May 252014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-1 vs. Pawtucket,
6:30 p.m.
Ohlendorf (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Webster (2-2, 2.47)
Harrisburg Won, 8-5 vs. Bowie,
6:30 p.m.
Meyers (0-2, 5.40) vs.
Berry (3-1, 3.68)
Potomac Lost, 7-6 (10 inn.) @ Salem,
4:05 p.m.
Bacus (1-1, 3.31) vs.
Kukuk (1-2, 2.55)
Hagerstown Won, 7-3 vs. Asheville,
5:05 p.m.
TBD J. Rodriguez (3-0, 2.45 in GCL in ’13) vs.
Jiminian (5-2, 3.35)


Syracuse 4 Pawtucket 1
• Hill (W, 6-1) 7IP, 5H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Mattheus 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Souza 3-4, 2B, 2RBI, 10-game hit streak
• Rhymes 2-4, R, RBI

After hanging seven zeroes on the top of the scoreboard, Taylor Hill got the rest of the night off when his teammates put up four in the last of the 7th as the Chiefs won their fifth straight, 4-1. Hill improved to 6-1 and lowered his ERA to 1.63 while allowing just five hits, no walks and fanning four. Steve Souza went 3-for-4 and extended his hit streak to 10 games while Will “Don’t Call Me Buster” Rhymes went 2-for-4 with an RBI as the Syracuse no. 2-3 hitters combined for five of the team’s seven hits. Former Chief Corey Brown homered in the 9th off Mike Gonzalez to break up the shutout. Roster moves: RHP Christian Garcia placed on 3-Day Temporary Inactive List (retroactive to 5/22), IF Zach Walters optioned from Washington.

Harrisburg 8 Bowie 5
• Poveda (W, 1-1) 5IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 7K, 2HR
• Holland (SV, 1) 2⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K, 1-0 IR-S
• Taylor 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI, SB
• Sanchez 2-2, 2B, RBI
• Skole 2-4, 2B, RBI

Perhaps the third time was the charm as the Senators victimized BaySox pitcher Tyler Wilson, who beat them in his first two starts, for six runs on nine hits and three walks en route to an 8-5 victory. Omar Poveda was less ineffective in his second turn in the rotation, allowing three runs on three hits, including two home runs, with no walks and seven strikeouts over five innings for his first AA win of ’14. Five Senators would notch multiple hits, with Michael Taylor and Jason Martinson both reaching base three times with two hits and a walk while stealing a base to lead the Harrisburg attack. Roster move: 1B Adam LaRoche removed from roster (end of MLB rehab).

Salem 7 Potomac 6 (10 inn.)
• Spann 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K, HR
• Self 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Benincasa (BS, 2; L, 3-1) ⅓ IP, 2H, 2R, 0BB, 0K, HR(5)
• Pleffner 2-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Oduber 2-4, R
• Renda 0-1, R, 3BB

After taking a 6-5 lead in the top of the 10th, it took just three batters for Potomac reliever Robert Benincasa to finish the game. Unfortunately, that was single-flyout-homer as Salem’s Kevin Heller smacked a two-run blast for 7-6 walkoff for the Red Sox. It was the first loss, the second blown save, and the fifth HR for Benincasa, whose line is now 6.50/6.37/1.61 in 18 innings. Matthew Spann started and went the first five innings, giving up two runs on five hits (one of which was a Heller solo shot), with no walks and five strikeouts. Shawn Pleffner extended his modest hit streak to six games with a 2-for-5 night, scoring a run and driving in a run to lead the Potomac offense. Roster move: RHP Ian Dickson reassigned from Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 7 Asheville 3
• Johansen (W, 4-1) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, 3K, 2WP
• Webb (H, 2) 3IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, K
• Wooten 3-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI, SB
• Kieboom 2-5, 2R, 3B, RBI
• Ward 2-5, R, RBI

The Suns scorched the Tourists for a pair of three-run innings in the early going and cruised to 7-3 win. Jake Johansen would need that cushion as he put on 10 baserunners — five hits, five walks — in five innings but managed to let in just two while striking out three for his fourth win. The 3-4-5 batters John Wooten, Spencer Kieboom, and Drew Ward combined for seven hits, four runs scored, a double (Wooten), a triple (Kieboom), and three RBI. The Hagerstown lineup saw eight of nine batters reach base, including 10 hits and seven walks as they assumed the title of the top offense in the Sally League with 253 runs scored in 47 games (5.38 R/G).
Roster moves: RHP Ryan Ullmann reassigned from Potomac; RHP Michael Sylvestri reassigned to Auburn; LHP David Ramos activated from XST.

May 242014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-0 vs. Pawtucket,
7:00 p.m.
Hill (5-1, 1.84) vs.
De La Rosa (2-3, 3.42)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-4 vs. Bowie,
6:00 p.m.
Poveda (0-1, 7.50) vs.
Wilson (5-3, 3.73)
Potomac Lost, 8-2 @ Salem,
6:05 p.m.
Spann (3-0, 2.03) vs.
Cuevas (2-5, 5.19)
Hagerstown Won, 6-5 vs. Asheville,
7:05 p.m.
Johansen (3-1, 5.11) vs.
Wade (3-4, 5.36)


Syracuse 4 Pawtucket 0
• Laffey (W, 5-2) 9IP, 4H, 0R, BB, 9K
• Burriss 3-4, 2R, BB, 2SB
• Souza 2-4, RBI
• Peterson 1-3, R, BB, RBI

Well, maybe Aaron Laffey ain’t so “bad” after all. The veteran southpaw spun a four-hit shutout as the Chiefs extended their win streak to four with a 4-0 win vs. Pawtucket. He walked one, struck out nine, and threw 74 of 108 pitches for strikes. Emmanuel Burris reached based four times with a walk and three singles while swiping a pair of bases from the leadoff spot to literally lead the Syracuse offense. Steve Souza singled twice to push his hit streak to nine games and raise his batting average to .351 with a 16-for-36 surge.

Bowie 5 Harrisburg 4
• Kroenke 4IP, 7H, 4R, 2ER, 2BB, 3K, HR, WP
• Dupra (L, 1-1) 4IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Taylor 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI, 3K
• Latimore 2-3, R, BB

Apparently, the only way Harrisburg can score with the bases loaded is by a walk, an error, or an out. For the second time this week, the Senators couldn’t get a hit in that situation, going 0-for-5 with a Matt Skole walk, and the missed opportunities would haunt them in a 5-4 loss to Bowie. Zach Kroenke made his first start in place of Matt Purke and had similar success with four runs (two earned) on seven hits (one home run) and two walks over four innings. Brian Dupra went the next four but got the loss when he served up a solo shot in the 8th to break a 4-4 tie, one of four hits allowed with no walks and two K’s. Michael Taylor went 2-for-5 with a home run (no. 12) and three strikeouts (nos. 63, 64, 65) to keep his Eastern League lead in both categories.

Salem 8 Potomac 2
• Pena (L, 3-2) 5IP, 8H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Ullmann 3IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K
• Pleffner 3-3, BB
• Mesa 2-4, 2B, RBI

Potomac had chances to score in every inning, but only plated two while leaving 11 on in an 8-2 loss to Salem. Ronald Pena took the loss, giving up the first six on eight hits and a walk over the first five innings. Ryan Ullmann gave up the next two Red Sox runs on four hits over three innings with no walks and three strikeouts in his High-A debut. Shawn Pleffner singled three times and walked once to push his average to .320 while Narciso Mesa (2-for-4) doubled in the 9th for the lone P-Nat hit in 11 RISP chances. The loss was Potomac’s fifth straight to Salem since July 2013, including the three-game sweep in last September’s Mills Cup Finals.

Hagerstown 6 Asheville 5
• Voth 5IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 7K
• Thomas (W, 2-4) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Kieboom 3-5, R, 2-2B
• Ward 2-5, R, 2-2B, 2RBI
• Bautista 2-3, RBI, 2SB (19, 20)

James Yezzo delivered with one out and the bases loaded with a two-run single for 6-5 walkoff win for Hagerstown. Asheville led early with four runs off starter Austin Voth in the 1st. The 21-y.o. recovered with four scoreless innings to finish with five hits and one walk allowed with seven whiffs. Every Suns batter reached bases as they pounded out 14 hits, including four doubles — two apiece for Spencer Kieboom (3-for-5) and Drew Ward (2-for-5, 2RBI), and stole three bases — two by Sally League leader Rafael Bautista, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

May 232014
 


Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 24-22, T3rd place I.L. North, 1½ games behind

Good Steve Souza .351/.439/.544 in May (15G)
Bad Aaron Laffey 2-2, 6.35 ERA, 1.90 WHIP in May (4 appearances, 3GS)
Interesting Brock Peterson 4HR, 11RBI in last 10G



HARRISBURG SENATORS 15-30, 6th place E.L. West, 14½ games behind

Good James Simmons 0.79 ERA, 0.53 WHIP in first five appearances (11⅓ IP)
Bad 63 team doubles, 11th in 12-team E.L.
Interesting Zero passed balls in 45 games



POTOMAC NATIONALS 24-21, 1st place C.L. North, 2 games ahead

Good Shawn Pleffner .303/.378/.424 in last 10G
Bad 4.52 Team ERA, 1.40 Team WHIP both 8th in the Carolina League
Interesting Stephen Perez team leader in 2B, BB, SB, and E’s



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 32-13, 1st place Sally North, 8 games ahead

Good Nick Pivetta 4-0, 2.01 ERA, 1.16 WHIP in May (4GS)
Bad Willie Medina .041 ISO%
Interesting 3rd fewest pitching BB, 4th most pitching HBP
May 232014
 

Transactions for NPP 2
Another day too busy to wait for the news & notes to pass along [truck]load of transactions…

SYRACUSE
• IF Josh Johnson activated from 7-Day DL

HARRISBURG
• UT Sean Nicol reassigned from Syracuse
• C Brandon Bantz released
• LHP Zach Kroenke assigned from Washington
• C Mitch Canham activated from 7-Day DL
• IF Justin Bloxom placed on 7-Day DL
• 1B Adam LaRoche assigned from Washington for MLB rehab

POTOMAC
• RHP Ryan Ullmann promoted reassigned from Hagerstown

HAGERSTOWN
• RHP Nick Pivetta placed on the 7-Day DL
• OF Wilman Rodriguez placed on the 7-Day DL
• 3B Drew Ward activated from 3-Day TIL
• RHP Ian Dickson reassigned from Potomac

It’s pretty clear that more moves are coming – IF Adrian Sanchez returning to Potomac, C Jeff Howell dropping down to take Bantz’s spot are a couple of obvious reversals I can foresee with only two three of the four affiliates’ media notes in virtual hand (a.k.a. email ;-) and a tweet from Bill “The Rocket” Ladson.

As always, if/when further information comes across within the next few hours, this space will be updated.

UPDATE #1:
Harrisburg’s notes are in, and it looks like Adrian Sanchez is sticking while Syracuse will continue to carry three catchers as Mitch Canham has been activated to replace Bantz.

UPDATE #2:
Potomac’s PR folks have released their notes and there’s some interesting manuevering going on here. Ian Dickson and Ryan Ullmann have swapped roster spots, but Dickson is listed as a probable pitcher for Potomac on Monday, which is a doubleheader for Hagerstown (the Suns have not yet announced a starter for either game). Perhaps not coincidentally, Ullmann last pitched on May 20, and may not physically be in Salem, Va. — just as Matt Spann, who was “promoted” to the Senators on Wednesday and returned to the P-Nats yesterday, never left Woodbridge. Likewise for Dickson, who started on Wednesday for the P-Nats and would not be likely to appear as a reliever over the weekend.

May 232014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 6-1 vs. Pawtucket,
7:00 p.m.
Laffey (4-2, 4.54) vs.
Workman (3-1, 5.12)
Harrisburg Won, 6-4 vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Kroenke (1st AA start of ’14) vs.
Vasquez (0-3, 4.60)
Potomac Lost, 6-4 @ Salem,
7:05 p.m.
TBD Pena (3-1, 4.81) vs.
Mercedes (1-4, 4.71)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-1 vs. Asheville,
7:05 p.m.
Voth (1-3, 1.82) vs.
Balog (3-3, 3.38)


Syracuse 6 Pawtucket 1
• Tatusko (W, 2-5) 6IP, 8H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Delcarmen 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Hood 3-3, 2R, BB
• Laird 3-4, R, 2B, RBI

Ryan Tatusko got plenty of support on both offense and defense while Syracuse won its third straight, 6-1 over Pawtucket. The Chiefs scored in each of the first four innings, with Brock Peterson homering in the 1st to open the scoring and Steve Souza homering in the 4th to close the six-run binge. Tatusko was peppered for eight hits over six innings, but with the help of four double plays, just one run came around to score. He walked one and struck out three to earn his second win of the season. Destin Hood and Brandon Laird combined for six hits and three runs scored to lead the Chiefs’ 11-hit parade (though they did strike out 12 times).

Harrisburg 6 Trenton 4
• Cole 5⅔ IP, 5H, 4R, 0ER, 2BB, 5K
• Martin (W, 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 1-0 IR-S
• Herron (SV, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Dykstra 1-2, BB, 3RBI, CS, SF
• Taylor 1-4, R, 3K, SB

A five-run 9th flipped the script for Harrisburg as they both scored late and won the ballgame 6-4 to earn a split of the four-game series against Trenton. It was the first time the Senators had come back in 27 games trailing in the 9th. Harrisburg ace A.J. Cole pitched a shutout into the 6th but gave up four unearned runs when a possible inning-ending double-play ball with the bases loaded was thrown away to let in two then a two-out double plated two more. Cole finished with five hits and two walks allowed with five strikeouts over five and 2/3rds. The Senators sent 11 men to the plate in the final frame, drawing four walks and connecting for four of their six hits on the night, with Cutter Dykstra’s two-run, two-out single providing the final margin of victory. Rafael Martin got the win in relief with a strikeout to end the 6th, then silenced the Thunder — save for one hit — for two more innings. Tyler Herron also gave up a hit in the 9th but got the final three outs for the save. Roster move: LHP Sammy Solis reassigned from Potomac.

Lynchburg 6 Potomac 4
• Simms (L, 0-2) 5IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K
• Harper 2⅓ IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, K, 1-0 IR-S
• Severino 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Perez 1-3, R, 2B, BB, SB, HBP
• Pleffner 1-3, R, 2B, BB

The Hillcats scratched out four runs in the 3rd added single runs in the 7th and 9th innings to down the P-Nats 6-4 and take the series, 3-2. John Simms took the loss, his second in five starts, with four runs allowed on five hits and two walks over five innings with four strikeouts. Four of the eight Potomac hits went for extra bases, withe Pedro Severino the sole P-Nat to notch multiple hits with a 2-for-4 night and an RBI. Rehabbing Adam LaRoche went 0-for-2 with two flyouts at the plate and two putouts in the field.
Roster moves: LHP Matthew Spann reassigned from Harrisburg, 1B Adam LaRoche assigned from Washington for MLB rehab.

Asheville 7 Hagerstown 1
• Silvestre (L, 1-1) 6IP, 8H, 6R, 6ER, BB, K, 2HR
• Cooper 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 4K
• Manuel 1-4, R, HR
• Lopez 1-3, 2B

Making his second spot start in place of the “not injured” Lucas Giolito, Hector Silvestre hit the wall in the 6th, giving up five runs in the frame, including a grand slam off the bat of Asheville’s Correlle Prime, as the Tourists trampled the Suns, 7-1. Silvestre was charged with six runs total on eight hits and a walk over six innings. Hagerstown was limited to three hits total with Craig Manuel spoiling 19-y.o. Antonio Senzatela’s complete-game shutout bid with a two-out HR in the 9th. Wilmer Difo singled in the 6th while Carlos Lopez doubled in the 2nd to account for other two Suns hits.

May 222014
 

Sammy Solis continued his latest rehab tour with another win, as the P-Nats edged the Hillcats 3-2 in the opener of a true doubleheader on Wednesday.

Solis, who went on the DL with back problems after just two spring-training appearances, consistently hit the low 90s on the gun while showing both his change and curve with mixed success. He didn’t pile up the Ks but induced weak contact — two of his first three singles allowed were of the ‘tweener flyball variety, falling short of outfielders that others may have caught.

He walked one in the first and worked around those two singles with a popup to short, a groundout, and the first of four strikeouts. Lynchburg scored the lone run off him in third when Lynchburg shortstop Daniel Castro singled to left followed by a Josh Elander double — a truly hard-hit shot down the left field line.

The offense, which was held to an infield hit by Tony Renda in the 1st and an opposite-field safety by Pedro Severino in the 3rd, gave Solis the lead with two in the 4th.

Oscar Tejeda led off with a double and took third on a single by red-hot Shawn Pleffner (.314BA in last 10G). Randolph Oduber was hit by pitch to load the bases, setting up Khayyan Norfork, who ripped a double to right to plate Tejeda and Pleffner. Estarlin Martinez whiffed and Oduber got caught in a rundown to kill the rally.

More importantly, Solis responded to the two runs with his first (and only) three-up and three-down frame in the 5th. After striking out the first batter in the 6th, he would give up back-to-back singles and be lifted for Robert Benincasa.

The Potomac closer stranded both runners with tapper to the mound and a popup to second after a long struggle with pinch-hitter Eric Garcia, who worked the count full and fouled off several pitches.

Renda and Tejeda would team up for an insurance run with a single and double respectively, and it would prove necessary as Benincasa, who has had just one outing with zero baserunners in 14 appearances, was touched for a run in the top of the 7th on two hits. He would get a key strikeout of Hillcat cleanup man Kevin Ahrens and after an intentional walk to lefty Levi Hyams, then retire DH David Nick on a liner to short for the inning’s third out and notch his 8th save.

The P-Nats would lose the second game, 3-2, which coupled with another Wilmington win (four in a row), reduces Potomac’s lead in the Carolina League North to two games over the second-place Blue Rocks. Lynchburg and Potomac conclude the five-game series tonight with a matchup of Sim(m)s as John (0-1, 3.68) takes the hill for the home team against Lucas (4-3, 4.07) for the visitors.

May 222014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY vs. Pawtucket,
7:00 p.m.
Tatusko (1-5, 2.31) vs.
Barnes (1-1, 2.89)
Harrisburg Won, 9-0 @ Trenton,
7:05 p.m.
Cole (4-2, 2.25) vs.
Ruth (0-0, 3.86)
Potomac Won, 3-2; Lost, 3-2 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Pena (3-1, 4.81) vs.
Sims (4-3, 4.07)
Hagerstown OFF DAY vs. Asheville,
7:05 p.m.
Silvestre (1-0, 1.19) vs.
Senzatela (4-1, 4.32)


Syracuse — OFF DAY
After their lone scheduled day off in May, the Chiefs continue an eight-game homestand with four against the PawSox. The Chiefs are currently in last place in the I.L. North, but trail the first-place Bison by just a game and a half.
Roster moves: RHP Blake Treinen recalled to Washington, RHP Ryan Mattheus optioned from Washington.

Harrisburg 9 Trenton 0
• Espino (W, 1-2) 6IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, 2HBP
• Holland 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Tylor 3-5, 3R, HR, RBI, 2SB
• Martinson 2-4, 2HR, 2RBI
• Skole 2-4, R, BB, RBI

Three Harrisburg pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout in a 9-0 win over Trenton to break a three-game losing streak. Paolo Espino (6IP), Neil Holland (2IP), and Tyler Herron (1IP), each gave up a hit and combined for two walks and five strikeouts for Espino’s first win of 2014. Jason Martinson (2-for-4) went deep twice and Michael Taylor (3-for-5) once while Matt Skole reached base three times with two singles and a walk, one of seven the Thunder pitchers issued as the Senators scored nine times on just eight hits.

Potomac 3 Lynchburg 2 — GAME ONE
• Solis (W, 1-0) 5⅓ IP, 7H, R, ER, BB, 4K
• Benincasa (SV, 8) 1⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Renda 2-3, R, SB
• Tejeda 2-3, R, 2-2B, RBI

Sammy Solis continued his rehab tour Last Night In Woodbridge.

Lynchburg 3 Potomac 2 — GAME TWO
• Dickson (L, 1-3) 6IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K
• Mendez 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Piwnica-Worms 2-3, 2B, RBI
• Perez 1-2, BB, SB

Both teams got to the starters in the second game, with Lynchburg putting up three in the top half and Potomac answering with two in the bottom half. Neither team would score again as the Hillcats returned the favor with a 3-2 win of their own to split the doubleheader. Ian Dickson went six innings, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out six but took the loss. Will Piwnica-Worms was the sole P-Nat to notch multiple hits with a 2-for-3 night, though Stephen Perez also reached base twice with a walk and a single.
Roster moves: LHP Sammy Solis transferred from Hagerstown, LHP Matthew Spann reassigned to Harrisburg to make room on roster (two will likely swap places on Sens roster by Saturday).

Hagerstown — OFF DAY
Hagerstown returns home for four games against Asheville after losing its first full series of the season, 3-1 to Lexington. Like the P-Nats, the Suns are in the midst of a long sequence (31 days) where they’re home for just one series against one team. Despite the hiccup, Hagerstown still holds a commanding nine-game lead over second-place Delmarva and Greensboro.

May 212014
 

After making the error that gave back the lead to Lynchburg in the top of the 9th, Stephen Perez was up sixth in the bottom of the 9th and would need some help, if not luck, to get a shot at redemption.

Narciso Mesa drew the leadoff walk from the leadoff position, the second time he’d reached base in the game, but had had a sub-.200 OBP coming into the game. After a strikeout by Estarlin Martinez, Oscar Tejeda came up and drew the second walk of the inning.

Tony Renda, who’d singled in each of the four previous at-bats, would’ve been the lede had he gotten a fifth hit. Instead, he too struck out, leaving it up to Shawn Pleffner, the 6’5″ first baseman who was unable to snag either Perez error, both of which had sailed over his 9′ or so reach with a short leap.

Pleffner had already singled twice the opposite way, towards Lynchburg LF Josh Elander, who hadn’t made an accurate throw all game long. Could Pleffner serve up another his way and send in Mesa for the tie? Or perhaps hit a gap and end it for sure?

Nope. Pleffner wouldn’t get the chance because the umpires made the rare but easy call of catcher interference when Pleffner’s bat struck the glove of Anthony Nunez, who got out of his crouch and shook his left hand while Hillcat manager Luis Salazar argued.

Bases loaded. Two out in the 9th. Perez got his chance and wasted no time by ripping the first pitch into right field to plate both the tying and winning runs and turn a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 walkoff. Perez finished with two errors, but also drove in three runs on three hits.

Derek Self, who faced two batters in the top of the 9th — Perez’s second error, and a strikeout — got the win in relief. He was the second man out of the ‘pen, following Brett Mooneyham, who pitched an up-and-down two and 2/3rds innings with two runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks.

Dakota Bacus, who started the original April 28th game and was on the mound when play resumed, went the first six innings and gave up three runs (one earned) on seven hits and a walk while striking out two. The win was Potomac’s 23rd and lowered their magic number to 25 over the second-place Wilmington Blue Rocks for the 1st-half title.

May 212014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-3 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Lost, 5-1 @ Trenton, 10:35 a.m. Espino (0-2, 6.64) vs. Cotham (0-1, 2.35)
Potomac Won, 6-5; Lost, 10-1 vs. Lynchburg,
5:30 p.m.
TBD and TBD
Solis (1st A+ start of ’14) and Dickson (1-2, 5.40) vs.
Parsons (3-1, 3.72) and Miller (1-4, 4.46)
Hagerstown Lost, 10-8 OFF DAY N/A


Syracuse 5 Columbus 3
• Jordan 3IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, K, HR
• Stange (W, 2-2) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Peterson 2-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI
• Souza 2-5, 2R, 2B

Syracuse scored all five of its runs in each of the first three innings and won the battle of the bullpens as they defeated Columbus, 5-3 and took the four-game series, 3-1. Taylor Jordan started but left after three innings with reported elbow soreness, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk and a strikeout. Four relievers combined for six innings of one-run relief, with the win going to Daniel Stange, the save going to Michael Gonzalez, and holds going to Warner Madrigal and Christian Garcia. Every Chiefs batter hit safely with two batters — Brock Peterson (2-for-4, HR) and Steve Souza (2-for-5, 2B) — racking up multiple hits.

Trenton 5 Harrisburg 1
• Meyers (L, 0-2) 3IP, 6H, 5R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Simmons 5IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Latimore 3-4
• Jeroloman 2-4

Brad Meyers was hit hard again while the Sens got plenty of hits but couldn’t get them in (again) in a 5-1 loss to the Thunder. Meyers was charged with all five Trenton runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks. He struck out two and gave up his fourth HR in three starts. James Simmons finished the game with five scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit and fanning four. The 7-8-9 trio of Quincy Latimore, Brian Jeroloman, and Jason Martison combined to go 7-for-12 and did figure in the lone run scored with Latimore and Jeroloman getting 9th-inning singles to load the bases with nobody out behind pinch-hitter Justin Bloxom, who drew a leadoff walk. Alas, Harrisburg could only get one run out of it as Martinson struck out and none of the next three batters could get the ball out of the infield.
Roster move: LHP Matt Purke placed on the 7-Day DL. A possible replacement could be LHP Zach Kroenke, purchased yesterday from the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League. Kroenke is a former Yankee and Diamondback farmhand who pitched last year for the Brewers’ AAA team in Nashville.

Potomac 6 Lynchburg 5 — COMP.
• Bacus 6IP, 7H, 3R, 1ER, BB, 2K, 2WP
• Mooneyham 2⅔ IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 3K, BK,
• Self ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Renda 4-5, 2R
• Perez 3-5, R, 3RBI, 2E
• Pleffner 2-4, R

Stephen Perez got his shot at redemption Last Night In Woodbridge.

Lynchburg 10 Potomac 1 — GAME TWO
• Turnbull (L, 0-1) 4IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 0BB, K, HR, BK, WP
• Suero 3IP, 4H, 5R, 5ER, 4BB, 2K, 2WP
• Pleffner 2-3, BB
• Perez 1-1, 2BB

In the nightcap, Kylin Turnbull picked up where he left off in April 2013 by getting smacked around for five runs on nine hits including a two-run HR in the 1st as the Hillcats pummeled the P-Nats, 10-1 in seven innings. Turnbull pitched four innings and struck out one while issuing a balk and throwing a wild pitch. Wander Suero was no better in relief, coughing up five runs on four hits and four walks over three innings with two wild pitches. Shawn Pleffner and Stephen Perez, who had four hits in the completion, added three hits and three walks in this one with Pleffner driving in the sole Potomac run. The rest of the lineup was just 2-for-19 and left 10 men on for the night.
Roster moves: RHP Blake Schwartz placed on the 7-Day DL, RHP Dakota Bacus activated from the TIL; UT Mike McQuillan placed on the 7-Day DL, OF Narciso Mesa activated from the 7-Day DL.

Hagerstown 11 Lexington 4
• Pivetta (W, 7-2) 5⅓ IP, 9H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K
• Ullmann (H, 2) 2⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, K, 1-0 IR-S
• Difo 2-5, 2R, 2HR, 4RBI
• Middleton 2-2, R, 2RBI, 3BB
• Kieboom 1-3, 3R, 2B, 2BB

Hagerstown scored in each of the final six innings, pulling away from a 3-2 deficit to win this one 11-4 and prevent a four-game sweep by Lexington. Nick Pivetta won his Sally Lg.-leading 7th game, scattering nine hits over five and a 1/3rd innings for three runs charged, no walks, and three strikeouts. Wilmer Difo homered twice for the second time in six games and drove in four while Brendan Middleton reached base five times with two singles and three walks to lead the Hagerstown attack.
Roster moves: 3B Drew Ward placed on 3-Day Temporary Inactive List, OF Wilman Rodriguez activated from the 7-Day DL.

May 202014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-0 vs. Columbus,
12:00 p.m.
Jordan (0-0, 0.82) vs.
Cloyd (1-3, 6.38)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-4 @ Trenton,
7:05 p.m.
Meyers (0-1, 4.15) vs.
Mitchell (1-2, 3.74)
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Lynchburg,
5:30 p.m.
Bacus (1-1, 3.68) and
Turnbull (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Ross (3-1, 2.72) and
Jadofsky (2-1, 5.14)
Hagerstown Lost, 10-8 @ Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Pivetta (6-2, 3.03) vs.
Reed (0-3, 8.79)


Syracuse 5 Columbus 0
• Ohlendorf (W, 1-0) 5IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Hill (SV, 1) 4IP, 6H, 0R, BB, 2K, HBP
• Laird 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Solano 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Hood 1-3, 2B, BB

Ross Ohlendorf and Taylor Hill combined on a 5-0 Syracuse shutout of Columbus to take a 2-1 series lead. Ohlendorf allowed just one hit and one walk over five innings while striking out four in his second rehab outing since going on the DL in late March. Hill, the original starter, was less efficient — six hits and a walk over four frames — but kept the ball on the ground and took part in two of three double plays turned while he pitched, including a 1-6-3 number to end the game and cinch his first professional save. The Chiefs only had six hits, but five went for extra bases with four doubles and a home run. Brandon Laird smacked the big fly and one of the doubles to go 2-for-4 and drive in two to lead the Syracuse offense. Roster move: RHP Warner Madrigal reassigned from Harrisburg.

Trenton 6 Harrisburg 4
• Poveda (L, 0-1) 6+ IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 7K, HR
• Grace (BS, 1) 2IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, K, 2-1 IR-S
• Taylor 2-4, R, BB
• Dykstra 2-4, BB

The Senators took leads of 1-0 and 4-2 but the lack of a killshot with bases loaded haunted them again as the Thunder roared for three in the 7th and one in the 8th for a 6-4 win. Omar Poveda made his first start since his demotion but the lower level didn’t raise his game. He gave up five runs on six hits and a walk over six-plus innings to take the loss. Harrisburg loaded the bases twice with less than two outs but couldn’t get the clutch hit, scoring a total of three runs with a sacrifice fly, a walk, and a double play. Michael Taylor, Cutter Dykstra, and Ricky Hague each went 2-for-4 as the Sens totaled 10 hits and six walks but stranded 11 baserunners.

Potomac — OFF DAY
Potomac begins stretch of five games in three days against Lynchburg with a continuation doubleheader tonight, a makeup doubleheader tomorrow, and a single game on Thursday. These are the final games between these two teams in the first half, and with a 3½ game lead, the P-Nats can hold serve with two or three wins while the Hillcats need to win four or more to climb back into the race to win the C.L. North division title. It’s also the beginning of an odd sequence where Potomac won’t be home for more than four consecutive days until the 4th of July weekend.

Lexington 10 Hagerstown 8
• Johansen 6IP, 6H, 5R, 3ER, BB, 3K, WP
• Thomas (BS, 4; L, 1-4) 1⅓ IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Difo 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, 3RBI
• Ballou 2-4, 3R
• Bautista 2-4, R

With an 8-1 lead with one out in the fourth inning, it looked like Hagerstown’s three-game skid was going to end. Instead, the Suns tumbled to a fourth straight loss as the Legends scored nine unanswered runs while Luis Rico eclipsed the Suns with five and 2/3rds innings of shutout relief for a 10-8 win. Hagerstown starter Jake Johansen was charged with five runs on six hits and a walk but left with an 8-5 lead after six innings. The loss (and blown save) was hung on reliever Justin Thomas, who stranded two runners in the 7th to preserve a slim 8-7 lead but gave up the tying run in the 8th. Michael Sylvestri let in the final two runs (charged to Thomas) to complete the meltdown. Wilmer Difo walked, singled, doubled, scored twice, and drove in three to lead Hagerstown’s offense, which Rico limited to just one hit (a single by Rafael Bautista) after the 4th inning.