Washington Nationals Minor League Notebook: April 20

Chiefsville
Courtesy of the Syracuse Chiefs

By Michael (The Fox) Marzzacco

Compiled via team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League):

image-2
Brandon Snyder drove in the game’s only run. (Herm Card)

The Syracuse Chiefs picked up their third consecutive win on Thursday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium with a 1-0 victory in game one of a scheduled doubleheader over the Toledo Mud Hens. Brandon Snyder drove in the lone run of the game on an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning.

Game two of the twin bill was postponed as a result of oncoming storms. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader in Toledo on Monday, August 7th. The start time is yet to be announced.

Syracuse (5-7) started the scoring early in the game. Center fielder Rafael Bautista led off the first inning with a single into right field and reached second after Toledo (8-5) starter Chad Bell issued a walk to right fielder Brian Goodwin. Bautista would advance to third when first baseman Clint Robinson grounded into a double play. The lone run of the inning came as Snyder singled up the middle, plating Bautista.

Chiefs starting pitcher Jacob Turner started strong with one and two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball. The right-hander gave up just one hit and struck out two. A quartet of Chiefs relievers would shut down the Mud Hens’ bats the rest of the way as Dustin Antolin, Matt Grace, Trevor Gott, and Austin Adams combined for five and one-third scoreless innings, surrendering just six hits. Antolin picked up his second victory of the season, while Adams picked up his first save.

The Chiefs begin their next series against the Norfolk Tides on Friday at 6:35 in the first game of a three-game set.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Josh Fuentes tripled and singled, and Yency Almonte struck out 10 hitters over seven innings as the Hartford Yard Goats beat the Harrisburg Senators 1-0 on Thursday.

Almonte (1-0) allowed four hits to pick up the win.

The game’s only run was scored in the bottom of the fourth inning. After hitting a single with two outs, Omar Carrizales scored on a triple by Fuentes.

Erick Fedde (1-1) went seven innings, allowing one run and five hits to take the tough loss in the Eastern League game. He also struck out eight and walked three. James Farris retired the side in order for his first save of the season.

Harrisburg missed a scoring opportunity in the eighth, when Mario Lisson flew out with the bases loaded to end the inning.

The Senators were held off the scoreboard for the second time this season, while the Yard Goats’ staff recorded their second shutout of the year.

Despite the loss, Harrisburg is 4-2 against Hartford this season.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): In the first 2017 matchup between the two teams that met in the Northern Division Championship Series in 2016, the Potomac Nationals (8-6) got five RBIs from DH Austin Davidson and three RBIs from SS Edwin Lora in route to an 8-2 win over the Lynchburg Hillcats (7-7). RHP Jefry Rodriguez (W, 1-1) notched his first quality start of the season, as the righty allowed just two runs over six innings.

The Hillcats scored first, as they tried to extend their winning streak to six games. 2B Yonathan Mendoza led off the bottom of the first inning with a single, and RF Ka’ai Tom followed with a double. With two men in scoring position and no outs, C Sicnarf Loopstok grounded out to Potomac 3B Kelvin Gutierrez, which plated a run, but Tom ran into an out at third base. Rodriguez buckled down and escaped further damage, as the righty struck out the next two Lynchburg hitters.

Potomac sent the minimum to the plate over the first two frames, but burst out for four runs in the third inning. RHP Jared Robinson (L, 1-2) hit Lora to begin the frame, and the Potomac shortstop went to third base on a single by LF Jack Sundberg. CF Telmito Agustin followed with what could have been a potential double play ball, but it got underneath the glove of SS Willi Castro. The error plated Lora and made it 1-0 Potomac. 2B Bryan Mejia then walked, which loaded the bases, and Davidson cleared the bases with a three-run double into left-centerfield.

The P-Nats knocked Robinson out of the game after 4.2 innings, and RHP Kieran Lovegrove gave up an RBI double to Agustin in the fourth inning. The Hillcats got the run back in the sixth inning against Rodriguez, as Loopstok led off the frame with a double, and then scored on a two-out RBI single by 3B Claudio Bautista.

Out of the Potomac bullpen, RHP Kyle Schepel (SV, 1) faced just one batter over the minimum over three-shutout innings. Schepel saw his club double up its lead with three insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning vs. RHP Brock Hartson. Hartson, who pitched five innings, allowed a single to Lora, walked Sundberg, and saw a run come home on a safety squeeze bunt by Agustin. After Hartson retired Mejia, Davidson capped off the night’s scoring with a two-run, two-out single, as Potomac went ahead 8-2.

Seven of the nine Potomac starters had at least one hit in the win, while Davidson and Lora each had a pair. The bottom third of Potomac’s starting lineup scored seven of the club’s eight runs. Davidson and Agustin each set a season high in RBIs with five and three respectively.

Off of a third consecutive win, the P-Nats will look to make it a season best four straight wins Friday night at Calvin Falwell Field. RHP Joan Baez (0-1, 7.88) will look to improve his command in the start for Potomac. Baez had six wild pitches in his debut and then walked seven men in his second start. For the Hillcats, RHP Shao-Ching Chiang (1-1, 1.46) will look to continue his dominant start. Chiang did not allow a run over seven innings last time out, a victory over Myrtle Beach. First pitch is set for 6:30 Friday night.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): Severe thundershowers forced the Hagerstown Suns and Delmarva Shorebirds off the diamond during a scoreless tie at Municipal Stadium on Thursday night.

The suspended game will resume Friday as part of a doubleheader beginning at 3:35 ET from the point of suspension with the visiting Shorebirds batting in the top of the second inning with two outs and nobody on base. The game will continue through the scheduled nine innings.

The second game of Friday’s doubleheader will be shortened to seven innings.

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