Washington Nationals Minor League Notebook Weekend Edition August 28 and 29

By Michael Marzzacco

Compiled via team press releases:

Syracuse (AAA International League):

August 28:

The Syracuse Chiefs topped the Pawtucket Red Sox, 7-2, on Saturday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Caleb Ramsey went 3 for 3 with a home run, one of three home runs the Chiefs hit in the win. Mat Latos was effective on the mound for the Chiefs, pitching six innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits, while striking out four.

Pawtucket (89-83) scored the game’s first run in the top of the third inning. Ryan LaMarre led off with a solo home run to center field, giving the PawSox a 1-0 lead. The home run was LaMarre’s tenth of the year.

Syracuse (58-75) answered in the bottom of the inning off Pawtucket’s starter Brian Johnson. Caleb Ramsey opened the inning with a single to center field. After a strikeout, Michael Taylor grounded into a force out, retiring Ramsey at second. With Taylor on first and two outs, Brian Goodwin hit a home run to right center field, giving the Chiefs a 2-1 lead. The home run was Goodwin’s 13th on the year.

The PawSox evened the score in the top of the fourth. With one out, Allen Craig reached on an error by the shortstop Jason Martinson. Dan Butler followed with a double to left-center field. With runners on second and third and one out, Deven Marrero grounded into a fielder’s choice, bringing home Craig to tie the score, 2-2.

The Chiefs regained the lead in a five-hit, five-run bottom of the fourth. Matt Skole and Pedro Severino opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Jason Martinson hit a three-run home run to right field. Ramsey followed with a home run of his own to right, putting the Chiefs on top 6-2. Christopher Bostick followed the back-to-back home runs with a double to left-center field and advanced to third base on a Michael Taylor fly ball in next at-bat. Bostick then scored when Johnson threw a wild pitch by catcher Butler, giving the Chiefs the final 7-2 lead.

August 29:

image-2
Joe Ross pitched an inning for the Chiefs on Major-League rehab Sunday. (Jeff Irizarry | Syracuse Chiefs)
The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the visiting Pawtucket Red Sox, 6-0, Sunday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. The PawSox rallied for 14 hits in the affair while the Chiefs recorded just three. Two of the hits came from Zach Collier while Jhonatan Solano tallied the other. Joe Ross started the game and pitched one inning for the Chiefs in his second Major League rehab stint at the Triple-A level.

Pawtucket (70-64) jumped on the board early with a first-inning run off Ross. Rusney Castillo opened the frame with a single. Christian Vazquez and Chris Marrero later added on back-to-back singles, loading the bases with one away for Jantzen Witte. He plated Castillo with a fielder’s choice to give the PawSox a quick 1-0 lead. Ross pitched just the one frame, allowing a run on three hits while striking out one as well.

Pawtucket increased its lead in the third against Aaron Laffey. Vazquez reached second with one out on a throwing error by Steve Lombardozzi. He immediately came in when the ensuing batter Marrero doubled, pushing the lead to 2-0. Marrero did not have to wait long on the basepaths, as Witte tacked on a single in the next at bat to score Marrero and make the lead 3-0.

The PawSox added on two more runs in the next inning. Doubles were again central to the Pawtucket scoring, as Deven Marrero opening the frame with a ground-rule double down the line in right. After a walk to Mike Miller, Marrero was plated by a Castillo double that one hopped the left-field wall. Miller advanced to third on the hit. The PawSox increased their lead to 5-0 when Ryan LaMarre drove in Miller with a sacrifice fly to Brian Goodwin in center.

Syracuse (59-76) replaced Laffey with Erik Davis on the mound to start the sixth. Davis immediately gave up a triple to Castillo, who scored moments later when LaMarre drove him in on another sacrifice fly, making the lead 6-0.

The Chiefs look to split this four-game series with the PawSox Monday evening in the season’s final game at NBT Bank Stadium. On Fan Appreciation Night, Syracuse has Taylor Hill scheduled to start against Pawtucket’s Sean O’Sullivan. First pitch for the series finale is set for 6:35.

Harrisburg (AA Eastern League):

August 28:

Looking for their first four-game road sweep in five years, the Senators fell just short in their 4-2 loss to Hartford. The Senators started play a game behind Akron and 2 ½ games behind Altoona, with both clubs playing night games.

Mark Blackmar started for the Sens and he allowed two runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Roselle Herrera. The Senators bounced back in the third and plated two runs on a double by Isaac Ballou. Hartford came back with a run in the bottom of the third to retake the lead 3-2, then tacked on a run in the fifth to give Hartford a 4-2 lead.

The Senators only had five hits but they received eight walks but not one walk scored Saturday afternoon. The Senators left ten runners on base, including six in scoring position and went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Robert Benincasa followed Blackmar with two scoreless innings and Nick Lee pitched one scoreless inning.

Rafael Bautista had two hits, Stevenson one, Blackmar one and Ballou’s double.

August 29After an off-day on Sunday, the Senators open a four-game series on Monday night in Bowie. It’s the final road series in the regular season.  

Potomac (High-A Carolina League):

August 28:

Leading for the entirety of the game, the Potomac Nationals (70-60, 36-26) nearly saw a seven run lead evaporate, as the Lynchburg Hillcats (81-51, 36-26) scored two runs in the eighth inning and a pair in the ninth frame, but had a runner thrown out at third base to end the game. On an RBI double by CF Connor Marabell, which made the game 8-6, C Sicnarf Loopstok overran third base and was tagged out by 3B Kelvin Gutierrez. If Loopstok had remained at third base, the Hillcats would have had the tying runs in scoring position with two outs for 3B Mark Mathias, but the base running blunder ended Lynchburg’s night and got Potomac into a first place tie atop the Northern Division with eight games remaining in the regular season.

Potomac took a 3-0 lead after half an inning and built it up to 8-1 by the end of the top of the fifth. A botched double play by 2B Tyler Krieger in the top of the first inning plated DH Austin Davidson and put Potomac on top 1-0. After SS Osvaldo Abreu singled, RF Drew Vettleson plated a pair with a two-out double, which gave the P-Nats a 3-0 lead against LHP Luis Lugo (L, 8-4). Lugo gave up seven runs and was charged with six earned runs over 4.1 innings, though all three runs in the first would not have scored if not for the error by Krieger.

The P-Nats gave a run back in the bottom of the first, as LHP Hector Silvestre (ND) struggled to command the strike zone to start things, though the lefty settled in and allowed just one run over four innings. Silvestre walked Mathias to open up the bottom of the first and immediately gave up an RBI double to C Francisco Mejia. The left-handed starter stranded runners at the corners as he struck out SS Yu-Cheng Chang and got Krieger to foul out.

The P-Nats added a run in the third inning and another in the fourth frame. Gutierrez hit his first home run of the season for Potomac, a solo shot in the third inning, and after an error by Chang allowed Vettleson to reach base in the fourth, LF Dale Carey made it 8-1 with an RBI double.

Out of the Potomac bullpen, RHP Mario Sanchez (W, 5-0) gave up a run in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI double by RF Anthony Santander, but stranded him on second base. Sanchez stranded a runner on base in each of his three innings, as the Hillcats went 6-20 with RISP and left 12 men on base.

After three innings from Sanchez, LHP RC Orlan came out of the Potomac bullpen to begin the bottom of the eighth. Krieger led off the frame with a triple and scored as the throw from 2B Bryan Mejia to third base went into the stands. DH Dorssys Paulino followed with a home run. Paulino’s second home run of the series made it 8-4. Marabell drew a one-out walk and Mathias followed with a single, which put the tying run in the on-deck circle. Orlan struck out Mejia and got Santander to pop out to Abreu, as the Hillcats left men at second and third base.

After three shutout innings between RHP Trevor Frank and LHP David Speer, the Hillcats rallied in the bottom of the ninth against RHP Neil Holland. With one out, Lynchburg got three consecutive singles from Chang, Krieger, and Paulino, which loaded the bases for Loopstok. The Lynchburg DH grounded into a fielder’s choice out at second base, which plated a run and made it 8-5. Marabell then launched a ball more the halfway up the wall in left field, which plated Krieger and moved Loopstock to third base, but after overrunning the third base bag, the relay throw from Carey to Abreu to Gutierrez retired Loopstok and ended the game at 8-6. Potomac’s victory clinched their first series win in the past six series.

August 29:

Down to their final out, the Lynchburg Hillcats (82-51, 37-26) had the tying runs on base and the winning run at the plate down 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth. RHP Ryan Brinley (L, 4-1), who had given up just two runs over his first 28 outings this season, gave up a walk-off three run home run to CF Conor Marabell, the outfielder’s first home run of the season. Marabell’s home run gave Lynchburg an 8-7 win and put the Hillcats one game ahead of the Potomac Nationals (70-61, 36-27) in the Northern Division with seven games to play. Marabell hit the walk-off home run one game after nearly tying the game with a two-out home run in the ninth inning Saturday night in Lynchburg’s 8-6 loss.

Potomac had control for most of the game but continued to play with fire against the top scoring offense in the league. A night after the Hillcats had 20 at-bats with RISP in a loss, they went 6-19 with RISP in the walk-off win. The Hillcats trailed on three different occasions, and never led until Marabell’s walk-off home run.

The P-Nats scored first for the third time in the series, as they plated a run in the second, third and fourth innings against LHP Sean Brady (ND). In the second frame, RF Dale Carey singled with one out and advanced into scoring position on a single by LF Matt Page. C Jake Lowery followed with an RBI single, as Potomac led 1-0. CF Victor Robles led off the third inning with a triple into the left field corner, and after 2B Austin Davidson grounded out, Robles scored on an RBI single by SS Osvaldo Abreu. In the fourth inning, Carey singled with one out and Lowery had his second two-out RBI hit, as his double made it 3-0 Potomac.

On the mound for the P-Nats, LHP Matthew Crownover (ND) allowed only two singles and did not allow a run over his first three innings. After consecutive starts without giving up an earned run, Crownover gave up a pair of earned runs in the fourth inning. 1B Anthony Santander led off the frame with his league leading 40th double of the season, and he scored on a double by LF Dorssys Paulino. RF Taylor Murphy followed with an RBI single, as the Hillcats cut the deficit to one run, but Crownover stranded Murphy at third base as Marabell hit into an inning-ending double play. Crownover issued a leadoff walk to 3B Yonathan Mendoza in the fifth inning, while a single, paired with an error by 3B Kelvin Gutierrez loaded the bases with one out. Crownover struck out DH Bobby Bradley, but a weakly hit ground ball base hit to third base off the bat of Paulino tied the game at three.

Potomac jumped back ahead in the sixth inning against Brady, who allowed four runs on nine hits over 5.1 innings. Gutierrez led off the frame with a single and moved to second base on a wild pitch. After Brady struck out DH Bryan Mejia, the Hillcats called upon LHP Billy Strode. Strode walked Carey and gave up a go-ahead RBI single to Page. The lead for Potomac was short-lived, as RHP Jorge Pantojagave up a run in the bottom of the inning. Marabell doubled with one out, the second of his four hits in the game, and the centerfielder scored on a two-out RBI single by SS Mark Mathias. The game was tied at four through six innings.

The Red, White, & Blue took their third lead of the game with a run in the seventh inning against RHP Justin Garcia. After the righty quickly got the first two outs of the inning, Abreu hit a towering blast over the left field wall, the shortstop’s second home run of the series. The P-Nats took a 5-4 lead into the stretch and added on two insurance runs against RHP Dominic DeMasi (W, 2-1) in the ninth.

Robles singled to left field to start the ninth inning and then stole second base. Davidson reached on a fielding error by SS Yu-Cheng Chang, who had come in as a defensive replacement to start the inning. With men on the corners, a wild pitch by DeMasi plated Robles and made it 6-4. Abreu followed with an RBI single, which put Potomac on top 7-4 with no outs in the ninth. Gutierrez grounded into a fielder’s choice but took second base on a passed ball. Mejia popped out and Carey grounded out, as the P-Nats left a man in scoring position. In the loss, Potomac went 4-16 with RISP and left eight men on base.

After two shutout innings from RHP Gilberto Mendez, the P-Nats turned it over to Brinley in the ninth. Santander led off the bottom of the ninth with his second double of the game, his 41st double of the season, and he moved to third base on a groundout by Bradley. After Paulino walked, Murphy plated Santander with a fielder’s choice groundout. With two outs, C Alex Monsalve hit an opposite field single on the first pitch from Brinley, which brought Marabell to the plate as the winning run. Despite no home runs for the centerfielder in 2016 for the Hillcats, and no home runs allowed by Brinley for Potomac this season, Marabell crushed a ball over the right field wall for a walk-off three-run home run, as the Hillcats came from behind and earned a stunning 8-7 victory.

The loss was just the third (52-3) for Potomac when leading after eight innings. It was Brinley’s second blown save of the season and the first time he has given up multiple runs in an outing for the P-Nats. Robles, Abreu, and Page each had three hits for Potomac in the loss, while Abreu and Lowery each had multiple RBIs.

Off of a heartbreaking defeat, the P-Nats will head into Monday’s off day down by one game in the Northern Division, but still with a healthy lead over the Frederick Keys for a playoff spot. Potomac will head to Nymeo Field Tuesday night to begin a series vs. Frederick, needing at most two wins to clinch a playoff berth. Potomac RHP Austen Williams (4-5, 4.32) is set to start the series opener. Williams gave up six earned runs in his last start, a loss to the Salem Red Sox, and the righty is 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA in two starts vs. the Keys. For Frederick, RHP David Richardson is slated to take the hill. Richardson did not allow an earned run over seven innings in his last start, a win over the Winston-Salem Dash, and his only appearance against Potomac was one scoreless inning out of the bullpen back on May 8th. First pitch Tuesday night is scheduled for 7:00pm.

Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic League):

August 28:

The Hagerstown Suns (78-54) took on the Greensboro Grasshoppers (65-66) in game two of the three game series on Saturday night at Municipal Stadium.

Starting pitcher for the Suns, Taylor Guilbeau (4-2) had one of his best outings of the year, fanning nine in route to his fourth win of the season.

The Suns got the scoring started in the bottom of the fourth innings when Jake Noll knocked his first hit of the game with one out. Jakson Reetz then brought him all the way in from first with a RBI double.

Suns starter Taylor Guilbeau threw six complete innings, giving up only four hits and three walks. He was relieved by Mick VanVossen in the seventh inning, who struck out two in his two innings pitched.

GuilbeauVanVissen and closer Jake Johansen combined to give up only six hits, five walks and struck out 12.

The Starter for the Greensboro Grasshoppers was Justin Jacomb (1-4).

After going thee scoreless innings, where he struck out one, Jacomb gave up the RBI double to Reetz. He then gave up another run in the fifth inning when Ian Sagdal tallied his 53rd RBI of the year scoring Narciso Mesawho lead the inning off with a double.

Former Hagerstown Sun Trey Lambert relieved Jacomb in the sixth inning.

Lambert gave up one run on three hits in his 1.1 innings pitched back at Municipal Stadium. He was relieved by Parker Bugg who threw 1.2 innings striking out one.

Taylor Guilbeau earned the win, moving his record to 4-2 and Justin Jacomb received the loss, pushing his record to 1-4. Jake Johansen received the save for the Suns.

August 29:

The Hagerstown Suns (79-54) took on the Greensboro Grasshoppers (54-67) at Municipal Stadium on Sunday for the final regular season home game of the year.

The Suns tallied 10 runs on 15 hits in their 10-2 victory of over the Grasshoppers resulting in the series sweep.

The Grasshoppers got the scoring started in the top of the second inning when John Silviano reached base after being hit by a Tyler Watson fastball. He was then brought in off of the Zach Sullivan RBI triple.

The Suns were not to be outdone in the 3rd inning. Grant DeBruin lead off the inning with a base hit to left field. After a Rhett Wiseman walk and a  Jake Noll single, Matt Reistetter knocked an RBI single scoring  DeBruinTyler Beckwith then hit his second RBI double as a Sun which extended the score to 4-1. Two more runs came in off of the bat of  Ian Sagdal to finish the inning off at 6-1.

Greensboro added one more in the fourth after Isael Soto scored on the Angelo LaBruna throwing error.

The bottom of the fourth inning started off with a  Rhett Wiseman walk. He was moved to third on the Jake Noll single to right field. With no outs, Matt Reistetter earned his second RBI of the day when he flew out to center scoring Wiseman from third. After Jack Sundberg reached base off of a single,  Narciso Mesa mashed his second home run of the year moving the score to 10-2.

Hagerstown starter, Tyler Watson went 5 innings, giving up two runs, one walk and struck out seven.

James BourqueMariano Rivera and Philip Walby combined to walk one and strike out three in their four innings of relief.

Tyler Watson earned the win and pushed his record to 1-0. LJ Brewster received the Loss for Greensboro, changing his record to 4-7.

The Hagerstown Suns finish the season on the road with three games against the Charleston Riverdogs and four games against the Asheville Tourists.

The Playoffs return to Hagerstown on September 9th with post game fireworks brought to you by NMS Healthcare.

Auburn (Short Season-A New York Penn League):

 

August 28:

The Auburn Doubledays lost to the State College Spikes on Saturday night at Falcon Park, 3-1. The win for State College gave the Spikes their third Pinckney Division title in four years.

The Spikes (44-23) jumped on the board right away in the top of the first inning. Tommy Edman singled, Andy Young was hit by a pitch, and Vince Jackson worked a walk to load the bases. Jeremy Martinez followed with a sacrifice fly out to right field that scored Edman to give the Spikes a 1-0 lead.

State College added to its lead in the third inning. Edman led off the inning with a double. Young then walked to put runners on first and second base. Jackson followed with a line out to second base for the first out of the inning. With Martinez batting, Edman stole third base and Young stole second. Martinez then singled to right field, scoring both Edman and Young to extend the Spikes’ advantage to three, 3-0.

The Doubledays (26-39) scored in the bottom of the sixth inning. Andres Martinez led off the inning with a double. Martinez moved to third base on a Daniel Johnson ground out to second base. Dalton Dulin followed with a ground out to first base, but Martinez scored on the play to cut the State College lead to two, 3-1.

The Spikes shut the Doubledays down the rest of the game as State College won, 3-1. The win clinched the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division title for the Spikes.

August 29: L 7-0 

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