Nationals Minor League Report: July 5

By Michael Marzzacco

Both the PNats and the Suns had rainouts which meant the bigger boys in the minors were in action last night.

Compiled via team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League):

IMG_5947
Alejandro De Aza cranked his first Chiefs home run and drove in four runs on Wednesday. (Danny Tripodi | Syracuse Chiefs) ​

The Syracuse Chiefs staved off a six-run top of the third inning from the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Wednesday night to take a 10-6 victory at NBT Bank Stadium. Alejandro De Aza cranked his first home run of the season and drove in four runs in the victory. Chris Heisey also homered in the victory, his first of the season with the Chiefs, picking up three RBIs of his own. As a team, the Chiefs walked 12 times, the most for the team since 2008.

Syracuse (31-52) opened the scoring in a big way in the bottom of the first inning against Mark Appel. The former number one overall pick walked both Andrew Stevenson and Irving Falu to lead off the frame. Following the pair of free bases, Major League rehabber Heisey doubled into the left-center-field alley. Stevenson scored on the play, but Falu was cut down at the plate on a strong relay throw from shortstop J.P. Crawford. In the next at-bat, Neftali Soto singled on a line into center field. Dylan Cozens, the Lehigh Valley center fielder, collected the hit and threw the ball into the plate to try to keep Heisey at third base. The play went awry when Cozens’s throw went wide of the plate, Heisey scored, and Soto moved up to second on the throwing error. One batter later, with De Aza at the plate, Appel tossed a wild pitch that allowed Soto to advance to third. The mistake from Appel proved costly when De Aza smacked a double past the diving glove of Osmel Aguila in right field, plating Soto for the third run of the game. Following a Spencer Kieboom groundout, Appel walked two consecutive batters to load the bases for the opposing pitcher Jacob Turner. Appel missed on a 3-2 count to walk Turner and score De Aza, increasing the Chiefs’ lead to 4-0. The walk was Appel’s fifth of the day and spelled the end of the outing for the right-hander from Houston.

The Chiefs tacked on another pair of runs in the second inning on one swing of the bat. With Mark Peterson on the mound for the IronPigs, Falu doubled into center field under the glove of Cozens. In the next at-bat Heisey mashed his first Chiefs home run of the season over the left-field fence for a 6-0 lead.

Lehigh Valley (53-33) found a way to tie the game up in the third. With one out, Turner walked the bases loaded on three consecutive walks to Scott Kingery, Crawford, and Rhys Hoskins. In the next at-bat, Turner was called for a balk by home plate umpire Brian Peterson, allowing Kingery to score and Crawford and Hoskins to move up to second and third. In the same at-bat, Cozens singled into right field, plating Kingery. After a Pedro Florimon strikeout, Hector Gomez doubled into left field to score both Hoskins and Cozens. Logan Moore continued to pile it on in the next at-bat when he smoked a line-drive home run over the right-field fence and tied the game at 6-6.

Another long ball helped the Chiefs regain the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning against Colton Murray. With one out, Heisey slapped his third hit of the game, an infield single to the third baseman Gomez. Soto then walked to put runners at first and second for De Aza. On a 3-1 pitch, De Aza clobbered his first home run of the season over the right-center-field fence to retake the lead. Following the long ball, Kieboom walked which chased Murray from the game. Michael Mariot replaced Murray and induced a pop up from Emmanuel Burriss for the second out of the inning. In the next at-bat, with Ryan Jackson at the plate, Mariot tossed a wild pitch which allowed Kieboom to move up to second. Jackson ended up walking in the at-bat to put runners at second and third for the pitcher Greg Ross. Ross singled on a 2-1 pitch into right field to load the bases for Stevenson. Stevenson induced a walk on a 3-1 count from Mariot, bringing Kieboom in to score, and extending the Chiefs’ lead to 10-6.

Greg Ross tossed five innings of scoreless, one-hit baseball in what became a relief outing for the right-hander. It was just the second outing of the season in which Ross did not allow a run.

The Chiefs and IronPigs square off in the rubber match of a three-game series Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. from NBT Bank Stadium. Edwin Jackson puts his 12-and-one-third-inning scoreless and hitless streak on the line for the Chiefs against right-hander Jake Thompson for the IronPigs.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Taylor Hill allowed just three hits over seven innings, leading the Harrisburg Senators over the Akron RubberDucks in a 7-3 win on Wednesday.

Hill (4-1) picked up the win after he struck out two while allowing two runs.

Harrisburg took the lead in the first when Jose Marmolejos hit a three-run home run.

The RubberDucks cut into the deficit in the fourth inning when Eric Haase hit an RBI triple and then scored on a single by Joe Sever.

The Senators later added two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Osvaldo Abreu hit a two-run double, while Raudy Read hit a two-run home run in the fifth.

Matt Esparza (5-1) went 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs and six hits in the Eastern League game. He also struck out two and walked two.

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