By Michael Marzzacco
Your daily update on the Nationals Minor League affiliates.
Compiled via team press releases:
SYRACUSE (AAA International League): OFF.
HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Jose Marmolejos hit a grand slam in the ninth inning, leading the Harrisburg Senators to a 14-13 win over the Erie SeaWolves on Monday.
The grand slam by Marmolejos capped a five-run inning and gave the Senators a 14-13 lead after Isaac Ballou hit a sacrifice fly earlier in the inning.
R.C. Orlan (1-0) got the win with a scoreless inning in relief while Waldis Joaquin (1-1) took the loss in the Eastern League game. Wander Suero retired the side in order for his seventh save of the season.
Gabriel Quintana hit three home runs and drove in six runs for Erie. The SeaWolves also hit a season-high five home runs.
POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): For the third time in a span of four games, the Potomac Nationals (20-24) fell by one run to the Lynchburg Hillcats (24-19). The Hillcats tied the game in the top of the ninth inning, and picked up the 4-3 victory on a walk-off double from LF Ka’ai Tom in the 10th inning.
The game featured a quality start from both teams, as LHP Matthew Crownover (ND) and RHP Brock Hartson (ND) each pitched well enough for a win. Crownover allowed two runs on five hits over a season high seven innings, while Hartson surrendered just one run on four hits over six innings.
Potomac struck first, as LF Jack Sundberg tallied a double in the third inning. It was Sundberg’s first extra-base hit of the season. Two batters later, DH Austin Davidson made it 1-0 with an RBI single.
The Hillcats tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth against Crownover. Tom walked with one out, and C Sicnarf Loopstok followed with an RBI double. Two innings later, Loopstok put Lynchburg on top 2-1 with his second RBI double of the night.
Hartson departed for RHP Paul Hendrix (BS, 1) at the beginning of the seventh inning. Hendrix walked three of the first four batters that he faced. After RF Rhett Wiseman walked, SS Edwin Lora doubled. With first base open, Sundberg walked. CF Victor Robles stepped in with the bases full and drew a walk, which tied the game. Davidson followed with a sacrifice fly, as Potomac led 3-2 at the seventh inning stretch. Hendrix gave up two earned runs in just 0.2 innings.
After Crownover worked seven innings, RHP Mariano Rivera (L, 0-1) tossed a perfect eighth frame. DH Martin Cervenka led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a triple. Lynchburg CF Andrew Calica followed with a sacrifice fly to right field, which tied the game.
The P-Nats could not take advantage of a two-out double from 3B Kelvin Gutierrez against LHP Alsis Herrera (W, 1-0) in the top of the 10th, and the Hillcats followed with their second walk-off win of the series. 3B Claudio Bautista began the bottom of the 10th inning with a single, and after 2B Sam Haggerty popped up a bunt attempt, Tom ended the game with a walk-off double down the left field line. Herrera allowed just one hit over 3.1 innings in his Carolina League debut.
Off of the series loss, the P-Nats will host the Frederick Keys for a brief three-game homestand at Pfitzner Stadium. LHP Hector Silvestre (3-1, 3.83) is set to start the series opener for Potomac. Silvestre has gone at least five innings and allowed no more than three earned runs in five straight starts. For the Keys, RHP Cody Sedlock (4-2, 6.18) will attempt to bounce back from consecutive losses. Last time out, Sedlock allowed nine earned runs over 2.1 innings in a loss to the Salem Red Sox.
First pitch of the series opener is set for 7:05pm on Tuesday night.
HARRISBURG (Low-A South Atlantic): Carlos Pena tossed the longest scoreless start by a Suns pitcher this season before Jordan Mills completed the first shutout win for Hagerstown during a 6-0 romp over the Delmarva Shorebirds at Perdue Stadium on Monday night.
The 23-year-old Dominican starter followed up his impressive six-inning, three-hit win last Tuesday in Asheville with four hits allowed in seven innings; the longest outing of his pro career. Pena (Win, 3-2) has allowed just one earned run in his last 13 combined innings for the Suns (26-17).
Mills gave up two hits in two scoreless innings of relief. Pena and Mills needed just 93 pitches to dispatch the Shorebirds (16-26), who mustered only six singles and no extra-base hits in their fifth-straight loss.
Anderson Franco opened the scoring in the second with a two-out, two-run homer to left field against Delmarva starter Lucas Humpal (Loss, 1-4). The 19-year-old third baseman, ranked 14th-best prospect in the Washington Nationals minor league system by MLB.com, is catching fire with four home runs in his last six games.
The Suns scored two more in the third after Blake Perkins led off with a double and Daniel Johnson drove him in with a single to left. Later in the inning, Jake Noll added his 24th RBI of the year, matching Franco and Sheldon Neuse for the team lead in runs batted in.
Humpal gave up another run in the fifth after Oliver Ortiz led off with his first triple of the year and Perkins brought him home with a single. Perkins led the Suns with a 2-for-4 night at the plate, including a run scored and an RBI. Humpal left the game after Hagerstown tagged him for five runs on seven hits in seven innings of work.
With the victory, Hagerstown grabbed solo first place atop the South Atlantic League Northern Division standings by one game over the Greensboro Grasshoppers (25-18), who suffered a tenth-inning, walk-off loss at Lakewood on Monday night.