Blake Schwartz Named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week

Blake SchwartzApparently, nine shutout innings trumps eight no-hit innings.

Blake Schwartz got the nod for the weekly honors over Wilmington’s Sam Selman, in large part because Selman got knocked around five days earlier by the P-Nats in a 5-3 loss.

This, of course, does not diminish the accomplishment of Schwartz, who probably would have won on any other night with just five hits let up over nine innings with no walks and four strikeouts.

The 23-year-old Minnesota native currently leads the Nationals organization in wins (13) and is third in ERA (2.42), WHIP (0.98) and opp. BA (.215). He was a 17th-Round pick in the 2012 Draft out of Oklahoma City University (NAIA), where he spent his senior season after three previous seasons with Minnesota State (Div. II).

Schwartz was also named to this site’s “Notable Arms” on the 2013 Watchlist, in large part because he made the rare jump from the GCL to the Suns last summer. He is the third Potomac pitcher to win the weekly award, following Taylor Hill (April 15-21) and two-time winner A.J. Cole (April 22-28, June 10-16).

Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 3-1 @ Rochester,
7:05 p.m.
Clay (4-2, 2.38) vs.
Walters (6-4, 3.97)
Harrisburg Won, 5-4 vs. Altoona,
7:00 p.m.
Karns (8-6, 3.32) vs.
Baker (3-3, 6.59)
Potomac Won, 6-2 vs. Wilmington,
7:05 p.m.
Demny (1-2, 4.35) vs.
Santiago (3-2, 4.86)
Hagerstown Lost, 3-2 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn Lost, 10-5 vs. Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
Orlan (1-4, 3.81) vs.
Garner (0-1, 1.41)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY vs. GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
Ott (2-0, 4.23) vs.
Westmoreland (0-5, 6.67)

Charlotte 3 Syracuse 1
• Mandel (L, 3-9) 5⅔ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Kimball 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Brown 1-2, 2BB
• Johnson 1-3

Syracuse missed its chance to climb out of last place in the I.L. North, losing again to Charlotte, 3-1. Jeff Mandel was charged with all three Knights runs on five hits and two walks over five and 2/3rds as Tyler Robertson couldn’t strand either of the two runners he inherited. The Chiefs were held to just four hits and four walks, with Corey Brown leading the way with a single and two walks.

Harrisburg 5 Erie 4
• Ray 4IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 6K, HR
• Herron (W, 6-2) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Barrett (SV, 26) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Souza 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Nicol 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Bloxom 2-3, BB

Harrisburg regained first place with a 5-4 comeback win over Erie that split the four-game series. Robbie Ray struggled to last last four innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks while throwing 73 pitches. He struck out six. Sean Nicol’s RBI double capped a three-run 8th as the Senators scored the last five runs of the game. With the win, the magic number to clinch a playoff spot is six, nine to take the division.

Potomac 6 Wilmington 2
• Purke 5+ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, K, HR
• Henke 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Dykstra 3-4, R, 2B, HR, BB, 2RBI
• Gilmartin 1-2, 2BB, RBI
• Taylor 1-2, 2BB, 2SB (44, 45)

Potomac snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-2 win over Wilmington. Starter Matt Purke got the win, going five-plus innings with two runs allowed on three hits, including a double and a home run by Blue Rocks’ graybeard Dennis Raben. The TCU product walked five and struck out just one while earning his fourth win. Cutter Dykstra was a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with a walk and two RBI as the P-Nats took advantage of seven walks to score six times on eight hits. The victory ties the franchise record for wins in a single season at 80 and surpasses the record of 79 as a Nats affiliate set in 2008 and tied in 2009.

Greensboro 3 Hagerstown 2
• Turnbull 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 3K
• Mendez (L, 3-2) 1⅓ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 4K
• Renda 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
• McQuillan 2-4, 2B, RBI

After Tony Renda’s solo shot in the 8th tied it, Greensboro rallied for the gamewinner with two outs in the 9th on a single-walk-single sequence for a 3-2 triumph over Hagerstown. Gilberto Mendez took the loss while striking out four over an inning and a 1/3rd as the third reliever out of the Suns ‘pen. Starter Kylin Turnbull gave up two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three. Renda, Mike McQuillan, and Khayyan Norfork each had two hits. The rest of the lineup had one.

Auburn 10 State College 5
• Barrientos (L, 1-5) 3IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, 3BB, 2K, HR
• Reistetter 3-4, 2R, 3B, BB, RBI
• Yezzo 3-4, R, RBI
• Gunter 2-4, R

A five-run 1st by State College erased an early 1-0 deficit to Auburn, as the Doubledays lost again, 10-5. Joel Barrientos wore a collar of six runs on three walks and seven hits, including home run in his third and final inning. He struck out two while losing his fifth game. Matt Reistetter and James Yezzo both went 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead Auburn’s 11-hit, four-walk offense.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
It’s the final week of the regular season with a pair against the Marlins and a pair against the Cardinals. The next win clinches the best winning percentage ever in the GCL. Three wins gets them to 50.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 vs. Charlotte,
5:00 p.m.
Mandel (3-8, 4.78) vs.
Berken (10-12, 4.10)
Harrisburg Won, 8-2 vs. Erie,
2:00 p.m.
Ray (4-2, 3.86) vs.
Crouse (8-10, 4.63)
Potomac Lost, 1-0 (10 inn.) vs. Wilmington,
6:05 p.m.
Purke (3-3, 4.94) vs.
Davis (0-0, 2.70)
Hagerstown Won, 5-1 vs. Greensboro,
1:05 p.m.
Turnbull (6-5, 3.88) vs.
James (2-6, 6.14)
Auburn Lost, 7-0 @ State College,
6:05 p.m.
Barrientos (1-4, 6.38) vs.
Herget (5-0, 2.34)
GCL Nationals Won, 2-0 OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals Lost, 4-2 END OF SEASON N/A

Charlotte 5 Syracuse 4
• Maya 6⅓ IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K
• Krol (BS, 1; L, 0-1) ⅓ IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 0K, 2-2 IR-S
• Rahl 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Walters 1-3, R, BB, RBI

Syracuse’s five-game winning streak ground to a halt with Charlotte’s four-run 7th as the Knights edged the Chiefs, 5-4. Ian Krol took the loss, letting in two runners and giving two of his own as he retired just one of four batters faced. Yunesky Maya got the no-decision, charged with three runs on seven hits and two walks over six and a 1/3rd innings while striking out six. Chris Rahl singled and homered as Syracuse scored four times on four hits and seven walks.

Harrisburg 8 Erie 2
• Swynenberg 4⅔ IP, 6H, 0R, 3BB, 5K
• Perry (W, 2-5) 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 0K, 2-0 IR-S
• Nicol 2-3, 2R, 3B, BB, 2RBI
• Burns 2-5, 2R, RBI
• Souza 2-5, 2B, RBI, OF assist at HP

Sean Nicol’s two-run triple highlighted a three-run 6th as Harrisburg snapped a three-game skid and sliced Erie’s lead to a half-game with an 8-2 win. Matt Swynenberg was one out shy of getting the win which went to Ryan Perry for stranding two in the 5th, albeit on an outfield kill by Steve Souza Jr., and working around a single and a pair of two-out walks in the 6th. Nicol, Souza, and Billy Burns each had multiple hits and combined to score four runs and drive in four.

Wilmington 1 Potomac 0 (10 inn.)
• Schwartz 9IP, 5H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Benincasa (L, 0-4) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, K
• Dykstra 1-5, 2B
• Soriano 1-4

Potomac was no-hit for eight innings before Cutter Dykstra greeted Wilmington reliever Andrew Edwards with a leadoff double off the CF wall. With the score being 0-0 (read: not “scoreless”), Potomac had the chance to win a 1-0 game with a run in the bottom of the ninth for the first time since June 21, 2009. After a sacrifice sent Dykstra to third, the Blue Rocks intentionally walked the next two batters. A Kevin Keyes whiff and a Justin Miller groundout ended the inning. Robert Benincasa took over for Blake Schwartz in the top of the 10th and lost for the fourth time with a pair of one-out singles and sacrifice fly. Francisco Soriano got the second P-Nats hit with two outs in the bottom of the 10th but went no further as Dykstra grounded out to end it for Potomac’s fourth straight loss.

Hagerstown 5 Greensboro 1
• Lee (W, 6-4) 5IP, 5H, 0R, 4BB, 2K
• Dickson (SV, 2) 4IP, 6H, R, ER, 0BB, 5K
• McQuillan 2-3, R, BB, RBI
• Martinez 2-4, 2B

Hagerstown rallied for three in the 7th to break open a 2-0 game as they evened the series with Greensboro with a 5-1 win. Nick Lee won his sixth game with five shutout innings, though he walked four and struck out just two. Ian Dickson finished the game, scattering six hits and giving up a run in the 9th for his second save. Mike McQuillan reached base three times with a walks and two singles to lead the Suns attack of eight hits and five walks.

State College 7 Auburn 0
• Ullmann 6IP, 6H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Mudron 1⅓ IP, 5H, 7R, 6ER, 5BB, K, 2WP
• Ballou 1-4, 2B
• Zebrack 0-3, ⅔IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 3-1 IR-S

The wheels came off the bus in the bottom of the 8th as State College scored all seven runs in their final “ups” in a 7-0 shutout of the Doubledays. Starter Ryan Ullmann pitched six scoreless innings, allowing six hits and a walk while fanning two. Mike Mudron coughed up seven runs in the fateful frame, walking four (one intentionally) while getting just one of ten batters out. CF Greg Zebrack got the final two outs while stranding two of three inherited runners. The Doubledays were held to just three hits and three walks while striking out 12 times on offense.

GCL Nationals 2 GCL Mets 0
• Silvestre (W, 7-0) 5IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• P. Valdez (H, 2) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Walsh (SV, 8) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Bautista 2-4
• Guzman 1-3, R, 2B

Three wild pitches scored both G-Nats runs while three G-Nats pitchers combined on a four-hit, no-walk shutout for a 2-0 win over the G-Mets. Hector Silvestre improved to 7-0 with five scoreless innings, with three hits allowed, no walks and five strikeouts. Wilmer Difo singled, stole second, and came in on G-Mets starter Yoryi Nuez’s 2nd and 3rd wild pitches in the 4th. An inning later, Luis Guzman doubled, and came in on Nuez’s 4th and 5th wild pitches. Philips Valdez and Jake Walsh each put up two zeros on the visitor’s scoreboard to earn the hold (2nd) and save (8th) respectively.
Roster move: C Geoffrey Perrott (17th-round pick out of Rice Univ.) assigned from Washington.

DSL Cardinals 4 DSL Nationals 2
• Morales 4IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 5K
• Feliz (L, 4-2) 2IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K
• Ortiz 1-2, 2R, 2B, 2BB
• Tillero 2-4, RBI

After twice rallying from one-run deficits, the D-Nats gave up a two in the 9th to fall 4-2 to the D-Cards in the season finale. John Feliz took the loss, allowing a pair of singles and a triple in the final frame. Starter Jose Morales went the first four innings, letting in an unearned run on two hits and a walk while setting down five on strikes. Oliver Ortiz scored both D-Nats runs, walking twice while going 1-for-2 with a double as the D-Nats were held to just five hits. The D-Nats finished the 2013 season at 38-31, a ½ game better than the 2012 edition but in fourth place instead of third in the Boca Chica South.

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 8-1 vs. Charlotte,
7:00 p.m.
Maya (8-7, 3.90) vs.
Johnson (3-1, 1.59)
Harrisburg Lost, 9-5 vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Swynenberg (4-0, 3.39) vs.
Perez (1-0, 6.75)
Potomac Lost, 3-2 (11 inn.) vs. Wilmington,
6:35 p.m.
Schwartz (11-4, 2.76) vs.
Selman (10-9, 3.77)
Hagerstown Lost, 9-1 vs. Greensboro,
7:05 p.m.
Lee (5-4, 4.19) vs.
Brice (8-9, 5.52)
Auburn Lost, 9-3 @ State College,
7:05 p.m.
Ullmann (1-2, 6.66) vs.
Reed (3-2, 2.36)
GCL Nationals Lost, 4-3 vs. GCL Mets,
10:00 a.m.
P. Valdez (3-0, 2.17) vs.
Church (2-3, 6.43)
DSL Nationals Lost, 5-2 vs. DSL Cardinals,
10:30 a.m.

Syracuse 8 Charlotte 1
• Rosenbaum (W, 7-10) 6IP, 6H, R, ER, 3BB, 4K
• Krol 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Kobernus 2-3, R, 2-2B, 2BB, RBI, CS
• Brown 3-5, R, RBI
• Watts 2-4, 2-2B, 2RBI

Danny Rosenbaum snapped a three-game losing streak while Syracuse extended its win streak to five with an 8-1 decision over Charlotte. The 25-y.o. southpaw allowed one run on six hits and three walks while striking out four for his seventh win. He watched from the dugout as the offense exploded for seven runs over their last three “ups” and three relievers turned in a scoreless inning each. Jeff Kobernus reached base four times on two doubles and two walks as the Chiefs pounded out 13 hits for the second straight game.
Roster moves: LHP Xavier Cedeno, C Jhonatan Solano recalled to Washington; C Jeff Howell activated, reassigned from Harrisburg.

Erie 9 Harrisburg 5
• Hill 5+ IP, 6H, 5R, 4ER, BB, 5K, 2HR
• Grace (L, 5-2) 1IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, K, HBP
• Souza 2-4, R, 2SB
• Bloxom 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Nicol 2-4, R

The offense got the boost it’s been missing with the return of Steve Souza Jr., but the pitchers couldn’t stand the prosperity of a 5-1 lead. Erie rallied for four in the 6th to tie, then four more in the 9th to win it, 9-5. Starter Taylor Hill was roughed up for five runs (four earned) on six hits and a walk in five-plus innings, letting the first six batters reach base in the 6th, and leaving with the bases loaded and a 5-4 lead. Tyler Herron couldn’t strand all three for the blown save. Souza, Justin Bloxom, and Sean Nicol each went 2-for-4 as the Senators notched nine hits total, though just one after the game was tied. Matt Grace took the loss, giving up the second four-spot on four hits in the 9th. Roster moves: OF Steven Souza Jr. activated from the 7-Day DL; IF Jose Lozada placed on the 7-day DL.

Winston-Salem 3 Potomac 2 (11 inn.)
• Solis 5IP, 6H, R, ER, 2BB, 3K
• Holt 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Ramsey 3-5, OF assists at 1B, 3B, E
• Sanchez 2-5, R

Potomac remains flat as they were swept at the Pfitz for the first time this season with a 3-2 loss to Winston-Salem in 11 innings. Sammy Solis got the start and went five innings, giving up a run on six hits and two walks while striking out three. He was in line for the win thanks in large part to the Dash defense giving away two in the 2nd on a passed ball and double steal attempt that saw the run score before the third out was made. The P-Nats returned the favor with an unearned run in the 8th, “thanks” to a passed ball with one out that moved up two runners into scoring position and a dropped flyball that sent in the equalizer. The Dash won it in the 11th with single and a double with one out off Brian Dupra, the fourth Potomac reliever of the night. Caleb Ramsey led the offense with a 3-for-5 game and cut down two runners but committed the critical error in the 8th.

Greensboro 9 Hagerstown 1
• Johansen (L, 0-1) 4⅔ IP, 6H, 5R, 4ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Self 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• McQuillan 2-3, BB
• Ramos 2-4, RBI

Jake Johansen became the latest promoted pitcher to learn there’s a difference between the levels as Greensboro schooled him for five runs in a 9-1 win over Hagerstown. The Nats’ top draft pick went four and 2/3rds innings, walked two, struck out three, but gave up six hits including a two-run shot in the 4th. The Grasshoppers scored in three of the five innings he began. Offensively, the Suns were held to five hits, with two singles apiece coming off the bats of Mike McQuillan and “Help Me” Wander Ramos and a double from Will Piwinica-Worms. Roster move: RHP Dakota Bacus assigned from Washington.

State College 9 Auburn 3
• Simms (L, 0-2) 3⅔ IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, K
• Napoli 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Lippincott 2-4, R, HR, 3RBI
• Foat 1-3, BB

State College scored in five consecutive innings, building a 6-0 lead before Auburn answered and pranced to a 9-3 win. John Simms lost his first career start, giving up two runs on six hits, walking none, setting down one on strikes. Silvio Medina became the latest victim of the GBI curse, letting in two inherited runners and four of his own over two and a 1/3rd innings. Bryan Lippincott drove in all three Doubleday runs, breaking up the shutout with solo home run in the 7th and plating two in the 8th with a single.

GCL Mets 4 GCL Nationals 3
• Reyes (L, 0-1) 4IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, K, HR
• Waterman 3IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, K
• Mejia 2-4, R
• Gordon 1-3, R, OF assist at 3B

The G-Nats latest win streak came to an end with a soul-crushing 4-3 loss to the G-Mets. DSL callup Luis Reyes made his first stateside start but was roughed up for three runs on four hits, including a two-run homer in the 4th. The 18-y.o. Venezuelan walked two and struck out one. The G-Nats rallied for two in the 9th and had the tying run at second with one out, but couldn’t push across the equalizer as Hayden Jennings whiffed and Rafael Bautista tapped back to the mound. Bryan Mejia led the G-Nats offense with a 2-for-4 game, including a 9th-inning single and run.

DSL Cardinals 5 DSL Nationals 2
• Sanchez (L, 2-3) 6IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 6K
• Pena 2IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, HR
• Alvarez 3-4, RBI
• Corredor 1-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI

The D-Cards erupted for three in the 7th to break open a 2-1 game and went on to defeat the D-Nats 5-2. Starter Mario Sanchez turned in a quality start of two runs allowed on six hits and a walk with six K’s, but took his third loss. The offense was limited to four hits by two players: leadoff man Aldrem Corredor, who went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI, and no. 2 batter Thomas Alvarez, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Good, Bad, Interesting – Vol. 19

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 63-70, 6th place I.L. North, 9½ games behind

Good Caleb Clay 4-2, 2.38 ERA, 1.03 WHIP since promotion from Harrisburg
Bad Danny Espinosa .538 OPS in August (19 games)
Interesting Cole Kimball 2.57 ERA, 1.00 WHIP in last five appearances (8/10-20)
(21.94, 3.19 in five appearances from 7/25-8/7)

HARRISBURG SENATORS 69-62, 2nd place E.L. West, ½ game behind

Good Richie Mirowski 1-0, 1.59 ERA, 14K in seven August appearances (11⅓ IP)
Bad 67 steals, 62.6% success rate (both league worst)
Interesting 7 of 11 remaining games against current 1st- (Erie) and 3rd-place (Richmond) teams;
other four against last-place Altoona

POTOMAC NATIONALS 37-22, 1st place C.L. North, 7½ games ahead (79-49 overall)

Good Caleb Ramsey .342/.379/.367 in August (20 games)
Bad Most pitching HRs allowed in the Carolina League…
Interesting … yet still leads Carolina League at 4.15 R/G

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 38-22, 2nd place Sally North, 1½ games ahead (76-51 overall)

Good Tony Renda .343/.465/.457 in last 10 games
Bad Um, no complete games?
Interesting Seven players with double digits in steals

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 22-40, 6th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 16½ games behind (eliminated)

Good Silvio Medina 12.8K/9IP (44K in 31IP)
Bad Cody Dent 3-for-30, 9K over last 10 games
Interesting 426 Team Batting K’s 4th best (fewest) in NYPL

Editor’s note: Due to time constraints, the GCL and DSL are being skipped for this edition. The next GBI will be published after the close of the regular season.

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 8-5 vs. Charlotte,
7:00 p.m.
Rosenbaum (6-10, 3.88) vs.
Stewart (5-13, 4.80)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-1 vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Hill (2-6, 2.18) vs.
Saupold (7-5, 3.18)
Potomac Lost, 6-2 vs. Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Solis (2-0, 2.81) vs.
Van Skike (3-5, 2.85)
Hagerstown Won, 8-3 vs. Greensboro,
7:05 p.m.
Dickson (4-3, 4.69)
Johansen (Low-A debut) vs.
Oliver (4-4, 5.13)
Auburn Won, 4-3 (12 inn.) @ State College,
7:05 p.m.
Ullmann (1-2, 6.66)
Simms (0-1, 4.29) vs.
Reed (3-2, 2.36)
GCL Nationals Won, 7-6 @ GCL Mets,
12:00 p.m.
Silvestre (6-0, 2.03) vs.
Herrmann (0-4, 9.60)
DSL Nationals Won, 2-1 @ DSL Cardinals,
10:30 a.m.

Syracuse 8 Charlotte 5
• Tatusko 5IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 5BB, 2K, WP
• Robertson (W, 4-2) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Brown 3-5, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Perez 2-3, R, 3B, BB, 3RBI, CS, HBP
• Kobernus 2-4, R, 2B, SAC

Eury Perez’s three-run triple highlighted a four-run 7th as the Chiefs won their fourth straight, 8-5, over the Knights. Syracuse rapped out a baker’s dozen of hits, with Corey Brown leading the charge with a single, double, and a homer (#18) and two runs scored. Tyler Robertson got the win with two perfect innings in relief. Starter Ryan Tatusko labored through five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and five walks for the no-decision.

Erie 4 Harrisburg 1
• Cole (L, 3-2) 6IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 9K
• McCoy 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Rivero 1-3, R, 2B, BB
• Hood 2-3

In battle of the E.L. West’s top two teams, Erie reclaimed 1st place with a 4-1 win over Harrisburg. A.J. Cole turned in his fifth quality start out of six for the Sens, letting in three runs on four hits, no walks, and striking out nine, but lost for the second time. Carlos Rivero doubled and scored a run, Destin Hood singled twice, while the rest of the Harrisburg lineup went 3-for-26 with a walk. Patriot News beat writer Geoff Morrow is reporting that OF Steve Souza Jr. will rejoin the team today after finishing up a four-game rehab tour of Viera.

Winston-Salem 6 Potomac 2
• Mooneyham (L, 0-1) 3IP, 5H, 6R, 6ER, 6BB, K, HR
• Bates 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Oduber 1-3, 3B, BB, RBI
• Taylor 1-3, BB, RBI

Brett Mooneyham and the strike zone were barely acquainted in his Carolina League debut as he walked six and gave up six runs in a 6-2 loss to Winston-Salem. The southpaw threw 75 pitches in three innings, giving up five hits, including a first-pitch fastball that Dash catcher Kevan Smith launched some 25′ over CF wall. Colin Bates, Travis Henke, and Rob Wort combined for six shutout innings. The P-Nats bats, however, were silent until the final two innings, when Michael Taylor drew a bases-loaded walk to break up the shutout in the 8th and Randolph Oduber tripled in the second run in the 9th.

Hagerstown 8 Lakewood 3
• Voth 4⅔ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 4K, 2WP
• Davis (W, 2-3) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K, 1-0 IR-S
• McQuillan 3-4, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
• Piwinica-Worms 3-4, 2R

Hagerstown broke a 3-3 tie with a five-run 7th en route to an 8-3 win over Lakewood. Austin Voth (ryhmes with both) got the no-decision in his Sally League debut, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk over four and 2/3rds innings. Cody Davis finished out the 5th and pitched a scoreless 6th and got the win. Mike McQuillan and Will Piwinica-Worms both went 3-for-4 to lead the 10-hit Suns offense.

Auburn 4 Batavia 3 (12 inn.)
• Pivetta 4IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 2K
• Cooper (W, 1-1) 3IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, K
• Ballou 4-6, R, 2-2B, 3RBI
• Gunter 3-4, 2B, 3B, BB
• Lippincott 3-6, 2B

Auburn rallied for two in the 9th to tie and pushed across the deciding run in the 12th for a 4-3 win over Batavia. Three relievers combined for eight scoreless innings to make the comeback possible, with Andrew Cooper getting the win. Starter Nick Pivetta was touched for all three Muckdog runs on five hits and a walk while striking out two. Isaac Ballou singled twice, doubled twice, scored once, and knocked in three to lead the Doubledays attack.

GCL Nationals 7 GCL Cardinals 6
• J. Rodriguez 1⅔ IP, 1H, R, ER, 4BB, 0K
• Sylvestri (W, 1-0) 3IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• R. Encarnacion 2-4, SB
• Difo 1-3, 2R, BB, RBI, SB
• Souza 1-3, 2R, BB, SB

A four-run 2nd gave the G-Nats a 6-1 lead after two. They led 7-2 after five. The G-Cards rallied for three in the 8th, one in the 9th, but couldn’t tie as the G-Nats won again, 7-6. Michael Sylvestri got the win in relief with three scoreless innings. Starter Jefry Rodriguez gave up the G-Cards run on one hit and four walks over and inning and 2/3rds. Randy Encarnacion led the nine-hit offensive effort with a 2-for-4 game as the G-Nats drew two walks and stole five bases.

DSL Nationals 2 DSL Orioles2 1
• Yrizarri (W, 5-3) 5IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Reynoso (H, 6) 2⅓ IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• Salazar (SV, 13) 1⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 1-1 IR-S
• Ortiz 1-3, R, 2B, BB
• Florentino 0-2, BB, RBI, OF assist at HP

The D-Nats had a no-hitter through seven but needed an outfield kill in the 9th to secure the 2-1 win. Geremias Gil doubled to lead off the 9th for the D-Orioles2 and tried to come in on the subsequent single but was gunned down by CF Darryl Florentino. All-Star closer Melvi Salazar finished out the 9th for his 13th save. Starter Deibi Yrizarri got the win with five no-hit innings, walking two and fanning five. Oliver Ortiz had the sole extra-base hit for the D-Nats, who were held to three hits and two walks.

Nats Trade Kurt Suzuki Back To A’s For Dakota Bacus

Early this morning, the Nationals traded C Kurt Suzuki back to the Athletics for a pitching prospect. Multiple online sources are reporting that prospect is RHP Dakota Bacus.

Dakota BacusBacus was the 9th-round pick for Oakland in the 2012 draft out of Indiana State University where he had posted a 7-4 record in 17 appearances (16 starts) with pitcher’s line of 2.70/3.17/1.16 after transferring from Southeastern C.C. (Iowa). He set the ISU single-season record in 2012 for innings pitched, including three complete games.

The 22-year-old Illinoisan went 3-0 with 7 saves in 30 innings last summer in the Arizona League. This season he’s gone 9-5 with a 3.56/3.42/1.34 line for the Low-A Beloit Snappers.

Scouting reports, as you might imagine, are sparse. In his 2013 Prospect Book, John Sickels cited Bacus’s “exceptional command of a low-90s fastball, slider, and changeup” but was hesitant to give him more than a Grade C due to his age and level of competition. Sickels also noted Bacus has enough of an arsenal to start but (the usual caveat) could move up the ladder faster as a reliever.

No word yet, obviously, as to if, when and/or where he’ll appear for the Nationals farm, though the most likely destination would be Hagerstown.

Last Night In Woodbridge

Rained-Out-2012The second ten-game win streak for Potomac came to an end with a rain-shortened 3-1 loss in five innings to Winston-Salem.

Starter Paul Demny took the loss for the second time in six starts since his demotion from Harrisburg. He gave up all three runs (two earned) on four hits, three of which went for extra-bases. The difference came in the two-run fourth as Kevan Smith took the 24-y.o. Texan deep with a solo shot to right-center with one out while Joshua Richmond connected for the second double of the game with two outs to build a 3-0 lead.

Rain began to fall in the top of the 4th but a double play ended things quickly in the bottom of the 4th and Demny retired the side in order in the top of the 5th. Brandon Miller led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple and came in to score on a groundout to short. Cutter Dykstra struck out to end the inning, which also ended his 29-game on-base streak.

Play was halted after the 5th and the game called 92 minutes later.

The loss combined with Lynchburg’s eighth straight win keeps Potomac’s magic number at six to clinch the Carolina League North division again. Both Frederick and Wilmington have been eliminated from the second-half title race. The Hillcats lead the Keys by eight and the Blue Rocks by 10½ games in the overall standings that determine the second playoff team in the event of a double-half winner.

Potomac, however, still has good incentive to beat the Dash tonight and tomorrow, as Winston-Salem’s best chance of making the playoffs is to beat out Salem for the best overall record behind Myrtle Beach, if the Pelicans can win both halves (they lead the Red Sox by 1½ games after a 5-0 win last night). The P-Nats have won just once in six games at BB&T this year and would play the deciding games there in the event of both teams making the Mills Cup Finals.

Tonight, Brett Mooneyham makes his High-A debut after earning a promotion with a 8-2, 1.88 mark since the Sally League All-Star break. He’ll be opposed by Myles Jaye (7-6, 4.66) for Winston-Salem.

Thursday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY vs. Charlotte,
7:00 p.m.
Tatusko (5-6, 3.75) vs.
McCully (2-3, 6.31)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-3 vs. Erie,
7:00 p.m.
Cole (3-1, 2.23) vs.
Garcia (0-4, 5.59)
Potomac Lost, 3-1 (5 inn.) vs. Winston-Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Mooneyham (High-A debut) vs.
Jaye (7-6, 4.66)
Hagerstown Won, 4-3 @ Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Voth (Low-A debut) vs.
Oviedo (1-3, 5.60)
Auburn Won, 7-0;
Lost, 1-0 (8 inn.)
@ Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
Pivetta (0-1, 4.91) vs.
German (1-3, 2.88)
GCL Nationals Won, 5-3 vs. GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
J. Rodriguez (3-0, 2.57) vs.
Perez (1-4, 3.09)
DSL Nationals Won, 12-1 @ DSL Orioles2,
10:30 a.m.

Syracuse — OFF DAY
Syracuse’s eight-game homestand resumes after an off day yesterday with four against Charlotte. The Chiefs are riding a three-game win streak and are now just one game out of the I.L. North cellar.

Richmond 4 Harrisburg 3
• Gilliam 4IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Holland (L, 1-4) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Burns 1-3, R, 2B, 2BB, 2SB
• Goodwin 1-2, R, 2B, 3BB

Jarrett Parker took Neil Holland deep for a two-out solo HR in the bottom of the 9th to give Richmond a 4-3 walkoff win over Harrisburg. The win prevented a sweep and put the distance between the first-place Sens and third-place Squirrels at three games with a four-games series left to play on Labor Day weekend. Rob Gilliam got the start but lasted just four innings, coughing up three runs on a walk and five hits, including a two-run HR. Tablesetters Billy Burns and Brian Goodwin both doubled and scored a run, combining for five walks, but the rest of the lineup managed just four hits and two walks.

Winston-Salem 3 Potomac 1
• Demny (L, 1-2) 5IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K, HR
• B. Miller 1-2, R, 3B
• Gilmartin 1-1, BB

Two streaks ended Last Night In Woodbridge
Roster move: LHP Brett Mooneyham promoted from Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 4 Lakewood 3
• Encarnacion 5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
• Thomas (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Piwinica-Worms 2-3, R, RBI
• McQuillan 2-4, 2RBI

Back-to-back doubles by Khayyan Norfork and Stephen Perez plated the gamewinner in the 9th as Hagerstown edged Lakewood, 4-3. The rally made a winner out of Justin Thomas, who struck out five of eight batters faced in the 8th and 9th innings. Starter Pedro Encarnacion gave up two runs on four hits and two walks while fanning four in a no-decision. Will Piwinica-Worms came off the bench to go 2-for-3 and an RBI while Mike McQuillan went 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead the Suns offense.
Roster move: RHP Jake Johansen promoted from Auburn.

Auburn 7 Batavia 0 — GAME ONE
• Giolito (W, 1-0) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Mudron 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Reistetter 2-3, R, BB
• Lippincott 2-4, 2R, RBI, SB

Batavia 1 Auburn 0 (8 inn.) — GAME TWO
• Selsor 4⅔ IP, 5H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Hollins (L, 1-4) 3IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 3K, 2-0 IR-S
• Lippincott 2-3
• Ramirez 1-3

Lucas Giolito won his NYPL debut with five solid innings but the Doubledays dropped the nightcap in “extra” innings. Auburn Citizen beat writer Jeremy Houghtaling has the story.

GCL Nationals 5 GCL Cardinals 3
• K. Rodriguez 3IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 2K
• Williams (W, 2-1) 4IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 3K
• Jennings 4-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Mejia 2-4, R, BB, SB

The G-Nats won #45 by a 5-3 count over the G-Cards and never trailed. Kelvin Rodriguez got the start, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Deion Williams got the win in relief, tossing four innings of one-run ball with two hits and three walks allowed while striking out three. Hayden Jennings went 4-for-4 with a double and an RBI to lead the hit column for the G-Nats.
Roster move: LHP Jake Walsh reassigned from Hagerstown.

DSL Nationals 12 DSL Orioles2 1
• J. Ramirez 1IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Torres (W, 1-3) 4IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 5K
• Corredor 2-3, 3R, 3BB, RBI
• Ortiz 3-5, R, 2B, 3B, BB, 2RBI
• Gutierrez 2-4, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI

An eight-run 7th broke open a 4-1 game as the D-Nats leveled the D-Orioles2, 12-1. Leadoff man Aldrem Corredor singled twice, scored three times, and walked three times while 17-y.o. Oliver Ortiz was a homer shy of the cycle as the D-Nats notched 13 hits total for the game. Jean Ramirez started but went just one Nuke LaLoosh inning with no hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. Luis Torres got the win in relief, giving up the lone D-Orioles2 run on five hits. He walked none and struck out five.

Ripple Effect From Giolito Promotion (UPDATED)

RippleAfter three summers of people complaining about Nationals being too slow to promote… this summer, those people can shut the trunk up.

As noted earlier this season, the increased movement has made it harder to call true promotions versus need-based fill-ins. Thus, you’re seeing verbs “assign” or “reassign,” which are a bit more benign, but also enables me to avoid using word “demoted” for when a player is returned (e.g. Taylor Hill).

My personal guideline has been to avoid calling any movement between the short-season leagues a promotion, but Lucas Giolito is an obvious exception. Likewise for Austin Voth and Jake Johansen, as all three are top draft picks and their transfers from the GCL to Auburn and Auburn to Hagerstown are difficult to characterize as anything but.

The roster moves for Giolito and Voth have been officially announced, with Giolito scheduled to make his New York-Penn League debut (on the road, natch) tonight. Auburn Citizen beat reporter Jeremy Houghtaling (@CitizenHough for those of you on “the Twitters”) says he’ll make the trip to Batavia, so we’ll have at least one independent account.

Voth appears to be slated to start tomorrow, weather permitting, as will Brett Mooneyham for Potomac, with the younger Pac-12 pitcher taking the place of the elder, who’s reportedly on his way to Potomac according to MASN’s Byron Kerr.

The moves for Johansen and Mooneyham have not been officially announced, but the speculation here is that Paul Demny will be placed on the Potomac DL to make room for Mooneyham (and take his place in the rotation) and similar move will be made for Hagerstown (more likely a reliever with Ian Dickson going to the ‘pen).

UPDATE: Auburn has officially announced the promotion of Johansen to Hagerstown. The Suns, in turn, have announced the promotion of Mooneyham to Potomac while LHP Jake Walsh has been reassigned to the GCL to accommodate the transfers of both Johansen and Voth. A corresponding move for Potomac has not yet been announced.