Nationals Minor League Report: June 27-30

By Michael Marzzacco

Back at it with more updates from the farm.

Compiled via team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League):

Tuesday: Tuesday night’s Syracuse Chiefs game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders was suspended due to rain, forecasted storms and wet grounds with one out in the top of the second, and the RailRiders up 2-1. The game will resume from that point beginning at 5:05 p.m. Wednesday night. It will be followed by the originally scheduled game. The first game will finish a full nine innings while the second will be seven.

The RailRiders scored the game’s first two runs in the top of the first. With one out, Dustin Fowler homered off Sean O’Sullivan on a fly ball to right. Miguel Andujar followed with a double to center. After Ji-Man Choi was called out on strikes, Clint Frazier doubled on a line drive to left, plating Andujar for a 2-0 lead.

Syracuse picked up a run in the following half-inning. Andrew Stevenson singled to lead off the bottom of the first off Chance Adams. Adrian Sanchez followed with a walk. Brandon Snyder subsequently flied out, moving Stevenson to third. Stevenson then scored on Clint Robinson’s sacrifice fly to right to make the score 2-1.

In the top of the second, Cito Culver singled on a line drive to right. Wilkin Castillo lined out to center. Mason Williams then walked and Culver moved to second, before the umpires called for the tarp. After a 50-minute delay, the game was suspended.

Caleb Smith will start the suspended game for the RailRiders while Matt Wotherspoon will pitch game two for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Chiefs will throw right-hander Jaron Long in game two.


Andrew Stevenson became the first Chief to triple twice in one game on Wednesday. (Danny Tripodi | Syracuse Chiefs)

The Syracuse Chiefs dropped a pair of games to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Wednesday evening at NBT Bank Stadium. In the conclusion of a suspended game from Tuesday, the Chiefs lost 7-6, despite a pair of triples from Andrew Stevenson. Syracuse then fell 3-1 in a seven-inning game two.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (48-30) began the scoring early in game one on Tuesday night. With one out, Dustin Fowler pummeled a line drive over the right-field fence off Sean O’Sullivan for his 13th home run of the season. Miguel Andujar, who was called up to the Yankees on Wednesday, followed the Fowler homer with a double. After a Ji-Man Choi strikeout, Clint Frazier doubled to left field, plating Andujar and putting the RailRiders up 2-0.

Syracuse (27-49) responded in the bottom half of the same inning. Stevenson led off the inning with a single off RailRiders starter Chance Adams. Adrian Sanchez followed up Stevenson’s base hit with a walk which put runners on first and second. Stevenson then advanced on a fly out from Brandon Snyder. In the next at-bat, Clint Robinson hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Stevenson and cutting the lead to 2-1.

Cito Culver started the top of the second inning with a leadoff single. After a Wilkin Castillo lineout and a walk from Williams, the skies opened up over NBT Bank Stadium. Acting crew chief Roberto Ortiz then called for the tarp and a 50-minute rain delay ensued. Following the delay, the umpires decided to postpone the game due to the conditions of the field which had already been soaked by rain on Monday and Tuesday.

Play resumed in the top of the second inning on Wednesday evening. With runners still at first and second and one out, Mark Payton replaced Fowler at the plate. Payton singled off Dustin Antolin to start the inning, but Abiatal Avelino, who had replaced Andujar in the lineup, and Choi struck out to end the inning.

The Chiefs took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the third inning against Caleb Smith. On the third pitch of the inning, Stevenson slapped a triple down the right-field line to start the frame.  Sanchez then reached on a fielding error from Choi at first base allowing Stevenson to score. After Snyder walked and moved Sanchez up to second, Robinson smacked a double into left field, scoring Sanchez and allowing Snyder to advance to third. Following a pair of strikeouts from Neftali Soto and Alejandro De Aza, Irving Falu singled on a line drive to center field, plating both Snyder and Robinson and putting the Chiefs up 5-2.

The RailRiders recovered a run on one swing in the fourth inning. With two outs, Williams crushed a fly ball over the right-center-field fence for his first home run of the season, slicing the lead to 5-3.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre inched closer in the fifth. With one out, Frazier singled into right field. After a Jake Cave walk and a Donovan Solano single loaded the bases, Culver hit a sacrifice fly to left field, plating Frazier and trimming the lead to just 5-4.

The Baby Bombers took the lead back in the sixth. With Sammy Solis on the mound, Williams started the frame with a single into center field. In the next at-bat, with Payton at the plate, Williams moved up to second on a wild pitch from Solis. After Payton popped out, Avelino walked to put a pair of runners on for Choi. The South Korean first baseman cranked a fly ball over the center-field fence putting the RailRiders in front 7-5.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Chiefs nearly came back to win the game. After Emmanuel Burriss grounded out to second to lead off the inning, Stevenson walloped his second triple of the day into the right-center-field alley. Stevenson then scored on a Sanchez groundout to make the score 7-6. With two outs, Caleb Ramsey, who entered for an injured Snyder in the sixth, singled into center field off J.P. Feyereisen. Robinson followed with a walk to put runners at first and second with two outs. Soto crushed a fly ball to left field on the fourth pitch of the next at-bat, but it hung up just long enough for Frazier to get underneath it at the warning track and record the final out.

The triple was Stevenson’s second of the game. With the three-bagger, Stevenson became the first Chief to triple twice in one game since Will Rhymes on June 26, 2013 against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

In game two, the scoring began on one swing of the bat in the top of the second inning. Choi started the inning with a single off Jaron Long into right field. Culver followed with a double, advancing Choi to third. Following a Payton pop out and a Billy Fleming strike out, Avelino ripped a single down the left-field line, scoring both Choi and Culver, putting the RailRiders out in front 2-0.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre extended its lead in the third. After Williams and Cave struck out to begin the inning, Frazier singled into center field. Choi then doubled into left field to put two runners in scoring position. With Culver in the batters’ box, Long tossed a wild pitch that careened off the chest protector of Chiefs catcher Jhonatan Solano and landed in front of the plate. Frazier raced down the third-base line and past a diving tag attempt from Long, scoring the third run of the game for their RailRiders and increasing the lead to 3-0.

The Chiefs retrieved one run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Following Robinson and Falu groundouts to lead off the inning, De Aza singled off the glove of the third baseman Avelino. Solano followed that up with a double into left field, plating De Aza for the lone Chiefs’ run of the game. With the tying run at the plate, Ramsey grounded out to shortstop to end the game.

The Chiefs and RailRiders square off again Thursday night in the finale of a four-game series at 6:35 p.m. from NBT Bank Stadium. Greg Ross is set to take the mound for Syracuse opposite left-hander Daniel Camarena for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.


Neftali Soto slammed his first two home runs with Syracuse on Thursday. (Danny Tripodi | Syracuse Chiefs)

The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 7-6, on Thursday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Neftali Soto hammered two home runs in the loss. It was his first two-homer game since July 7th, 2016 with Harrisburg.

The RailRiders (49-30) scored in the top of the first thanks to the bat of Ji-Man Choi. With one out, Donovan Solano singled off Greg Ross on a grounder to right. Two batters later, Choi homered on a fly ball to right-center.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre added to its lead in the top of the fourth. Clint Frazier led off with a single up the middle. Choi then hit a grounder off the arm of Ross, which deflected to catcher Jhonatan Solano. Solano rocketed the ball to second but shortstop Adrian Sanchez failed to make the catch. Frazier advanced to third on Sanchez’s error. Cito Culver knocked Frazier in on a single to center. Jake Cave grounded out, but Choi and Culver moved over a base on the play. Abiatal Avelino plated both runners on a single to center, putting the RailRiders up 5-0.

With one out in the top of the fifth, Choi picked up his second homer on a solo shot off Rafael Martin to center. Choi now has four homers against the Chiefs this season.

Behind six runs in the bottom of the sixth, Syracuse began to rally. Clint Robinson kicked the inning off with a single off Brady Lail to right. Soto, in his sixth game with the Chiefs, blasted a first pitch to left for his first Syracuse homer of the year. Alejandro De Aza continued the comeback with a double to left. Three batters later, Emmanuel Burriss brought in De Aza on a double to center.

Although the RailRiders picked up a run in the top off the seventh on a Culver RBI single, Soto and the Chiefs weren’t finished. In the bottom of the seventh, Caleb Ramsey singled off Joe Mantiply to center. Ramsey then was caught stealing on his first attempt of the year. Nevertheless, Matt Skole walked afterwards and Robinson singled to right. With two runners on, Soto pummeled a shot to right-center for a three-run homer, putting the Chiefs within one.

However, the Chiefs picked up just one baserunner the rest of the way against Mantiply and Ben Heller.

Friday: A four-run, second-inning explosion powered the Syracuse Chiefs over the Buffalo Bisons, 6-1, on a Friday evening matchup from Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo. Taylor Hill made a magnificent spot start for Syracuse, allowing just one run in eight innings. Clint Robinson went 3 for 4 with a single, double, and home run, leaving the left-handed power batter just a triple shy of the hitting for the cycle.

Syracuse (28-50) kicked off the scoring in the second inning against T.J. House. With one out, Neftali Soto started the flurry with a walk on a 3-2 pitch. In the next at-bat, Robinson singled on a line drive into right field. Then, with Spencer Kieboom batting, House was called for a balk, which put both Soto and Robinson in scoring position. Kieboom made House pay during the same plate appearance when he slapped a single into right, plating both runners to open the scoring. Caleb Ramsey then followed with a double into left, allowing Kieboom to pull into third. A groundout from Emmanuel Burriss and a single from Andrew Stevenson in the next two at-bats scored Kieboom and Ramsey, respectively, and put the Chiefs in front 4-0.

Robinson extended the Chiefs’ lead with one swing of the bat in the fourth. The burly designated hitter crushed a 2-2 breaking ball over the right-center-field fence increasing the lead to 5-0.

The Chiefs continued to pile on the runs in the top of the sixth. Robinson pummeled another fly ball to nearly the exact same spot as his home run, but it clanked off the wall as the former National pulled into second with a double. In the next at-bat, Kieboom ripped a single into center field to propel Robinson to third. With runners at the corners, Ramsey grounded into a double play which brought Robinson in to score, boosting the lead to 6-0.

Buffalo (37-44) finally got on the board in the eighth inning. With two outs, Raffy Lopez poked a soft line drive toward right field. Ramsey started to move in to make the catch, but ended up slipping on the outfield grass as the ball went over his head and to the wall, with Lopez pulling into third on a stand-up, two-out triple. In the next at-bat, a high fastball clanked off the glove of the Chiefs’ catcher, Kieboom, and rolled to the backstop, allowing Lopez to score on the passed ball.

Stephen Perez collected his first Triple-A hit and first two Triple-A RBIs in the same at-bat in the top of the ninth inning. With John Stilson on the mound and two outs, Irving Falu reached on an infield single to second base. After a single from Alejandro De Aza, Perez stepped to the plate and smacked a double into the right-field corner, scoring both Falu and De Aza to push the Chiefs’ lead to 8-1. The former Miami Hurricane walked and doubled in three plate appearances in his triple-A debut after coming up to replace newly-promoted National Adrian Sanchez.

Hill pitched brilliantly in his spot-start victory. The right-hander was promoted from Double-A Harrisburg to pitch the game and allowed just one unearned run on three hits in eight innings of work. The eight-inning effort was Hill’s longest outing since another eight-inning tilt on May 14, 2015 at Gwinnett. He struck out two and did not walk a batter.

The Chiefs and Bisons meet again on Saturday evening from Coca-Cola Field at 7:05 pm. Edwin Jackson is scheduled to take the mound for Syracuse while right-hander Cesar Valdez gets the start for Buffalo.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League):

Tuesday: Stephen Perez hit a two-run single in the sixth inning, leading the Harrisburg Senators to a 4-3 win over the Reading Fightin Phils in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday.

The single by Perez scored Raudy Read and Yadiel Hernandez and was the game’s last scoring play.

Reading went up 3-0 behind two hits and two RBI from Carlos Tocci. Harrisburg answered in the fifth inning when Hernandez hit a solo home run and Darian Sandford hit an RBI single.

Jimmy Cordero (2-2) got the win with two innings of scoreless relief while Austin Davis (2-1) took the loss in the Eastern League game.

Tocci doubled and singled twice, driving in two runs for the Fightin Phils. Despite the loss, Reading is 3-1 against Harrisburg this season.

Mitch Walding hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning, leading the Reading Fightin Phils to a 4-1 win over the Harrisburg Senators in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday. The home run by Walding scored Harold Martinez and Jiandido Tromp to give the Fightin Phils a 3-1 lead. The Fightin Phils tacked on another run in the sixth when Walding hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Martinez.

Alexis Rivero (2-1) got the win with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief while Phillips Valdez (0-2) took the loss in the Eastern League game. Yacksel Rios struck out the side for his second save of the season.

Osvaldo Abreu tripled and singled for the Senators.

The teams split the doubleheader after Harrisburg won the first game 4-3. With the win, Reading improved to 4-1 against Harrisburg this season.

Wednesday: Kyle Martin homered and doubled, scoring a couple of runs while also driving home two as the Reading Fightin Phils beat the Harrisburg Senators 9-2 on Wednesday.

Drew Stankiewicz doubled and singled three times with two runs for Reading.

Reading scored in six different innings in the victory, including the sixth, when Chace Numata and Stankiewicz scored on an error and Numata hit an RBI single.

Reading left-hander Cole Irvin (1-0) picked up a quality start and the win after allowing two runs on nine hits over six innings. Opposing starter John Simms (3-5) took the loss in the Eastern League game after giving up six runs and 10 hits over six innings. Shane Watson pitched three scoreless innings for his first save of the season.

For the Senators, Yadiel Hernandez doubled and singled.

With the win, Reading improved to 5-1 against Harrisburg this season.

Thursday: Mitch Walding homered and had three hits, driving in two, and Tyler Viza allowed just two hits over eight innings as the Reading Fightin Phils topped the Harrisburg Senators 7-1 on Thursday.

Viza (6-4) allowed one run while striking out eight and walking one to get the win.

Harrisburg tied the game 1-1 in the second after Yadiel Hernandez hit a solo home run.

The Fightin Phils took the lead in the fourth inning when Walding and Nick Rickles hit back-to-back home runs.

The Fightin Phils later added three runs in the fifth and one in the eighth. In the fifth, Rickles hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Carlos Tocci, while Angelo Mora hit an RBI triple in the eighth.

Kyle McGowin (0-3) went five innings, allowing six runs and seven hits in the Eastern League game. He also struck out three and walked three.

With the win, Reading improved to 6-1 against Harrisburg this season.

Friday: Yadiel Hernandez hit a run-scoring single in the ninth inning, leading the Harrisburg Senators to a 4-3 win over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies on Friday.

Ryan Brinley got Kevin Kaczmarski to ground out with runners on first and second to end the game for his sixth save of the season.

Isaac Ballou scored on Hernandez’s single after he led off the inning with a pinch-hit single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt.

Colton Plaia hit a solo home run in the third inning to give the Rumble Ponies a 1-0 lead. The Senators came back to take the lead in the fourth inning when Mario Lisson and Khayyan Norfork hit RBI singles.

Binghamton tied the game 3-3 in the fifth when Matt Oberste hit a two-run double.

Brady Dragmire (1-0) got the win with two innings of scoreless, two-hit relief while Tim Peterson (2-3) took the loss in the Eastern League game.

Plaia homered and singled for the Rumble Ponies. Luis Guillorme reached base four times.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League):

Tuesday: The Potomac Nationals (35-41, 2-4) got spectacular defense on multiple occasions on Tuesday night, but the offense went nearly silent in a 4-2 loss to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (45-30, 2-3). Myrtle Beach scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning and never trailed, as the Pelicans’ pitching staff surrendered just three hits.

For the fourth time in the past five games, the P-Nats surrendered at least a run in the opponent’s first trip to the plate. Tuesday night, the Pelicans got a single from each of the first two hitters. 2B Trent Giambrone and C P.J. Higgins each connected with a base hit, and both moved up a base on a wild pitch from LHP Grant Borne (L, 3-3). LF Eloy Jimenez put Myrtle Beach on top 1-0 with an RBI groundout, while two batters later, DH Tyler Alamo made it 2-0 with a two-out RBI single. Alamo followed up a four-hit performance from Monday night with two more hits Tuesday night.

Potomac cut the deficit in half in the fourth inning. After RHP Adbert Alzolay (W, 7-1) retired the first nine hitters that he faced, CF Victor Robles led off the fourth inning with a double. A passed ball moved Robles to third base, and LF Jack Sundberg brought home the Potomac centerfielder with an RBI groundout. Myrtle Beach pitching faced the minimum in seven of the nine innings in the game.

The Pelicans immediately answered and ran their lead back to two runs. Alamo led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a double, his sixth consecutive at-bat with a hit. After a groundout moved Alamo to third base, 1B Matt Rose put in a bid for a home run, but Robles made a leaping catch at the centerfield wall, and the result was just a sacrifice fly. Myrtle Beach plated its final run of the night one inning later, as after an error by 3B David Masters, 3B Jesse Hodges made it 4-1 with an RBI groundout.

The P-Nats threatened in the sixth inning and knocked Alzolay out of the game. SS Edwin Lora started the frame with a single, while 2B Bryan Mejia followed with a base hit. After Robles struck out, Sundberg got hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases. 1B Ian Sagdal came feet away from his third grand slam of the season, but CF Connor Myers made a catch while tumbling on the warning track. The sacrifice fly made it a two-run game. Myrtle Beach went to the bullpen and brought in LHP Jordan Minch, who induced a first pitch fly out from C Taylor Gushue.

RHP Kyle Miller worked around a two-out walk to Robles in a scoreless eighth inning, while RHP James Norwood (SV, 5) struck out two batters in a perfect ninth inning, which secured the Myrtle Beach victory.

Wednesday: In a frame that took more than 30 minutes to play, the Potomac Nationals (36-41, 3-4) sent 12 men to the plate and scored eight times in the top of the first inning on Wednesday night. While the sides played nearly level baseball for the rest of the game, the eight-run frame was more than enough, as Potomac emerged with a 12-5 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (45-31, 2-4). Eight runs in a single inning is the most that the P-Nats have scored in a single frame in 2017.

In the 12-batter top of the first inning, the P-Nats tallied five hits, drew one walk, had one hit batsmen, and saw the Myrtle Beach defense commit three errors. The P-Nats knocked RHP Thomas Hatch (L, 3-7) out of the game after just two outs. Hatch entered the game with a 0.72 ERA in his past six starts. Hatch gave up eight runs, but only two earned.

For Potomac in the top of the first inning, C Taylor Gushue made it 1-0 with an RBI single, 1B Ian Sagdal scored on a throwing error by 3B Jesse Hodges, 3B David Masters made it 4-0 with a two-run single, while a run scored on an error by RF Robert Garcia. With two outs and already ahead 5-0, 2B Bryan Mejia hit a two-run home run to right field. In his second trip to the plate in the frame, Robles drew his league leading 16th HBP, which knocked Hatch out of the game. RHP Casey Bloomquist entered, and in a span of five pitches, unleased two wild pitches, the second of which plated Robles from second base. The P-Nats led by eight runs before LHP Hector Silvestre (W, 7-2) threw his first pitch of the night.

Though Silvestre wasn’t as sharp as he had been in past starts, the left-handed starter allowed just three runs, two earned, over five innings. 2B Trent Giambrone hit a solo home run in the third inning, while after an error by SS Edwin Lora, DH Eloy Jimenez plated the second run of the frame with a double. In the fifth inning, Silvestre issued two straight two-out walks to Jimenez and Hodges, which allowed 1B Tyler Alamo to plate a run with a single. Alamo has tallied multiple hits in each of the three games thus far in the series.

The P-Nats took their largest lead of the night with three runs in the fourth inning against Bloomquist, and once again, Mejia that plated multiple runs. The Potomac second baseman tallied his third and fourth RBIs of the night with a two-out single, and Lora then scored on a wild pitch. The P-Nats led 12-2 after 3.5 innings.

Despite little more offensively after four trips to the plate for Potomac, the lead was far too great for Myrtle Beach to overcome. The Pelicans did avoid a double-digit run loss with a single run in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, but never came closer than seven runs. The final two runs of the night by the Pelicans came against RHP Jorge Pantoja. Garcia reached on a two-out error by 1B Matt Page, and scored two batters later on SS Zack Short’s first RBI of the season. In the seventh frame, LF Eddy Martinez capped the scoring with an RBI groundout. RHP Kyle Schepel entered for Pantoja to start the eighth inning and struck out four batters over two perfect frames.

The series finale between the P-Nats and Pelicans is set for Thursday night. LHP Taylor Guilbeau(1-1, 4.54) is set to start for Potomac in search of the series victory. Guilbeau tossed a season high six innings in his last start. For the Pelicans, LHP Ryan Kellog (3-4, 4.66) will look to bounce back from his last start, when he gave up six runs and recorded just six outs.

Thursday: For the second consecutive night, the Potomac Nationals (37-41, 4-4) batted around in the first inning, as they scored four runs in the top of the first inning on Thursday night in a 5-1 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (45-32, 2-5). Wednesday night, the P-Nats plated eight runs in the top of the first inning in route to a 12-5 win.

CF Victor Robles led off the game with a sharp ground ball to third base, which 3B Jesse Hodges fielded cleanly, but then airmailed the throw over 1B Matt Rose. After LHP Ryan Kellogg (L, 3-5) retired LF Jack Sundberg3B Dan Gamache made it 1-0 with an RBI hit in his first at-bat in the Nationals’ organization. 1B Ian Sagdal followed with a single, while SS David Masters plated both Gamache and Sagdal with a double. With two outs, 2B Bryan Mejia made it 4-0 in favor of Potomac with an RBI single. Potomac tagged Kellogg for five runs, three earned, over five innings.

Four runs in the first inning proved to be more than enough for LHP Taylor Guilbeau (W, 2-1), who tossed a career high seven-shutout innings. In the start, Guilbeau struck out four, allowed just five hits, all singles, and let just one Myrtle Beach batter reach scoring position. Guilbeau faced the minimum over the first three frames and induced two double plays over dominant outing.

The P-Nats strung consecutive two-out hits together in the fifth inning against Kellogg and made it 5-0. Sagdal tallied his second double and third hit of the night, while Masters followed with an RBI single, his third RBI in the game.

Myrtle Beach went into the ninth inning scoreless for the second time in the series, but once again, avoided the shutout. RHP Mariano Rivera III entered for the final frame and gave up two-straight one-out doubles, as Hodges had the Pelicans’ first extra-base hit of the night, and LF Eloy Jimenez plated Hodges with his only hit of the evening.

Friday: In their second shortest game of the 2017 season, the Potomac Nationals (37-42, 4-5) gave up two unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning, and fell 2-1 to the Buies Creek Astros (42-37, 5-4) 2-1. The first game of the four-game series featured 13 hits and took just 2:17 to play.

After two straight games in which the P-Nats scored at least four runs in the first inning, the Astros flipped the script on Friday night and plated two runs against RHP Luis Reyes (L, 5-8) in the bottom of the first inning. CF Myles Straw led off the frame with a ground ball to SS David Masters, but the throw to first base skipped past 1B Ian Sagdal. After 1B Ryne Birk singled, 1B Yordan Alvarez made it 1-0 Astros with an RBI single. Reyes then got C Jake Rogers to ground into a double play, but DH Taylor Jones followed with a two-out RBI double, which proved to be the difference in the game.

RHP Franklin Perez (W, 4-2) cruised through a five-inning start. The 19-year-old surrendered just two hits and struck out three in the victory. Perez faced the minimum over the first four innings, while Potomac didn’t put multiple men on base in a single inning until the right-handed starter departed.

The P-Nats finally got on the scoreboard vs. LHP Ryan Hartman (SV, 1) in the sixth inning. 2B Bryan Mejia singled with one out, took second base on a wild pitch, and scored on a double by CF Victor Robles. On the double, Robles was thrown out trying to take third base.

Potomac put the tying man on base in each of the final three innings of the game, but failed to plate a second run. 3B Dan Gamache singled to begin the seventh but was left at first base. Mejia drew a two-out walk in the eighth inning, but likewise was left at first base. In the ninth, LF Jack Sundbergled off with a double and moved to third base on a groundout by Gamache. Sagdal appeared as though he might have tallied a sacrifice fly, but his fly out to right field was too shallow, as Sundberg held at third base. With two outs, C Taylor Gushue, the team leader in home runs and RBIs, flied out to right field, as Hartman closed things out with four innings out of the bullpen.

After the speedy victory by the Astros, the P-Nats will look to RHP Nolan Sanburn (3-1, 3.06) to level the series. Sanburn has won three consecutive starts and has not allowed an earned run in either of his last two outings, both seven- innings in length. For Buies Creek, RHP Hector Perez (3-3, 3.45) is set to take the mound. Perez has pitched more than four innings just once in his last four starts.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic League):

Tuesday: Daniel Johnson continued his red-hot pace at the plate with a fourth straight multi-hit game while Jake Noll and Sheldon Neuse launched homers in a 9-0 win for the Suns over the Delmarva Shorebirds at Perdue Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Suns are riding their longest win streak this season with five wins in a row and are now solo leaders atop the SAL Northern Division with a 5-1 record since the All-Star Break.

Hagerstown jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. Blake Perkins roped the first pitch down the left-field line for a double before scoring two batters later on an RBI double by Johnson. Tres Barrera added a two-out RBI double and Anderson Franco followed with a run-scoring single.

Johnson finished 3-for-5 at the plate with two runs scored. The defending SAL Player of the Week is riding the hottest stretch by any Suns hitter this season with 13 hits in his last 23 at-bats, good for a .565 batting average. He’s scored seven runs with eight RBI in his last five games.

Neuse, who took home the SAL Home Run Derby crown last Monday, went deep in the fifth inning for his ninth home run this season and second in the last three days. Neuse finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and 2 RBI. Perkins, Barrera, and Tyler Beckwith also finished with two hits each. Aldrem Corredor tallied his lone hit on an RBI single to right field in the sixth, giving the Suns a 9-0 lead.

Sterling Sharp (Win, 4-5) had no trouble protecting the big lead while striking out six batters across six shutout innings. He allowed five hits and one walk while earning his first victory since June 7. Zach Muckenhirn (Loss, 3-7) gave up eight runs and 11 hits to the Suns in five innings as the Delmarva starter.

Steven Fuentes and Phil Morse maintained the sixth Hagerstown shutout this year during three combined innings of scoreless relief with two hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. The Suns bullpen has now recorded 6 2/3 consecutive innings without a run allowed.

Wednesday: McKenzie Mills won his fifth straight start with seven strong innings and Daniel Johnson tallied his sixth consecutive multi-hit game as the Suns won their sixth game in a row, 3-1, over the Delmarva Shorebirds at Perdue Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Suns (6-1, 44-32) took the lead in the top of the fourth inning and rode strong pitching the rest of the way. Aldrem Corredor led off with a single before Johnson drove his team-leading fourth triple to the wall in right-center field, scoring Corredor from first base. The next man up, Sheldon Neuse , sprayed his team-best 44th RBI on an opposite-field single to right that scored Johnson for a 2-0 lead against Delmarva starter Matthias Dietz (Loss, 0-7), who suffered yet another hard-luck defeat in his winless pro career.

Mills (Win, 9-2) allowed the only Delmarva run after hitting a batter, issuing a walk, and allowing his fourth and final hit to load the bases. Cole Billingsley settled for a sacrifice fly, snapping a 25-inning scoreless streak against Suns pitchers to open the series at Delmarva. Mills recovered to strand a pair and the Suns held their 2-1 lead.

Following the sac fly, Mills retired the next seven batters he faced with a pair of strikeouts and exited after seven complete innings with one walk and five total strikeouts.

Hagerstown added insurance in the eighth when Angelo La Bruna led off with a walk and scampered to third on a second single by Corredor. That set the table for Johnson, who beat out a double play grounder to earn his second RBI as La Bruna scored to make it 3-1.

Johnson finished 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and a run scored. The SAL All-Star right fielder and defending SAL Player of the Week is now 15-for-27 (.556) with 10 RBI and eight runs scored in his last six games.

Hayden Howard (Save, 1) protected the 3-1 lead through the final two frames, running his scoreless streak to 10 innings. The Hagerstown bullpen has now gone 8 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing a run during a season-best winning streak of six games for Hagerstown.

Thursday: Jake Noll launched two home runs, including a two-run shot in a four-run, sixth inning rally that elevated the Suns to a 6-3 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds on Thursday night at Perdue Stadium, completing a four-game series sweep and a seventh consecutive win for Hagerstown.

Noll opened the scoring for the Suns (7-1, 45-32) with a solo homer in the top of the second to tie the game, 1-1. Two batters later, Jakson Reetz ignited a two-out rally with a single to center, Anderson Franco followed with his own base hit, and Telmito Agustin delivered his 10th RBI in 25 games with the Suns this year to give Hagerstown its first lead of the ballgame, 2-1.

Hagerstown starter James Bourque (Win, 3-3) allowed the bases loaded with Shorebirds (4-4, 33-34) and nobody out in the bottom of the second, but the Suns traded a run for a double-play groundball that scored Gerrion Grim and Bourque stranded the remaining runner at third by striking out Cole Billingsley to end the inning.

Bourque faced just six batters between the third and fourth innings thanks to two more double-play groundouts, and despite giving up the lead on a solo homer to Tanner Kirk in the fifth, the Suns put him back in front with four runs in the sixth.

Aldrem Corredor got plunked by Delmarva starter Jhon Peluffo (Loss, 5-3) to lead off the pivotal sixth inning and Johnson followed with his 4th RBI of the series to score Corredor and tie the game, 3-3. Following Johnson’s double, Sheldon Neuse brought him home on a ground-rule double that came to rest near the Delmarva bullpen in foul ground down the left-field line. With the Suns back in front, Noll continued the hit parade on his second home run of the ballgame and ninth of the season to give the Suns a 6-3 advantage.

Bourque went back to mound with the lead and tossed a perfect bottom of the sixth inning before exiting in the seventh. Kyle Simonds (Hold, 1) entered from the pen and tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out the final three batters he faced. Tommy Peterson (Save, 7) took over in the ninth and continued the streak by striking out the first two batters before getting Stuart Levy to ground out, securing his seventh save this season and fourth in a row.

Hagerstown relievers have now combined for 11 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings during a season-best winning streak of seven games for Hagerstown.

Friday: Tres Barrera scored on an error in the eighth inning to help the Hagerstown Suns secure a 5-4 victory over the Lakewood BlueClaws on Friday.

Lakewood had a runner on third in the bottom of the ninth, but Henri Lartigue flew out to end the game.

The run by Barrera, part of a two-run inning, tied the game 4-4 before Aldrem Corredor hit an RBI single later in the inning.

Sheldon Neuse hit an RBI single in the first inning and Jake Noll hit a two-run double in the fifth to give the Suns a 3-1 lead. The BlueClaws came back to take a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning when Darick Hall hit an RBI double and then scored on a two-run home run by Brett Barbier.

A.J. Bogucki (1-1) got the win with three innings of scoreless, two-hit relief while Casey Brown (1-1) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game.

Hall homered and doubled, scoring a pair of runs while also driving home a couple for the BlueClaws. Barbier homered and doubled, driving home two runs.

With the win, Hagerstown improved to 11-4 against Lakewood this season.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s