Nationals Minor League Notebook: July 14

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Photo: @HagerstownSuns

From staff and wire reports:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League):

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Alejandro De Aza launched his third Chiefs home run as part of a two-hit game on Friday. (Danny Tripodi | Syracuse Chiefs)

The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Pawtucket Red Sox, 8-1, on Friday night at NBT Bank Stadium. Alejandro De Aza‘s solo homer provided the lone run for the Chiefs.

Pawtucket (46-44) opened the scoring in the second inning against Erick Fedde. Ryan Court led off the frame with a single off Erick Fedde into right field. In the next at-bat, with Steve Selsky at the plate, Court broke for second on a 3-2 pitch. Chiefs second baseman Irving Falu went to cover the bag and Selsky took advantage. The right-hander slapped a single into the vacated hole between first and second base, putting himself at first and advancing Court to third. One batter later, Matt Dominguez grounded into a double play which allowed Court to score from third and put the PawSox up 1-0.

Syracuse (32-57) smashed its first hit and run of the game on one swing of the bat in the fourth. With Kyle Kendrick on the mound. De Aza led off the inning with a bang. On a 1-1 pitch, De Aza cranked his third home run of the season over the right-field fence to knot the game up at 1-1.

The PawSox regained the lead in the fifth inning versus Greg Ross. Dominguez smacked a single into center field to lead off the frame. Heiker Meneses followed with a double down the right-field line that allowed Dominguez to pull into third. After a Mike Miller walk loaded the bases, Ross settled down and induced two consecutive outs from Dan Butler and Aneury Tavarez. Major League rehabber Brock Holt drilled a 1-2, two-out offering on the ground down the left-field line, plating Dominguez and Meneses and advancing Miller to second. One batter later, International League All-Star Rusney Castillo singled back up the box to score Miller and put Holt at third for Court. With the right-hander in the batters’ box, Ross tossed a wild pitch off the glove of catcher Spencer Kieboom, bringing Holt in to score from third and putting the PawSox out in front 5-1.

Stephen Perez doubled in the bottom of the sixth with a double off the right-center field wall. Perez moved to third on a De Aza single. However, Neftali Soto grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Pawtucket added to its lead in the top of the eighth. Castillo led off with a solo shot off Sammy Solis to right-center, his fourth home run against Syracuse in six games.

The PawSox tacked on two in the top of the ninth. Miller singled off Wander Suero to lead off the inning. Two batters later, Aneury Tavarez blasted a shot to right-center for a two-run homer.

Syracuse returns to action Saturday night at 7:05 against Pawtucket. A.J. Cole is on the hill for the Chiefs while Jalen Beeks will pitch for the PawSox.

HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League): Daniel Carbonell drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the ninth inning to score the winning run, as the Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Harrisburg Senators 4-3 on Friday.

C.J Hinojosa scored the game-winning run after he reached base on an intentional walk, advanced to second on a walk by Myles Schroder and then went to third on an out.

Corban Joseph hit a solo home run in the first inning to give the Senators a 1-0 lead. The Flying Squirrels came back to take the lead in the first inning when Schroder hit a three-run home run.

Harrisburg tied the game 3-3 in the sixth when Jose Marmolejos hit an RBI double, scoring Joseph.

Richmond starter Tyler Herb went six innings, allowing three runs and five hits. He also struck out three and walked three. Jarret Martin (2-1) got the win with two innings of scoreless relief while R.C. Orlan (1-3) took the loss in the Eastern League game.

Schroder homered and singled, driving in three runs in the win.

For the Senators, Joseph homered, doubled and singled, scoring two runs.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): In a repeat of the previous two nights, the Salem Red Sox (54-37, 14-8) shut out the Potomac Nationals (39-51, 6-14). After a 6-0 shutout Wednesday night, and a 4-0 shutout Thursday night, the Red Sox split the difference in a 5-0 victory over Potomac Friday evening. The Red Sox scored all five runs with one out in the sixth inning, the only half frame that either side scored in. The third straight shutout loss ran Potomac’s offensive scoreless drought to 31 innings.

Both sides got dominant starting efforts through the first 5.5 innings. LHP Dedgar Jimenez (W, 10-3) allowed just three baserunners over seven-shutout frames in route to his league-leading 10th victory. For Potomac, LHP Grant Borne (L, 4-4) stranded a man at third base in three of the first four innings, but Salem finally broke through in the sixth.

Over the first 5.5 innings, Potomac sent just two over the minimum to the plate. CF Victor Robles led off the game with a single, but was left at second base. SS David Masters led off the fifth frame with a single but was erased on a double play. Robles drew a walk with two outs in the sixth inning, but was once again stranded at second base. Potomac finished the night 0-4 with RISP and is 1-21 with RISP over the first three games of the series.

The Red Sox finally gave Jimenez something to work with in the fifth inning, as they sent eight men to the plate. RF Chris Madera led off the inning with a ground ball to 3B Bryan Mejia , whose throw pulled 1B Ian Sagdal off the bag. The error appeared to jumpstart the Salem offense. After a sacrifice bunt, C Austin Rei made it 1-0 with an RBI double, which proved to be the game-winning hit. Potomac intentionally walked 3B Jose Sermo, while CF Tate Matheny loaded the bases with a single to left field. With only one out, DH Tyler Spoon lined a triple into right field, which plated three runs, and a throwing error by 2B Austin Davidson on the relay to third base allowed Spoon to score and made it 5-0. Four of the five runs were earned.

Potomac’s bullpen finished the game with 2.2 innings of perfect relief. RHP Kyle Schepel got a double play to get out of the sixth inning and then worked a perfect seventh frame. In the eighth, RHP Gilberto Mendez struck out two in a perfect inning.

Running with a season-high five-game losing streak, the P-Nats are seven games out of a playoff spot. To avoid the sweep, Potomac is set to turn to RHP Austen Williams (0-1, 0.00). Williams gave up an unearned run in his 2017 Potomac debut, a loss to Wilmington on Monday. For the Red Sox, All-Star LHP Matt Kent (6-3, 3.99) will make his second start of the year vs. Potomac. Kent surrendered five runs in five innings in a loss to Potomac in April. First pitch is set for 6:05pm Saturday night.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): For the third consecutive night, the Charleston RiverDogs (15-6, 49-42) jumped out to an early lead at Municipal Stadium and rode the best bullpen in the South Atlantic League to victory as the Hagerstown Suns (11-9, 49-40) tallied a season-low two base hits in a 6-0 loss that sealed a road sweep for Charleston.

Weston Davis (Loss, 0-3) made his first start for the Suns since April 15 after a lengthy stay on the Disabled List and gave up five runs in the second inning to Charleston. Brandon Wagner smashed a 432-foot home run out of the ballpark beyond the right center field bullpen to make it 2-0 and Hoy Jun Park added a two-run triple to the gap in right center. Davis left the game after Blake Rutherford made it 5-0 with an RBI single and the final line for the 21-year-old Suns starter from Bradenton, Florida included five earned runs on eight hits with one strikeout in 1 2/3 innings.

6-foot-8-inch Charleston starter Freicer Perez (Win, 6-3) stood tall with 5 1/3 innings of scoreless work, allowing just one hit to Telmito Agustin on a single to left field in the second. Perez walked four but fanned five Suns to keep himself out of trouble.

Suns reliever Hayden Howard matched his longest outing of the season for Hagerstown. The Texas Tech alum gave up a fourth inning double to Chris Hess and an RBI groundout to Park, who led the RiverDogs with a 3-for-5 night at the plate and 3 RBI to finish the three-game series 7-for-12 (.583) against Suns pitching.

Jake Noll took credit for the only Hagerstown extra-base hit on a seventh inning double against Hobie Harris, who combined with Luis Cedeno for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. The RiverDogs bullpen tossed 15 scoreless frames in the series as Charleston improved its league-best winning percentage to .714 since the All-Star Break.

Hagerstown has now lost six of its last seven games and will travel on Saturday to Lexington, Kentucky where a three-city, 10-game road trip begins on Sunday with a doubleheader at 2:05 p.m. Right-handed starter Sterling Sharp (4-6, 3.09) goes to the mound in Game 1 and righty Carlos Pena (4-5, 5.59) will answer the call in Game 2.

The Suns return home for a seven-game homestand at Hagerstown Municipal Stadium beginning Thursday, July 27 at 7:05 p.m. against the West Virginia Power, Class A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, on Thirsty Thursday with beer prices starting at just two dollars each. For tickets, call (301) 791-6266 or visit hagerstownsuns.com.

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