Nationals Minor League Notebook: August 5-7

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Photo: Patrick Cavey

Compiled via team press releases:

SYRACUSE (AAA International League):


Brandon Snyder had two hits and two RBIs on Salt Potato Day Saturday (Danny Tripodi)

On a special one-night only nickname change, the Syracuse Salt Potatoes knocked off the Rochester Red Wings, 9-4, on Saturday night at NBT Bank Stadium. In front of a crowd of 8,345, the third largest home crowd of the season, the Salt Potatoes ripped 14 hits. Brandon Snyder had two hits and two RBIs, and Michael Almanzar had three hits. Eight of the nine Chiefs batters recorded hits in the game. Syracuse has now won nine of its last 11 games.

Rochester (64-49) initially jumped in front on the second at-bat of the game. Mitch Garver smacked a sole home run off Cody Satterwhite that cleared the right-center-field fence to put the Red Wings in front. Two batters later, Kennys Vargas slapped a line drive down the left-field line for a double. Vargas scored on the following play when ByungHo Park also hit a double to left for a 2-0 Red Wings lead.

Syracuse (44-68) exploded with a five-run bottom of the first inning. Zach Collier, Brandon Snyder, and Neftali Soto ripped three straight doubles to lead off the frame. Snyder’s liner plated Collier and Soto’s blast scored Snyder to tie the game at two. Two batters later, Chad Huffman hit a single into left moving Soto to third.  After Alejandro De Aza reached on a fielder’s choice, Pedro Severino then singled to center, plating Huffman and giving the Salt Potatoes the lead. De Aza moved to third and Severino advanced to second on a throwing error by Zach Granite. Finally, Michael Almanzar singled to center, scoring De Aza and Severino for a 5-2 Salt Potatoes lead.

Mitch Garver continued to provide runs for Rochester as he led off the third with an infield single. After Garver moved to second, two batters later, Vargas came through again with a double to left, plating Garver and putting Rochester within three.

The Salt Potatoes responded with a two-run bottom of the fourth. Almanzar led off the frame with a double to left. Emmanuel Burriss followed with a line-drive single to right, plating Almanzar. Two batters later, Brandon Snyder singled to left, scoring Burriss for a 7-3 Syracuse lead.

The Red Wings retrieved a run in the top of the fifth. Palka ripped a double to center. Three batters later, Niko Goodrum hit a soft liner to left, bringing Palka home to cut the lead to three.

However, the Chiefs grabbed two additional insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh. Snyder led off with a walk. Mason Melotakis replaced D.J. Baxendale, and Soto hammered a single up the middle to move Snyder to third. Melotakis threw a wild pitch, allowing Snyder to jog on home. After Melotakis tossed two strikeouts, De Aza singled to center, scoring Soto and giving Syracuse a 9-4 lead.

The game stayed scoreless from there. The Syracuse relief platoon of Shawn Kelley (on Major League rehab), Rafael Martin, Kevin Jepsen, and Wander Suero allowed just one run and five hits in six strong innings. There were 25 hits total between the two teams, including nine doubles.


Brandon Snyder’s three-run homer in the third tied the game on Cancer Awareness Day (Danny Tripodi)

The Syracuse Chiefs dropped the final game of a four-game set to the Rochester Red Wings, 8-4, on Sunday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. Brandon Snyder powered the offense for Syracuse crushing his 14th home run of the season in the bottom of the third inning. Meanwhile, for Rochester, a four-run eighth inning led the Red Wings to a series split with the Chiefs.

Rochester (65-49) opened the scoring immediately in the first inning against Esmil Rogers. Zack Granite, the Red Wings’ leadoff batter, hit his fourth home run of the season on just the fourth pitch of the afternoon over the right-field fence to lead off the game. Two batters later, Daniel Palka singled into right field. In the next at-bat, Kennys Vargas slapped a ground ball off the leg of Rogers on the mound. The ball careened into right field for a base hit and allowed Palka to move up to third on the play. Matt Hague followed by grounding into a 6-4 fielders’ choice, plating Palka and putting the Red Wings out in front 2-0.

Vargas added to the Rochester lead with one swing of the bat in the third. With the first two batters retired, the switch-hitting first baseman pumped his eighth home run of the season over the center-field fence for a 3-0 Red Wings’ lead.

Syracuse (44-69) tied the game up in the bottom half of the third versus Aaron Slegers. After a Zach Collier walk to start the inning, Irving Falu slapped a ground ball to the right side of the infield. Collier attempted to evade the oncoming liner, but could not get out of the way as the ball hit off his back foot. Collier was called out on the hit by batted ball, putting Falu alone on the base paths at first. Neftali Soto followed with a line-drive single into right field to put runners at first and second base for Snyder. The left fielder proceeded to clear the bases on a three-run, line-drive home run over the left-field fence, knotting the game up at 3-3.

The Chiefs then took the lead in the fourth. With one out, Bengie Gonzalez singled into right field. In the next at-bat, with Collier at the plate, Gonzalez faked a steal toward second base. The Rochester catcher, Anthony Recker, bit on the fake and threw down to second base. His throw got away into center field, allowing Gonzalez to take the base anyway on the throwing error. Later in the at-bat, Collier flied out to right field which moved Gonzalez up to third. One batter later, Slegers tossed a wild pitch to Falu, scoring Gonzalez and giving the Chiefs a 4-3 lead.

The game continued to go back and forth with Rochester tying in the top of the seventh. Neal Cotts came in to the game to replace Rogers on the mound and Engelb Vielma immediately welcomed him with a single into right field. Granite then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Vielma to second. In the next at-bat, with J.B. Shuck at the plate, a pitch from Cotts bounced off the glove of Spencer Kieboom behind the plate, advancing Vielma to third on the passed ball. The Venezuelan-born shortstop then scored in the same at-bat on a Shuck sacrifice fly into center field, tying the game at 4-4.

A four-run eighth inning gave Rochester the lead late in the game. Vargas led of the frame with a single off the glove of a diving Gonzalez at shortstop. After a Hague walk, Niko Goodrum came on as a pinch-runner for Vargas at second. Two batters later, Tommy Field induced a walk from Cotts to load the bases. Cotts was then lifted in favor of Neil Ramirez who took over with the bases loaded and only one-man out. The first batter Ramirez faced, Recker, singled into right-center field, bringing home both Goodrum and Hague to score for an 8-4 lead. Field moved up to third on the play and then scored on a Vielma sacrifice fly to center field. Following a Granite walk, Shuck shot a line-drive double into right-center field to score Recker and extend the Rochester lead to 8-4. Ramirez got out of the inning in the next at-bat, striking out Palka to end the frame, stranding runners at second and third.

Monday: The Syracuse Chiefs split a doubleheader with the Toledo Mud Hens, with each team winning a game by a 4-2 score. Toledo took game one while Syracuse won game two as the home team, in a make-up game from a rain out in Syracuse back on April 20th.

Syracuse (45-70) started the scoring in game one in the second. Alejandro De Aza bunted up the third base line with Buck Farmer on the mound. Dominic Ficociello throw from third sailed wide of first to allow De Aza to reach second on the throwing error. The next batter, Pedro Severino, laced a singled to left field to score De Aza from second for an unearned run and 1-0 Chiefs lead.
Toledo (53-61) took the lead with a three-run third. Tyler Collins singled to right to start the inning off John Simms, and was replaced at first by JaCoby Jones after a force out. Efren Navarro followed with a single to put runners on first and third and then Ficociello doubled to center to score Jones and tie the game. Then Jason Krizan hit a two-run single to right field to bring in both Navarro and Ficociello for a 3-1 Mud Hens lead.
Former Chief Matt den Dekker doubled to start the sixth inning for Toledo. Den Dekker moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a groundout to third base, beating Brandon Synder‘s throw to the plate off a high chopper for a 4-1 lead.
The Chiefs did get a run back in the seventh. Snyder doubled with one out and De Aza walked. Severino then singled to load the bases, and Snyder scored on Chad Huffman’s sacrifice fly. But the Chiefs would get no closer.
In game two, it was Toledo who scored first in the top of the third. Jones doubled off Derek Self and advanced to third on a groundout. Two batters later, Self walked Krizan. With runners at first and third, Krizan started to steal second, and after Spencer Kieboom‘s throw went through, Jones dashed home for a 1-0 lead.
But Syracuse made it a short-lived lead. With two runners on, Zach Collier launched a three run home run over the fence in right off Ruben Alaniz to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead. Irving Falu then doubled and scored two batters later on Clint Robinson‘s double for a 4-1 lead.
Navarro hit a solo home run off Austin Adams in the fifth inning to bring the Mud Hens within two, but move no closer. Wander Suero threw a scoreless night for the save.
Syracuse and Toledo continue their series Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Jaron Long is scheduled to start for the Chiefs opposite Josh Turley for the Mud Hens.


HARRISBURG (AA Eastern League):


Saturday: Luis Guillorme hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning, leading the Binghamton Rumble Ponies to a 7-4 win over the Harrisburg Senators on Saturday.

The home run by Guillorme capped a five-run inning and gave the Rumble Ponies a 7-4 lead after Champ Stuart hit a two-run double earlier in the inning.

In the top of the third, Binghamton scored on a double by Stuart that brought home L.J. Mazzilli. In the following at-bat, Guillorme hit an RBI single, bringing home Marcos Molina to give the Rumble Ponies a 2-0 lead. Harrisburg answered in the sixth inning when Drew Ward hit a grand slam.

Starter Molina (1-5) got the win while Tim Collins (0-1) took the loss in relief in the Eastern League game. Cory Burns recorded his 16th save of the season.

For the Senators, Ward homered and singled, driving home four runs.

Sunday: Luis Guillorme singled three times, scoring three runs as the Binghamton Rumble Ponies beat the Harrisburg Senators 8-6 on Sunday. With the victory, the Rumble Ponies swept the three-game series.

Gustavo Nunez homered and doubled with two RBIs for Binghamton.

Tyler Bashlor got Jake Lowery to fly out with runners on second and third to end the game for his first save of the season.

Harrisburg grabbed a 3-2 lead in the first after Victor Robles scored on a ground out and Yadiel Hernandez hit a two-run double.

After tying the game 6-6 in the fifth, the Rumble Ponies took the lead for good in the sixth inning when Kevin Kaczmarski singled to bring home Guillorme.

The Rumble Ponies tacked on another run in the ninth when Nunez hit a solo home run.

Kelly Secrest (1-1) got the win with two innings of scoreless, one-hit relief while Dakota Bacus (0-1) took the loss in the Eastern League game.

In the losing effort, Harrisburg got contributions throughout its order, as six players had at least two hits. Dan Gamache singled twice, scoring two runs.

Monday: OFF.

POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League):

Saturday: For the third consecutive night, the Potomac Nationals (16-25, 49-61) lost by at least six runs to the Winston-Salem Dash (22-20, 46-66). After a 9-2 loss on Thursday night, and an 8-2 loss on Friday night, Potomac got shut out 6-0 on Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark. RHP Luis Reyes (L, 7-11) lasted just 2.2 innings, while RHP Alec Hansen (W, 2-4) struck out 12 batters for the second straight start.

After Hansen struck out the side in the top of the first inning, Reyes returned the favor with a clean inning of his own. That was the only scoreless inning of the night for Reyes, as he allowed four runs in the second inning and one run in the third frame.

The P-Nats had a chance to strike against Hansen in the top of the second, as they had men at the corners with only one out, but Hansen picked up his fifth strikeout, as he got RF Rhett Wiseman on a check swing, and LF Dale Carey flied out to right field.

In the bottom of the second inning, the first five Dash hitters notched a hit against Reyes. 1B Brandon Dulin led off with a double and scored on an RBI single from DH Seby Zavala. After LF Jameson Fisher singled, 3B Brady Conlan launched a three-run home run. Conlan’s second home run of the series put the Dash on top 4-0. Conlan has eight RBIs in three games vs. Potomac.

While Hansen continued to mow down Potomac hitters, the Winston-Salem offense provided two more runs of support, though they were not needed. After Reyes issued a leadoff walk in the third inning, Zavala made it 5-0 with a two-out RBI single. RHPNolan Sanburn entered for Potomac two batters later, and though he stranded two men in the third, the righty allowed a leadoff home run to SS Sam Dexter in the fourth inning. Dexter’s home run made it 6-0 Dash, the eventual final.

Hansen struck out at least one batter in every inning that he pitched, and struck out the side on two different occasions. The righty has tallied 46 strikeouts over his last five starts. Hansen retired the side in order in three different innings, while the bullpen combination of LHP Andre Wheeler and LHP Louie Lechich allowed just one over the minimum to come to the plate over the final three innings.

Potomac had just three hits and drew just three walks in the loss. 3B Ian Sagdal doubled in the second inning but was left on third base. 1B Matt Page doubled with two outs in the fifth inning but did not advance. 2B Austin Davidson had Potomac’s final hit of the night, an infield single in the ninth, but he only made it to second base.

In order to avoid a second four-game sweep of the season, the P-Nats will turn to veteran RHP Austen Williams (2-3, 3.70). Williams allowed just one earned run over six innings last time out in a victory over the Lynchburg Hillcats. Opposite Williams, RHP Dane Dunning (4-5, 3.35) will make the start for the Dash. Dunning, part of the trade that sent Adam Eaton to the Nationals, has allowed just one earned run over his last two starts


Sunday: Thanks to two late two-out rallies, the Potomac Nationals (17-25, 50-61) salvaged the series finale with a 4-3 win in 10 innings over the Winston-Salem Dash (22-21, 46-67) on Sunday afternoon. Down by a run and to their final four outs, the P-Nats tied the game on a two-out double by DH Austin Davidson in the eighth inning, and took the lead on a two-out RBI single by CTaylor Gushue in the 10th frame.

For the first time in the past seven games, Potomac scored the first run of the contest. After both sides went scoreless in the first inning, 3B David Masters hit a two-run home run off of RHP Dane Dunning (ND) two batters into the second frame. Those were the only runs Dunning allowed, as the former Washington Nationals farmhand pitched six innings.

On the mound for Potomac, RHP Austen Williams (ND) surrendered a single run in the third inning and another in the fifth frame, as he didn’t pick up the decision for the first time in six starts. LF Joel Booker led off the bottom of the third inning with a solo home run, while RF Eloy Jimenez tied the game with an RBI double in the fifth inning.

Out of the Potomac bullpen, RHP Jorge Pantoja surrendered the lead in the sixth frame. A one-out RBI single by CF Luis Basabe put the Dash on top 3-2, and two batters later, LHP Jordan Mills entered from the Potomac bullpen. Mills walked CZack Collins, which loaded the bases, but the lefty got Jimenez to line out to third base.

Potomac tied the game in the eighth inning, with the first of two two-out rallies. RHP Mick VanVossen (BS, 1) got the first two outs in the top of the eighth inning for the Dash, but walked Gushue. After DH Austin Davidson worked a full count, he tied the game with an RBI double off the wall in right field, but was left at third base.

Mills continued to pitch for Potomac into the ninth, and departed for RHP Gilberto Mendez (W, 3-2) with two men on and one out. Louis Silverio pinch hit for 1B Brandon Dulin and struck out, while DH Seby Zavala grounded out and ended the inning.

RHP Ian Hamilton (L, 2-3) entered to pitch for Winston-Salem in the top of the 10th inning and retired the first two men that he faced. 1B Ian Sagdal doubled, and Gushue followed with a go-ahead RBI single to right field. In the bottom of the 10th, Mendez retired the side in order, as he induced three fly ball outs to secure the victory.

After a win to avoid the sweep, the P-Nats will be off on Monday, and then return to Pfitzner Stadium for a three game series with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs) that will begin on Tuesday night. First pitch is set for 7:05pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:45pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at or on the TuneIn Radio App.


Monday: OFF.

HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic League):

Saturday: Tyler Beck with scored on an error in the fifth inning to help the Hagerstown Suns secure a 2-1 victory over the Lakewood BlueClaws on Saturday.

Phil Morse struck Arquimedes Gamboa out with a runner on third to end the game for his third save of the season.

Beckwith scored on the error in the fifth to break a scoreless tie after he reached base on a walk and stole second.

After Hagerstown added a run in the sixth when Jake Noll hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Telmito Agustin, the BlueClaws cut into the deficit in the eighth inning when Austin Listi hit an RBI double, scoring Darick Hall.

Hagerstown starter Matthew DeRosier (1-2) picked up the win after scattering seven hits over six scoreless innings. Opposing starter Felix Paulino (2-9) took the tough loss in the South Atlantic League game after giving up two runs and one hit over six innings.

Sunday: For the second time in four days, the Hagerstown Suns (22-19, 60-50) fell in walk-off fashion along the Jersey Shore after Raul Rivas lined an RBI single to left field for the Lakewood BlueClaws (20-23, 60-53) in the bottom of the tenth inning to hand the Suns a 3-2 defeat on Sunday afternoon.

The Suns lost three of four games in the series against their South Atlantic League Northern Division rivals. With 27 games remaining in the regular season, Hagerstown sits second in the division, a half game behind the first-place Hickory Crawdads. All seven teams in the SAL Northern standings are separated by four games or less.

A.J. Bogucki (Loss, 2-2) recorded an out in the tenth before he hit Jesus Alastre with a pitch. Jake Barnett entered from the bullpen and induced a foul out but the two-out base hit by Rivas scored Alastre from first and handed the Suns their seventh walk-off loss in 2017. The BlueClaws also walked off in the series opener last Thursday on a three-run, bases-loaded triple by Daniel Brito in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 Lakewood triumph.

Rivas led the BlueClaws with three hits including a bunt single against Hagerstown starter James Bourque in the first inning. Bourque allowed only two hits through the first six frames before Mickey Moniak, last year’s first overall pick in the MLB Draft, led off with a single and scored on a triple by Austin Listi. Bourque left the game one batter later after issuing his lone walk and finished with 6 1/3 innings, two earned runs on four hits, and four strikeouts.

Bogucki relieved Bourque with two outs in the seventh and David Martinelli gave the BlueClaws their first lead, 2-1, on a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Listi, but the inning ended moments later on the same play when Blake Perkinsthrew the ball in from center and Bogucki connected with Angelo La Bruna at second base to erase Gregori Rivero.

Jake Noll drove in both runs for Hagerstown on Sunday. The 23-year-old Florida Gulf Coast alum went deep in the top of the fourth on a solo homer to left against Lakewood starter Adonis Medina, who took the no-decision after six innings, three hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts.

In the eighth, Noll tied the game at 2-2 with an RBI single to center after La Bruna led off with a walk and navigated around the bases following a sac bunt by Perkins and a groundout by Telmito Agustin . Noll leads the active Suns roster with 14 home runs and 60 runs batted in this season. He finished 2-for-5 at the plate on Sunday. Oliver Ortiz  and La Bruna both added two base hits of their own as the other six Suns batters went hitless.

Ismael Cabrera (Win, 7-5) picked up the victory for Lakewood after pitching one frame with a perfect top of the tenth inning.

Monday: Postponed.



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