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.

Aug 052012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 1-0 @ Buffalo,
1:05 p.m.
Duke (11-5, 3.78) vs.
Z. Wheeler (AAA debut)
Harrisburg Won, 1-0 vs. Richmond,
2:00 p.m.
Rosenbaum (7-8, 3.64) vs.
Westcott (9-8, 3.72)
Potomac Lost, 10-8 @ Winston-Salem,
5:00 p.m.
Grace (6-10, 5.67) vs.
Bassitt (2-2, 3.12)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-0 vs. Lexington,
1:05 p.m.
Jordan (0-1, 3.46) vs.
Devenksi (6-5, 4.23)
Auburn Lost, 4-1 @ Brooklyn,
5:00 p.m.
Mooneyham (1-0, 1.37) vs.
J. Santana (rehab)
GCL Nationals Postponed OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals Tied, 0-0
(Suspended)
OFF DAY N/A

Buffalo 1 Syracuse 0
• Roark (L, 6-13) 7IP, 6H, R, ER, BB, 4K
• Garcia 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Negrych 2-5
• Rivero 2-3, BB

The Chiefs put runners on in seven of nine inning, including three in the 6th, but couldn’t push any across for a 1-0 loss to Buffalo. Tanner Roark was the tough-luck loser, giving up the sole run on six hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out four. It was his third straight one-run, seven-inning outing. Syracuse outhit Buffalo 10-6, with Jim Negrych and Carlos Rivero both singling twice. The Chiefs left 12 runners on and went 1-for-12 with RISP. Roster moves: C Sandy Leon optioned from Washington, C Jeremy Mayo transferred from Hagerstown.

Harrisburg 1 Richmond 0
• Perry 7IP, 5H, 0R, BB, 3K
• McCoy (W, 6-1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Nelo (SV, 14) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Goodwin 1-4, R, HR, RBI
• Bloxom 2-3, 2B

Brian Goodwin’s solo shot in the last of the 8th was the difference in a 1-0 Harrisburg win over Richmond. Ryan Perry went the first seven innings and gave up five hits and a walk with three strikeouts. The win went to Pat McCoy for a scoreless 8th, with one hit allowed. Hector Nelo shut the door with a 1-2-3 ninth for his 14th save. The Senators were held to just three hits (Justin Bloxom went 2-for-3 with a double) as the Flying Squirrels’ Chris Gloor got the complete-game loss.

Winston-Salem 10 Potomac 8
• Ray (L, 4-8) 2⅔ IP, 7H, 8R, 8ER, 3BB, 3K, 3HR
• Carr 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Martinson 2-4, 4R, BB, HR, 2RBI
• King 4-5, R
• Kelso 2-5, R, 2B, 2RBI

Robbie Ray was lit up for eight runs over two and 2/3rds innings, include three home runs, as the Potomac Nationals lost another one to Winston-Salem, 10-8. Jason Martinson homered and drove in two, scoring four times to push his run tally to 96 and his RBI mark to 100, both of which lead the minor leagues. Stephen King led the hit column with a 4-for-5 night while Kevin Keyes launched his third HR of the week (17th of the season). Roster moves: C James Skelton transferred from Harrisburg, OF Steve Souza Jr. placed on the 7-Day DL (leg injury).

Lexington 8 Hagerstown 0
• Hansen (L, 2-4) 4⅔ IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 5K, 2HR
• Ortega 1-2, 2B, BB
• Newsome 1-3, 2B

Last Night In Hagerstown was postponed due to a last-minute trip to DC to acquire a new copyeditor, and the timing was fortuitous because the Suns were not shining in an 8-0 loss to Lexington. Bobby Hansen Jr. got bit but the longball, serving up two solo shots and four runs total over four and 2/3rds on six hits and two walks. He did strike out five. Justin Miller and Angel Montilla singled while Bryce Ortega and Brett Newsome doubled for the four Hagerstown hits.

Brooklyn 4 Auburn 1
• Monar 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 5BB, 4K
• Medina (L, 0-2) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 0K
• Mesa 3-3, R, 2B
• Ramos 2-4

If the PA guy for Brooklyn is any good, the fans got to hear nine of these songs as Auburn pitchers issued nine walks in a 4-1 loss to Brooklyn. Blake Monar gave up five in his five innings of work but allowed just one run and three hits. Silvio Medina was not so fortunate, taking the loss as his three free passes resulted in the three runs that broke up a 1-1 tie in the 7th. The Doubledays outhit the Cyclones 6-5, with Narciso Mesa and Wander Ramos combining to go 5-for-7.

GCL Nationals vs. GCL Astros — PPD
The GCL Nationals were rained out for the fourth time to give the players an extra day off. This one will be made up with a doubleheader on Friday, August 10.

DSL Nationals 0 DSL Phillies 0 — SUSP.
• Gomez 2⅔ IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 2K

Inclement weather stopped play in this one in the top of the third with the score tied at 0-0. It will most likely be resumed as part of a doubleheader when these two teams next meet on Monday, August 20.

Aug 042012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 13-7 @ Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Roark (6-12, 4.95) vs.
Schwinden (4-4, 2.38)
Harrisburg Won, 4-3 vs. Richmond,
7:00 p.m.
Perry (1-2, 1.82) vs.
Gloor (2-2, 2.23)
Potomac Lost, 6-4 @ Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Ray (4-7, 5.19) vs.
Snodgress (1-0, 0.75)
Hagerstown Won, 6-3 vs. Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Hansen (2-3, 4.63) vs.
Rollins (0-0, 16.20)
Auburn Won, 6-4 @ Brooklyn,
6:00 p.m.
Monar (2-3, 3.12) vs.
Robles (2-1, 2.04)
GCL Nationals Won, 4-3
(10 inn.)
vs. GCL Astros,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 6-5 vs. DSL Phillies,
10:30 a.m.
Gomez (6-3, 3.27) vs.
Sanchez (3-3, 3.67)

Buffalo 13 Syracuse 7
• Mandel (L, 2-4) 2⅓ IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 2K, 2HR
• Atkins 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Hoffpauir 3-4, 2R, HR, BB, 2RBI
• Teahen 3-5, R
• Brown 2-5, R, HR, RBI

With a four-run 3rd and three-run 4th, Buffalo erased an early 5-2 deficit and went on to stampede Syracuse, 13-7. Jeff Mandel was gored twice (two HR) and gave up six runs on seven hits over two and a 1/3rd innings to take the loss. Four relievers followed and only Mitch Atkins went unscathed as the Bisons racked up 19 hits total. Corey Brown (2-for-5) and Jarrett Hoffpauir (3-for-4) both homered as the Chiefs pounded out 15 hits with all nine starters reaching base. Roster moves: LHP John Lannan optioned to/from Washington, IF Zach Walters promoted from Harrisburg, OF Jesus Valdez placed on Temporary Inactive List, C Koyie Hill released, C Carlos Maldonado designated for assignment, C Jeff Howell activated from the 7-Day DL.

Harrisburg 4 Richmond 3
• Holder 6IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, 4K
• Broderick (W, 1-0) 2⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Davis (SV, 5) ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 1-0 IR-S
• Goodwin 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, SB, CS
• Van Ostrand 1-4, R, 2RBI

The Senators rallied for two in the 7th and held on for 4-3 win over Richmond. Doubles by Brian Goodwin (2-for-4) and Seth Bynum (1-for-3) with Jimmy Van Ostrand’s RBI single in between did the deed. Brian Broderick got the win in relief of Trevor Holder, who turned in a quality start with two runs allowed on five hits over the first six innings. Erik Davis got the final out of the ninth for his fifth save. Roster moves: IF Seth Bynum transferred from Syracuse, OF Destin Hood placed on 7-Day DL, OF J.R. Higley transferred from Hagerstown.
Winston-Salem 6 Potomac 4
• Gilliam 6IP, 9H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 5K
• Demmin (L, 1-2) 1IP, 1H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, K
• Souza 1-2, R, BB, HR, SB, OF assist at 2B
• Sanchez 2-5, R, HR, RBI

Potomac’s Carolina blues continued with another loss to Winston-Salem, 6-4. The Dash rallied for three runs after Ryan Demmin retired the first two batters in the 7th, with a pair of walks, catcher’s interference, and a triple to clear the bases. The P-Nats had built a 3-0 lead on the strength of solo HRs by Adrian Sanchez and Steve Souza, who left the game with an injury after the aforementioned triple. Starter Rob Gilliam gave up three runs on nine hits over six innings but walked none and struck out five. Roster moves: C David Freitas traded to Oakland Athletics, C Sam Palace activated from the DL.

Hagerstown 6 Lexington 3
• Schwartz 5IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 6K
• Hollins 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Bates (W, 7-3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, K
• Skole 2-3, R, 2B, HR, 2BB, 5RBI
• Burns 2-5, R

Matt Skole’s 25th home run was, um, legendary as his walkoff grand slam with two outs in the 9th turned a 3-2 loss into a 6-3 win. Skole also had an RBI double and walked twice to notch six total bases and drive in five. Colin Bates got the win by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth. Blake Schwartz gave up all three Lexington runs on six hits and four walks. Billy Burns went 2-for-5 with a run scored after being activated from the DL prior to the game.

Auburn 6 Staten Island 4
• Pineyro 6IP, 7H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K
• Benincasa (BS, 2; W, 1-0) 2IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 1BB, 5K
• Self (SV, 8) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Norfork 2-3, 2R, 2B, BB, SB
• McQuillan 2-5, R, 2B, SB

Auburn answered a three-run 7th with a four-run 8th to take the game, 6-4, and complete the three-game sweep of Staten Island. Starter Ivan Pineyro scattered seven hits and allowed just one run over six frames, walking two and striking out five. The Doubledays collected ten hits by five players, with Khayyan Norfork and Mike McQuillan each hitting a single and a double swiping a base. Anthony Rendon was 0-for-4 with a walk as the DH. Robert Benincasa got the blown-save win while Derek Self notched his eighth save with a scoreless 9th. Roster move: LHP Jack McGeary assigned from Hagerstown and placed on the 7-Day DL.

GCL Nationals 4 GCL Marlins 3 (10 inn.)
• Barrientos (W, 3-0) 5IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 5K, WP
• Peters (SV, 1) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Jennings 2-5, R, 3B, RBI, SB(10)
• Foat 2-5, R, SB
• Piwnica-Worms 1-3, R, 2BB, SB

The G-Nats opened up a six-run lead with crooked numbers in three of the first four innings and held off a late charge from the G-Astros for a 6-4 win. Joel Barrientos improved to 3-0 with two runs allowed on six hits and a walk over five innings with five strikeouts. John Peters got the last four outs for the save. Hayden Jennings singled, tripled, and stole his 10th base to lead the G-Nats offense.

DSL Nationals 6 DSL Phillies 5
• De La Cruz 3IP, 0H, 0R, 3BB, K
• K. Rodriguez (BS, 2; W, 3-2) 2⅔ IP, 1H, R, ER, 3BB, 4K, HR, 2-2 IR-S
• Marmolejos-Diaz 1-4, R, BB, RBI
• Abreu 1-3, R, 2RBI

After blowing a four-run lead in the 7th, the DSL Nationals rallied for two in the top of the 9th to beat the DSL Phillies, 6-5. Kelvin Rodriguez, who served up a three-run HR as part of the D-Phils five-run rally in the 7th, got the blown-save win by pitching the final two and 2/3rds innings. Emmanuel De La Cruz got the start and threw three no-hit innings, walking three and striking out one. The D-Nats managed just six hits, but three were for extra-bases with “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz hitting a solo home run.

Aug 032012
 

David Freitas, a 15th-round draft pick out of the University of Hawaii and three-time All-Star in the Washington Nationals minor leagues, has been traded to the Oakland Athletics for C Kurt Suzuki. He is the second catcher to be traded from the Nats to A’s in less than eight months.

Freitas had been hitting .271/.374/.407 in 78 games for High-A Potomac when the trade was announced this afternoon. He was the starting catcher in the 2012 Carolina League All-Star Game, the 2011 Sally League All-Star game, and the 2010 New York-Penn League All Star game.

A corresponding move has not yet been formally announced, but with the activation of Jeremy Mayo on Wednesday — which put the Hagerstown roster at three active catchers — it would appear that one of the Suns backstops will be joining the P-Nats in Winston-Salem tonight (if they’re not already there).

Aug 032012
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 54-58, T5th place I.L. North, 7½ games behind

Good Eury Perez .408/.453/.490 in 13G since callup (hit safely in every game)
Bad Austin Bibens-Dirkx 6.27ERA, 1.61WHIP in last 10 appearances
Interesting Yunesky Maya 3-1, 3.00ERA since I.L. All-Star Break (4 starts)

HARRISBURG SENATORS 53-59, 5th place E.L. West, 13½ games behind

Good Trevor Holder 2-1, 2.84 ERA in last three appearances
Bad 11-for-65 (.169) with RISP on last road trip (eight games)
Interesting Chien-Ming Wang in 2011/12 — 15GS in MLB, 16GS in Minors
(H/T Geoff Morrow of Patriot-News)

POTOMAC NATIONALS 20-20, 1st place C.L. North Division, ½ game ahead (51-59 overall)

Good Alex Meyer 1-0, 0.53ERA, 0.94WHIP, 15K in first 3 starts (17IP)
Bad 849 team batting K’s — 1st in eight-team C.L.
Interesting Erick Fernandez .393/.514/.429 in last 10 games

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 23-18, T1st place Sally League North Divison, 1 game ahead (65-45 overall)

Good Richie Mirowski 3-0, 1.76ERA in first 8 appearances
Bad Carlos Alvarez .417OPS in 13 games since callup
Interesting 167 teams SBs lead Sally League

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 27-16, 1st place Pinckney Division, N.Y.-Penn League, 3 games ahead

Good Brett Mooneyham 1-0, 1.37 ERA, 1.02WHIP in first five appearances (4GS)
Bad Jordan Poole 44K in 100AB over 28G
Interesting Estarlin Martinez .913OPS, 15G hit streak

GCL NATIONALS 16-24, 4th Place GCL East, 11 games behind

Good Austin Chubb .262/.319/.500 in 16G
Bad Adalberto Mieses 1.75WHIP in 24IP
Interesting Will Hudgins 2.93ERA, 1.08WHIP in 27⅔IP

DSL NATIONALS 28-24, 4th Place Boca Chica South Division, 8½ games behind

Good 17-y.o. Jonathan Aquino 1.06WHIP in 10⅓ IP
Bad 17-y.o. Wester Suarez .529OPS in 16G
Interesting 19-y.o. Rafael Bautista 34SB, 4CS (89.5% success rate)
Aug 032012
 

The estimable Bill “The Rocket” Ladson is reporting that IF Zach Walters has been promoted from Harrisburg to Syracuse, which has been confirmed by MASN’s Byron Kerr.

The corresponding move appears to be the reassignment of longtime National farmhand Seth Bynum from Syracuse to Harrisburg, though OF Jesus Valdez has also been placed on the temporary inactive list, a move that appears to be related to the expected up-and-back for LHP John Lannan.
Walters was acquired at the 2011 trading deadline for RHP Jason Marquis and finished the season at High-A Potomac, which was essentially a promotion as he had spent the beginning of the 2011 season with Low-A South Bend.

Walters was a late addition to Washington’s 2011 Arizona Fall League team, ostensibly going in place of Anthony Rendon, but racked up a line of just .205/.253/.301 and made six errors. He began 2012, as predicted, at Potomac but slowly before heating up in mid-May and earning a promotion to Harrisburg in mid-June.

Walters has been touted as a potential backup to current middle infielders Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi, but make no mistake: It’s his bat, not his glove that has gotten him from High-A to AAA thus far, as the errors have continue to pile up since the AFL (30 in his last 100 games). Walters can switch-hit, but he’s stronger as LHB than a RHB and has played at second base and third base as well as shortstop.

Aug 032012
 

Kevin Keyes gets congrats after his three-run HR in the 8th

After dropping the continuation from Wednesday by a 5-3 count in 10 innings, a quartet of Nationals pitchers combined for a five-hit, 8-0 shutout of the Salem Red Sox to claim sole possession of first place in the Carolina League’s Northern Division.

Nathan Karns got the win, his eighth, with five scoreless innings, which lowered his ERA from 1.84 to 1.70. But at the risk of sounding spoiled, this was not his best outing. This is not the Salem squad that finished the first half 41-28 — no Jackie Bradley Jr. (1.002 OPS), no Travis Shaw (.957).

The unofficial pitch count was 81 pitches, 45 for strikes. Three walks and a hit batsmen over five innings meant just one 1-2-3 inning and more than a couple of prolonged at-bats. The six strikeouts were nice, but Karns could have set down eight or nine against this lineup in five frames (he struck out 11 in seven in June).

Offensively, Potomac got started early for the second straight game. Three straight hits to go up 1-0, a sacrifice fly to go up 2-0, then another single to make it 3-0. With a little hesitation from J.P. Ramirez, it might have been 4-0 as the first ended with Stephen King slicing a double to right field. The two would get it done in the fourth with King ripping a double down the left field line, an error helping Ramirez to score.

As the pic above shows, the P-Nats busted the game wide open in the 8th as Adrian Sanchez singled, Ricky Hague walked, and Kevin Keyes deposited a fat fastball to left for home run #16 and RBIs 56, 57, and 58 (both team-best). Jason Martinson singled and scored on Blake Kelso’s RBI double to finish the four-run barrage.

Aaron Barrett followed Karns in the 6th and struck out the first two batters en route to his two goose eggs. Joe Testa worked around a single and a walk in the 8th to put up another zero. Rob Wort gave up a leadoff double to start the ninth then set down the next three, finishing with the strikeout to complete the team shutout.

With the win, Potomac evens its record at 20-20, a frac12; game better than Frederick and Wilmington and a full game better than Lynchburg. Salem did take two-of-three for the first opponent to win a series at the Pfitz since April. Tonight, it’s the start of a six-games-in-seven-nights stretch against the current co-leaders of the Southern Division, the Winston-Salem Dash and the Myrtle Beach. Rob Gilliam (0-0, 1.69) makes his second start.

Aug 032012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 2-0 @ Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Mandel (2-3, 2.53) vs.
Familia (7-7, 4.88)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-3
(12 inn.)
vs. Richmond,
7:00 p.m.
Holder (2-2, 5.66) vs.
Fitzgerald (7-7, 3.74)
Potomac Lost, 5-3;
Won, 8-0
@ Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Gilliam (0-0, 1.69) vs.
McCray (5-3, 3.72)
Hagerstown Won, 9-7 vs. Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Schwartz (1-0, 2.38) vs.
Dufek (5-2, 5.25)
Auburn Won, 11-3 @ Staten Island,
7:00 p.m.
Pineyro (1-1, 3.60) vs.
Flight (1-3, 5.86)
GCL Nationals Won, 4-3
(10 inn.)
@ GCL Astros,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 10-4 @ DSL Phillies,
10:30 a.m.
Valerio (1-4, 3.60) vs.
Santos (4-2, 4.21)

Syracuse 2 Buffalo 0
• Maya (W, 9-8) 7⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 7K
• Severino (H, 6) ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• MacDougal (SV, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Perez 1-3, CS
• Rivero 1-2, R, BB, HR, RBI

Three Syracuse Chiefs combined on a two-hit shutout of the Buffalo Bisons, 2-0. Yunesky Maya, who gave up one run over eight innings in his previous start, threw seven and 2/3rds scoreless to get the win, allowing just two hits and a walk while fanning seven. Atahualpa Severino got the final out of the eighth for his sixth hold while recently signed veteran Mike MacDougal pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save, his first for Syracuse this season.

Binghamton 4 Harrisburg 3 (12 inn.)
• Wang 6⅔ IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Barthmaier (L, 0-2) ⅔ IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, BB, K
• Skelton 3-3, RBI, SAC, SF
• Goodwin 3-5, BB
• Van Ostrand 2-6, R

Perhaps it’s time for a trip to AAMCO, as the Sens’ struggles in the clutch continued in a 4-3 loss to Binghamton in 12 innings. Harrisburg went 0-for-15 with RISP and left on 14 runners on. Chien-Ming Wang made his 16th rehab start over the past two seasons and gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk over six and 2/3rds innings. Jimmy Barthmaier suffered the loss, his second for Harrisburg in three appearances. The Senators collected 12 hits with the #1 and #2 batters, Brian Goodwin and James Skelton, combining for six hits.

Salem 3 Potomac 3 — GAME ONE (Comp.)
• Olbrychowski (L, 4-10) 1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 0K

It took just one and a half innings to decide the suspended game as Salem scored twice against Adam Olbrychowski to secure a 5-3 win. Potomac threatened in the 9th with a pair of one-out walks before Adrian Sanchez hit into a DP and stranded Stephen King at second after a leadoff double in the 10th.

Potomac 8 Salem 0 — GAME TWO
• Karns (W, 8-2) 5IP, 3H, 0R, 3BB, 6K, HBP
• Barrett 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Ramirez 3-4, R, RBI
• King 2-4, 2-2B

Four Potomac pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 9 West Virginia 7
• Hill 2⅔ IP, 7H, 7R, 5ER, 2BB, 0K, 0HR
• Meza (W, 7-1) 3⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Holt (SV, 3) 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Ortega 3-5, 2R, 3B, 2RBI
• Nieto 2-4, R, 2B, BB, RBI, SB, PB(14)
• Ramsey 2-4, 2R, BB, RBI

The Suns outslugged the Power, 9-7, to reclaim first place in the Sally League. Starter Taylor Hill struggled, allowing all seven West Virginia runs on seven hits and two walks and struck out none. Christian Meza and Greg Holt got the win and save respectively, combining for six and a 1/3rd no-hit, scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts. Hagerstown pounded out 12 hits with Bryce Ortega leading the hit column with a 3-for-5 night and Matt Skole connecting for his league-leading 24th home run. Roster move: C Jeremy Mayo activated from the DL.

Auburn Doubledays 11 Staten Island Yankees 3
• Lee 4⅓ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 2K
• Davis (W, 3-0) 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, 3-2 IR-S
• Martinez 3-5, R, HR, 5RBI (15-game hit streak)
• Rendon 3-4, 3R, 2-2B, RBI
• McQuillan 3-5, 2R, 2B, BB, 2RBI

Estarlin Martinez extended his hit streak to 15 games and drove in five as Auburn smacked Staten Island, 11-3. Martinez went 3-for-5 with a home run as the Doubledays pounded out 18 hits. Cody Davis let in two of three inherited runners but was credited with the win in relief of starter Nick Lee. Anthony Rendon showed no ill effects from last night’s HBP, doubling twice and scoring thrice with an RBI and two assists on defense.

GCL Nationals 4 GCL Marlins 3 (10 inn.)
• Estevez 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Anderson 4IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Foat 3-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Lippincott 2-5, 2B, RBI
• Piwnica-Worms 2-5

Brian Lippincott’s RBI double in the last of the 10th took the edge off Wilson Esuebio blowing a 3-0 lead in the 9th for a 4-3 G-Nats win over the G-Marlins. Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez made his first appearance since May 14 with two perfect innings to start the game, followed by four scoreless from Dixon Anderson and two from Bobby Lucas. Eusebio blew the 3-0 lead by giving up three in the 9th. The G-Nats rapped out 12 hits total, with Matt Foat leading the charge with a 3-for-4 afternoon, but were a woeful 1-for-8 with RISP with 10 runners left on base. Roster move: Estevez assigned to GCL (rehab).

DSL Nationals 10 DSL Pirates2 4
• Benitez (W, 2-1) 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 4BB, 6K
• Ramos 2IP, 3H, 2R, ER, BB, 2K
• Read 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 4RBI
• A. Martinez 3-5, 2R, 2-2B, RBI
• Aguero 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, 2RBI

A six-run 2nd propelled the D-Nats past the D-Pirates2 squad, 10-4. Juan Benitez got the win with five innings of one-run ball, giving up three hits and walking four while striking out six. Raudy Read led the offense with a single, double, and a home run to drive in four runs.

Aug 022012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY @ Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Maya (8-8, 3.76) vs.
Olson (4-6, 4.78)
Harrisburg Won, 3-2 @ Binghamton,
6:35 p.m.
Wang (MLB rehab) vs.
Mazzoni (4-3, 3.21)
Potomac Tied, 3-3
(suspended)
vs. Salem,
5:05 p.m. (comp.)
Karns (7-2, 1.84) vs.
Celestino (7-6, 4.34)
Hagerstown Won, 12-7 @ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Hill (9-6, 4.72) vs.
Von Rosenberg (3-4, 3.73)
Auburn Won, 10-5 @ Staten Island,
11:00 a.m.
Lee (1-0, 3.38) vs.
Black (0-0, 2.49)
GCL Nationals Won, 5-2 vs. GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
Santana (1-3, 7.13) vs.
TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 8-3 @ DSL Pirates2,
10:30 a.m.
Valdez (2-1, 7.02) vs.
Sanchez (3-3, 3.03)

SYRACUSE CHIEFS — OFF DAY
It’s six straight games against the Bisons with a four-game series in Buffalo over the weekend and two in Syracuse early next week.

Harrisburg 3 Binghamton 2
• Pucetas (W, 7-4) 5IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• McCoy (SV, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Skelton 2-4, R, 2B
• Bloxom 2-4, R, 2B

Kevin Pucetas and a quartet of relievers combined to limit the Binghamton Mets to just five hits as the Harrisburg Senators broke a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 win in upstate New York. Pucetas went the first five innings with one run allowed on three hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Paul Demny, Marcos Frias, Hector Nelo, and Pat McCoy each threw an inning, combining for four innings, with one unearned run on two hits and three walks. Justin Bloxom and James Skelton both went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored to lead the Senators offense.

Salem 3 Potomac 3 — SUSP.
• Meyer 5IP, 6H, R, ER, 3BB, 3K
• Carr 2IP, 2H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, K
• Holland 2IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Werth 2-3, R, 2B, BB
• Taylor 2-4, R, 2B
• Hague 2-4, R, RBI

Sorry, no LNIW for this one, which was suspended at 3-3 in bottom of the 9th after raining off-and-on for most of the evening. It will be completed tonight at 5:05 with the regularly scheduled contest at 7:05 p.m. Alex Meyer started and turned in five innings with one run allowed but also gave up six hits and three walks — all with two outs in the 4th. With a rehabbing Jayson Werth leading off and playing in CF, Potomac scored its three runs in the bottom of the first, with a double from Werth and singles from Michael Taylor, Ricky Hague, and Jason Martinson. Salem tied it in the 7th with three steals and a pair of singles, taking advantage of a hit batsmen and a passed ball.

Hagerstown 12 West Virginia 7
• Rauh (W, 1-1) 5IP, 8H, 5R, 4ER, 3BB, 3K
• Bates (SV, 3) ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 3-0 IR-S
• Jimenez 3-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI
• Miller 3-5, 2RBI
• Ortega 3-5, 3R
• Skole 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, BB, 4RBI

Hagerstown pounded out 17 hits en route to a 12-7 win over West Virginia, reclaiming a share of first place in the Sally League North. Brian Rauh got the “W” despite a subpar line of five runs on eight hits and three walks over five innings. Six Suns collected multiple hits, three notched three safeties, with Matt Skole leading the total-base count with six, thanks to a double and his league-leading 23rd home run, which increased his RBI tally to 80 (2nd in the Sally). Colin Bates got the cheapest save possible by the rules, retiring one batter in the 9th with with bases loaded and a five-run lead.

Auburn Doubledays 10 Staten Island Yankees 5
• Encarnacion 5IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 5K, HR
• Henke 2⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, 2-0 IR-S
• Renda 3-6, R, 2-2B, SB(10)
• Kieboom 3-4, 2-2B, BB, 3RBI
• Rendon 1-2, R

Apparently, it’s a rule that all games in New York City must take nearly four hours, as the Auburn Doubledays outslugged the Staten Island Yankees, 10-5 in three hours and 45 minutes (plus a 15-minute rain delay). The lead changed hands five times before Auburn scored the last five runs in the 7th and 8th innings. Starter Pedro Encarnacion got the no-decision with three runs allowed on seven hits and three walks. Reliever Travis Henke earned the win with two and 1/3rd perfect innings, striking out three. Obligatory Anthony Rendon mention: Played third base and went 1-for-2 with a run scored but left game the half-inning afterbeing hit by a pitch near his left ankle (he was not taken out for a pinch-runner).

GCL Nationals 5 GCL Marlins 2
• Vasquez (W, 2-6) 5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 3K
• Dicharry (H, 1) 3IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Piwinica-Worms 3-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Lippincott 2-5, 2-2B, 2RBI
• Jennings 2-4, R, BB, 2SB

The G-Nats posted a picket fence in the first three innings and snapped a two-game slide with a 5-2 win. Daury Vasquez got the start and the win with both Marlins runs allowed on four hits and three walks and three strikeouts. The G-Nats collected 11 hits total with Will Piwinica-Worms leading the hit column with a 3-for-5 game. Hayden Jennings, who shares a birthday with some kid named Bryce Harper, led off and went 2-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and two stolen bases.

DSL Nationals 8 DSL Pirates2 3
• Valdez 4IP, 3H, 2R, 0ER, 3BB, 2K
• Chavez (W, 2-0) 3IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Bautista 3-5, R, RBI, SB
• Aguero 2-3, BB, RBI
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-5, R, RBI

The D-Nats twice put up three-spots in the scorebook en route to an 8-3 win over the DSL Pirates2. Philips Valdez started and went the first four innings, giving up two unearned runs on three hits and three walks while setting down two on strikes. Jose Chavez got the win in relief with three scoreless innings, with four hits allowed and three strikeouts. Rafael Bautista paced the 12-hit attack with a 3-for-5 effort, scoring a run, driving in a run and stealing base #34.

Aug 012012
 

It took six innings for the P-Nats bats to show signs of life, but it was too little, too late as the Salem Red Sox withstood four runs late to win this one, 5-4.

Of course, credit for the offensive coma should go to Salem’s Keith Couch, who tossed six scoreless innings and allowed just three hits, no walks, and struck out seven to even his record at 8-8. In his previous start, he’d scattered ten hits over nine innings for a one-run complete game.

Conversely, Matt Grace was charged with the loss and ended a modest two-game win streak. The 23-year-old southpaw was charged with five runs on seven hits and two walks over five innings.

The bulk of the damage came in two big innings, as Grace’s propensity to give up long, loud hits returned — a home run and a double in the three-run 3rd, a double sandwiched between two sharp singles in the two-run 4th.

Potomac awoke in the 7th as the team’s two Steves (Souza and King) combined to break up the shutout bid. Souza had pulled up lame in Sunday’s contest, but the strain was not evident when the big fella (6’3″, 220) launched a shot to the warning track in center and cruised into third with an easy triple. Two batters later, King bounced one back up the middle to push Souza across the plate for a 5-1 tally.

The P-Nats added two more in the 8th when Michael Taylor singled to center and came around to score on an RBI double by Ricky Hague. Reliever Pete Ruiz gift-wrapped the second run by botching a tapper back to the mound that was incorrectly ruled a hit, then threw past the first baseman for an error that sent in Hague and took away an RBI chance for Souza, who singled for his third hit of the night (he had doubled in the 5th).

Following Grace from the ‘pen, and helping to make this drama possible, was a solid relief outing by Matt Swynenberg: Four scoreless innings, one hit, two walks, and one hit batsmen. It wasn’t pretty — just one 1-2-3 inning — but it got the job done.

Potomac rallied for the third straight time in the final frame, as Kevin Keyes lined a single to left and J.P. Ramirez hit a flyball that was ruled a single despite the shortstop standing flatfooted and missing the catch. Taylor struck out and Sanchez bounced one to second that erased pinch-runner Francisco Soriano. Hague drove in Keyes with another hit, an RBI single to left that cut the lead to one.

It was everything that a fan could hope for: a comeback from five runs down, two men on, two man out, and the cleanup hitter at the plate. Well, except for the strikeout by David Freitas that ended it .

With the loss, Potomac falls to 19-19 in the second half, but remains tied with Lynchburg for first place and a ½ game ahead of second-place Wilmington and 1½ games ahead of third-place Frederick in the Carolina League’s Northern Division

Aug 012012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-6 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Lost, 3-2 @ Binghamton,
6:35 p.m.
Demny (6-6, 5.40) vs.
Germen (6-7, 4.60)
Potomac Lost, 5-4 vs. Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Meyer (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Workman (7-6, 3.28)
Hagerstown Lost, 4-2 @ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Rauh (0-1, 6.23) vs.
Jefferson (4-6, 4.81)
Auburn OFF DAY @ Staten Island,
7:00 p.m.
Encarnacion (3-1, 4.26) vs.
Rutckyj (3-4, 3.95)
GCL Nationals Lost, 12-4 @ GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
Vasquez (1-6, 3.90) vs.
Beltre (0-5, 3.52)
DSL Nationals Won, 6-3 @ DSL Pirates2,
10:30 a.m.
Valdez (2-1, 7.02) vs.
Sanchez (3-3, 3.03)

Lehigh Valley 8 Syracuse 6
• Bibens-Dirkx (L, 0-3) 1⅓ IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, K
• Atkins 2⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, 3-0 IR-S
• Valdez 3-4, R, 2B, HR, BB, 4RBI
• Perez 2-3, 2R, BB, 3SB
• Hoffpauir 2-4, 2RBI

A four-run 2nd knocked out starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx and three-run 5th opened up a 4-3 ballgame as Lehigh Valley beat Syracuse 8-6 in a midday slugfest. The IronPigs belted out 16 hits off six pitchers, with Bibens-Dirkx taking the loss. Jesus Valdez smacked a three-run home run to pull the Chiefs within one at 7-6 in the last of the 5th and led the offense with a 3-for-4 game and 4RBI total. Eury Perez continues to hit, going 2-for-3 with a walk and three stolen bases. Roster moves: OF Chad Tracy recalled to Washington, OF Corey Brown optioned back from Washington.

Binghamton 3 Harrisburg 2
• Rosenbaum (L, 7-8) 6IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Broderick 2IP, 2H, 0R, BB, K
• Walters 2-4, R, 2B
• Pahuta 2-4, R, HR, RBI

Make that five straight losses for the Senators as Harrisburg whiffed 17 times in a 3-2 decision against Binghamton. Danny Rosenbaum lost for the seventh time over the past two months, giving up all three runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks while striking out four. Zach Walters and Tim Pahuta both went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two strikeouts, as the Senators got just five runners into scoring position and left six baserunners on base. Roster moves: OF Chris Rahl placed on the 7-Day DL, OF Jonathan Tucker signed from the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League and assigned to Harrisburg.

Salem 5 Potomac 4
• Grace (L, 6-10) 5IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Swynenberg 4IP, H, 0R, 2BB, 3K, HBP
• Hague 3-5, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Souza 3-4, R, 2B, 3B

It was too little, too late Last Night In Woodbridge.

West Virginia 4 Hagerstown 2
• Jordan (L, 0-1) 5IP, 4H, 4R, 0ER, BB, 2K
• Mirowski 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Miller 2-4, R
• Higley 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Alvarez 2-3

Four errors led to four unearned runs as Hagerstown fell into second place with a 4-2 loss to first-place West Viringia, 4-2. Taylor Jordan took the loss with all four runs allowed on four hits and a walk while striking out two. The Suns outhit the Power 9-6 with three players (Carlos Alvarez, Justin Miller, and Cole Leonida) combining for six singles but the only scoring came off the bat of J.R. Higley, a two-run HR in the 7th.

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS — OFF DAY
It’s a six-game swing through New York City with three against the Staten Island Yankees and three against the Brooklyn Cyclones, the second (and final) road trip outside of Western Pennsylvania and New York for Auburn. MASN’s Byron Kerr is reporting that 3B Anthony Rendon will remain with the team and will continue to play 3B for roughly six innings, act as DH the next game, then rest the game after that for the immediate (and naturally, unspecified) future.

GCL Cardinals 12 GCL Nationals 4
• Selsor (L, 0-2) 4⅓ IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Santana 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Albaladejo 2-4, BB, 2RBI
• Difo 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Jennings 2-4, 2R, 2SB

A six-run 5th followed by a five-run 6th erased an early 2-1 lead as the G-Cards pummeled the G-Nats, 12-4. Starter Casey Selsor took the loss with six runs charged on seven hits over four and a 1/3rd innings to push his ERA to 6.12 and WHIP to 1.72, with relievers Mike Mudron and Gilberto Mendez getting roughed up for four runs and two runs respectively. Nineteen-year-old Hayden Jennings was one of three G-Nats to collect multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases.

DSL Nationals 6 DSL “Redbacks” 3
• Silvestre (W, 4-3) 6IP, 5H, 3R, 1ER, BB, 9K
• Sanchez (H, 1) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 4BB, 3K
• Novas 2-4, 2R
• Cerda 2-3, 2R, 2B, 2BB, SB

A four-run broke open a 2-0 game as the D-Nats cruised to a 6-3 win over the Arizona/Cincinnati co-op. Hector Silvestre won his 4th game with six innings pitched, all three “Redbacks” runs allowed on five hits and a walk while striking out nine. Kevin Cerda went 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen pace to lead the 10-hit attack. Roster move: 20-y.o. Venezuelan RHP David Ramos assigned from Washington.