Nationals Minor League Notebook: August 2nd and 3rd

Anderson Franco hit his ninth home run and led the Suns with 3 RBI on Wednesday. (Patrick Cavey)

Here are Wednesday and Thursday highlights from the farm.

Compiled via team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League):

Wednesday: Irving Falu hit a pinch-hit RBI single off Noe Ramirez in the top of the 11th inning, lifting the Syracuse Chiefs to a 6-5 win Wednesday night at McCoy Stadium. The win was the Chiefs’ fourth in its final at-bat over its last seven, and Syracuse has now won six of seven overall.

Syracuse (41-67) jumped in front thanks to three straight hits in the top of the first inning against Jalen Beeks. With one out, Brandon Snyder smacked a single to right. Neftali Soto and Clint Robinson followed with singles to left and center, respectively. With the bases loaded, Chad Huffman grounded into a force out at second, scoring Snyder on the play for a 1-0 Chiefs lead.

Pawtucket (54-55) knotted things up in the bottom of the fourth on a solo shot from Bryce Brentz. The Triple-A Home Run Derby champion hammered a line drive to left off John Simms for his 23rd home run of the season to tie the score at one.

Both teams’ bats exploded in the fifth inning. The Chiefs tallied four runs in the top half of the frame. Emmanuel Burriss and Zach Collier both singled to lead off the inning. Snyder continued a strong game on a line-drive double to left, plating Burriss and moving Collier to third. Two batters later, Clint Robinson pummeled his team-leading 16th home run of the year on a line drive to right-center for a 5-1 advantage.

However, Pawtucket responded with a two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth against Simms. Heiker Meneses golfed a soft liner to right and Jake Romanski followed with a line drive to left, moving the speedy Meneses to third. Rusney Castillo then blasted a three-run shot to center, making it a one-run game at 5-4.

The game remained 5-4 until the eighth. Brentz launched his second home run of the game to dead center off Austin Adams to square the score at five.

Wander Suero threw two key innings then in relief in the ninth and tenth, recording six groundouts.

In the 11th, Severino doubled down the right-field line with one out against Ramirez. Falu followed with a pinch-hit single to right center for a 6-5 lead.

Kevin Jepsen picked up the save, working around a two-out infield single.

Thursday: The Syracuse Chiefs completed a three-game sweep of the Pawtucket Red Sox, winning Thursday’s final, 6-4, at McCoy Stadium. Neftali Soto homered for the fourth time in the series, and a four-run fifth inning was enough to lift the Chiefs to a fourth straight win and sixth in their last seven games. Jaron Long threw seven scoreless innings for the Chiefs in the win.

Syracuse (42-67) scored first when Soto hit a solo home run with two outs in the first off Shawn Haviland for a 1-0 lead.
The Chiefs broke the game open in the fifth. Syracuse struck for five straight hits, starting with a Spencer Kieboom double and Michael Almanzar single to bring in Kieboom for a 2-0 lead. Almanzar was thrown out at second on the play. From there, Bengie Gonzalez and Zach Collier doubled back-to-back for a 3-0 Chiefs edge. Irving Falu followed with a two-run home run to right to push the score to 5-0.
Syracuse added a sixth run in the seventh against Marcus Walden. Collier doubled to start the inning, moved to third on a fly out, and scored on Soto’s RBI single for a 6-0 lead.
Pawtucket (54-56) finally scratched the scoreboard in the eighth. On Major League rehab, Shawn Kelley allowed a single to Brian Bogusevic and an RBI double to Deven Marrero to bring the score to 6-1. Kelley then walked Mike Miller and Dan Butler to load the bases. Kelley then did strike out Rusney Castillo and Ryan Court for the first two outs of the frame. Syracuse then turned to Neil Ramirez, who allowed a two-run single to Sam Travis to bring Pawtucket within three.
In the ninth, Bogusevic hit a two-out home run to bring the PawSox within two, but Pawtucket would get no closer.
Syracuse returns home to open a four-game, three-day series Friday night against the Rochester Red Wings, starting with a 5:05 p.m. doubleheader. Jacob Turner and Phillips Valdez are scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Kyle Gibson and Dietrich Enns for the Red Wings.


HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League):

Wednesday: Corban Joseph doubled and singled twice, scoring a run and also driving one home as the Harrisburg Senators beat the Reading Fightin Phils 9-5 on Wednesday.

Yadiel Hernandez homered and singled with two runs for Harrisburg.

Trailing 2-1 in the third, Reading tied the game when Angelo Mora hit an RBI single, driving in Carlos Tocci.

Harrisburg answered in the top of the next frame, scoring two runs to take the lead. Victor Robles hit an RBI single en route to the two-run lead.

The Senators later added two runs in the sixth and three in the eighth. In the sixth, Hernandez hit a solo home run, while Jose Marmolejos and Dan Gamache hit RBI singles in the eighth.

Harrisburg right-hander Austin Voth (2-1) picked up the win after allowing two runs on seven hits over five innings. Opposing starter Tommy Bergjans (1-5) took the loss in the Eastern League game after allowing four runs and eight hits over four innings.

Malquin Canelo homered and singled, scoring two runs for the Fightin Phils.

Despite the loss, Reading is 6-3 against Harrisburg this season.

Thursday: Tyler Viza tossed a five-hit complete game and Drew Stankiewicz hit a two-run home run and scored two runs, as the Reading Fightin Phils topped the Harrisburg Senators 6-1 on Thursday.

Viza (8-7) allowed one run while striking out four to get the win.

Trailing 1-0, the Fightin Phils took the lead for good in the first inning when Stankiewicz homered to bring home Zack Coppola.

Taylor Hill (4-3) went four innings, allowing six runs and six hits in the Eastern League game. He also struck out one and walked two.

With the win, Reading improved to 7-3 against Harrisburg this season.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League):

Wednesday: After two explosive innings for both sides to start the game, the Potomac Nationals (16-22, 49-59) escaped the rubber match against the Lynchburg Hillcats (23-17, 63-46) with a 6-5 win. The teams scored 10 runs over the first two innings, while neither side scored after the top of the fourth inning. The Hillcats left the game-tying run on second base and the potential go-ahead run on first base in the ninth inning.

Neither RHP Nolan Sanburn (ND) nor RHP Triston McKenzie (L, 9-6) posted good outings early in the game. The Hillcats scored three runs in the first inning and a single run in the second frame, while Potomac plated two runs in the first inning and took the lead with four runs in the home half of the second.

For the second straight game, Lynchburg rattled off three runs before the P-Nats stepped up to the plate. 2B Sam Haggerty led off the game with a double, while SS Willi Castro put men on the corners with a single. After Sanburn walked LFAndrew Calica, 1B Sicnarf Loopstok got hit by a pitch, which brought home a run and made it 1-0. RF Connor Marabell made it 2-0 on a sacrifice fly, while the final run of the frame scored on an attempted double steal.

Potomac immediately answered with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the first. DH Michael A. Taylor began the inning with a single, and two batters later,2B Austin Davidson pulled the P-Nats within one run with a two-run home run. The Hillcats ran the lead back to two runs on an RBI single by Calica in the second inning, but McKenzie scampered back into trouble in the home half of the inning.

The All-Star for the Hillcats gave up consecutive doubles to SS David Mastersand RF Rhett Wiseman to begin the bottom of the second inning, which pulled the P-Nats within one run. Two batters later, the Hillcats intentionally walked Taylor. CF Daniel Johnson made Lynchburg pay for the intentional walk, as he launched a three-run home run over the right field wall. Johnson’s third home run of the season put Potomac on top 6-4.

McKenzie settled in after Johnson’s home run, as he didn’t allow another man to reach scoring position over his five-inning outing. The righty allowed six earned runs one start after the Frederick Keys tagged him for seven earned runs. Sanburn walked four and allowed four runs over two innings, though Johnson’s home run took him out of line for a loss.

The Hillcats plated the final run of the game in the fourth inning, as Marabell notched his second sacrifice fly of the matchup, which came against RHP Jorge Pantoja (W, 1-2). Pantoja allowed just one run on three hits over three innings. The Potomac bullpen allowed nly one run on six hits over seven frames.

Lynchburg’s final threat came in the top of the ninth inning against LHP Jordan Mills . The lefty, who had posted two scoreless frames, returned for the ninth.Gavin Collins pinch hit for Marabell and drew a leadoff walk. CF Ka’ai Tomfollowed with a single, which ended Mills’ afternoon. RHP Gilberto Mendez(SV, 10) inherited two baserunners, but held Potomac’s one-run lead. C Martin Cervenka struck out after two failed sacrifice bunt attempts, DH Daniel Salters popped out to third base on a first pitch check swing, while 3B Ivan Castilloended the game with a groundout to first base.

The victory for Potomac was the eighth in 11 games for the club and pulled the P-Nats within five games of the Northern Division leading Salem Red Sox.


Thursday: The Winston-Salem Dash (20-20, 44-66) scored in six of their eight offensive innings, as the Potomac Nationals (16-23, 49-60) dropped the series opener 9-2 on Thursday night. The Dash tallied four extra-base hits over the first four innings, and had three two-out RBI hits in the victory.

In his Carolina League debut, RHP Sterling Sharp (L, 0-1) never gave up a big inning, but saw the Dash consistently chip away. Winston-Salem plated two runs in the first inning, a run in the second, two more in the third, a single run in the fourth, and one in the fifth inning against the right-handed starter, before he finally posted a zero in the sixth inning, his final frame of the night.

The Dash took a lead they never relinquished just three batters into the game. After a one-out single by RF Joel Booker, DH Zack Collins made it 1-0 Winston-Salem with an RBI double. 3B Matt Rose followed with an RBI double, as it was 2-0 after one inning.

In the second frame, Winston-Salem had the first of its three two-out rallies. CF Luis Basabe walked, 2B Bryant Flete singled, and Booker had an RBI hit, all with two outs. An inning later, Collins drew a leadoff walk, and 3B Brady Conlan, who had replaced Rose the prior frame due to an injury, launched a two-run home run, which put the Dash on top 5-0. Sharp gave up a run in the fourth inning on a two-out RBI double by Conlan, and his final run of the night on a double play in the fifth. Sharpe gave up seven runs, six earned, over six innings in his first start at the Advanced-A level.

Potomac didn’t muster many chances offensively in the loss, and failed to cash in on most of the chances the club did have. The P-Nats left men at second and third base in the third inning, men at the corners in the fourth frame, and men at second and third in the fifth.

After three scoreless innings from RHP Kelvis Valerio (ND), RHP Mike Morrison (W, 2-2) allowed three straight one-out singles in the fourth inning. 1BIan Sagdal 3B David Masters , and RF Rhett Wiseman each connected with a base hit, as Wiseman’s RBI single got Potomac on the board. The P-Nats threatened to get back into the game in the top of the fifth inning, down 6-1, as they put men at second and third base with nobody out, but Morrison retired the heart of the Potomac order and kept the Dash’ significant lead.

Sharp departed for RHP Ronald Pena to begin the seventh inning, and the Dash effectively put the game away with two runs in the frame. 1B Brandon Dulindrew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a two-out single from Basabe. Flete appeared to ground out to end the inning, but his ground ball to first base hit the first base bag and popped up over the head of Sagdal, which allowed SS Yeyson Yrizarri to score, and make 9-1.

The P-Nats plated the final run of the game in the eighth inning, as Taylor Gushue led off the frame with a solo home run off of LHP Andre Wheeler. LHPLouie Lechich relieved Wheeler with one out in the eighth inning and retired the final five men of the night.

In the loss, CF Daniel Johnson extended his hit streak to eight games with a three-hit night, while LF Jack Sundberg saw his seven-game hit streak end. Potomac went just 1-8 with RISP and left nine men on base.

With the first matchup of the season between the two teams finally in the books, Potomac will turn to RHP Joan Baez (1-7, 5.09) on Friday night in an attempt to level the series. In his return from the GCL, Baez walked seven batters last time out in a loss to Myrtle Beach. For the Dash, LHP Bernardo Flores (0-3, 5.53) will search for his first win in his last six starts. The left-handed starter has allowed no more than three earned runs in any of his last four starts.

First pitch on Friday night is set for 7:00pm.


HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic League):

Wednesday: Aldrem Corredor and Anderson Franco both slugged home runs as the Hagerstown Suns (21-16, 59-47) tallied seven unanswered runs to avoid a three-game sweep and beat the Hickory Crawdads, 7-1, at Municipal Stadium on Wednesday.

Ben Braymer (Win, 1-0) won his South Atlantic League debut after throwing his first pitch at 10:34 a.m. The 23-year-old lefty, who struck out 39 batters in 27 2/3 innings for the Auburn Doubledays in Class A Short Season, struck out the first two Crawdads he faced following his promotion to Hagerstown. The Auburn University alum allowed a leadoff double and an RBI single in the second, but Oliver Ortiz ended the inning with a bullet throw from right field to catcher Adderling Ruiz , who tagged Ricky Valencia as he tried to score from second base.

Corredor tied up the game with a line drive homer to right-center field in the third inning for his fifth round-tripper this season. In the fifth, Blake Perkinsand Telmito Agustin led off with singles before the Suns took their first lead on a three-run homer to left field by Anderson Franco. The 19-year-old third baseman led Hagerstown with three RBI on his ninth homer in 2017. Agustin also drove in two runs with sac flies in the seventh and eighth innings.

After scoring 26 runs through the first two games of the series, Hickory bats went quiet during the final seven innings. Braymer retired the last seven batters he faced and exited after six complete innings with one earned run on four hits, one walk, and three strikeouts. Steven Fuentes (Save, 2) entered from the pen and recorded the final nine outs with two hits and two strikeouts.

Thursday: Daniel Brito hit a walk-off bases-clearing triple with one out in the ninth inning, as the Lakewood BlueClaws defeated the Hagerstown Suns 5-4 on Thursday.

The Suns took a 4-2 lead in the top of the ninth when Tres Barrera hit an RBI double, scoring Telmito Agustin.

Jonathan Hennigan (1-3) got the win in relief while Phil Morse (0-1) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game.



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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s