian Bayless uncorked a wild pitch to make it 3-1.

The Suns (74-53, 31-26 second half) split the four-game series with the Legends (48-78, 23-34) and snapped a two-game losing streak.

Lexington took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Roman Collins singled, went to third on Chase Vallot’s double and scored on Xavier Fernandez’s groundout to second.

That’s all the Legends managed offensively. Suns starter Taylor Guilbeau (3-2) allowed one run on three hits and three walks over six innings while striking out eight. Mick VanVossen struck out four over two hitless innings, and Philip Walby allowed a single but otherwise struck out the side in the ninth for his sixth save.

Garabito allowed an unearned run on three walks while striking out three for the Legends. The Suns got the run in the fifth when Rhett Wiseman drew a leadoff walk, took second on a groundout, went to third on a passed ball and scored on Jake Noll’s sacrifice fly to right.

Auburn (Short Season-A New York Penn League): The Auburn Doubledays, Single-A Short Season affiliate of the Washington Nationals, took both games of a doubleheader against the Williamsport Crosscutters on Monday night. Auburn won the first game, 1-0, and then came back to win Game Two, 3-1.
In Game One, the lone run of the game came in the top of the third inning. With two outs, Nick Banks doubled to right field. Oliver Ortiz followed with a single to center field that scored Banks to give the Doubledays (24-36) a 1-0 lead.
Doubledays starting pitcher Weston Davis allowed two hits in six innings of scoreless work on the mound. Davis retired 16 straight batters between the first inning and the sixth inning.
In Game Two, the Crosscutters (32-29) almost flipped the script. Williamsport scored in the bottom of the fifth inning. Chandler Hall led off the inning with a single. Luis Espiritu then laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Hall to second base. After a Jesus Alastre strikeout, Enmanuel Garcia singled to center field to score Hall and put the Crosscutters up, 1-0.
The Doubledays came back in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, a pitch hit Andres Martinez. Banks then singled to center field to put runners on the corners. Clayton Brandt came into the game to pinch run for Martinez at third base. Ortiz struck out swinging for the second out of the inning, but Paul Panaccione followed with a single to left field that scored Brandt to tie the game at one. The Doubledays still had runners at first and second base, and Tres Barrera doubled to left-center field to score both Banks and Panaccione, giving Auburn a 3-1 lead.
The Doubledays return home on Tuesday to begin a six-day homestand. Auburn begins the homestand with a three-game series against the Tri-City ValleyCats on Tuesday night. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

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