Luke Erickson

Luke Erickson is a season-ticket holder for the Potomac Nationals, but makes a point of seeing games in Hagerstown and Harrisburg at least once a summer. When the PNats are away on the weekend, Luke finds a minor-league game somewhere to watch, and generally attends 70-80 baseball games a year up across several states. A former sportswriter with newspapers in Massachusetts and Oregon, Luke lives in Western Fairfax County with his wife and two sons.

Jun 012014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-2 @ Buffalo,
1:05 p.m.
Tatusko (3-5, 2.30) vs.
Romero (0-3, 5.71)
Harrisburg Won, 6-4 @ Akron,
2:05 p.m.
Espino (1-2, 5.76) vs.
Colon (4-2, 2.30)
Potomac Won, 8-1 vs. Salem,
1:05 p.m.
Dickson (1-4, 6.55) vs.
Diaz (5-3, 3.42)
Hagerstown Lost, 3-2;
Lost, 4-3
@ Kannapolis,
3:05 p.m.
Silvestre (1-2, 3.63) and TBD vs.
Barnette (2-3, 4.66) and
Dykstra (3-5, 3.83)
DSL Nationals Lost, 3-1 OFF DAY N/A


Buffalo 5 Syracuse 2
• Jordan (L, 0-2) 7⅔ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 7K
• Cedeno (BS, 1) ⅓ IP, 2H, 2R, 1ER, BB, K, 2-2 IR-S
• Walters 2-3, R, 2B, HR, BB, 2RBI
• Goodwin 1-3

Xavier Cedeno was summoned from the bullpen with two out and two runners on to get an opposing lefthanded batter out and didn’t get the job done. Instead, he walked him, gave up a two-run single, then a two-run double to turn a 2-1 Syracuse lead into the eventual 5-2 loss to Buffalo. The meltdown hung a loss on Taylor Jordan, who rebounded from a three-inning, seven-run outing on Memorial Day to pitch into the 8th. He was charged with three runs on five hits and a walk and struck out seven. The offense was limited to four hits total for the second straight game with Zach Walters driving in both Chiefs runs with solo HR in the 4th and an RBI double in the 6th.

Harrisburg 6 Akron 4
• Simmons 5⅔ IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Grace (W, 2-1) 2⅓ IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, 2-1 IR-S
• Herron (SV, 2) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Dykstra 2-3, R, BB, RBI, SB
• Taylor 2-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Skole 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI

Matt Skole’s two-run HR in the top of the 8th was the difference as Harrisburg downed Akron, 6-4. James Simmons got the spot start and went five and 2/3rds innings and was charged with all four RubberDuck runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four. The win went to Matt Grace, who turned in two and a 1/3rd scoreless innings (though he did let in one of two inherited runners) with three hits given up and three strikeouts. Tyler Herron worked around a pair of hits in the 9th for his second save. Kevin Keyes also homered while Cutter Dykstra reached base three times with a walk and two singles to lead the Sens offense.
Patriot-News beat writer Geoff Morrow is reporting that both Sammy Solis and A.J. Cole will be skipped in the rotation without explanation.

Potomac 8 Salem 1
• Bacus 5⅔ IP, 5H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 4K
• Mendez (W, 2-2) 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Pleffner 2-4, 2R, 2-2B, RBI
• Perez 1-3, R, 2BB, 2RBI, E(15)

The P-Nats won a laugher Last Night In Woodbridge.

Kannapolis 3 Hagerstown 2 — GAME ONE
• Johansen (L, 4-2) 5IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 6K, 2HR
• Thomas 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Wooten 1-3, 2B, RBI
• Middleton 1-2, 2B, RBI

Jake Johansen may have made just two mistakes in five innings pitched, but both of them left the park as the Intimidators took the opener, 3-2. Johnansen gave up three hits and three walks total and struck out six while losing his second game of 2014. John Wooten and Brennan Middleton both hit RBI doubles as the Suns were held to six hits.

Kannapolis 4 Hagerstown 3 — GAME TWO
• J. Rodriguez (L, 0-1) 3IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K, WP, HBP
• Ullmann 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Ballou 3-4, R, OF assist at 2B
• Manuel 2-3, 2B

Jefry Rodriguez avoided the long ball but also gave up the sum of Kannapolis’s runs as Hagerstown dropped the nightcap, 4-3. The 20-y.o. was lit up for four runs on four hits and two walks over three innings in the loss. Ryan Ullmann followed with three shutout frames but the Suns couldn’t push across the tying run. Isaac Ballou led the 10-hit parade with a 3-for-4 night. The two losses combined with a Delmarva win cuts Hagerstown’s lead in the Sally North to 3½ games. The Shorebirds visit the Suns for a three-game series tomorrow through Wednesday.

DSL Rojos 3 DSL Nationals 1
• J. Baez (L, 0-1) 3IP, 6H, 3R, 1ER, BB, 2K
• Bermudez 4IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Mota 2-3, R, 2B, 3B
• Rengel 1-3

The DSL Rojos struck for one in the 1st and two in the 3rd off D-Nat pitcher (and man I hope this is a typo) Joan Baez and cruised to a 3-1 win over the D-Nats. Baez gave up all three runs on six hits and one walks with two K’s. Juan Bermudez followed with four no-hit innings of relief but the D-Nats offense was held to just five hits. 18-y.o. Israel Mota doubled and tripled to lead the D-Nat bats.
Roster moves: RHP Anderson Martinez reassigned to the GCL Nationals, 3B Andres Martinez placed on the reserved list.

May 312014
 

Were it not for the presence of Ryan Zimmerman, this would not be one to write home about*.
* For the folks under 30, that refers to a letter written on paper in an envelope with postage stamp.

A sacrifice fly in the 10th gave the P-Nats a 5-4 win and pulled them within a game of 1st place in the Carolina League North. It was the fifth walkoff win of the season and the first time Potomac had won back-to-back games on consecutive days since May 5th and 6th.

The distinction matters because this is a team that has been reeling for most of May. The culprit is a lack of starting pitching, which, with the placement of Ronald Pena on the DL earlier this week, means the team has completely replaced its Opening Week starting rotation.

Brett Brach became the latest starter last night, signed away from the Somerset Patriots — same team as Zach Kroenke, who replaced Matt Purke in the Harrisburg rotation.

Zimmerman would give him an early lead, smacking a sacrifice fly to the warning track in right-center to plate Tony Renda, who had led off the game with a double and took third on sacrifice bunt by Stephen Perez. The soon-to-be 3B-1B-LF tapped out in the 4th, flew out in the 5th, and grounded out in the 8th as the P-Nats DH. He’s expected to play again tonight and tomorrow afternoon, perhaps appearing left field in one or both games.

Salem tied the game in the top of the 4th on a pair of singles and groundout in which the P-Nats couldn’t turn a double play fast enough to end the inning. The Red Sox basically gave away three runs in the bottom of the 4th with an error and three wild pitches that plated two of the runs with Randolph Oduber driving in the third with an RBI double as the P-Nats took a 4-1 lead.

Salem chased Brach in the 6th with a double ruled an error followed by a triple the right-center gap. Paul Demny made his 2014 debut but let in the runner he inherited and one of his own to tie things up at 4-4. Brach would finish with five-plus innings pitched, with three runs (two earned) allowed on three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

Demny would pitch a scoreless 7th but finished with one run allowed on two hits and two walks while striking out two. Bryan Harper took over in the 8th and blanked the Sox for two frames before giving way to Robert Benincasa, who walked two in the top of the 10th but was the winning pitcher, thanks to another sloppy inning by Salem.

Pedro Severino led off with the fourth Potomac hit and took second when Narciso Mesa was plunked. Both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch, the 4th of the night for the Sox. Tony Renda struck out and was ejected. After wisely issuing an intentional pass to Perez to load the bases, Khayyan Norfork — pinch-hitting for Zimmerman — delivered the gamewinner with a flyout to center.

Game two of the four-game series will feature a matchup of RHP Dakota Bacus (2-1, 3.57) vs. LHP Cody Kukuk (1-3, 4.43).

May 312014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-4 @ Buffalo,
1:05 p.m.
Jordan (0-1, 4.67) vs.
McGuire (1-0, 3.18)
Harrisburg Lost, 10-0 @ Akron,
6:35 p.m.
Solis (0-1, 21.60) vs.
Murata (3-1, 1.95)
Anderson (2-3, 4.35)
Potomac Won, 5-4 (10 inn.) vs. Salem,
6:35 p.m.
Bacus (2-1, 3.57) vs.
Diaz (5-3, 3.42)
Hagerstown Postponed @ Kannapolis,
5:05 p.m.
Johansen (4-1, 4.93) and
J. Rodriguez (0-0, 1.80) vs.
Leyer (2-3, 4.22) and
Wheeler (0-2, 2.89)
DSL Nationals N/A @ DSL Rojos,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD


Syracuse 5 Buffalo 4
• Roenicke (W, 1-2) 5IP, 3H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Mattheus (H, 2) 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-1 IR-S
• Rhymes 0-2, R, 2BB
• Souza 1-3, R, BB

The Chiefs had but one big inning — a five-run 4th — and survived two rallies by the Bison for a 5-4 win. All four Syracuse hits came in the 4th, as the Chiefs took advantage of two walks and a two-run throwing error with one out. Josh Roenicke got the spot start and turned in five scoreless innings, with three hits and two walks allowed and two strikeouts to register his first win of the season.
Zach Jackson followed and was dinged for three runs (one earned) in the 7th. Ryan Mattheus let in one of two inherited runners but got out of the inning and pitched around an error in the 8th. Mike Gonzalez turned in a Cordero-esue 9th, opening the inning with a walk-single-walk sequence to load the bases then giving up a run while getting the next three batters out to record his 4th save.

Akron 10 Harrisburg 0
• Meyers (L, 1-3) 3IP, 8H, 8R, 7ER, 3BB, 0K, 0HR, WP
• Canham 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Martinson 2-4, 2B
• Taylor 1-2, BB

The RubberDucks took their fourth straight game against the Senators with a 10-0 shutout. Brad Meyers took the brunt of beating — and the loss — with eight runs allowed on eight hits and three walks in only three innings. He struck out none and saw just 34 of his 58 pitches go for strikes. Harrisburg was held to just seven hits, with just two batters reaching base twice: Jason Martinson, who went 2-for-4 with a double, and Michael Taylor, who went 1-for-2 with a walk before being lifted from the game in the 8th; He did not appear to have been injured, though the (on) crack Akron broadcast team never noticed how the 6’3″ Taylor shrunk to 5’11″ when Adrian Sanchez pinch-hit for him in the 8th. Catcher Mitch Canham pitched the final inning of the night, throwing 14 of 21 pitches for strikes and walking one in a scoreless 8th.

Potomac 5 Salem 4 (10 inn.)
• Brach 5+ IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 7K
• Harper 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, WP
• Benincasa (W, 4-1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
• Renda 1-4, R, 2B, BB, SB
• Oduber 1-4, R, 2B

The P-Nats won an ugly one Last Night In Woodbridge.

Roster move: RHP Brett Brach assigned from Washington (previously pitched for Somerset, Columbus in ’14), LHP Brett Mooneyham placed on the 7-Day DL.

Hagerstown vs. Kannapolis — PPD
Rain will compress this four-game series into two doubleheaders today and tomorrow. Hagerstown’s magic number to clinch the Sally North title is at 13 with the next two series against the second- and third-place teams, who have crept up to within 5 (Delmarva) and 6½ games (Greensboro).

DSL Nationals — OPENING DAY
It’s time to learn some new names… and the “TBD vs. TBD” macro is ready to go.

May 302014
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 29-24, 1st place I.L. North, ½ game ahead

Good Taylor Hill 7-1, 1SV 1.57/3.38/0.90, 2CG in 11 appearances, 10GS
Bad 31 team HR, 11th in 14-team I.L.
Interesting Destin Hood .410/.452/.744, 3HR in last 10G



HARRISBURG SENATORS 18-34, 6th place E.L. West, 14½ games behind

Good Michael Taylor .370/.442/.730 in May (27G)
Bad Omar Poveda 5.82/4.21/0.94, 5HR in 3GS at AA
Interesting 23 pitchers, 12 starters, 2 position players have pitched in 52 games



POTOMAC NATIONALS 26-26, 3rd place C.L. North, 1½ games behind

Good Derek Self 2-0, 2SV 0.42/2.11/0.51 in 14 appearances (21⅔ IP)
Bad Mike McQuillan .111/.273/.111 in last 10G
Interesting 41% CS rate by catchers is No. 1 in eight-team Carolina Lg.



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 36-16, 1st place Sally North, 5½ games ahead

Good Wilmer Difo .317BA in May, .313 in April, .310 in last 10G
Bad R.C. Orlan 0-2, 6.35/4.24/1.68 in five appearances
Interesting Brendan Middleton .406/.500/.406 in last 10G
May 302014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-1 @ Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Roenicke (0-2, 4.91) vs.
Stroman (2-4, 3.03)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-1 @ Akron,
6:35 p.m.
Meyers (1-2, 4.86) vs.
Anderson (2-3, 4.35)
Potomac Won, 14-4 vs. Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Brach (1st A+ start of ’14) vs.
Kukuk (1-3, 4.43)
Hagerstown Postponed @ Kannapolis,
5:05 p.m.
Johansen (4-1, 4.93) and
J. Rodriguez (0-0, 1.80) vs.
Leyer (2-3, 4.22) and
Wheeler (0-2, 2.89)


Syracuse 5 Rochester 1
• Hill (W, 7-1) 8IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 2K,
• Delcarmen 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Burriss 3-5, 3R, 2B
• Souza 3-5, R, 2RBI
• Walters 2-5, 2B, RBI, 3K

Taylor Hill “defended” his I.L. Pitcher of the Week title with eight strong innings as Syracuse beat Rochester, 5-1. Hill gave up one run on three hits and a walk while striking out two to earn his I.L.-leading seventh win. The Chiefs struck for three in the 1st and single runs in the 7th and 9th innings while posting a baker’s dozen in the hit column. Steve Souza and Emmanuel Burriss led the way with 3-for-5 marks, followed by Zach Walters and Will “Don’t Call Me Buster” Rhymes, who both went 2-for-5.

Erie 5 Harrisburg 1
• Poveda (L, 1-2) 6IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 7K, 2HR
• Herron 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Taylor 3-3, 2B, BB
• Martinson 2-3, BB, SB

The longball continues to be Omar Poveda’s downfall. The 26-y.o. veteran gave up two big flies for three runs in the top of the 1st as Erie went on to defeat Harrisburg, 5-1, and take the series, 2-1. Poveda followed with five scoreless innings, giving up five hits total with one walk and seven K’s over six innings, but was charged with his second AA loss of the season. Brian Jeroloman’s solo HR in the 3rd accounted for the lone Senator run, while Michael Taylor (3-for-3, 2B) and Jason Martinson (2-for-3) registered the remaining five hits as the rest of the Harrisburg lineup went 0-for-22 with a walks (Matt Skole) and four strikeouts.

Potomac 14 Winston-Salem 4
• Spann (W, 4-0) 6IP, 4H, 0R, 3BB, K
• Self 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Oduber 4-6, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Tejeda 4-6, 4R, HR, 3RBI
• Leonida 2-5, 2B, BB, 2RBI

Potomac broke a three-game slide and returned to .500 (26-26) with a 14-4 victory over Winston-Salem. The P-Nats sent 15 men to the plate in the nine-run 2nd, ellipsed with four Dash errors. The 14 runs and 19 hits were both season highs for Potomac as every starter reached base at least twice, led by Randolph Oduber and Oscar Tejeda, who both went 4-for-6 and combined for five runs scored and five RBI. Matt Spann tossed six shutout innings for his team-best fourth win, giving up four hits and three walks while striking out one.
Roster move: RHP Paul Demny activated from XST — and a strong candidate to replace the tireless TBD as tonight’s starting pitcher.

Hagerstown vs. Kannapolis — PPD
Rain postponed the opening of the four-game series between the Suns and Intimidators. It will made up tonight with a doubleheader.

May 292014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-3 @ Rochester,
11:05 a.m.
Hill (6-1, 1.63) vs.
Pelfrey (1-0, 0.90)
Harrisburg Lost, 7-5 (10 inn.);
Won, 6-4
vs. Erie,
5:30 p.m.
Poveda (1-1, 6.55) vs.
Ferrell (3-4, 5.36)
Potomac Lost, 4-0 @ Winston-Salem,
7:00 p.m.
Spann (3-0, 2.45) vs.
Danish (0-0, 5.23)
Hagerstown Won, 12-2 @ Kannapolis,
7:00 p.m.
Johansen (4-1, 4.93) vs.
Leyer (2-3, 4.22)


Rochester 4 Syracuse 3
• Laffey (L, 5-3) 6IP, 10H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K
• Madrigal 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Souza 1-2, R, 2BB
• Solano 1-3, BB, RBI

Rochester scored in each of the first three innings to take a 4-0 lead and held off Syracuse for 4-3 win. Aaron Laffey was charged with the loss, his third, giving up all four RedWing runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out four. The Chiefs were held to seven hits, though Destin Hood and Zach Walters were both able to double against former National Alex Meyer. Steve Souza reached base three times with two walks and a single to lead the Syracuse offense.

Erie 7 Harrisburg 5 (10 inn.) — COMP.
• Grace (L, 1-1) 2+ IP, 5H, 3R, 1ER, 0BB, 0K, 0HR
• Holland 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 3-2 IR-S
• Hague 2-4, BB, SB
• Keyes 2-6, 2R, HR, RBI

Erie scored once in the 8th and twice in the 10th as Kevin Keyes’s game-tying HR in the bottom of the 9th was wasted in a 7-5 loss in the completion of Tuesday night’s suspended game. Matt Grace took the loss, charged with all three runs (one earned) on five hits over two-plus innings. Neil Holland retired the first two batters he faced in the 10th but gave up the go-ahead runs on a two-out single by Devon Travis. Cutter Dykstra and Matt Skole both reached base in the bottom of the 10th but Keyes couldn’t go yard a second time and instead flew out to right field to end it.
On the off chance you’re this guy… LHP Matt Purke is expected to have Tommy John surgery today, ending his 2014 season.

Harrisburg 6 Erie 4
• Kroenke 6IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 4K, 2HR
• Martin (W, 2-1) 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Taylor 3-4, 2R, 3B, HR, 3RBI
• Keyes 2-4, R, 2B
• Nicol 2-4, R

Harrisburg got the the big hits when they needed them, twice coming back from two-run deficits to win this one, 6-4. Michael Taylor (3-for-4) homered in the 5th to tie it at 2-2 while Caleb Ramsey matched the feat in the sixth to tie it at 4-4. Taylor struck again in the 7th with one-out RBI triple and scored on a Quincy Latimore single to complete the rally. Rafael Martin got the win with three scoreless innings in relief of starter Zach Kroenke, who gave up all four Erie runs on seven hits over the first six innings.

Winston-Salem 4 Potomac 0
• Turnbull (L, 0-2) 5IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 3K
• Mendez 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Pleffner 1-4, 2B

Potomac’s latest circle down the first-half drain came with a 4-0 shutout by Winston-Salem, their third straight loss and seventh in the last eight games. Kylin Turnbull made his second start and gave up all four Dash runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out three. Gilberto Mendez tossed three perfect innings of relief with four strikeouts, but it was for naught as the offense was held in check. The P-Nats bats were limited to just four hits by Winston-Salem’s Myles Jaye, who had just been demoted from AA after an 0-6, 6.32 mark in 10 starts for Birmingham.

Hagerstown 12 Delmarva 2
• Voth (W, 2-3) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 7K
• Webb 2IP, 0H, 0R, 3BB, 2K
• Bautista 3-5, R, 2B, 3B, 6RBI
• Ward 3-5, 3R, 2-2B
• Middleton 3-4, BB, RBI

The Suns avoided a second four-game skid this month with a 12-2 thrashing of the Shorebirds in the series finale. Rafael Bautista drove in six while going 3-for-5 with a double and a triple and a run scored to lead the 15-hit Hagerstown barrage in which eight of nine batters hit safely. Austin Voth turned his fourth quality start and earned his second win with two runs allowed on four hits and two walks over six innings while striking out seven.

May 282014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 10-2 @ Rochester,
7:05 p.m.
Laffey (5-2, 3.66) vs.
Meyer (2-1, 3.55)
Harrisburg Tied, 4-4
(Suspended, Top 8th)
vs. Erie,
5:30 p.m.
Kroenke (0-0, 4.50) vs.
Palacios (3-2, 5.04)
Potomac Lost, 8-2 @ Winston-Salem,
7:00 p.m.
Turnbull (0-1, 10.80) vs.
Ortiz (0-4, 4.66)
Jaye (9-6, 4.11 in ’13 @ High-A)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-2 @ Delmarva,
10:35 a.m.
Voth (1-3, 2.42) vs.
Rennie (2-3, 5.57)


Syracuse 10 Rochester 2
• Tatusko (W, 3-5) 6+ IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 6K, WP
• Mattheus 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Johnson 3-5, R, 2RBI, CS
• Hood 3-5, R, 2-2B
• Walters 2-5, R, HR, 3RBI

Syracuse clipped the Red Wings pitchers for 17 hits and nine unanswered runs en route to a 10-2 win. Ryan Tatusko got back-to-back wins for the first time this season, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks over six-plus innings. It was his seventh quality start out of 11. Josh Johnson and Destin Hood both went 3-for-5 with a run scored as every Chiefs batter hit safely. Brock Peterson and Zach Walters both homered as eight of the Syracuse hits were of the extra-base variety. Roster moves: LHP Xavier Cedeno activated from 7-Day DL (eff. May 25), RHP Christian Garcia activated from 3-day TIL (eff. May 26), IF Zach Walters optioned from Washington, IF Jose Lozada placed on 7-Day DL (retroactive to May 26).

Erie 4 Harrisburg 4 — SUSP.
• Cole 4IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 0K, 0HR
• Bates 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Sanchez 2-2, R, 2BB, 2RBI
• Ramsey 1-2, 3B, BB, RBI

The umpires may have had an assist in this one as they refused to stop play in the 7th, just long enough for the Senators to draw back-to-back-to-back walks to tie the game at 4-4. A.J. Cole was hit hard, giving up four runs in the 1st and seven hits total but managed to make it through four innings. Colin Bates relieved with three scoreless while the Harrisburg offense single runs in the 2nd, 5th, 6th, and of course, the 7th. Play was halted with one out in the top of the 8th and will be resumed tonight with the regularly scheduled nine-inning game to follow.

Winston-Salem 7 Potomac 2
• Simms (L, 0-3) 5IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 5K
• Harper 3IP, 3H, 5R, 4ER, 3BB, 2K, 3WP
• Oduber 2-4, R, SB
• Severino 2-4, R, SB

Winston-Salem put up three crooked numbers to erase an early 1-0 Potomac lead and knocked the P-Nats out of 1st place with a 7-2 win. John Simms lost for the third time in six starts, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out five over five innings. Bryan Harper allowed the final five Dash runs on three hits and three walks and did not help his cause with three wild pitches. Randolph Oduber and Pedro Severino both went 2-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored as Potomac was held to just six hits total. Roster move: RHP Ronald Pena placed on the 7-Day DL.

Delmarva 7 Hagerstown 2
• Silvestre (L, 1-2) 6+ IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, BB, K, HR
• Ramos 2IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K, WP
• Lopez 2-3, R, 2B, BB
• Ward 2-4, 2K

Hector Silvestre was perhaps pushed an inning too far. The 21-y.o. southpaw gave up a three-run HR to third batter he faced in the bottom of the 7th to snap a 2-2 tie as the Shorebirds took a third straight from the Suns, 7-2. Silvestre gave up five runs total on eight hits and a walk, with one walk and a one K over six-plus innings. David Ramos was hit hard again in his second outing, giving up the final two Delmarva runs on five hits with neither a walk nor a strikeout in two innings pitched. Carlos Lopez reached base three times with a single, walk, and a double to lead the Hagerstown offense.

May 272014
 

Taylor HillNot too often a starting pitcher gets a win and a save in the same week. Couple that with 11 scoreless innings, and you’ve got the recipe for Taylor Hill’s International League Pitcher of the Week award for May 19-25.

A week ago tonight, Hill scattered six hits over four scoreless innings, participating in two of three double plays turned behind him while notching his first professional save. He returned to the rotation last Saturday night and laid seven goose eggs on top of the scoreboard for his team-leading (and tied for the I.L. Lg. lead) sixth win.

For the season, Hill is 6-1 with an ERA of 1.63 (3rd), an FIP of 3.39 (11th), and a WHIP (2nd) of 0.98 with eight (3rd) walks and 47 strikeouts (15th) over 60⅔ innings (2nd). (Rank among I.L. pitchers with 40+ IP).

The 25-y.o. was originally drafted in the 6th Rd. of the 2011 Draft out of Vanderbilt University and has steadily moved up the ladder, pitching . He is a two-time Watchlist Player (2012, 2014) and has exceeded 100 IP in his two previous full-season campaigns (2012, 2013).

May 272014
 

Sammy Solis’s AA debut was one to forget.

The 25-y.o. southpaw, originally drafted in 2010, made quick work of the first three Bowie batters in the 1st — a flyout to right, a three-pitch strikeout, and weak tapper to 1st. The velocity was as advertised: low-90s, touching 94 depending on which radar gun you choose to believe.

After an infield single and a flyout, Solis seemed ready to dispatch the Baysox again in the 2nd. But then an inside-out single to right put runners on 1st and 3rd, then a sacrifice fly erased a brief 1-0 lead that had come off the bat of Cutter Dykstra with a solo shot to the [sorry, no free advertising] cheap seats in left.

A two-out double from Garabez Rosa gave Bowie the 2-1 lead and Solis rolled a grounder to end the 2nd. He mowed down the first three BaySox in the 3rd. After Adrian Sanchez hit another solo shot to left to tie things up, all Solis needed to do was respond with another goose egg.

Instead, the BaySox connected for six hits in the space of eight batters — nothing cheap, nothing weak, nothing lucky. Solis was lifted with one out in the 4th. His replacement, James Simmons was renamed Richard with a three-run blast off the roof of the Senators team well beyond the left field fence.

The final line for Solis — nine runs, eight earned, one walk, one strikeout over three and 1/3rd innings. He faced 20 batters and threw fifty-six pitches, forty-two for strikes and only went to a three-ball count on the one batter he walked (former Nats farmhand David Freitas).

As Patriot-Times beat writer Geoff Morrow tweeted, perhaps some credit goes to the Bowie offense, which leads the Eastern League in several offensive categories (H, 2B, K’s, BA, SLG%).

The Senators would not answer the BaySox eight-run 4th until the 7th, when they mounted a similar, slow-motion rally for five runs, punctuated by Matt Skole’s two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded to pull Harrisburg within four at 11-7.

Alas, Bowie answered with a pair of two-run innings in 8th and 9th and homers in both frames to make it a 15-7 final.

With the loss, Harrisburg’s quest for three wins in a row in 2014 remains unfulfilled as they fell to a 17-32 mark, second-worst in the Eastern League.

May 272014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 10-5 @ Rochester,
7:05 p.m.
Tatusko (2-5, 2.22) vs.
Diamond (2-5, 6.70)
Harrisburg Lost, 15-7 vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Cole (4-2, 1.97) vs.
Ryan (3-5, 4.64)
Potomac Lost, 13-4 @ Winston-Salem,
7:00 p.m.
Simms (0-2, 4.33) vs.
Montas (2-0, 1.54)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-6;
Lost, 2-1
@ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Silvestre (1-1, 2.83) vs.
Vader (6-1, 3.16)


Rochester 10 Syracuse 5
• Jordan (L, 0-1) 3⅓ IP, 9H, 7R, 6ER, 2BB, 2K, HR, BK
• Jackson 2⅔ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 3K, 2-0 IR-S
• Souza 2-4, 2R, HR, BB, 2RBI
• Hood 2-5, 2R, 2HR, 2RBI
• Peterson 2-5, 2B, RBI

The Chiefs’ six-game win streak came to screeching halt with a six-run Redwing 4th en route to a 10-5 loss. Taylor Jordan suffered the loss, his first at AAA, and was torched for seven runs (six earned) on nine hits, and two walks while striking out two. He threw 68 pitches, 40 for strikes. Destin Hood homered twice and Steve Souza homered once; both drove in two as the Syracuse offense scored in each of the final four innings and racked up 10 hits total.

Bowie 15 Harrisburg 7
• Solis (L, 0-1) 3⅓ IP, 9H, 9R, 8ER, BB, K
• Simmons 2⅓ IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K, 2HR, HBP
• Nicol 3-4, R, 2B
• Sanchez 2-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI
• Keyes 2-4

It was a rough Monday Afternoon In Harrisburg for Sammy Solis in his AA debut.

Salem 13 Potomac 4
• Dickson (L, 1-4) 1⅓ IP, 5H, 7R, 7ER, 4BB, 2K
• Mooneyham 3⅔ IP, 3H, 3R, 4BB, 3K, 2-1 IR-S
• Tejeda 2-5, R, RBI, SB
• J. Miller 2-4, 2-2B, BB, RBI

After a four-run 1st, things looked pretty good for Potomac to win back-to-back games for the first time in nearly three weeks, but Salem hung 13 unanswered runs and took the series 3-1 with a 13-4 win. Ian Dickson took the loss with seven runs allowed on five hits and four walks over just an inning and a third. Oscar Tejeda went 2-for-5 with a run, a stolen base and an RBI while Justin Miller doubled twice as the P-Nats piled up nine hits but struck out 11 times in their 16th loss in May.

Delmarva 7 Hagerstown 6 — GAME ONE
• Lopez 4⅔ IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K
• Walsh (BS, 1; L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• Bautista 2-3, 2B, 2RBI, SB
• Difo 1-3, R, HR, 3RBI

A six-run 2nd wasn’t enough for the Suns pitchers as they allowed seven unanswered, including three in the 7th, for a 7-6 walkoff loss. Reynaldo Lopez became the latest fill-in starter for you-know-who as he made his Low-A debut with three runs on seven hits over four and 2/3rds innings. The 20-y.o. Dominican walked none and struck out three. Jake Walsh got the blown-save-loss as he allowed two hits and two walks in the space of seven batters in the 7th, as the winning run scored on Drew Ward’s 12th error to end the game. Wilmer Difo homered and drove in three while Rafael Bautista went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI to lead the Hagerstown offense.

Delmarva 2 Hagerstown 1 — GAME TWO
• Cooper 5IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K
• Orlan (L, 0-2) 1IP, 1H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Ballou 1-3, R, 3B
• Bautista 1-2

Hagerstown scored first again in the nightcap, as Isaac Ballou tripled and scored on an error to lead off the game for an early 1-0 lead. It would be the first of just two hits for the Suns as they were edged 2-1 to complete the Shorebirds doubleheader sweep. Andrew Cooper started and went the first five innings, letting in a run on five hits while walking none and fanning two. R.C. Orlan gave up a solo home run in the 6th to take the loss. Rafael Bautista’s bunt single in the 3rd and walks by John Wooten and Craig Manuel summed up the rest of the Suns offense on the night.
Roster moves: RHP Phillips Valdez reassigned to Auburn, RHP Reynaldo Lopez reassigned from the GCL Nationals.