By Michael Marzzacco
Compiled via team press releases:
Syracuse (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs beat the Pawtucket Red Sox, 1-0, in 10 innings Friday night at McCoy Stadium. Lucas Giolito was outstanding for the Chiefs in the win, going eight shut out innings.
Syracuse (61-79) got an excellent performance from Giolito in likely his final Chiefs appearance of the year. Giolito went eight innings, allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out five. Lucas threw 108 pitches, two short of a career high.
Pawtucket (71-68) got an equally good performance from Roenis Elias. Elias allowed just three hits in six innings with nine strikeouts.
The Chiefs finally started the scoring in the 10th inning. Zach Collier walked to start the inning against Chandler Shepherd. Collier stole second and moved to third on a groundout. He scored on Christopher Bostick‘s RBI single to break the scoreless tie. Derek Self then retired the side in his Triple-A debut in the ninth.
The Chiefs and PawSox conclude their season series Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. at McCoy Stadium. Taylor Hill is scheduled to start for Syracuse opposite Sean O’Sullivan for Pawtucket.
Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): Rafael Bautista delivered the bases-loaded single in the 13th inning to give the Harrisburg Senators a stirring 4-3 victory over the Hartford Yard Goats. The win was necessary to keep pace in the playoff chase with the Akron RubberDucks who swept a doubleheader against Bowie.
The Senators broke through first as Wilmer Difo clubbed a solo shot, his sixth home run of the season, to give the Senators an early 1-0 lead. They would add to that in the fourth inning as three singles from Andrew Stevenson, Difo, and Jose Marmolejos doubled the Senators’ advantage to 2-0.
Hartford responded on a Juan Ciriaco home run, but Senators’ starter Michael Brady was in command early. That is until the sixth inning when the Yard Goats took a 3-2 lead on three straight singles including a throwing error from Shawn Pleffner on a bunt base hit.
Brady would leave the game in line for the loss with seven innings of six-hit ball while striking out eight. But Harrisburg would take the right-hander off the hook as they loaded the bases on a pinch-hit double from Mark Blackmar and two walks. Once again Wilmer Difo delivered as he stroked a game-tying single into left field. With the bases still loaded, Pleffner failed in his shot at redemption as he grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The bullpens matched zero for zero into the 13th inning when Harrisburg rallied on a couple of walks and a sacrifice bunt fielder’s choice. That set the stage for Bautista who ripped the walk-off single.
The Senators continue their final series of the season against Hartford with a doubleheader on Saturday evening at FNB Field. Tyler Mapes and John Simms will get the ball for Harrisburg, while Devin Burke and Konner Wade will do the same for the Yard Goats.
Potomac (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (72-63 38-29) ran into the league’s top ranked pitching staff Friday night, as they were held to just one run on four hits in a 2-1 loss to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (80-56, 44-22). Though the Pelicans tallied only four hits, a critical error by 1B Matt Page in the eighth inning proved to be the difference in the game.
The two teams traded scoreless frames through the first 4.5 innings, as LHP Hector Silvestre (ND) and RHP Duane Underwood (ND) were both very good in their respective longest starts of the season in the Carolina League. Underwood, who has pitched at both one level above and one level below this season allowed just one run over 4.2 innings, while Silvestre got through the fifth for the first time in his first three 2016 Potomac starts. Silvestre allowed only two hits over five shutout frames.
Underwood buckled first, as Potomac put together a two-out rally together against the righty in the fifth inning. Page singled and moved to second base when Underwood hit LF Dale Carey with a pitch. Myrtle Beach went to the bullpen, but RHP James Norwood (W, 1-0) immediately gave up an RBI single to CF Victor Robles. Robles’ single to right field was his third hit of the game, though RF Jeffrey Baez threw out Carey at third base for his 16th outfield assist of the season. Norwood gave up just the hit to Robles over 2.1 shutout frames.
Potomac went to the bullpen to start the sixth inning, and RHP Jorge Pantoja quickly allowed the Pelicans to get back into the game. Pantoja missed the strike zone with eight of his first nine pitches, as the Pelicans drew two walks and had men at first and second base for Baez with no outs. Baez popped out to Page, but SS Andrew Ely flared a single into shallow centerfield, and the throw from Robles was not in time to get DH Yasiel Balaguert at the plate. Pantoja stranded men at the corners, as the game was knotted at one after 5.5 innings.
After a scoreless frame from RHP Whit Mayberry, the P-Nats gave the ball to RHP Neil Holland (L, 1-4) for the eighth inning. With the game still tied at one apiece, C Ian Rice doubled with one out. After Holland got Baez to foul out to C Raudy Read, Ely hit a ground ball right at Page, but the ball went underneath the Potomac first baseman’s glove. Page’s third error of the season allowed Rice to score and made the score 2-1, the eventual final.
Carey drew a leadoff walk in the eighth inning against RHP Daury Torrez, and 3B Kelvin Gutierrez had a one-out single, but DH Austin Davidson grounded into an inning-ending double play. In the bottom of the ninth, RHP Ryan McNeil (SV, 22) got Read to ground out and the Myrtle Beach closer finished the game with two consecutive strikeouts. With the win, Myrtle Beach has a magic number of one to host the first game of their first round playoff matchup with the Salem Red Sox. Potomac’s magic number to host game one of the Northern Division matchup in the first round fell to three, as the Lynchburg Hillcats fell Friday night.
Set to start game two of the series, LHP Matthew Crownover (4-4, 4.27) will make his third start of the season vs. the Pelicans. Crownover is 0-1 with a 5.90 ERA in his first two starts vs. Myrtle Beach. RHP Erick Leal (10-4, 2.98) is scheduled to start for the Pelicans. The righty has only thrown 4.1 innings over his last two starts, as he works his way back from an injury in mid-July. First pitch Saturday night is scheduled for 6:35pm.
Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic League): Rhett Wiseman’s two-run homer in the fourth inning staked the Hagerstown Suns to the lead, and strong pitching finished off a 5-1 South Atlantic League victory over the Asheville Tourists on Friday night.
Despite the win, the Suns (81-56, 38-29) were eliminated from second-half title contention in the Northern Division as Lakewood clinched the title with a victory.
Hagerstown won the first-half championship to assure itself a spot in the playoffs, which begin Wednesday.
After Wiseman’s blast made it 2-0, the Suns added a third run in the inning on a double error by Tourists shortstop Scott Burcham.
Asheville (65-70, 31-35) scored a run in the fifth as Max George hit a leadoff double and scored on Burcham’s sacrifice fly.
In the seventh, Telmito Agustin hit a leadoff single and later scored on Ian Sagdal’s single to give Hagerstown a 4-1 lead.
In the ninth, Grant DeBruin hit a leadoff double and scored on Jake Noll’s single to make it 5-1.
Taylor Guilbeau (5-2) earned the win with 5 2/3 solid innings, allowing one run on five hits and three walks while striking out seven. Jake Johansen pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk while fanning three, and Philip Walby worked the ninth, getting a game-ending double play after allowing a walk and single.
Jesus Tinoco (3-8) took the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks while striking out six over six innings.
Sagdal, DeBruin, Wiseman and Noll each had two hits as the Suns had 11 in all.
Carlos Herrera and Mylz Jones had two hits each for the Tourists.
Auburn (Short Season-A New York Penn League): The Auburn Doubledays, Single-A Short Season affiliate of the Washington Nationals, dropped game two of their three-game series with the West Virginia Black Bears on Friday night, 7-4. Auburn scored four runs combined in the seventh and eighth innings, and left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning.
West Virginia jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the first four innings. The Black Bears scored two runs in the first, one run in the second, two more runs in the third, and another run in the fourth. Will Craig drove in three of the six runs, while Ty Moore racked up three hits (two singles and a double) in the first four innings. Moore has reached in eight of his nine at-bats against the Doubledays this series.
Auburn mounted a rally in the seventh and eighth innings. Nick Banks singled to begin the seventh inning, and after a fly-out from Paul Panaccione, Oliver Ortiz doubled to put runners on second and third. David Kerian promptly doubled off the wall in right-field, scoring both Banks and Ortiz.
After West Virginia added a run in the top of 8th, Auburn struck back with two more runs in the bottom of the inning. The Doubledays loaded the bases off a Daniel Johnson single, a Juan Soto double, and a Nick Banks walk. Paul Panaccione drove in Johnson with a sacrifice fly, then Oliver Ortiz singled to bring in Soto. In his first two games with Auburn, Juan Soto has reached in six of his nine at-bats, including three singles, a double, an RBI, and a run scored.
The Black Bears failed to scored in the top of the ninth inning, leaving the Doubledays one last chance to tie or win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. Luis Vilorio walked to begin the frame, then moved to second on Daniel Johnson‘s one-out single. After Clayton Brandt popped out for the inning’s second out, Juan Soto walked to load the bases. Nick Banks struck out swinging to end the game, representing the winning run at home plate.
The Doubledays look to salvage one game from the three-game series Saturday night at Falcon Park. Right-hander Weston Davis starts for Auburn in the final home game in the 2016 season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.