Chris Rahl Named International League Batter of the Week

Chris RahlSyracuse OF Chris Rahl kept the I.L. Batter of the Week award in Syracuse for the second straight week, earning the weekly honors for the period of June 17-23.

Rahl went 16-for-28 with four doubles, a triple, and HR for a .571/.571/.893 line with four RBI and two stolen bases. His current seven-game hit streak, which is has raised the batting average of the 29-year-old to .299 from .257.

After a slow start in April (.211, 1HR, 4RBI), Rahl has batted .318 with 5HR and 20RBI and 29 runs scored in 43 games played. Last month, he had a streak of 17 games that was ended with an unsuccessful pinch-hit appearance.

Rahl was originally drafted by Arizona in 2005 as a 5th round pick out of the College of William & Mary and played in the Diamondbacks system, maxing out with 87 games played for AAA Reno in 2010. He signed with Washington as a minor-league free agent and played 2011 and 2012 for Harrisburg before returning to AAA this season.

Last Night In Woodbridge

It wasn’t pretty, but the Potomac Nationals completed the sweep of the Carolina Mudcats with a 7-5 win on Sunday evening.

Kevin Keyes’s three-run blast in the bottom of the fifth broke open a 4-4 game and made a winner out Robbie Ray despite his pitching poorly for the second time in as many starts.

Ray walked a season-high five batters and could have easily walked more, as the southpaw rarely got to two strikes without two balls in the count as his pitches drifted up or nosedived. He got the leadoff batter just once in five frames and put runners on in every inning.

In short, Ray looked more like the 2012 edition than the 2013 All-Star, particularly as he surrendered a long home run in the 3rd. Five of the seven he’s given up this season have come in his last three starts. Perhaps it’s just an anomaly, but it’s something worth noting, as these two trends combined — walks and homers — cannot continue if he’s going to make it Harrisburg this summer (yes, there have been whispers).

Perhaps more curious is the resurgence of the bullpen. For the second straight night they were asked to pitch four or more innings, and for the second straight night they got the job done. Brian Dupra, David Fischer, and Rob Wort combined to give up five hits and three walks, but just one run — the first in 10⅓ innings the bullpen logged for the series.

It’s something to hope for because if there’s one thing that’s been constant this season, it’s the offense. The 15 runs scored in the series to open the second half has brought Potomac to within eight of the league lead, held by the Winston-Salem Dash. The team has been scoring 5-6 runs a game for quite some time now, without hitting a lot of extra-base hits (7th in doubles, 4th in HRs) and is middle-of-the-pack when it comes to strikeouts and walks (4th on both)

Next up, a better chance to see how they measure up as they play four against Myrtle Beach Pelicans, which feature the league’s best pitching and were the Southern Division’s first-half champs. A.J. Cole (4-2, 4.16) gets the opening-game assignment, opposed by Nick Martinez (5-4, 2.84).

Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-1; Won, 1-0 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Lost, 7-0 vs. Akron,
7:00 p.m.
Jordan (6-0, 0.73) vs.
Brach (4-3, 4.76)
Potomac Won, 7-5 vs. Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m
Cole (4-2, 4.16) vs.
N. Martinez (5-4, 2.84)
Hagerstown Won, 6-0 @ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Creasy (2-0, 3.92)
Auburn Lost, 3-1 @ Mahoning Valley,
5:05 p.m.
Orlan (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Whitenack (0-0, 4.91)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY @ GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
DSL Nationals OFF DAY @ DSL Mets1,
10:30 a.m.
Pena (1-1, 9.39) vs.
Guedez (0-1, 8.44)

Gwinnett 5 Syracuse 1 &mdash: GAME ONE
• Rosenbaum (L, 5-4) 4IP, 6H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 3K, HBP
• Accardo 2IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Rivero 1-2, BB
• Rahl 1-3, OF assist at HP

Gwinnett’s Cody Martin stifled Syracuse for seven innings as the Braves cruised past the Chiefs, 5-1 in the opener. Starter Danny Rosenbaum struggled early, loading the bases in the 1st and hitting a batter and letting in an unearned run on his own error in the 2nd. He finished with a walk and six hits allowed over four innings. The Braves broke it open with a three-spot against Jeremy Accardo, with all three runs coming via the home run. Carlos Rivero was the sole batter to reach base twice, going 1-for-2 with a walk.

Syracuse 1 Gwinnett 0 &mdash: GAME TWO
• Roark (W, 4-3) 5IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Crotta (H, 6) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Rahl 3-3, R, 2B, SB, CS
• Brown 1-2, BB, RBI

Chris Rahl singled, stole second, took third on an error and scored on a Corey Brown RBI single in the 1st. Tanner Roark, Mike Crotta, and Erik Davis combined on a six-hit shutout to make it stand up for a 1-0 win in the night cap. Roark tossed five innings in the spot start, giving up four hits and no walks while striking out one. Crotta pitched a 1-2-3 6th and Davis danced around a pair of singles in the 7th to earn the save, his 8th. Rahl singled and doubled in subsequent ABs for a 3-for-3 game that led the Chiefs offense.

New Hampshire 7 Harrisburg 0
• Demny (L, 5-5) 6IP, 8H, 6R, 5ER, BB, 6K, WP
• Herron 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Goodwin 1-4, 2B

New Hampshire broke open a 2-0 lead with a four-run 6th en route to a 7-0 shutout of Harrisburg. Marcus Walden needed just 90 pitches to go the distance against the Senators, allowing just three hits and no walks. Paul Demny took the loss, coughing up six runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out six over six innings. Brian Goodwin was the sole Harrisburg batter to reach second on his own accord, doubling in the 6th. If the Nationals will indeed sacrifice long-term development in favor of short-term need, Taylor Jordan’s next start coincides with the spot vacated by the “injured” Dan Haren on Saturday.

Potomac 7 Carolina 5
• Ray (W, 6-2) 5IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 5BB, 2K, HR
• Wort (SV, 4) 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 1K
• Keyes 3-4, R, HR, 4RBI
• Taylor 2-4, 2R, 2B, RBI

Robbie Ray owes Kevin Keyes a cold beverage for the vulture win Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 6 Greenville 0
• Purke (W, 1-1) 5IP, 4H, 0R, 0ER, BB, 9K
• Pena 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Schill 2-3, R, 3B, BB
• Miller 1-5, R, HR, 2RBI, 3K

Matt Purke killed two stones with one bird, tossing five innings for the first time this season (second time overall) and getting his first professional win, as Suns scorched the Drive, 6-0. Purke also struck out a career-high nine batters, allowing four hits and no walks. Hagerstown took full advantage of four errors and five walks to score six times on six hits. Wes Schill led the way with a single, triple, and a walks while driving in two. Roster move: RHP Ronald Pena activated from the 7-Day DL.

Mahoning Valley 3 Auburn 1
• Johansen 2⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 3BB, 2K
• Selsor (L, 0-1) 2⅔ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 4K, 1-0 IR-S
• Fernandez 1-3, R, 2B
• W. Rodriguez 1-3, 2B

Mahoning Valley struck for three runs in the 5th, Auburn answered with one in the 6th, as the Scrappers junked the Doubledays, 3-1. Second-round pick Jake Johansen gave up no hits and no runs, but walked three and struck out two over two and 2/3rds in his pro debut. Casey Selsor took the loss with three runs on six hits over two and 2/3rds with three walks and two strikeouts. Auburn was held to just three hits and one walk, though two of those hits were doubles by Erick Fernandez and Wilman Rodriguez. Roster move: RHP Will Hudgins reassigned from Hagerstown.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
After the usual off day on Sunday, the G-Nats play home and away against the Marlins, Cardinals, and Mets with home games on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
Another 4-2 week keeps the D-Nats atop the Boca Chica South division. This week, they’re on the road for four games against the Mets1, Brewers, Rojos, and Cubs with a pair of home games on Wednesday and Thursday.

Last Night In Woodbridge

The bullpen came through for Potomac with four and 1/3rd scoreless innings and a bases-loaded escape in the 5th as the P-Nats fileted the Mudcats, 7-5.

The offense wasn’t too shabby, either, scoring six times with two outs to give Ivan Pineyro, the newest member of the rotation, a cushion to work with. Adrian Nieto homered in the first inning to complete a three-run rally that begun with a Michael Taylor double to right, while Jason Martinson followed Taylor’s second opposite-field double with his second RBI single to left.

Turns out the 21-year-old would need the padding, as he gave up single runs in the first two innings and long hit in the third. He struck out the side in the fourth, but issued a walk.

While he featured a nasty changeup, Pineyro left way too many pitches up and the Mudcats collected three straight hits to open the 5th and cut the lead to 6-3. It’s always a matter of debate how much leeway the manager has in lifting a starter in the minors, but only an idiot would argue that Pineyro wasn’t hung out to dry.

Instead, Pineyro walked three of the next five batters as Carolina scored twice more. Greg Holt was finally summoned with two outs and the bases loaded to face the inning’s ninth batter, and he got the final out of the 5th to preserve the 6-5 lead.

Potomac got the insurance run in the 7th thanks to an error on a would-be 3-6-3 DP off the bat of Kevin Keyes following a walk and a stolen base by Martinson and a single to center by Nieto.

Holt would dance around two singles in the 6th to get the win, while Brian Rauh came within a two-out triple of two perfect innings in the 7th and 8th to deliver the ball the new closer, Robert Benincasa.

The Mudcats’ Jerrud Sabourin singled to open the 9th, completing a 4-for-4 night with a walk. Benincasa, however, worked around him to strike out the side and earn his first High-A save.

The win moves Potomac to 2-0 on the season as all-star Robbie Ray takes the mound in the series finale, opposed by Carolina’s Nick Pasquale (0-4, 4.31).

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 9-8 @ Gwinnett,
2:05 p.m.
Rosenbaum (5-3, 3.76) and
Roark (3-3, 4.47) vs.
Martin (1-0, 0.00) and
Loe (2-1, 4.19)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-1 vs. New Hampshire,
2:00 p.m.
Demny (5-4, 3.33) vs.
Walden (4-7, 3.58)
Potomac Won, 7-5 vs. Carolina,
6:05 p.m
Ray (5-2, 2.84) vs.
Pasquale (0-4, 4.31)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-0 @ Greenville,
4:05 p.m.
Purke (0-1, 4.00) vs.
Dahlstrand (1-2, 4.62)
Auburn Won, 6-4 @ Mahoning Valley,
5:05 p.m.
Johansen (pro debut) vs.
Hamrick (0-1, 1.80)
GCL Nationals Won, 3-2 OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals Lost, 6-1 OFF DAY N/A

Gwinnett 9 Syracuse 8
• Tatusko 5IP, 8H, 7R, 6ER, 5BB, 2K, HR
• Robertson 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Broadway (BS, 1; L, 1-1) 2BF, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K, HR
• Rhymes 4-6, 2R, 2B
• Rahl 3-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Walters 2-5, 2R, 2HR, 4RBI

After blowing a 5-1 lead in the middle innings, Syracuse rallied for three in the top of the 9th only to lose in the bottom of the 9th, 9-8. Gwinnett knocked starter Ryan Tatusko for six runs in his 5th and final inning. He walked five and gave up eight hits while striking out two. Zach Walters homered twice, including a three-run HR in the 9th that gave the Chiefs a brief 9-7 lead and extended his hit streak to 12 games. Gwinnett turned the elation to heartbreak in the space of two batters, closing the play with a single and home run off Mike Broadway.

New Hampshire 4 Harrisburg 1
• Treinen 7IP, 3H, 0R, 2BB, 4K
• Perry (BS, 1; L, 0-1) ⅓ IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 0K
• Lozada 2-3
• Souza 1-3, R, HR, BB

The Sens ‘pen was roughed up for all four runs in the final two innings in a 4-1 loss to the Fisher Cats. The implosion ruined a solid start by Blake Treinen, who threw seven shutout innings with three hits and two walks allowed while striking out four. Ryan Perry took the loss with loss and blown save, as the drain-circling reliever was charged with three runs on three hits and a walk to five batters over a 1/3rd of an inning. Harrisburg was held to just five hits, with Steve Souza’s solo HR in the 1st accounting for the lone run.

Potomac 7 Carolina 5
• Pineyro 4⅔ IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, 4BB, 4K, HR
• Holt (W, 3-0) 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 3-0 IR-S
• Benincasa (SV, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Martinson 2-3, 2R, 2RBI, BB, 2SB
• Nieto 3-4, HR, 2RBI
• Taylor 2-5, 2R, 2-2B, RBI

Four and a 1/3rd scoreless innings of relief kept this one from slipping away Last Night In Woodbridge.

Greenville 8 Hagerstown 0
• Encarnacion (L, 5-4) 6IP, 8H, 7R, 6ER, 0BB, 5K, HR (GS)
• Meza 2IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Foat 2-4
• Norfork 1-3, BB

Greenville ran over Hagerstown with three in the 1st and four in the 2nd and cruised to an 8-0 shutout win. Pedro Encarnacion took the loss but saved the ‘pen by going six innings, giving up seven runs (six earned) on eight hits, no walks and striking out five. The Suns were limited to just five hits and couldn’t take advantage of the seven walks issued, going 0-for-6 with RISP and stranding 10 runners. Matt Foat was the only Hagerstown batter with multiple hits, while Tony Renda and Shawn Pleffner both drew two walks.

Auburn 6 State College 4
• Turnbull (W, 2-0) 6IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 6K, HR
• Joyce (H, 1) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Gunter 3-4, R, 2B
• Poole 2-3, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Zebrack 2-4, R, 2RBI

Auburn scored in four straight innings, overcoming an early 4-0 deficit to take the game, 6-4. Starter Kylin Turnbull got the win, his second for the Doubledays in as many starts, giving up four runs on four hits and no walks while striking out six. Jake Joyce earned the hold with two scoreless, and L.J. Hollins the save with a 1-2-3 ninth. Jordan Poole led the 13-hit attack with a double and a home run and two RBI.

GCL Nationals 3 GCL Mets 2
• J. Rodriguez 3IP, 1H, R, ER, 4BB, K
• K. Rodriguez (BS, 1; W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Thomas (SV, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Jennings 1-3, R, 2B
• Read 1-4, 2B

A pair of errors led to the decisive run as the G-Nats edged the G-Mets, 3-2. Jefry Rodriguez got the start, going three innings with a run allowed on a hit and four walks with one strikeout. Kelvin Rodriguez got the blown-save-win with a run on a hit and a walk over two innings while striking out two. Hayden Jennings and Raudy Read both doubled as the G-Nats were held to just six hits and two walks (both drawn by Drew Ward). RHP Cole Kimball transferred from Syracuse for a rehab assignment.

DSL Mets1 6 DSL Nationals 1
• Torres (L, 0-1) 4IP, 5H, 4R, 2ER, BB, 3K
• Reynoso 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Alvarez 1-3, BB

The D-Nats mustered jsut three hits in a 6-1 loss to the D-Mets. Starter Luis Torres took the loss, charged with four runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk while striking out three. 18-y.o. Thomas Alvarez was the sole D-Nat to reach base twice, going 1-for-3 with a walk.

Last Night In Woodbridge

Good pitching and timely hitting were the keys to the 5-1 win Potomac posted to open the second half of the 2013 campaign.

Taylor Hill picked up where he left off prior to the break with seven strong innings, allowing one run on a homerun and five hits total. He walked none and struck out one to become the team’s first six-game winner.

Hill gave up a hit in each of the first five frames, leaving the impression that Carolina was justabouttosolvehim, which is always a concern when a pitcher isn’t getting strikeouts. Instead, he retired the last six batters he faced, getting the important shutdown inning after the P-Nats took the lead.

That happened in the bottom of the 6th. The rally started slowly, with Jason Martinson drawing a one-out walk and taking third on a Kevin Keyes double that Carolina left fielder Luigi Rodrgiuez misjudged but nearly caught anyway. Adrian Sanchez steered a single into the 3/4 hole for the go-ahead to plate Martinson and chase Mudcat starter Shawn Morimando.

Francisco Gimenez came on in relief and got an out immediately when Keyes was thrown out trying to score on a grounder to 1st, but walked Cole Leonida to load the bases then hit Randolph Oduber to give the Groovin’ Aruban the Homer Simpson RBI. Billy Burns completed the rally with a bunt down the third base line, taking advantage of the lefthanded pitcher and third baseman having to play back with two outs.

Perhaps sensing an opportunity to surprise, the P-Nats No. 3 batter Michael Taylor led off the 7th with a bunt single and took third on what was initially ruled an error as Carolina shortstop Francisco Lindor stabbed and missed at a grounder off the bat of Martinson. Keyes grounded into a double play to send in Taylor for the P-Nats fifth and final run.

Richie Mirowski followed Hill to finish the game, working around a leadoff walk in the 8th and a leadoff double in the 9th for two scoreless innings.

21-year-old Ivan Pineyro makes his High-A debut tonight in Game 2 of the series, with Michael Peoples (0-2, 6.35) opoosing him for the Carolina Mudcats.

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-4 @ Gwinnett,
7:05 p.m.
Tatusko (1-2, 3.08) vs.
Poveda (5-4, 3.08)
Harrisburg Won, 7-6 vs. New Hampshire,
7:00 p.m.
Treinen (6-6, 3.74) vs.
Nolin (3-2, 3.09)
Potomac Won, 5-1 vs. Carolina,
6:35 p.m
Pineyro (1st start at A+) vs.
Peoples (0-2, 6.35)
Hagerstown Won, 5-1 @ Greenville,
7:05 p.m.
Auburn Lost, 12-1 vs. State College,
6:05 p.m.
Turnbull (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Pierce (pro debut)
GCL Nationals Won, 4-3 @ GCL Mets,
10:00 a.m.
DSL Nationals Won, 9-6 @ DSL Tigers,
10:30 a.m.
Torres (0-0, 4.05) vs.
Carreno (0-1, 10.80)

Gwinnett 8 Syracuse 4
• Maya (L, 2-5) 5IP, 9H, 6R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Accardo 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Rahl 3-4, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Brown 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI, SB

A four-run 5th broke open a 2-2 game as the Gwinnett Braves doubled up the Syracuse Chiefs, 8-4. Yunesky Maya lost for the 5th time in 12 starts, charged with six runs (two earned) on nine hits (including HR no. 6) with no walks and two strikeouts over five innings. Chris Rahl led the offense with a 3-for-4 night with two runs, a double, and a home run, while Corey Brown walked, stole a base, an had an RBI double while going 1-for-3.

Harrisburg 7 New Hampshire 6
• Gilliam 4⅔ IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 5BB, 4K
• Grace (W, 1-0) ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 1-0 IR-S
• Barrett (S, 14) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Goodwin 2-4, R, HR, RBI, BB
• Van Ostrand 2-4, R, HR, 3RBI

Brian Goodwin’s solo HR in the bottom of the 8th was the final blow struck in a back-and-forth battle as Harrisburg edged New Hampshire, 7-6. Starter Rob Gilliam gave up four runs on six hits and five walks over four and 2/3rds innings, but was taken off the hook with a three-run rally in the 6th that tied the game at 4-4. The Senators took a 6-4 lead with two in the last of the 7th, only to give it back with two runs in the top of the 8th. Matt Grace got the win by stranding the go-ahead run in the 8th while getting the final two outs of the inning. Jimmy Van Ostrand led the Harrisburg offense with a 2-for-4 night with a homer and three RBI.

Potomac 5 Carolina 1
• Hill (W, 6-2) 7IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Mirowski 2IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 2K
• Taylor 2-4, 2R
• Oduber 2-3, 2B, RBI, HBP

A three-run 6th powered Potomac to its first win of the 2nd half Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 13 Greenville 9
• Lee 3⅔ IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 2K
• Henke (W, 3-1) 2⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K, 1-0 IR-S
• Renda 2-6, 2R, 2B, HR, 5RBI
• Norfork 3-5, 3R
• Foat 2-3, 3R, RBI

The Suns blew a 5-0 lead but outslugged the Drive for a 13-9 victory. Tony Renda drove in five and scored twice with a double and home run as Hagerstown pounded out 13 hits with eight of the nine starters hitting safely, and everyone reaching base. Starter Nick Lee was knocked from the box during the Drive’s five-run 4th, giving up seven hits and a walk while striking out two over three and 2/3rds. Travis Henke got the win in relief, finishing the 4th and tossing two more scoreless innings with a walk and two strikeouts.

State College 12 Auburn 1
• Lopez (L, 0-1) 1⅓ IP, 7H, 7R, 7ER, 0BB, 0K, 0HR
• Fernandez ⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 2-0 IR-S
• Yezzo 2-4, RBI
• Gunter 2-4

When a position player is the most effective pitcher of the game, you know it’s been a bad night. State College scored eight times in the second without a home run en route to a 12-1 smackdown of Auburn. Starter Reynaldo Lopez took the brunt of the beating, giving up seven runs on seven hits over an inning and a 1/3rd with no walks and no strikeouts. Erick Fernandez, a catcher, got the last out of the ninth as the only Doubleday pitcher to not let in a run. James Yezzo and Cody Gunter each went 2-for-4 to lead the Doubledays attack.
OF Greg Zebrack (NDFA) assigned from Washington.

GCL Nationals 4 GCL Mets 3
• Suero 4IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Broderick (W, 1-0) 3IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Ramos (SV, 1) 2IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Ward 3-4, R, 2-2B, 3RBI, E

The G-Nats jumped to a 4-0 lead by the 5th, then held off the G-Mets in the late innings for a 4-3 win in the season opener. Wander Suero got the start and pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just a hit and setting down four on strikes. Rehabbing Brian Broderick was ineffective, but was the winner by rule with three runs allowed on four hits and a walk over three innings. David “Yes, my brother is Wander” Ramos finished the game with two goose eggs for the save. Drew Ward was a one-man wrecking crew, driving in three with a single and two doubles in four at-bats as he collected three of the five G-Nats hits.

DSL Nationals 1 DSL Tigers 0
• Yrizarri 3⅔ IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 0K, WP, BK
• Sanchez (W, 1-0) 2⅓ IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 2K, 3WP, 2-0 IR-S
• Green (SV, 2) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Lora 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, SB
• Mercedes 2-4, 2B, 3RBI
• Alvarez 1-4, 2R, 3B, 2BB, 2RBI

The D-Nats posted a five-run 5th to overcome an early 2-1 deficit and held off a late charege from the D-Tigers for a 9-6 win. 18-y.o. Deibi Yrizarri had his first bad outing, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk with no strikeouts. Mario Sanchez got the win in relief, stranding two runners in the 4th giving up a run in the 6th. The first three batters in the lineup combined for five hits (including two doubles and a triple), five RBI, and four runs scored.

Good, Bad, Interesting – Vol. 10

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 28-43, 6th place I.L. North, 15½ games behind

Good Zach Walters .382/.417/.836, 6HR in June
Bad Mike Crotta 0-4, 4.87 ERA, 2.00 WHIP since May 1 (17 appearances)
Interesting .973 Fielding Pct. – dead last in I.L.

HARRISBURG SENATORS 39-33, T1st place E.L. West, 1 game ahead

Good Steve Souza Jr .570 SLG%
Bad Rob Gilliam 5.27 ERA / 5.47 WHIP in last three starts
Interesting Senators pitching in June – 1.75ERA (28ER, 144IP)

POTOMAC NATIONALS 42-27, 1st place C.L. North Champs, 6 games ahead

Good Taylor Hill 1-0, 0.42 in last three starts
Bad Randolph Oduber 8BB in 47G (9 in 52 overall)
Interesting 11 wins trailing or tied after 7 innings

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 1-0, T1st place Sally North, 1 game ahead (39-29 overall)

Good Robert Benincasa 0.82 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 16K in last 10 appearances (hence the promotion)
Bad Derek Self 7.14 ERA, 2.12 WHIP, 6K in last 10 appearances (hence the demotion)
Interesting Estarlin Martinez HR last night 1st since 9/3/12 = 144AB (per Hagerstown Suns Fan Club)

DSL NATIONALS 12-5, 1st Boca Chica South, 2½ games ahead

Good 19-y.o. Dionicio Rosario .280/.410/.400 in 15G
Bad 18-y.o. Yefri Pena 9.39 ERA, 2.74 WHIP in four appearances
Interesting 17-y.o. Yorlin Reynoso 1.08 ERA, .172 OBA in four appearances

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-3 @ Gwinnett,
7:05 p.m.
Maya (2-4, 4.81) vs. TBA
Harrisburg Lost, 5-3 vs. New Hampshire,
7:00 p.m.
Gilliam (2-2, 4.94) vs.
Stroman (3-1, 4.15)
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Carolina,
7:05 p.m
Hagerstown Won, 14-1 @ Greenville,
7:05 p.m.
Lee (1-2, 5.32) vs.
Montas (1-5, 5.82)
Auburn Lost, 7-5 vs. State College,
7:05 p.m.
R. Lopez (0-0, 6.75 @ A-) vs.
Petree (Pro Debut)
GCL Nationals N/A vs. GCL Mets,
12:00 p.m.
DSL Nationals Won, 1-0 @ DSL Tigers,
10:30 a.m.
Yrizarri (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Soto (1-0, 0.64)

Charlotte 5 Syracuse 3
• Mandel (L, 1-4) 5⅓ IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 5BB, 3K
• Broadway ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K, WP, 3-2 IR-S
• Walters 3-4, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Rivero 2-3, RBI

After matching the Knights twice, the Chiefs had no answer for Charlotte’s two-run rally in the 6th, losing the game 5-3 and the series 3-1. Starter Jeff Mandel suffered his fourth loss, charged with all five runs on six hits and five walks. He left with one out in the sixth as the go-ahead run came in on a groundout and the insurance run scored on a wild pitch. Zach Walters was a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored as he hit his career-high and team-best 16th home run.

Bowie 5 Harrisburg 3
• Karns (L, 4-3) 4IP, 5H, 2R, ER, 2BB, 5K
• McCoy 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Souza 3-4, 2R, 2B, HR, BB, RBI, SB(10)
• Goodwin 2-5

Nathan Karns hadn’t faced any live* batters in 11 days and it showed as he took the “L” in a 5-3 Harrisburg loss to Bowie. Karns threw 28 of 78 total pitches during his fourth and final inning, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out five. Bowie extended the lead from 2-1 to 5-1 with a pair against Matt Swynenberg in the 5th and one against Ryan Perry in the 6th. Steve Souza Jr. led the Senators attack with 3-for-4 night with a home run, walk, two runs scored, and his 10th stolen base.
* No word in whether he pitched to any dead ones. *rimshot!*

Potomac Nationals — OFF DAY
The second half finally begins with a seven-game homestand against the Carolina Mudcats and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Hagerstown 14 Greenville 1
• Mooneyham (W, 3-1) 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 3BB, 4K, HR
• Dickson (H, 1) 3IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Foat 3-4, 2R, 2-2B, BB, 2RBI
• Pleffner 2-5, R, BB, 2RBI, SB
• Mesa 2-5, 2R, 2B, 2RBI

Hagerstown scored 14 unanswered runs in the second-half opener for a 14-1 win over Greenville. Starter Brett Mooneyham gave up a solo shot in the 1st but went the requisite five innings to get the win, giving up three hits total while walking three and striking out four. All nine starters got a hit as the Suns pounded out 13 total. Matt Foat led the way with a single, walk, a pair of doubles, two runs scored and two runs driven in for 3-for-4 night, followed by Shawn Pleffner and recently promoted Narciso Mesa, both of whom went 2-for-5 with 2RBI.

State College 7 Auburn 5
• D. Williams (L, 0-1) 4⅓ IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K
• Medina 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 3K
• Difo 2-4, 2R, HR, BB, RBI
• Valdez 2-5, 2B, RBI

The Spikes rallied twice for three runs in the 5th and 6th innings to break open a 1-1 game and held off the Doubledays for 7-5 win. Deion Williams, converted to pitcher last summer in the GCL, took the loss with two runs allowed on two hits and two walks while fanning five over four and a 1/3rd innings. Dominicans Wilmer Difo and Jean Valdez led the Auburn attack, as the second baseman (Difo) went 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored, and an RBI and the corner infielder (Valdez) went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

Like the diet of a fussy toddler, the GCL schedule is limited — 20 games apiece against the Mets, Marlins, and Cardinals for the next 10 weeks. Seven of the ten DSL guys from the 2013 Watchlist are on the roster, which also includes 2012 first-round pick Lucas Giolito, 2013 third-rounder Drew Ward.

DSL Nationals 1 DSL Tigers 0
• Reyes 4IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 6K
• Feliz (W, 3-0) 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Salazar (SV, 3) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Mercedes 1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB

Yermin Mercedes’s solo HR in the bottom of the 4th was the difference in a 1-0 D-Nats win over the D-Tigers. Of course, three pitchers combining on a four-hit shutout also helped. Luis Reyes went the first four and gave up all four hits. John Feliz got his third relief win pitching the next three, while Melvi Salazar notched his third save with two goose eggs in the 8th and 9th innings. Meredes, Aldrem Corredor, and Israel Mota each went 1-for-3 with a walk ad the D-Nats were held to just five hits and four walks.

Shuffling The Deck: A-ball Edition

While not as pronounced as in years past, the traditional realignment of players for the second half continues with the latest set of transactions today (well, that and the Hagerstown Suns start back up tonight, natch).

As the headline suggests, the majority of the movement is between the “A” teams — Potomac, Hagerstown, Auburn. As I did a year ago, here’s a breakdown of the moves over the past three days:

• 2B Danny Espinosa optioned from Washington — They can’t make him have shoulder surgery, but they can stop the accrual of service time
• RHP Caleb Clay promoted from Harrisburg — Superb first outing, seems ready to make the jump

• RHP Ryan Perry reassigned from Syracuse — The starter experiment seems over, is this a demotion to work with certain coaches or in a lower-pressure environment?
• RHP Marcos Frias reassigned from Potomac — Injured and/or ineffective most of the year, seems likely that he was sent back either due to health or having the preferred pitchers in place

• RHP Robert Benincasa promoted from Hagerstown — Is the closer’s job up for grabs?
• RHP Ivan Pineyro promoted from Hagerstown — Looks like Sammy Solis is going to be out for a prolonged period of time.

• RHP Derek Self demoted from Potomac — Hit or miss all season long for the P-Nats; at least the new Suns unis won’t clash with his preferred red glove.
• OF Narciso Mesa reassigned from Auburn — Hit .343 in 32 games for Auburn last summer, but that wasn’t enough to get the the full-season assignment in April.

• RHP Brian Broderick assigned from Harrisburg on rehab — Pretty typical this time of year.

With the P-Nats roster at 12 pitchers and 24 players (one short of the usual for both), it would seem that another move is coming. What would seem most likely is an injured reliever coming off the D.L.

As always, if the other shoe drops within the next 24 hours or so, this space will be updated.