Nationals Minor League Notebook: June 20 and 21

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Photo: Hagerstown Suns

By Michael Marzzacco

Compiled via team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League):

Tuesday: The Syracuse Chiefs and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders split a doubleheader Tuesday night at PNC Field, with the Chiefs winning game one, 4-3, and the RailRiders taking game two, 6-2. The Chiefs trailed 3-2 going to the seventh and final regulation inning of game one, but scored two in the ninth for their third comeback win in the last seven games.

Syracuse (22-46) pushed across two runs against Tyler Jones to take the lead in the seventh of game one. Andrew Stevenson started the inning with a single. Stevenson stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Spencer Kieboom‘s second extra-base hit of the day, a double to right center to tie the score. Irving Falu pinch ran for Kieboom at second, and moved to third on Caleb Ramsey‘s groundout. Jones then walked Wilmer Difo and got Emmanuel Burriss to fly out to short left, but threw a wild pitch with Brandon Snyder batting, and Falu scored to give the Chiefs a 4-3 lead.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (43-27) used three solo home runs to pick up its three runs in game one. Dustin Fowler hit his 12th of the season with two outs in the third inning against Major-League rehabber Sammy Solis for a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, Jake Cave hit a two-out solo home run off Erick Fedde into the bullpen in left to push the lead to 2-0. Then after the Chiefs had tied the game, Mark Payton led off the fifth with a home run to right against Fedde to give the RailRiders a 3-2 lead.
The Chiefs scored their first two runs on Kieboom’s first career Triple-A home run, with two outs off Tyler Webb in the top of the fifth. The two-run shot tied the game at two.
Wander Suero picked up a second save as a Chief with a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh.
In game two, the RailRiders took just three batters to take a 3-0 lead. Taylor Hill allowed singles to Tyler Wade and Miguel Andujar, and then Tyler Austin hit a three-run home run for the three-run lead.
The Chiefs would cut the score to 3-1 in the second. Syracuse’s 7-9 hitters, Stevenson, Falu and Ramsey, all singled, with Ramsey’s hit bringing home Stevenson.
In the fifth, Falu started the inning with a single off Matt Wotherspoon and stole second. After a single by Ramsey moved Falu to third, Adrian Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly to right to bring Syracuse within one.
But the RailRiders would break the game open in the bottom of the fifth. Payton singled against Hill to start the inning. Then after two strikeouts, Andujar doubled to put runners on second and third. After Hill walked Clint Frazier, Ji-Man Choi hit a three-run triple to extend the lead to 6-2.
Syracuse did load the bases in the seventh against J.R. Graham and brought the tying run to the plate, but Snyder grounded out to end the game.

Wednesday: Andrew Stevenson had three hits and three stolen bases, and the Syracuse Chiefs beat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 5-2, Wednesday night to split the four-game series.

Stevenson picked up his seventh multi-hit game in his last 15, and his three stolen bases were the most by a Chief since Jeff Kobernus on September 1, 2013.
Syracuse (23-46) began the scoring in the opening inning. Stevenson singled with one out against Domingo Acevedo and stole second. Stevenson scored on Clint Robinson’s single for a 1-0 lead.
The Chiefs added another run in the third. Wilmer Difo walked and moved to second on a balk. After Stevenson walked to put runners on first and third, Brandon Snyder hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Difo for a 2-0 advantage.
In the fourth, Adrian Sanchez doubled to lead off the inning. Three batters later, Emmanuel Burriss picked up his first of two RBIs with a single to extend the lead to three. Acevedo then walked Difo, and Stevenson singled for the third time in the game to score Burriss and give Syracuse a 4-0 lead.
The Chiefs added another run in the sixth. Spencer Kieboom doubled to lead off the inning. After a groundout, Burriss picked up his second RBI, singling home Kieboom to make it 5-0.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (43-28) broke the shutout in the sixth inning on Tyler Austin’s two-run home run.
Sammy Solis threw an inning on Major-League rehab, posting two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 seventh. Solis relieved Sean O’Sullivan, who allowed just two runs and four hits in six strong innings, with two walks and five strikeouts. Wander Suero threw two scoreless innings to pick up his second save of the series.
Syracuse returns home to open an eight-game homestand, starting with a four-game series against the Buffalo Bisons Thursday at 6:35 p.m. Dustin Antolin is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Lucas Harrell for the RailRiders.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League):

Tuesday: Harold Ramirez hit a two-run home run and had two hits, driving in three as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats beat the Harrisburg Senators 6-3 on Tuesday.

Tim Mayza got Drew Ward to fly out with runners on first and second to end the game for his fourth save of the season.

Up 1-0 in the second, New Hampshire added to its lead when Jonathan Davis hit a three-run home run.

After New Hampshire added two runs in the third on a home run by Ramirez, the Senators cut into the deficit in the fifth inning when Raudy Read hit a two-run double and Alec Keller hit an RBI single.

Justin Shafer (2-1) got the win with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief while Harrisburg starter Matt Crownover (0-2) took the loss in the Eastern League game.

For the Senators, Keller singled three times, also stealing a base.

New Hampshire improved to 3-1 against Harrisburg this season.

Wednesday: Wirkin Estevez allowed just three hits over six innings, leading the Harrisburg Senators over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in a 2-1 win on Wednesday.

Ryan Brinley got Jake Thomas to fly out with a runner on second to end the game for his fifth save of the season.

Estevez (2-0) picked up the win after he struck out eight while allowing one run.

Harrisburg started the scoring in the first inning. After leading off the inning with a single, Darian Sandford stole second, stole third, and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Marmolejos.

After Harrisburg added a run in the fourth when Marmolejos scored on a ground out, the Fisher Cats cut into the deficit in the sixth inning when Danny Jansen hit an RBI single, bringing home Jonathan Davis.

Francisco Rios (3-5) went five innings, allowing two runs and three hits in the Eastern League game. He also struck out five and walked one.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League):

Tuesday: Carolina League All Star Wrap up

C Taylor Gushue, 3B Kelvin Gutierrez, RHP Ronald Pena and CF Victor Robles each represented the Potomac Nationals at the 2017 Carolina League All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 20th. Gushue and Robles each finished 0-2 on the game before they were substituted in the 6th. Gutierrez and Pena did not appear in the game on Tuesday night.

Wednesday: OFF.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic League):

Tuesday: Suns first baseman Aldrem Corredor led the South Atlantic League Northern Division All-Stars with two hits and two runs batted in during the 58th annual SAL All-Star Game before rain shortened the exhibition to a 3-3 tie after seven innings on Tuesday night at Spirit Communications Park.

Trailing 2-0 in the top of the second, the Northern Division rallied for three runs. Following a pair of singles and a one-out RBI double by Kannapolis shortstop Mitch Roman, Corredor stepped to the plate and grounded a single into center field that scored West Virginia left fielder Ty Moore from third and Roman from second, giving the Northern Division a 3-2 lead.

Corredor added a second hit in the seventh on a grounder to second base. In his first SAL All-Star Game, the 21-year-old native of Miranda, Venezuela finished as the only player with multiple hits after his 2-for-3 output at the plate and led the Northern squad with two RBI.

Suns right fielder Daniel Johnson joined Corredor in the starting batting order for Suns manager Patrick Anderson, who guided the Northern Division All-Stars for the third time in four seasons. Johnson finished 0-for-3 with a strikeout while Anderson remained undefeated in SAL All-Star Games following his 2-1 victory in 2016 and a 4-4 tie in 2014.

The Northern Division nearly took the lead in the seventh. With the game tied 3-3, Suns center fielder Blake Perkins loaded the bases on a hot shot back to Columbia reliever Adonis Uceta that deflected to third base and Perkins reached safely with a two-out single in his only at-bat. Uceta escaped the jam by striking out Kannapolis right fielder Joel Booker.

Kannapolis reliever Kyle Kubat threw a scoreless bottom of the seventh inning before the game was called due to wet weather. Columbia first baseman Dash Winningham earned the All-Star MVP Award after lining a two-run double in the bottom of the first. He finished 1-for-2 at the plate with two RBI and a walk.

Rome right fielder Randy Ventura tied up the game with an RBI double to left in the bottom of the second before ten relievers combined to shut out the Northern and Southern Division All-Stars in the final five innings.

Suns third baseman Sheldon Neuse entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning and was called out on strikes in his only at-bat. On Monday, Neuse won the SAL Home Run Derby after topping seven other sluggers in a three-round, elimination format. The 22-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas, faced West Virginia second baseman Trae Albert in the final round. Neuse needed only two out of a possible ten outs to slug four homers and take home the title in his first Derby appearance.

The second half of the SAL season begins on Thursday and the Suns will restart their chase for a fifth division title in the last six years against the Greensboro Grasshoppers at 7:05 p.m.

Wednesday: OFF.

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