Nationals Minor League Report: July 12

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John Simms of the Senators (AA) on the mound for the All Star Game (@Scotty_Ballgame)

By Michael Marzzacco

Highlights from the Chiefs and Senators at the All Star Game as well as PNats and Suns action.

From staff and wire reports:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The International League fell to the Pacific Coast League in the AAA All Star Game in Tacoma, Washington by a final of 6-4. Andrew Stephenson was the lone Chief representative. He finished 0 for 1.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League): The Western Division fell to the Eastern Division in the Eastern League All Star Game in Manchester, New Hampshire. John Simms got the start and pitched the first inning allowing just two hits while striking out one.

Senators catcher Raudy Read and left fielder Jose Marmolejos also represented the Sens at the All Star Game. Read was 0 for 1 while Marmolejos was 0 for 2.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): After nearly two months in between meetings between the two teams, the Potomac Nationals (39-49, 6-12) managed just four hits in a 6-0 shutout loss to the Salem Red Sox (52-37, 12-8) Wednesday night. RHP Shaun Anderson(W, 3-2) tossed a career high seven innings and struck out six in his best professional start, while LHP Hector Silvestre(L, 7-4) failed to get through five innings for the first time in his last eight starts.

The Red Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning. The first three batters of the inning singled, which loaded the bases for DH Jose Sermo. The Salem designated hitter put in a bid for a grand slam, but came feet shy on a fly out to centerfield. The sacrifice fly plated LF Tyler Spoon and made it 1-0 Salem. After a walk loaded the bases, Silvestre got 2B Nick Lovullo to line into a double play at third base that ended the inning.

After Silvestre worked a scoreless third frame, the Red Sox jumped back on the lefty in the fourth inning. CF Tate Matheny led off the frame with a walk, and after Sermo doubled with one out, 3B Jordan Betts made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly. Lovullo followed with an RBI single, as Salem led 3-0 after four innings.

Potomac tallied just four hits in the game, all against Anderson. 1B Ian Sagdal singled in the second inning, SS Edwin Lora doubled in the third frame, 2B Austin Davidson led off the fourth with a double, and Lora had a two-out single in the fifth. The P-Nats went 0-6 with RISP and left six men on base.

RHP Tyler Skulina entered the game for Silvestre to begin the bottom of the fifth inning. The right-handed reliever gave up a single to each of the first two batters, while a pair of wild pitches plated a run. After Spoon drew a walk, Matheny made it 5-0 Salem with an RBI double. In the sixth, Spoon made it 6-0 with a two-out RBI single, which closed the scoring. Salem got the leadoff man on in five straight innings from the second through the sixth, and four of those men came around to score.

After seven dominant innings from Anderson, RHP Marc Brakeman found a way to get through the final two frames despite throwing nearly as many balls as strikes. Brakeman went to a three-ball count to five of the six hitters that he faced, but struck out four over two perfect innings.

The loss puts Potomac a second half high five games behind Salem for a playoff spot. After three straight losses, the P-Nats will turn to RHP Luis Reyes (5-9, 4.67) for the second game of the four-game series. Reyes has picked up the loss in each of his last three starts, but has surrendered more than three earned runs just once over that span. For the Red Sox, RHP Roniel Raudes (2-6, 4.76) will look for a third straight solid start. Raudes has given up just two earned runs in each of his last two starts, yet has picked up the loss both times.

First pitch is set for 7:05pm Thursday night. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:50pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic League): The top two offensive teams in the South Atlantic League looked poised for a slugfest with nine runs scored on nine hits through the first 1 1/2 innings on Monday night, but Charleston reliever Adonis Rosa tossed seven scoreless frames out of the pen to hold off the Hagerstown Suns, 6-3, at Municipal Stadium.

The RiverDogs (13-6, 47-42) plated three runs in the top of the first against Suns starter James Bourque (Loss, 4-4), who gave up a pair of two-out RBI base hits including a two-run single by Isiah Gilliam.

Hagerstown (11-7, 49-38) answered with three steals and three runs while sending all nine batters to face Charleston starter Austin DeCarr, who struggled to escape the first inning. Sheldon Neuse opened his 3-for-4 night at the plate with an RBI grounder into center that scored Blake Perkins ; the only other Suns batter to tally multiple hits with a 2-for-4 performance. Two batters later, Daniel Johnson scooted home from third on a wild pitch and DeCarr proceeded to load the bases before Anderson Franco earned an RBI with a two-out, bases loaded walk that scored Neuse to tie up the game, 3-3.

The Suns left them loaded in the first and Charleston kept swinging in the top of the second against Bourque. The RiverDogs rallied again with two outs on an RBI double to right by Diego Castillo and a run-scoring single back up the middle by Blake Rutherford. Bourque gave up a third run in the second inning after his wild pitch scored Rutherford from third and the RiverDogs reclaimed a three-run lead, 6-3.

DeCarr exited after one inning and Rosa (Win, 3-2) began his brilliant relief outing in the second. He retired six Suns in a row and benefitted from a solid throw from center fielder Estevan Florial. With two outs in the fourth and Tres Barrera standing on second after a balk, Perkins grounded a single to center but Florial’s throw beat him to the plate and despite hard contact with the base runner, catcher Donny Sands held on to the ball and maintained the 6-3 lead for Charleston.

Bourque settled things down nicely in the third and retired 13 of the next 14 batters he faced. His five shutout innings steadied the ship and he left after seven frames with four earned runs and seven hits charged against him.

Rosa struck out eight batters in his seven relief innings as the Suns managed just four hits and one walk against the hard-throwing, 22-year-old righty from the Dominican Republic. A.J. Bogucki threw two scoreless relief innings of his own and Johnson made a highlight reel catch behind him in the ninth as he went crashing head-first into the right field wall to snag a hard liner off the bat of Mandy Alvarez. Johnson hopped back up after demonstrating again why he was an All-Star starter in right field for the SAL Northern Division.

Hagerstown couldn’t answer with a comeback in the ninth against David Sosebee (Save, 4), who struck out two Suns in a 1-2-3 inning as the South Atlantic League Southern Division leaders improved to 13-6 since the All-Star Break; the best record among all 14 SAL teams.

Despite the loss, Hagerstown remains atop the SAL Northern Division second-half standings with an 11-7 record. On Thursday, the Suns welcome former Major League closer and MLB single-season saves record holder Francisco Rodriguez to the bullpen. The 35-year-old reliever, who signed a Minor League contract with the Washington Nationals on July 5, is scheduled to pitch on Thursday for the Suns. SAL All-Star lefty Tyler Watson (5-3, 3.83) starts for Hagerstown against Charleston righty Nick Green (5-6, 3.73). It’s Thirsty Thursday at Municipal Stadium with beer prices starting at just two dollars each. To purchase tickets, call (301) 791-6266 or visit hagerstownsuns.com.

 

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