By Michael Marzzacco

Compiled via team press releases:

Syracuse (AAA International League):

Espino_Paolo
Paolo Espino allowed just two runs in seven strong innings (Jeff Irizarry)

The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 4-0, Thursday evening at NBT Bank Stadium. All nine RailRiders’ batters had hits in the win. The shutout was the 23rd on the year for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the most for an International League team since 1975. Paolo Espino allowed only two runs over seven innings in the loss.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (83-49) scored the game’s first two runs in the top of the second against Syracuse’s starter Paolo Espino. Chris Parmelee led off the inning with an infield single. After a groundout, Jake Cave walked, putting runners on first and second. Pete Kozma then singled into left field, scoring Parmelee. Eddy Rodriguez followed up with a single to center field to load the bases. With one out, Mason Williams hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Cave to give the RailRiders a 2-0 lead.

Syracuse (58-73) struggled to find a rhythm offensively against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s starter Jordan Montgomery. The southpaw scattered five baserunners across five and two-thirds innings, striking out eight without allowing a run.  Montgomery extended his scoreless streak to 24 and one-third innings in the win.

Espino was sharp on the mound for the Chiefs in the loss. He pitched seven strong innings, allowing just the two second-inning runs on six hits, while striking out nine.

The Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate crossed the plate two more times in the eighth off reliever Trevor Gott. With one out, Ben Gamel golfed a home run to right-center field to put the RailRiders up 3-0. The home run was Gamel’s sixth of the year. Then, after a groundout, Clint Frazier hit a triple off the right-center field fence. Cave followed with a single up the middle, scoring Frazier to give the RailRiders the final 4-0 advantage.

Syracuse returns to action Friday night for the first off of a four-game series with the Pawtucket Red Sox. Austin Voth is scheduled to pitch for the Chiefs against Henry Owens for the  PawSox. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. at NBT Bank Stadium.

Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): The Harrisburg Senators took a 4-0 lead, lost it, then scored twice in the 10th to beat Hartford 6-4 on Thursday night in New Hampshire. Harrisburg (67-63) won their third straight game for the first time since July 21-23 when they swept Richmond in a three-game series.

With the score tied 4-4 in the tenth, Kevin Keyes doubled in two runs with one out, providing the winning margin for a second straight night. Andrew Robinson pitched a scoreless tenth to earn his seventh save on the season. Sam Runion, who stranded runners in the eighth when he came on, but allowed the tying run to score in the ninth, earned the win.

Phillips Valdez started for the Senators and pitched effectively even though he allowed 11 hits. He gave the Senators 7.2 innings and allowed just two earned runs.

The Senators broke a scoreless tie in the fourth when they scored four times. Jose Marmolejos drove in two with a bases loaded double, Keyes followed with an RBI single and Drew Ward capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to left. That would be all for the Senators offense until the tenth as 20 of the next 22 batters were retired.

Hartford scored a run in the sixth, two in the seventh and tied the game in the ninth, setting up the heroics by Keyes.

The Senators and Hartford Yard Goats play games two and three in their four-game series Friday afternoon at 1:05 p.m.

Potomac (High-A Carolina League): Despite an early 2-0 lead and a chance with the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth on two different occasions, the Potomac Nationals (68-60, 34-26) fell 7-4 to the Salem Red Sox (80-48, 36-23) Thursday night in the series finale at Pfitzner Stadium. Even with a win in the series opener, Potomac tallied its fifth consecutive series loss, and now sits two games behind Lynchburg in the Northern Division and 4.5 games ahead of Frederick for a playoff spot.

In his third start with Potomac, RHP J.D. Martin (L, 0-2) had much better command of his knuckleball, as the righty issued just one walk. Though the walks went down from his first two starts, the hits went up, as Martin gave up 10 hits in the loss. The righty managed to get through three innings without giving up a run, as Salem left a runner on second base in the first inning, a man on third base in the second frame, and had a runner thrown out at third base in the third.

While Martin worked out of trouble in the first third of the game, Potomac jumped on LHP Matt Kent (W, 10-6) early, though Kent settled in and tossed his third straight quality start. RF Drew Vettleson drew a one-out walk in the second inning and scored on a two-out double by LF Dale Carey. CF Victor Robles led off the third inning with a home run, his third of the season, though it was the final earned run charged to Kent.

Potomac took a 2-0 lead into the top of the fourth inning, as Salem finally took advantage of their at-bats with men in scoring position. Over the first three frames, Salem went 0-5 with RISP. From the fourth inning on, the Red Sox went 5-14. 3B Michael Chavis led off the fourth inning with a single and moved to second base as Martin hit RF Jayce Ray with a knuckleball. After Martin recorded the first out of the inning, C Jordan Procyshen had an RBI single, which made it 2-1, and 1B Jordan Betts put Salem on top with a two-run double. Salem led 3-2 after 3.5 innings and Potomac trailed the rest of the way.

The Red Sox plated another two runs against Martin in the fifth inning. CF Joseph Monge led off the frame with a single, one of five leadoff hits in seven innings against the Potomac starter. Chavis drew a walk, which put men on the corners for Ray, who brought home a run with a groundout. With two outs, 2B Jose Sermo reached on an infield single to 2B Bryan Mejia, and a bobble by Mejia after fielding it allowed Chavis to score. Martin allowed six runs, five earned, over seven innings.

The P-Nats got a run back in the sixth inning due to a defensive miscue by the Red Sox. Vettleson doubled with two outs and scored on a throwing error by Chavis at third base on a ground ball hit by Mejia, though Potomac left Mejia at second base. The P-Nats went 0-9 with RISP and left 11 men on base, seven in scoring position.

Martin gave up his final run of the night on a double by Monge and two-out triple in the seventh inning by Ray, while RHP Gilberto Mendez pitched the final two frames. Mendez worked a perfect eighth inning, but gave up three singles and walked a batter in a one-run ninth inning, as Salem took a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth.

In relief of Kent, RHP Jake Cosart got the final out of the seventh inning and quickly retired the first two batters in the eighth. Cosart then loaded the bases on two walks and a HBP, but pinch hitter Matt Page struck out and ended the inning. RHP Jamie Callahan came on for the bottom of the ninth inning and loaded the bases with no outs, as Robles singled, while DH Austin Davidson and SS Osvaldo Abreu walked. In his Potomac debut, 3B Kelvin Gutierrez stepped in as the tying run, but the 21-year-old grounded into a run-scoring double play. After Vettleson drew his second walk of the game, Mejia stepped in as the tying run, but the Potomac second baseman flied out to right field to end the game.

With the win, Salem took the season series 8-7. Robles had Potomac’s only multi-hit game, his second such game since he returned from the disabled list. Potomac managed just five hits Thursday night and seven total in back-to-back losses to the Red Sox.

Trailing the Hillcats by multiple games for the first time in the second half, Potomac will head to Lynchburg for a three game series that begins Friday night. RHP Boone Whiting (9-3, 3.72) is set to start for the P-Nats. Whiting is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four starts this season vs. the Hillcats. RHP Matt Esparza (2-2, 2.10) is scheduled to take the mound for Lynchburg. Esparza made consecutive starts in early August vs. Potomac and went 0-1 with a 2.19 ERA against the P-Nats. First pitch Friday night is set for 6:30pm.

Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic): All of the scoring in Thursday night’s South Atlantic League game at Municipal Stadium came via four solo home runs.

Unfortunately for the Hagerstown Suns, they only hit one of them.

Ricardo Andujar, Randolph Gassaway and Ademar Rifaela all went deep for the Delmarva Shorebirds in a 3-1 victory over the Suns, who got a homer from Jake Noll but finished with just three hits.

Hagerstown (76-54, 33-27 second half) fell four games behind Lakewood in the race for the North Division second-half title.

Andujar’s homer in the third inning gave Delmarva (64-64, 22-37) a 1-0 lead. Noll’s shot in the fifth tied it, but Gassaway untied it in the sixth and Rifaela added an insurance run in the ninth.

Brian Gonzalez (9-8) allowed one run on two hits and two walks while striking out four over six innings for the Shorebirds, lowering his ERA to 2.51. Lex Rutledge allowed one hit and struck out two over the final three innings for his fifth save and sports a 1.90 ERA.

Luis Reyes (0-1), making his second start for the Suns, allowed two runs on five hits and three walks over six innings. Sam Held allowed one run on one hit and one walk over the final three innings.

Auburn (Short Season-A New York Penn League): The Auburn Doubledays lost to the Tri-City ValleyCats on Thursday night, 4-3. Clayton Brandt had two hits and scored two runs for the Doubledays in the loss.

The ValleyCats (34-31) jumped on the board first with two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Rodrigo Ayarza began the inning with a single to center field. Carmen Benedetti followed with a double to left field that scored Ayarza to give Tri-City a 1-0 lead. After a Taylor Jones ground out, Ronnie Dawson singled to center field to score Benedetti and put the ValleyCats up, 2-0.

Tri-City added to its lead in the top of the fifth inning. Gabriel Bracamonte singled, a pitch hit Tyler Wolfe, and Marcos Almonte reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Ayarza popped out, but Benedetti singled to right field to score Bracamonte, pushing the Tri-City lead to three, 3-0.

The Doubledays (25-38) got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning. Brandt singled to start the inning. With Luis Vilorio batting, a wild pitch allowed Brandt to move to third base. Vilorio grounded out to third, but Brandt advanced to third base on the play. Brandt then scored on a Dalton Dulin groundout to third base to cut the Tri-City lead to two, 3-1.

Auburn decreased the deficit again in the bottom of the sixth inning with one swing of the bat. With two outs and nobody on base, Tres Barrera crushed a ball over the left-field wall to trim the ValleyCats’ lead to one, 3-2.

Tri-City extended its lead back to two in the top of the seventh inning. Tyler Wolfe led off with a double. Almonte then singled to put runners on first and third base. Ayarza followed with a base hit to center field that knocked in Wolfe to push the ValleyCats’ lead to two, 4-2.

The Doubledays made a late rally in the bottom of the ninth inning. Brandt singled and then advanced to second base on a wild pitch that was thrown while Vilorio was batting. Vilorio popped out to first base for the first out of the inning. Dulin then grounded out to third base, but Brandt advanced to third base on the play. Daniel Johnson followed with an infield single that scored Brandt to make it a 4-3 ballgame. That’s as close as Auburn would get though.

The Doubledays continue their six-day homestand on Friday night with the first game of a three-game series against the State College Spikes. Left-hander McKenzie Mills will pitch for the Doubledays against Spikes right-hander Bryan Dobzanski. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

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