Nationals Minor League Report: July 8

By Michael Marzzacco

Compiled via team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Rochester Red Wings, 2-0, Saturday night at Frontier Field. The Red Wings scored two runs in the fourth inning which held up for a second straight win over the Chiefs. Erick Fedde threw three perfect innings with four strikeouts for Syracuse in his second start back in the rotation, as he continues to work to be stretched out back into a starter’s innings load.

Rochester (48-39) started the scoring in the fourth inning against Dustin Antolin. Antolin walked two of the first three batters of the inning to put Niko Goodrum and Tommy Field on first and second. After a fly out moved Goodrum to third, he scored on a wild pitch to give the Red Wings the lead. ByungHo Park then tripled to deep right center field to plate Field and extend the lead to 2-0.
Those two runs would hold up. Red Wings’ starter Aaron Slegers threw seven and two-thirds innings, allowing just seven hits.
Syracuse (32-54) put two runners on in the seventh, and brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but could not crack the scoreboard against the league’s best pitching staff by ERA.
Syracuse and Rochester wrap up the first half of the season Sunday at 1:35 p.m. before the three-day All-Star break. Sean O’Sullivan is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Justin Haley for the Red Wings.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League): A.J. Ladwig allowed just five hits over 6 2/3 innings, leading the Erie SeaWolves over the Harrisburg Senators in a 2-0 win on Saturday.

Bryan Garcia got Osvaldo Abreu to hit into a double play with runners on first and second to end the game for his fourth save of the season.

Ladwig (6-1) struck out four and walked one to pick up the win.

Erie scored its runs when Dominic Ficociello hit a solo home run in the fourth inning and Christin Stewart hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

John Simms (3-6) went six innings, allowing two runs and three hits to take the hard-luck loss in the Eastern League game. He also struck out four and walked three.

Yadiel Hernandez singled three times for the Senators. Harrisburg was held scoreless for the ninth time this season, while the Erie staff recorded its sixth shutout of the year.

With the win, Erie improved to 9-3 against Harrisburg this season.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (39-46) used a spectacular start from LHP Grant Borne (W, 4-3) to beat the Wilmington Blue Rocks (46-41) on Saturday night at Pfitzner Stadium. The P-Nats starter set a career high with seven strikeouts over seven shutout innings against the Blue Rocks. The Potomac offense smacked 10 hits in the three-run win over Wilmington.

Borne picked up his fourth win of the season after arguably his best start of the season on Saturday. The left-hander punched out a career-high seven hitters in his seventh start of the season. He allowed just one earned run on two hits in the outing. Over 22.1 innings pitched against the Blue Rocks in 2017, Borne has allowed just one total earned run.

Both teams remained scoreless until the fifth inning when Potomac broke open the scoring with two runs against RHP Jared Ruxer (L, 4-3). SS Edwin Lora singled on a two-strike pitch with one out to start the rally and stole second base with RF Rhett Wiseman at the plate. CF Jack Sundberg drove in Lora a batter later on a single to right and advanced to second on the throw to the plate. With a man on second, DH Austin Davidson singled in his first RBI of the night. The P-Nats held a 2-0 lead after five.

Wilmington answered in the top of the sixth with it’s only run of the game. With SS Jecksson Flores on first, 2B D.J. Burt drove a double down the right-field line. Flores flew around the bases to score the only Blue Rocks run against Borne.

Potomac put the game away with runs in the sixth and seventh innings. A 3B David Masters double in the sixth inning increased the lead back to two. Davidson capped off the scoring with his second RBI of the game with a double down the left-field line. With four runs in three consecutive frames, the P-Nats opened up a 4-1 lead over the Blue Rocks after seven innings.

RHP Dakota Bacus (S, 3) handled Wilmington the rest of the way tossing two perfect innings in the eighth and ninth. The right-hander struck out three over the final two frames to lock down his third save of the season. With a scoreless outing, Bacus has now lowered his ERA to 1.84 in eight appearances this season.

Eight of nine Potomac starters recorded a hit in the 10-hit offensive performance. Wiseman broke an 0-20 slump coming into the ball game with his 12th multi-hit game of the season. Davidson was the only other National with a multi-hit performance.

After a split of the first two games of the series, the P-Nats and Blue Rocks face off in the third game of the four-game set on Sunday afternoon. Potomac will look for the advantage in the series with RHP Austen Williams (0-0, 0.00) on the mound. Williams will make his first start for the P-Nats since last season after beginning 2017 with the Harrisburg Senators. All-Star LHP Cristian Castillo (5-4, 2.84) will throw in his 17th start of the season for Wilmington.

Sunday’s first pitch is at 1:05 pm. Potomac coverage begins at 12:50 pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network. The broadcast can be streamed live on potomacnationals.com or by using the TuneIn Radio or MiLB First Pitch apps.

The series against the Blue Rocks continues with Kids Day Sunday on Sunday, 7/9! The first 250 kids 12 and under will eat free, presented by Little Caesars.

The home stand concludes with Summer Camp Day on Monday, 7/10! Area camps will head to The Pfitz to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of baseball. There will also be water balloons being tossed into the crowd.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic League): On Saturday night, continuing rainstorms forced the Hagerstown Suns and Kannapolis Intimidators to postpone the second game of their three-game series at Intimidators Stadium. The teams will now meet in a Sunday doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. with both games scheduled for seven innings.

The Suns and Intimidators ended their Friday series opener in the seventh inning due to rain as Hagerstown lost by a final score of 7-5. Earlier this week, the Suns canceled a pair of games against the Greensboro Grasshoppers in Hagerstown after wet weather washed away scheduled matchups on Wednesday and Thursday.

This is the fourth time the Suns have been postponed by rain on the road this season. The Suns lead the South Atlantic League with seven lost home openings due to weather in 2017.

Hagerstown currently leads the SAL Northern Division second-half standings with a 10-4 record since the All-Star Break. The Suns and Intimidators will conclude their series in Kannapolis on Monday at 7:05 p.m before the Suns return home to Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown on Wednesday, July 12  at 7:05 p.m. for the first of three games against the Charleston RiverDogs, Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees. For tickets, call (301) 791-6266 or visit hagerstownsuns.com.

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