Good, Bad, Interesting – Vol. 18


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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 59-68, 6th place I.L. North, 10 games behind

Good Tyler Moore .366/.449/.653, 6HR, 30RBI since All-Star Break (27G)
Bad Ryan Tatusko 5.78 BB/9IP (64 in 99⅔ IP)
Interesting Josh Johnson .328/.458/.478 in 28G



HARRISBURG SENATORS 66-58, 1st place E.L. West, 1 game ahead

Good Billy Burns .312/.429/.319, 5SB in 12G since promotion
Bad Rob Gilliam 0-4, 5.15 ERA, 1.34 WHIP since All-Star Break
Interesting Tyler Herron 0-1, 3SV, 1.50 ERA in last 10 appearances



POTOMAC NATIONALS 31-20, 1st place C.L. North, 8 games ahead (73-47 overall)

Good Colin Bates 2.10 ERA/3.02 FIP/1.01 WHIP in 30 appearances
Bad Mike Gilmartin, bases empty: .313/.425/.493
Gilmartin, RISP: .167/.258/.241
Interesting Greg Holt 4-0, 2.33 ERA, 1.26 WHIP since All-Star Break (15 appearances)



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 33-20, 2nd place Sally North, ½ game behind (71-49 overall)

Good Nick Lee 10.2K/9 (93K in 82IP)
Bad Wes Schill .160/.323/.160 in last 10G
Interesting 1st in runs scored, T12th in home runs (50, 18 by Brandon Miller)



AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 18-36, 6th place Pinckney Division, New York-Penn League, 15 games behind

Good James Yezzo .294/.306/.412 in August
Bad Mike Mudron 1.75 WHIP, 6.38 ERA in 15 appearances
Interesting 38 of 69E committed by 3B or SS



GCL NATIONALS 41-7, East Division Champions, 20½ games ahead

Good Lucas Giolito 0.64 ERA, 0.86 WHIP in August (3GS, 14IP
Bad Luis Guzman 17-y.o. .219/.281/.257 in 32G
Interesting Need to finish 7-5 to set GCL record for best W% (1994 Royals, 47-12)



DSL NATIONALS 34-28, 4th place Boca Chica South, 10 games behind

Good 17-y.o. Israel Mota .361 OBP
Bad 18-y.o. Jonathan Aquino 1.58 WHIP in 19⅔ IP
Interesting Pitchers T2nd with 8 shutouts in DSL

Last Night In Woodbridge

Overcoming deficits of 1-0 and 2-1, Potomac sent eight men to the plate in the 5th to take a 3-2 lead and held on for a 5-4 win.

It was the fourth straight win for Potomac on the current homestand, and the first “W” for starter Paul Demny in five starts since his demotion from Harrisburg last month. The 24-y.o. allowed seven hits and walked two but allowed just two runs while striking out five.

To the naked eye, Demny’s velocity seemed diminished since he last pitched for the P-Nats in 2011, an observation also made by the Senators beat writers. Demny was placed on the DL in early July with “arm soreness” and removed from the Harrisburg rotation in late June. Last night marked the first time he had pitched more than three innings since June 23.

Offensively, the P-Nats notched 12 hits, with Cutter Dykstra, Justin Miller, and Caleb Ramsey each collecting three but struggled in the clutch — 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and a total of 10 men left on base in eight innings.

Adrian Nieto got the scoring going with his 11th HR of the season, a bomb to right-center while batting lefthanded. Justin Miller, Dykstra, and Ramsey singled to load the bases in the 5th. After a Michael Taylor whiff, Nieto drove in the second Potomac run with a grounder to first. It would require back-to-back walks by Brandon Miller and Kevin Keyes to take the lead.

Ramsey bunted his way on in the 7th and took second on a wild pitch, but scored without a base hit thanks to a Taylor roller to 1st and a sacrifice fly by Brandon Miller, which ended his hit streak at 15 games, but pushed the score to 4-2 in favor of Potomac. Dykstra’s RBI single in the 8th gave the P-Nats a 5-3 lead.

Brian Dupra followed Demny out of the ‘pen and worked around a leadoff single in both innings he pitched to earn his fifth hold. Travis Henke was knocked around in the 8th a run while Robert Benincasa served up a long homer to the Keys’ Johnny Ruettiger before setting down the next three in the 9th to qualify for his 13th save.

With the victory, Potomac extended their lead to eight games over Lynchburg and reduced the magic number to 13.

LHP Sammy Solis (2-0, 3.12) is officially listed as the starter for tonight, however, on Wednesday multiple Washington beat writers reported that RHP Ross Ohlendorf would be pitching five innings in his final tuneup before replacing former P-Nat RHP Taylor Jordan in the big club’s rotation.

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 2-1 @ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Tatusko (5-6, 3.88) vs.
Smith (7-2, 2.42)
Harrisburg Won, 6-5 vs. Portland,
7:00 p.m.
Cole (3-0, 1.73) vs.
Owens (1-1, 1.80)
Potomac Won, 5-4 vs. Frederick,
7:05 p.m.
Ohlendorf (rehab) or
Solis (2-0, 3.12) vs. Clark (0-5, 14.05)
Hagerstown Won, 9-1 vs. Asheville,
7:05 p.m.
Encarnacion (9-7, 3.55) vs.
Flemer (2-3, 3.97)
Auburn Lost, 3-2 vs. Mahoning Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Voth (1-0, 1.46) vs.
Kime (0-2, 2.75)
GCL Nationals Lost, 5-4 vs. GCL Mets,
12:00 p.m.
J. Rodriguez (3-0, 2.31) vs.
Church (2-2, 6.04)
DSL Nationals Won, 6-2 @ DSL Cubs,
10:30 a.m.
Yrizarri (4-3, 2.37) vs.
Perez (3-3, 2.25)



Syracuse 2 Lehigh Valley 1
• Clay (W, 4-2) 6⅔ IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 4K
• Lowe (SV, 1) 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Kobernus 4-4, 2B, RBI, SB, CS
• Moore 2-3, BB

Jeff Kobernus’s fourth hit of the night was the difference in a 2-1 Syracuse win over Lehigh Valley. The 25-y.o. went 4-for-4 with a double and an RBI while swiping his 38th base to lead the Chiefs seven-hit attack. Caleb Clay won his fourth AAA game with an unearned run allowed on four hits over six and 2/3rds innings. He walked none and struck out four. Xavier Cedeno got the last out of the 7th and the first two of the 8th for the hold while Mark Lowe escaped a two-out jam in the 9th for the save.
Roster moves: RHP Drew Storen recalled to Washington; RHP Ryan Mattheus optioned from Washington.

Harrisburg 6 Trenton 5
• Gilliam 4⅓ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 4K
• Mirowski (W, 1-0) 2⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 4K, 2-2 IR-S
• Barrett (SV, 24) 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K, 2-1 IR-S
• Nicol 4-5, 3B, 2RBI, SB
• Burns 3-4, 2R, BB, RBI, SB

The Senators tablesetters combined for seven hits and drove in the last two runs in a 6-5 Harrisburg win over Trenton. Billy Burns (3-for-4) singled in the 6th to break a 4-4 tie while Sean Nicol’s RBI triple in the 8th put the Sens up 6-4. Starter Rob Gilliam was lifted in the 5th and left with a 4-1 lead. He was charged with three runs on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Richie Mirowski let in two inherited runners and gave up one of his own but earned the win. Aaron Barrett let in one of two himself, but struck out three of seven batters faced to earn his 24th save.

Potomac 5 Frederick 4
• Demny (W, 1-1) 5IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K
• Dupra (H, 5) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Dykstra 3-4, R, BB, RBI
• J. Miller 3-4, R
• Ramsey 3-5, R

The P-Nats won their fourth straight Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 9 Delmarva 1
• Turnbull (W, 6-5) 7IP, 5H, R, ER, BB, 4K
• Harper 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Piwinica-Worms 3-4, BB, 2RBI
• Martinez 3-4, R, 2RBI
• Renda 2-3, 3R, 2B, 2BB, RBI

The Suns scored eight unanswered runs in a 9-1 win to complete the sweep of the Shorebirds and finish the season 14-8 against their Maryland rivals. Starter Kylin Turnbull allowed just a first-inning run and five hits total for his 6th Low-A win while walking one and striking out four. Eight of nine Hagerstown batters hit safely, with Will Piwinica-Worms and Estarlin Martinez both going 3-for-4 with 2RBI to lead the Suns offense.

Williamsport 3 Auburn 2
• Pivetta 3⅔ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 3K, HR
• Selsor 3⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Mudron (L, 0-1) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, K
• Yezzo 2-4, 3B, 2RBI
• Ballou 1-3

Williamsport rallied for one in the 8th and took the game 3-2 to split the two-game series with Auburn. Nick Pivetta gave up the first two Crosscutter runs on three hits and four walks over three and 2/3rds innings. Casey Selsor finished the 4th and retired all 10 batters he faced. The Doubledays offense, however, was limited to three hits: a single and two-run triple by James Yezzo and a single by Isaac Ballou. Mike Mudron lost it in the 8th, giving up a run on two hits and two walks.

GCL Marlins 5 GCL Nationals 4
• Williams (L, 1-1) 4IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, 4BB, K
• P. Valdez 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 0K
• Medina 2-4, R, CS
• Bautista 2-5, R, RBI, SB

The G-Nats streak was halted at 17 with a 5-4 loss to the G-Marlins. Deion Williams took the loss in his second start since his reassignment from Auburn, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and four walks while striking out one (1). Down 5-1, the G-Nats rallied for three in the 9th, collecting four of their eight hits in the frame, but left the tying run on second. Rafael Bautista went 2-for-5 with a run scored, an RBI, and a stolen base to lead the G-Nats attack.

DSL Nationals 6 DSL Yankees1 2
• Reyes (W, 5-3) 5IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 6K, HR
• Feliz (H, 3) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Rosario 2-4, RBI
• Ortiz 2-4, 2R
• Gutierrez 2-4, 2R

The D-Nats snapped a 1-1 tie with two runs in the 4th and scored three more en route to a 6-2 win over the D-Yankees1. Luis Reyes won his team-leading fifth game with both D-Yankees1 runs on three hits and two walks while striking out six. All nine D-Nats batters reached base while Dionicio Rosario, Oliver Ortiz, and Kelvin Gutierrez all went 2-for-4 in the D-Nats 10-hit, three-walk offense.
Roster Moves: 3B Neivy Pilier placed on the 7-Day DL; C Luis Vilorio, SS Joshual Ramirez assigned from Washington; 3B Anderson Franco signed as an IFA (not eligible to play until 2014).

Last Night In Woodbridge

Matt Purke evened up his won-loss record at 3-3 as the P-Nats cut down the Keys, 6-2.

The 23-y.o. southpaw gave up both Frederick runs on four hits and a walk while striking out three for his second quality start in his last three starts, and the second time he’s gone six frames for Potomac.

While neither dominant nor ineffective, Purke got the job done by working off the fastball and throwing strikes… but not gunning for the K with his breaking stuff or trying to get batters to chase. He retired the leadoff batter in three of six innings and and got two diving catches by his corner outfielders — Brandon Miller in the 3rd, Randolph Oduber in the 6th — to end the inning in dramatic fashion.

Offensively, the P-Nats middle of the order carried the night. Frederick’s Brady Wager had a no-hitter and a 1-0 lead through three innings but lost it on Adrian Nieto’s line-drive single off the leaping glove of Keys SS Jerome Pena to lead off the 4th. Brandon Miller extended his hit streak to 15 games with a double down the left field line while Kevin Keyes tied it with a single to center. The 4-5-6 combo of Nieto, Miller, and Keyes would combine for six hits, three doubles, four runs, and three RBI on the night.

Potomac rallied for three in the 4th and posted a picket fence in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings to build a 6-2 lead. Veteran relievers Rafael Martin and Colin Bates finished out the game with three scoreless to nail down the “W” for Purke.

With the win, Potomac improves to 30-20 in the second half and holds a 7½ game lead over second-place Wilmington in the Carolina League North. The three-game series continues tonight with a matchup of Paul Demny (0-1, 5.06) vs. Zach Davies (7-5, 3.41).

Thursday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-1 @ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Clay (3-2, 2.69) vs.
Buchanan (2-0, 1.29)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-3 @ Trenton,
7:00 p.m.
Gilliam (3-6, 4.50) vs.
Greene (6-3, 3.11)
Potomac Won, 6-2 vs. Frederick,
7:05 p.m.
Demny (0-1, 5.06) vs.
Davies (7-5, 3.41)
Hagerstown Won, 5-0 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Turnbull (5-5, 4.27) vs.
Taylor (4-11, 3.25)
Auburn Won, 3-0 @ Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
GCL Nationals Won, 3-2 @ GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
Williams (1-0, 1.80) vs.
Castellanos (2-4, 4.50)
DSL Nationals Lost, 5-4 vs. DSL Yankees1,
10:30 a.m.
Reyes (4-3, 2.74) vs.
Acevedo (1-0, 2.73)



Lehigh Valley 4 Syracuse 1
• Mandel (L, 2-8) 5⅔ IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 7K; 1-2
• Storen ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 2-0 IR-S
• Walters 1-3, R, HR, RBI
• Kobernus 1-4

Lehigh Valley’s Tyler Cloyd went the distance, making just one mistake in a 4-1 win over Syracuse. That was Zach Walters’s 28th HR, a solo shot in the 5th that briefly gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead and prevented a shutout. Cloyd held Syracuse to just three hits, with starting pitcher Jeff Mandel and leadoff batter Jeff Kobernus getting the other two. Mandel took the loss with two runs on six hits and two walks over five and 2/3rds innings while setting down seven on strikes. Drew Store made his third straight scoreless outing, getting the last out of the 6th and stranding two baserunners.

Trenton 4 Harrisburg 3
• Karns (L, 7-6) 5IP, 11H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 6K, 2HR
• Holland 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Bloxom 4-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Rivero 2-4, RBI

The Thunder jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held off the Senators 9th-inning charge for 4-3 win. Nathan Karns’s struggles with the longball resurfaced as the 25-y.o. gave up a pair in the 4th and all four Trenton runs on 11 hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out six, but lost his sixth game. Billy Burns and Sean Nicol both drew two-out walks, with Burns scoring on Justin Bloxom’s RBI double (and fourth hit of the night) but Ricky Hague struck out to end it.

Potomac 6 Frederick 2
• Purke (W, 3-3) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 3K
• Martin (H, 3) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Nieto 3-4, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Keyes 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• B. Miller 1-3, R, 2B, BB

The P-Nats seem to be back on track with their third straight win Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 5 Delmarva 0
• Lee (W, 5-3) 8IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 10K
• Self 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Renda 2-4, R, 2-2B, BB,
• Piwinica-Worms 2-4, R
• McQuillan 2-5, R, 2B, 3B

Nick Lee struck out 10 over eight scoreless innings as the Suns shut out the Shorebirds, 5-0. The 22-y.o. southpaw let up just two hits and walked one while earning his fifth win. Derek Self finished the game with a 1-2-3 ninth. Hagerstown scored in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings to put the game away. Tony Renda and Mike McQuillan both had a pair of extra-base hits, with Renda connecting on his 38th and 39th two-baggers to extend his league lead while McQuillan doubled and tripled as the Suns racked up eight hits and three walks total.

Auburn 3 Williamsport 0
• Treinen 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Orlan (W, 1-3) 5IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Simms 2IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Lippincott 1-3, R, BB, RBI
• Yezzo 1-4, RBI

With a little help from a rehab start, three Auburn pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout for a 3-0 win over Williamsport. Blake Treinen started and went two perfect innings. R.C. Orlan got the win with five innings of one-hit ball, walking two and fanning three. John Simms worked around four hits over the 8th and 9th innings to earn the save. Bryan Lippincott went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI to lead the Doubledays offense, which was limited to four hits and two walks.
Roster move: RHP Blake Treinen assigned from Harrisburg for minor-league rehab.

GCL Nationals 3 GCL Marlins 2
• Ott (W, 2-0) 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 7K, HR
• Derosier (H, 1) 3IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Walsh (SV, 7) 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• D. Eusebio 2-4
• R. Encarnacion 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI

Randy Encarnacion’s two-run HR in the 3rd proved to be the difference as the G-Nats won their 17th straight, 3-2. Travis Ott won his second decision, allowing a run on a solo HR in his fifth and final inning with no walks and seven strikeouts. Matt Derosier also gave up a run on three hits total over three innings for the hold while Dylan Walsh worked around a hit and a walk by striking out the side in the 9th for his seventh save. Diomedes Eusebio led the hit column with a 2-for-4 morning as the G-Nats notched six hits total.
Roster move: OF Jordan Poole reassigned from Auburn.

DSL Yankees1 5 DSL Nationals 4
• Valerio (L, 3-4) 4IP, 7H, 5R, 4ER, BB, 6K, 2HR, 2WP,
• Torres 4IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 7K, HBP
• Tillero 2-2, R, HR, RBI
• Rosario 2-3,R, BB

The D-Yankees1 tagged starter Maximo Valerio for five runs early and despite near-perfect relief from Luis Torres, couldn’t dig themselves out of the 5-0 hole and lost, 5-4. Valerio surrendered seven hits, including two home runs, and walked one over five innings while striking out six over four innings. Luis Torres. Jorge Tillero came off the bench to go 2-for-2 with a solo HR while Dionicio Rosario went 2-for-3 with a run and a walk as the D-Nats scored four times on six hits and seven walks.

Wednesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 13-4 @ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Mandel (2-7, 5.18) vs.
Cloyd (4-9, 5.25)
Harrisburg Lost, 8-2 @ Trenton,
7:00 p.m.
Karns (7-5, 3.27) vs.
O’Brien (6-6, 3.90)
Potomac Won, 9-8 vs. Frederick,
7:05 p.m.
Purke (2-3, 5.77) vs.
Wager (3-6, 4.64).
Hagerstown Won, 4-1 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Lee (4-3, 4.50) vs.
Guzman (6-3, 4.60)
Auburn ALL-STAR BREAK @ Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
GCL Nationals Won, 2-1 vs. GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
Ott (1-0, 5.21) or
Derosier (2-1, 2.89) vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 2-1 @ DSL Yankees1,
10:30 a.m.
Torres (0-3, 4.40) vs.
Cedeno (4-1, 2.68)



Syracuse 13 Buffalo 4
• Hill (W, 1-0) 6IP, 10H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K
• Lowe 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Johnson 3-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 4RBI, SB
• Walters 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, BB, 2RBI, E(30)
• Rahl 2-5, 2R, 2B, 2RBI

The Chief laid out the lumber for 16 hits, including three doubles and three homers, as they stampeded the Bison, 13-4. Every batter had a hit, five had two, and Josh Joshnson led the hit parade with a 3-for-5 night, scoring twice and driving in four. Zach Walters moved into 2nd place on the I.L. leaderboard with his 27th HR, while Tyler Moore smacked his 9th in 42 games. Taylor Hill scattered 10 hits for three runs (two earned) while walking two and striking out five to win his first AAA game.

Trenton 8 Harrisburg 2
• Ray (L, 4-2) 4⅔ IP, 6H, 6R, 5ER, 3BB, 2K
• Perry 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Burns 3-5
• Hood 1-3, R, 2B, BB

Robbie Ray was, um, thunderstruck twice for three-run rallies in the 2nd and 5th as Trenton defeated Harrisburg, 8-2. The 21-y.o. southpaw kept the ball in the yard, but gave up six runs on six hits and three walks over four and 2/3rds innings. He struck out two while suffering his second AA loss. Billy Burns bunted his way on in the 3rd and singled twice more but was left on base all three times. The Senators stranded 10 baserunners total while going just 2-for-11 with RISP

Potomac 9 Carolina 8
• Rauh 4⅓ IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, 3BB, K, HR
• Holt (W, 6-0) 1⅔ IP, 1H, R, ER, 2BB, 0K, WP, 3-3 IR-S
• Wort (SV, 6) 1⅓ 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 3-0 IR-S
• Miller 2-4, 2RBI
• Soriano 1-1, 2R, 3BB, 2RBI, CS
• Dykstra 1-3, R, 2B, 3RBI, 2BB

The P-Nats and Mudcats combined for 17 hits, 17 runs, and 16 walks, with Potomac getting the edge where it matters the most, 9-8 in runs. Starter Brian Rauh walked three and and gave up six runs on seven hits, including a two-run HR in Carolina’s five-run 5th. Greg Holt let in all three runners he inherited in the 5th and one of his own in the 6th but got the win thanks to Potomac’s two-run answer in the bottom of the 5th that put the P-Nats up 9-6. Rob Wort stranded three runners in the 8th and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save. Lineup bookends Cutter Dykstra and Francisco Soriano combined to go 2-for-4 with three runs scored, five walks, and five RBI while Brandon Miller pushed his hit streak to 14 games with a 2-for-4 afternoon.

Hagerstown 4 Delmarva 1
• Dickson (W, 3-3) 6IP, 5H, R, ER, BB, 6K
• Pena (SV, 1) 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Mesa 2-4, 2R, 3B
• Pleffner 1-4, R, HR, RBI

Shawn Pleffner’s three-run shot in the 6th sent the Suns to a 4-1 win over the Shorebirds. Six strong innings from Ian Dickson also helped as he evened his won-loss record at 3-3 with one run allowed on five hits and a walk while fanning six. Ronald Pena closed out the game with three scoreless frames, letting up a hit and walking a batter for his first professional save. Narciso Mesa paced the Hagerstown offense from the leadoff spot, tripling and scoring the first Hagerstown run in the first and leading off the 6th on with a bunt single and trotting in on Pleffner’s Earl Weaver Special.

Auburn — ALL-STAR BREAK
The Junior Circuit walked off against the Senior’s best for a 4-2 win in Norwich, but Auburn’s David Napoli never made it into the game. The Doubledays play out the string with a pair of road games in Williamsport before returning to Falcon Park for a Friday-Saturday duet against Mahoning Valley.

GCL Nationals 2 GCL Cardinals 1
• Giolito 5IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Ramos (BS, 3; W, 4-2) 1IP, 1H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K, HR
• Sylvestri (SV, 1) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• D. Eusebio 2-2, 2B, RBI
• Gordon 1-3, 3B

The G-Nats improved to 40-6 with their 16th straight win, a 2-1 victory over the G-Cards. Lucas Giolito continues to pitch well, throwing five scoreless innings with just two hits and two walks allowed while striking out five. He left with a 1-0 lead that David “Yes My Brother Is Wilson” Ramos coughed up with a solo shot surrendered in the bottom of the 8th. Ramos would get the blown-save-win thanks to a 9th inning rally as Drew Ward singled with one out in the 9th and Diomedes Eusebio plated him with an RBI double. Michael Sylvestri preserved the one-run lead despite letting up two hits in the 9th for the save.

DSL Nationals 2 DSL Mets1 1
• Morales (W, 3-3) 7IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K
• Y. Pena (H, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Salazar (SV, 11) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Gutierrez 2-2, R, 2BB
• Ortiz 1-4, RBI

The D-Nats capitalized on four D-Mets1 errors for a 2-1 win. 18-y.o. Jose Morales tossed a season-high seven innings, allowing the lone D-Mets1 run on two hits, with no walks, and three K’s. Yefri Pena and Melvi Salazar (both also 18) each worked around a hit while laying a goose egg in the 8th and 9th innings to earn the hold and save, respectively. Kelvin Gutierrez singled twice and walked twice, scoring the gamewinner on Oliver Ortiz’s infield single in 8th, to lead the D-Nats’ six-hit, three-walk attack.

Last Night In Woodbridge

It wasn’t as pretty as the box score might indicate, but it was just what Potomac needed.

Blake Schwartz and newcomer Travis Henke combined on a six-hit shutout as the P-Nats stopped a four-game slide with a 2-0 win over the Mudcats.

Schwartz became the first 10-game winner at a single level in the Nationals organization with seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out one. He had, however, just one 1-2-3 frame (the 5th) as Carolina put on a runner six times against the ace of the P-Nats staff.

But, as any pitching coach will tell you, getting the leadoff man out in any inning is the key to success and Schwartz did that in six of seven opportunities. The one time he didn’t was the only true scoring threat that Carolina mounted on the night.

That’s also when it’s a good reminder that there are seven guys behind you and Schwartz got some help from both corner OFs in the 3rd. No. 9 batter Todd Hankins drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and took third on a line drive to right that Randolph Oduber snared on the run for the inning’s first out.

After walking the next batter, Schwartz induced a flyball to medium left. Down 1-0, Carolina gambled that newcomer Brandon Miller’s jitters from the night before would be enough to risk a play at the plate. The decision proved to be unwise as Miller’s throw had Hankins beat by six feet for the inning-ending double play.

Miller had gotten Potomac on the board in the 1st with an RBI groundout, cashing in back-to-back singles by Cutter Dykstra and Caleb Ramsey for the 1-0 lead. After walking in the 3rd with two outs, the 23-y.o. Georgian extended his hit streak to 13 games with a wall-ball double to left-center in the 6th that turned out to be Potomac’s final hit of the night.

The fifth hit was Cole Leonida’s tenth HR, a solo shot in the 4th that put the score to its eventual final of 2-0.

Travis Henke made his High-A debut in the 8th. After a shaky eighth, in which he gave up a pair of singles, Henke went 1-2-3 in the 9th, handling two comebackers to the mound for the save.

The win was Potomac’s 70th of the season and improved them to 28-20 in the 2nd half, reducing the magic number to clinch to 17 over Lynchburg with 22 games left to play. The Hillcats are the P-Nats likely first-round opponent as the second-best team in the Carolina North with a 56-59 mark, three games ahead of the Keys and four in front of the Blue Rocks.

Weather permitting, Rauh (3-1, 3.02) will take the hill today in a noontime start against Carolina RHP Robert Whitenack (0-1, 4.30).

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-3; Lost, 3-2 @ Buffalo,
7:05 p.m.
Hill (0-0, 5.79) vs.
Weber (6-4, 2.63)
Harrisburg OFF DAY @ Trenton,
7:00 p.m.
Ray (4-1, 3.20) vs.
Bleich (1-1, 2.98)
Potomac Won, 2-0 vs. Carolina,
12:05 p.m.
Rauh (3-1, 3.02) vs.
Whitenack (0-1, 4.30)
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Dickson (2-3, 5.64) vs.
Guzman (6-3, 4.60)
Auburn ALL-STAR BREAK ALL-STAR BREAK N/A
GCL Nationals Won, 2-1 @ GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
Giolito (1-1, 3.57) vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 5-0 vs. DSL Mets1,
10:30 a.m.
Morales (2-3, 1.36) vs.
Marte (2-2, 2.47)



Syracuse 5 Buffalo 3 — GAME ONE
• Maya (W, 8-7) 6IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K
• Cedeno (SV, 4) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Espinosa 3-4, 2R, RBI, SB
• Kobernus 2-4, R, 2SB

Chris Marrero’s three-run double highlighted a four-run 1st as the Chiefs took a 4-0 lead early and held on for a 5-3 win in the opener. Yunesky Mayawon his third straight start, turning in a quality start of three runs on four hits and a walk while striking out three. Xavier Cedeno set the side down in order in ht 7th for his fourth save. Danny Espinosa went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a strikeout while Jeff Kobernus led off the game with a single and stole both 2nd and 3rd, finshing the game at 2-for-4.

Buffalo 3 Syracuse 2 — GAME TWO
• Rosenbaum (L, 6-9) 3IP, 2H, 3R, 1ER, 5BB, K
• Storen 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Brown 2-4, 2B, RBI, BB, SB
• Moore 1-4, 2B, RBI

Like Syracuse in the opener, Buffalo struck in the 1st and never trailed, taking the nightcap 3-2 to split the doubleheader. Danny Rosenbaum was uncharacteristically wild, issuing five walks in three innings as he gave up all three Bison runs on two hits with just one strikeout while losing his ninth game. Cole Kimball, Drew Storen, and Erik Davis each threw a scoreless inning of relief but the Chiefs offense struggled in the clutch with a 2-for-11 mark with RISP and left on 10 baserunners.

Harrisburg — OFF DAY
The Senators six-game roadtrip resumes after a trip across Pennsylvania from Altoona to Trenton, NJ, where they’ll play the Yankees AA affiliate today through Thursday.

Potomac 2 Carolina 0
• Schwartz (W, 10-4) 7IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 1K
• Henke (SV, 1) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Ramsey 2-4
• Leonida 1-3, R, HR, RBI

Just two pitchers used was just what the Dr. ordered Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown — OFF DAY
With an off day to travel from central Kentucky to eastern Maryland, the Suns continue their seven-game, eight-day road trip with three against the Shorebirds today through Thursday.

Auburn — ALL-STAR BREAK
Tonight is the All-Star game in Norwich, CT, with just one Auburn player — relief pitcher David Napoli — on the N.L. roster.

GCL Nationals 2 GCL Cardinals 1
• Silvestre (W, 6-0) 5IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Walsh (SV, 6) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Ruiz 2-4, R
• D. Eusebio 2-4, R

The G-Nats continue to steamroll the GCL East with a 2-1 win over the G-Cards, their 15th straight win. Hector Silvestre tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, no walks, and struck out four for his sixth win. Joe Webb and Mike Boyden both earned their third hold as the bridge to Jake Walsh, who set ’em down in order for his sixth save. Adderling Ruiz and Diomedes Eusebio both went 2-for-4 with a run scored as the G-Nats notched eight hits total.

DSL Nationals 5 DSL Mets1 0
• Sanchez (W, 2-2) 5IP, 4H, 0R, BB, K
• Reynoso 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Ortiz 2-2, 2BB
• Rosario 3-4, RBI

Three D-Nats pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout of the D-Mets1 for a 5-0 win. Starter Mario Sanchez got his first win as a starter, turning in five innings of four-hit ball with one walk and eight strikeouts. Yorlin Reynoso followed with three one-hit innings while Adrian Green walked one in a scoreless 9th. 17-y.o. Oliver Ortiz singled twice and walked twice while Dionicio Rosarion went 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead the D-Nats offense.

Travis Henke Promoted To Potomac (UPDATED)

Moving On Up for NPPThe Hagerstown Suns have announced that RHP Travis Henke has been promoted to the Potomac Nationals.

Henke was 3-1 with two saves, five holds, and a 2.72 ERA in 30 appearances with 17 walks and 41 strikeouts over 59⅔ innings.

The 6’6″ 25-year-old was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2011 Draft from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He spent two seasons in Auburn, posting an unimpressive ERA of 5.40 and a subpar WHIP of 1.518 in 2011 before lowering those numbers to 2.78 and 1.169 in 2012, which earned him a brief look-see last in Hagerstown last August (0-1, 12.00, 3IP in 2G).

Henke’s calling card, in addition to the surname he shares with his uncle, former Toronto Blue Jays reliever Tom, has been a decent walk rate of 2.6 per nine innings that he’s sustained throughout his professional career. He’ll be expected to help shore up a badly overworked Potomac bullpen.

A corresponding move to make room on the Potomac roster has not yet been announced.
UPDATE: RHP Cameron Selik has been placed on the 7-Day DL for Potomac, clearing a space for Henke on the roster.

Last Night In Woodbridge

That Potomac will win both halves of the 2013 season still seems pretty certain. Whether they’ll advance to the Mills Cup Finals is not.

Playing flat on offense and sloppy on defense, the P-Nats lost 5-2 in 10 innings to the Mudcats for their fourth straight defeat.

Sammy Solis got the start, essentially his 10th as his lone relief appearance was a continuation of a suspended game, and set down the side in order in the 1st. It should have been four in a row but newcomer Brandon Miller, who’s been on a tear on offense, looked like the second coming of Chris Marrero in left field on defense as he misplayed a flyball into a leadoff double in the 2nd.

Solis nearly pitched around the mistake but a two-out double to right-center plated the first Carolina run. It happened again in the 3rd: a flyball that a stronger defender would have caught fell in for a double, Solis getting two outs before giving up the RBI hit.

At the plate, Potomac didn’t get a hit until Cole Leonida led off the 3rd with a single to right and didn’t get a runner into scoring position until the 5th, when Carolina’s defense returned the favor with a passed ball and two errors by second baseman Joe Wendle to allow the P-Nats to tie with just one clean hit, coincidentally a single by Brandon Miller.

Solis was pulled after five innings, finishing with two runs on six hits and a walk and four strikeouts. Colin Bates was summoned from the ‘pen, which has been asked to pitch four or more innings in seven straight games, and turned in two scoreless innings. He couldn’t make it three, giving up a single and a double to open the 8th.

Rafael Martin bailed out Bates by striking out the side in the 8th and worked around a one-out single in the 9th.

As you might have already guessed, after the 5th, the Potomac offense threatened just once more — putting runners on 1st and 2nd with a one-out walk by Justin Miller and Leonida’s second single in the 7th only to have Randolph Oduber strike out for third time.

Robert Benincasa took over from the Martin in the 10th and was tagged for three runs on a walk, single, triple, and another single to suffer his third loss and the third straight outing with a run allowed.

The P-Nats would go down in order in the 10th for their sixth loss in seven games — all to the Carolina League South’s top two teams, Carolina and Myrtle Beach, which are separated by just a 1/2 game in the race for the 2nd half title.

Blake Schwartz (9-4, 2.92) will be tasked with breaking Potomac’s losing streak tonight, if not giving the bullpen some badly needed rest. He’ll be opposed by Nick Pasquale (4-6, 4.56) for Carolina.