By Michael Marzzacco
Compiled via team press releases:
Syracuse (AAA International League):
The Syracuse Chiefs fell in the series opener to the Pawtucket Red Sox, 3-0, Friday night. Austin Voth gave the Chiefs an excellent start, allowing just an earned run in the tough-luck loss. Syracuse managed six hits in the game, with five off Pawtucket starter Henry Owens. He struck out eight while earning the win.
Pawtucket (69-63) plated the game’s first run in the top of the second inning against Voth. After a one-two-three first, Bryce Brentz opened the second with a wall-ball triple to right-center field. Christian Vazquez singled home Brentz in the ensuing at bat for a 1-0 lead. The PawSox went on to load the bases with no outs, but failed to score again.
Syracuse (58-75) received an outstanding performance from Voth on the bump. The starter scattered six hits in seven innings of work to go along with six strikeouts and just one walk. The one-run performance marks the third time in Voth’s last five outings that he has allowed just one earned run. He is 2-1 in that span with an ERA of 2.55.
Matt Grace began the eighth in relief of Voth. The first three batters he faced, Ryan LaMarre, Brennan Boesch and Brentz, all singled to load the bases with no outs. Pawtucket tacked on another run when Vazquez earned his second RBI of the night with a fielder’s choice to Christopher Bostick at second. The Chiefs then elected to intentionally walk Jantzen Witte to re-load the bases. Chris Dominguez followed, plating Boesch on another fielder’s choice to Bostick for the PawSox third run of the game.
The Chiefs and PawSox meet again Saturday evening from NBT Bank Stadium. The game marks the third to last home game of the Syracuse season. Mat Latos is scheduled to make his home debut for the Chiefs opposite Pawtucket’s Brian Johnson. First pitch for the game is set at 7:05.
Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): Friday afternoon in New Hampshire the suddenly hot Harrisburg Senators swept two from Hartford by scores of 5-1 and 5-4 to move to 69-63 on the season. The wins were the fourth and fifth in a row for the Senators as they match their season high win streak.
Game one saw the Senators score single runs in five separate innings. Jose Marmolejos homered in the first inning to give the Sens the lead. Erick Fedde allowed a run in the first to Hartford but that’s all he would allow as he tossed a complete game for the win. The Senators scored single runs in the second, third, sixth and seventh innings. Marmolejos had two hits, Stephen Perez tripled and had two hits, Khayyan Norfork doubled and had two hits and Adrian Sanchez chipped in with two hits. Fedde struck out eight and scattered six hits.
In game two, the Senators scored three times in the first inning on back-to-back doubles by Stevenson and Isaac Ballou, a triple by Shawn Pleffner and a single by Perez. Ballou homered in the third to give the Senators a 4-1 lead. Hartford scored three times in the last of the third to tie the game at 4 and 4.
The Senators pitching then shut down Hartford with starter John Simms retiring the final four batters he faced. Mitch Lively delivered a perfect sixth before turning things over to Wander Suero. In the top of the seventh, Stevenson walked, and was at second with one out when Marmolejos doubled him home to give the Senators a 5-4 lead. Suero then pitched a perfect seventh, striking out pinch-hitter Corelle Prime on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.
Stevenson, Ballou and Pleffner all had two hits in game two.
The Senators and Hartford Yard Goats play the final game of their four-game series Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m.
Potomac (High-A Carolina League): Behind a stellar outing from RHP Boone Whiting (W, 10-3), the Potomac Nationals (69-60, 35-26) pulled within one game of the Lynchburg Hillcats (81-50, 26-25) for the Northern Division lead with a 4-1 win. Whiting did not allow a run until he gave up a solo home run to DH Dorssys Paulino with one out in the sixth inning. That was Whiting’s final pitch of the night, as the righty gave up only six hits and walked one over 6.1 innings. Potomac tagged RHP Matt Esparza (L, 2-3) for four runs over the first three innings, while both teams’ bullpens held the opposition scoreless.
Potomac got the scoring started with a run in the second inning. SS Osvaldo Abreu led off the frame with a single, went to third base on a one-out base hit by 1B Matt Page, and scored on an RBI groundout by LF Dale Carey. The P-Nats plated three runs in the following inning, as C Raudy Read scored DH Austin Davidson on an RBI single and Abreu made it 4-0 Potomac with a two-run home run. Esparza stranded two in the scoring position in the fourth inning and turned it over to the Lynchburg bullpen, which kept the Hillcats in the game.
Whiting was terrific once again against the Hillcats, as he improved to 4-0 in five starts vs. Lynchburg. The Hillcats loaded the bases with no outs on three straight singles in the third inning, but Whiting got C Francisco Mejia to ground into a double play and LF Anthony Santander to foul out. Lynchburg had a man reach base in five of Whiting’s seven frames but went 1-8 with RISP in the game.
RHP Dominic DeMasi came in for Esparza to begin the fifth inning, and the righty did not allow a run over two+ frames. He allowed a leadoff single to RF Drew Vettleson in the fifth inning but then retired the next three hitters. Davidson had a two-out single in the sixth but was left on the first base, and Read ended DeMasi’s night with a leadoff double in the seventh inning. LHP Billy Strode entered for the Hillcats and retired three straight to get through the seventh inning. Strode faced the minimum in the eighth frame and struck out Davidson to begin the ninth. RHP Justin Garcia came on and loaded the bases with one out on a walk, a single, and an intentional walk, but Abreu and 2B Bryan Mejia both popped out to Chang as Potomac left the bases loaded in the final inning.
In relief of Whiting, RHP Whit Mayberry got the final two outs in the seventh inning but gave up a single and walked a man in the eighth. With men at first and second and one out, RHP Ryan Brinley (SV, 15) came on for Potomac in search of a five-out save. Brinley immediately walked SS Yu-Cheng Chang, which loaded the bases and brought the go-ahead run to the plate. 2B Tyler Kriger flied out to shallow centerfield, not nearly deep enough to plate Mejia from third base, and Brinley got Paulino to ground into a fielder’s choice. The Potomac closer then got three groundouts in a perfect ninth inning.
Paired with a loss by Frederick, Potomac’s magic number to clinch a spot in the playoffs is down to five. The P-Nats have an opportunity to tie for the division lead and drop that number by at least one if they can pick up a victory Saturday night, as they meet the Hillcats for game two of the series. LHP Hector Silvestre (0-0, 4.50) will make his second start of the season for Potomac. Silvestre gave up two earned runs over four innings in a no-decision vs. Frederick in his 2016 P-Nats debut. LHP Luis Lugo (8-3, 3.85) is set to start for the Hillcats. Lugo has not factored in the decision in any of his three starts vs. Potomac and has allowed five earned runs in 17 innings vs. the P-Nats (2.65 ERA). First pitch Saturday night is set for 6:30pm.
Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic): For the second time this week, the Hagerstown Suns were no-hit through six innings and rallied for a victory.
Tyler Beckwith’s two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning gave Hagerstown the lead and spoiled a brilliant outing by Greensboro starter Trevor Richards as the Suns clipped the Grasshoppers 2-1 on Friday night in a South Atlantic League game at Municipal Stadium.
On Monday night, the Suns (77-54 overall, 34-27 second half) failed to get a hit through six innings against Lexington, but scored twice in the seventh to take the lead en route to a 3-1 win.
On Friday night, Richards (2-1) hit Rhett Wiseman with a pitch with one out in the seventh, then gave up Jake Noll’s single to end his no-hit bid. After a flyout, a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position and Beckwith capitalized with a liner to right for a 2-1 lead.
The two singles in the inning were the Suns’ only hits in the game.
Richards retired the first 11 Suns he faced before surrendering a walk with two outs in the fourth. He walked another in the sixth but was otherwise unblemished until the seventh.
Suns starter Jefry Rodriguez also was sharp, allowing one run on four hits and a walk while striking out six over six innings. The run he allowed came in the fourth when Stone Garrett hit a one-out single and later scored on Angel Reyes’ two-out single.
Grant Borne (4-2) worked a scoreless seventh and eighth for Hagerstown, but got in trouble in the ninth. Isael Soto reached on a strike-three wild pitch leading off. A one-out wild pitch moved him into scoring position and a walk to John Silviano ended Borne’s night.
Tommy Peterson entered and struck out Justin Twine before getting J.J. Gould to line out to short to end the game and earn his seventh save.
Garrett had two of the Grasshoppers’ five hits.
Auburn (Short Season-A New York Penn League): The Auburn Doubledays picked up their New York-Penn League-leading ninth shutout of the season with a 2-0 victory over the State College Spikes on Friday night. Outfielder Oliver Ortiz hit a two-run home run for the Doubledays en route to the win.
The Doubledays (26-38) picked up both of their runs in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs, Nick Banks singled to left field. Ortiz followed with a two-run blast over the right-field wall to give Auburn a 2-0 lead.
The Spikes (43-23) could not get anything going against the Doubledays’ pitching staff. Left-hander McKenzie Mills threw five shutout innings for Auburn. Mills allowed just two hits while striking out four batters en route to his fourth win of the season. Right-hander Kyle Simonds pitched three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three batters. Simonds picked up a hold, while right-hander Phil Morse got the save. Morse pitched a scoreless top of the ninth inning to collect his third save of the season.
The Doubledays and the Spikes play the second game of a three-game series on Saturday night. Right-hander A.J. Bogucki will pitch for Auburn against State College right-hander Jordan Hicks. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Falcon Park.