Apr 152012
 

Sometimes you need to be reminded that this is still just A-ball.

Don’t get me wrong: There are flashes of brilliance, like Kevin Keyes turning on a 95+ mph first-pitch fastball and knocking over the light tower in left field, or Randolph Oduber ripping a double to left with two outs in the 9th.

Then are moments like the top of the 6th. It started innocently enough with a leadoff walk. Then a stolen base, the third of the night without a runner being caught. A tapper back to the mound, it’s now one out. Then a high popup to shallow right field.

Second baseman Adrian Sanchez, first baseman Justin Bloxom and the right fielder (Oduber) all converged, but the ball fell fair. It could have been scored an error, probably should have been. But that’s not the point.

Lynchburg took advantage of the extra out to score their fifth run with a mere sacrifice fly that should have been the third out of the inning.

With a final score of 6-4, that extra run probably didn’t cost the Potomac Nationals the win — 12 strikeouts is a much better culprit — but on another night, it might have.

Lynchburg’s J.R. Graham should also get some credit. Aside from the big boys, the 3-4-5 batters Bloxom, David Freitas and Keyes, who combined to go 4-for-8 with a walk, a home run, two doubles, and a strikeout against him, the 5’11” fireballer handled the rest of the lineup with ease (0-for-12, 5Ks).

Adam Oblrychowski took the loss, pitching 5⅓ innings and giving up five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four. Paul Applebee followed, giving a solo shot in the top of the 7th for a run over 1⅔ innings while Neil Holland tossed two scoreless to finish the game, retiring all six batters he faced.

The loss denied the P-Nats a chance to even their season record, instead, the Potomac Nine are 3-5 — three games behind the 6-2 Hillcats in the Carolina League’s Northern Division.

Matt Grace (1-0, 1.80) gets the start this afternoon with 21-year-old Aaron Northcraft (1-0, 1.59) taking the hill for Lynchburg.

Apr 152012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-3 @ Scranton/WB,
2:00 p.m.
Atkins (0-1, 0.00) vs.
R. Ortiz (6-3, 4.26 in ’11)
Harrisburg Won, 4-3 vs. Reading,
2:00 p.m.
Gilliam (1-1, 3.75) vs.
Pettibone (0-1, 2.84)
Potomac Lost, 6-4 vs. Lynchburg,
1:05 p.m.
Grace (1-0, 1.80) vs.
Northcraft (1-0, 1.59)
Hagerstown Lost, 14-4 @ Lakewood,
1:05 p.m.
Estevez (1-0, 10.00) vs.
Martinez (1-0, 3.38)

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 6 Syracuse 3
• Duke (L, 1-1) 5IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Pena 2IP, 2H, 0R, BB, K
• Rivero 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• McConnell 2-4, 2B
• Brown 0-3, 2BB, OF assist at HP

Despite collecting five extra-base hits, the Syracuse Chiefs could only muster three runs to lose their third straight, 6-3 to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Zach Duke allowed runs in four of the five innings he pitched, giving up five runs on nine hits and two walks. Carlos Rivero and Chris McConnell paced the offense, each going 2-for-4 with a double. Bryce Harper doubled and scored in the 8th to go 1-for-4 while playing CF.

Harrisburg 4 Reading 3
• Ballard (ND) 5⅔ IP, 9H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Lehman (SV, 4) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Lozada 2-4, 2R, 2B
• Kobernus 2-4, 2SB, RBI
• King 1-1, RBI

Stephen King’s pinch-hit RBI in the bottom of the 8th broke a 3-3 tie to help send the Senators to a 4-3 win. It also took the edge off the ‘pen squandering a three-run lead, as manager Matt LeCroy nearly emptied it by using four relievers to get to closer Pat Lehman. The top of the lineup continues to be killer, with Eury Perez and Jeff Kobernus combining for three RBI, two singles, and double. Kobernus stole two more bases to bring his E.L.-leading total to seven.

Lynchburg 6 Potomac 4
• Olbrychowski (L, 0-2) 5#8531; IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 4K
• Holland 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Freitas 2-4, 2-2B, 2RBI
• Keyes 1-3, R, HR, BB, RBI

Free swinging and less-than-stellar defense doomed the P-Nats Last Night In Woodbridge.

Lakewood 14 Hagerstown 4
• McKenzie (L, 0-1) 2IP, 6H, 6R, 4ER, 3BB, 1K, 0HR
• Martinson 2-4, 2R, RBI, E(3)
• Ramsey 2-5, 3B, 2RBI
• Skole 1-3, RBI, BB, E(2)

A six-run 3rd and a seven-run 6th by the BlueClaws blocked out the Suns for a 14-4 loss. Hagerstown’s four errors didn’t help the cause as all four Suns pitchers were charged with runs, with starter Chris McKenzie taking the loss. Jason Martinson (2-for-4) and Caleb Ramsey (2-for-5) paced the Hagerstown offense, which scored its four runs on just seven hits and four walks.

Apr 142012
 

With four walks and five runs in the first inning, Potomac took advantage of Lynchburg’s wildness to score five runs and built a 7-0 lead as the P-Nats cruised to an 11-4 win in the home opener.

The worry, of course, is that when a pitcher struggles like Ronan Pacheco did at the start is that a lucky break will enable him to survive. Walks to Michael Taylor, Blake Kelso, and Justin Bloxom loaded the bases with one out for Kevin Keyes. One sharp ground ball could end the threat.

Instead, a 10-foot swinging bunt that Pacheco couldn’t field cleanly, as the catcher had to leave home plate and throw out Keyes for the second out and the first Potomac run. But there were still two out and the big inning could be stopped.

No such luck for Pacheco on this Friday the 13th.

The “Groovin’ Aruban” (Randolph Oduber) followed with a single up the middle to score two more. SS Nick Ahmed got to it but couldn’t knock it down. After another walk to doorstop catcher James Skelton, Adrian Sanchez doubled in Oduber and Skelton to extend the lead to 5-0. Francisco Soriano grounded out to end the inning: nine batters up, four walks, two hits, one left on.

Meanwhile, P-Nats starter Bobby Hansen worked around his miscues in the early going. A one-out double in the first. A hit batsmen and a walk with two out in the second.

Veteran catcher Evan Gattis worked a walk from Hansen in the first but hammered him for a solo shot in the third. Evan Salcedo blasted a double over Michael Taylor’s head. On another night, one that wasn’t in the low-to-mid-50s after sundown, it might have went out. If there’s one troubling aspect to this start, it’s that five of the eight hits he gave up were for extra bases.

Still, after getting knocked from the box after two in his first outing by these Hillcats, Hansen lasted six innings and gave up three runs on the eight hits and three walks and struck out three for his first win of the season. The defense came up big in his final inning with Skelton scampering up the line to swipe a tag on throw from Taylor for the second out of the inning and Soriano ranging deep in the hole to gun down a runner at second to end the inning.

Until the seventh inning, Lynchburg was still outhitting Potomac. The lead was still comfortable, but Kevin Keyes made the outcome all but certain with a three-run shot off the top tier of billboards in right-centerfield. An impressive shot on its own, never mind on a cold night.

Wilson Eusebio pitched the seventh and eighth innings, retiring six batters but walking three. Josh Smoker worked the ninth, but fell victim to his own wildness, uncorking a wild pitch on a strikeout to the leadoff batter then hitting a batter after erasing that mistake with double play ball. Salcedo struck for another double for the fourth and final Hillcat run.

The three-game series continues tonight with Adam Olbrychowski slated to pitch for Potomac against Lynchburg’s J.R. Graham.

Apr 142012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-6 @ Scranton/WB*,
4:00 p.m.
Duke (0-1, 1.50) vs.
Warren (0-1, 18.00)
Harrisburg Won, 6-3 vs. Reading,
7:00 p.m.
Ballard (0-1, 11.57) vs.
Rodriguez (1-0, 3.60)
Potomac Won, 11-3 vs. Lynchburg,
6:35 p.m.
Olbrychowski (0-1, 5.40) vs.
Graham (1-0, 3.60)
Hagerstown Won, 5-1 @ Lakewood,
4:05 p.m.
McKenzie (0-0, 6.75) vs.
Kleven (0-1, 5.40)

*The game will be held in Syracuse but the Chiefs will bat first as the road team. This is the first of 10 dates that Alliance Bank Park will be the “home” field for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees; eight of those dates will be against Syracuse, the other two will be versus Buffalo. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre plays the entire 2012 season on the road due to the renovation of PNC field, as detailed here.

Lehigh Vally 8 Syracuse 6
• Lannan (L, 0-2) 4IP, 9H, 8R, 4ER, 3BB, 3K, HR
• VanAllen 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Michaels 2-3, 2R, BB, RBI
• Solano 2-3, R, BB

John Lannan struggled for the second straight outing, giving up a three-run shot in the bottom of the fifth to turn a 5-4 deficit into an 8-4 hole as the Chiefs would go on to lose 8-6 and complete the three-game sweep. Sloppy defense led to four unearned runs, with two-out errors in the 2nd and 3rd innings helping Lehigh Valley build a 5-0 lead before Syracuse responded with a run in the 4th and three in the 5th. Led by Corey VanAllen, the Chiefs relievers held down the IronPigs for four scoreless innings the rest of the way, but the offense could only muster two more runs in the 6th. Jason Michaels and Jhonatan Soloano were the leading hitters, each going 2-for-3 with a walk.

Harrisburg 6 Reading 3
• Rosenbaum (ND) 6⅔ IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 6K
• Nelo (W, 1-0) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Perez 2-4, 2R
• Pahuta 2-4, 2B, 3B, 2RBI
• Kobernus 2-3, RBI

The Senators broke a 3-3 tie with three in the bottom of the 7th, highlighted by a two-run triple by Tim Pahuta, as Harrisburg doubled up the Reading Phillies, 6-3. Hector Nelo got the win in relief of starter Danny Rosenbaum, who went 6⅔ innings and allowed three runs (two earned) om six hits and no walks while striking out six. Pahuta, Eury Perez, Jeff Kobernus and Josh Johnson each collected two hits as the Senators outhit the R-Phils 11-7. Pat Lehman collected his third save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Potomac 11 Lynchburg 4
• Hansen (W, 1-1) 6IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 3K, HR
• Eusebio 2IP, 0H, 0R, 3BB, 0K
• Sanchez 2-4, 2B, 2RBI
• Oduber 2-3, 2R, BB, 2RBI
• Keyes 1-5, HR, 4RBI

Bobby Hansen got his first Carolina League win and Keven Keyes went deep Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 5 Lakewood 1
• Turnbull (ND) 5⅔ IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 3K
• Hill (BS, 1; W, 2-0) 3⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Leonida 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Burns 2-4, 3B, 2RBI

Cole Leonida’s 7th-inning solo shot broke a 1-1 tie as the Suns piled on four in the late innings to win 5-1 against the Blue Claws. Kylin Turnbull missed getting the win, but turned in a much better outing than his first, giving up three hits and a walk over 5⅔ innings with just one walk. Taylor Hill let in the runner he inherited but finished the game with three scoreless innings to get the blown-save win. Leonida and Billy Burns each went 2-for-4 while Matt Skole and Burns both drove in two runs.

Apr 132012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 @ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Lannan (0-1, 22.50) vs.
Cochran (1-0, 3.60)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-1 vs. Reading,
7:00 p.m.
Rosenbaum (1-0, 1.50) vs.
Buchanan (1-0, 0.00)
Potomac Lost, 1-0 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Hansen (0-1, 18.00) vs.
Pacheco (0-0, 0.00)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-1 @ Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Turnbull (0-0, 6.75) vs.
Stewart (0-1, 1.69)

Lehigh Valley 5 Syracuse 4
• Maya (L, 0-1) 4IP, 3H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 2K, HR (GS)
• Severino 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Moore 2-4, 2R, 2HR, 3RBI
• Brown 1-3, 2BB, SB

Tyler Moore smacked his 3rd and 4th home runs in his first two at-bats to give the Chiefs a brief 3-0 lead after 3½ innings. But a grand slam in the bottom of the 4th gave the IronPigs a 5-3 lead that Syracuse couldn’t overcome as Lehigh Valley took the game, 5-4. Yunesky Maya suffered the loss, giving up all five runs on just three hits and two walks while striking out two. Three relievers combined for four scoreless innings to keep it close, but the offense ground to a halt in the late innings as the last 10 Chiefs to bat went down in order after Corey Brown’s two-out single in the 6th.

Reading 4 Harrisburg 1
• Mandel (L, 0-1) 6IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K
• Perez 1-3, CS
• Leon 1-3, RBI

For the second straight outing, Jeff Mandel turned in a quality start, giving up two run on three hits and two walks over six innings. But unlike last Saturday, there was no offensive explosion late, as the R-Phils took Game One of the series, 4-1. Harrisburg was held to just five singles, and six baserunners total. Sandy Leon drove in the sole run with the last of three straight safeties with one out, but misjudged Josh Johnson’s warning-track flyout to right field and was doubled off to end the rally. Jeff Kobernus went hitless to end his streak at seven games.

Myrtle Beach 1 Potomac 0
• Winters 6IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 7K
• Wort 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Taylor 1-4, 2B, CS(4)
• Sanchez 1-3, SB
• Nicol 1-3

The wind may have been blowing in, but there was a breeze blowing out as the two teams’ pitchers combined to strike out 23 batters as the Pelicans got the best of the pitcher’s duel with a 1-0 walkoff win in the 9th. Cameron Selik was the hard-luck loser, giving up a leadoff single, sacrifice and an intentional pass before fanning the #5 batter for the second out. Kevin Keyes was unable to track down the dying quail on the LF line that proved to be the gamewinner, a ball that some players argued was foul, as it went off his glove for an error and the runner on second scored. Potomac opens its home schedule with a three-game set this weekend against the Lynchburg Hillcats.

Lakewood 8 Hagerstown 1
• Meyer (L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 3H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 2K, WP
• Holt 3⅓ IPm 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K, HR, IR-S 1-1
• Martinson 1-4, R, BB, 3K
• Skole 1-3, BB

Alex Meyer couldn’t make it out of the first inning, giving three hits and two walks while striking out two before he was lifted, as the Lakewood BlueClaws scored six en route to an 8-1 win. Greg Holt followed Meyer out of the ‘pen and was greeted with a two-run homer but shook it off to retire the next 10 batters he faced. The offense, however, was held to just six singles and stranded nine baserunners. Jason Martinson and Matt Skole each reached base twice safely via a hit and a walk, but Martinson whiffed three times to bring his total to 13 in eight games played. UPDATE ON GOODWIN: Citing a source, Byron Kerr is reporting that Brian Goodwin’s injury is to the quadriceps, not the hamstring. This is potentially good news since quads are generally quicker to heal.

Apr 122012
 

Multiple online sources are reporting that Anthony Rendon’s injury includes a partial fracture — technically, it’s known as an incomplete fracture — and he has been immobilized in a boot*, scheduled to see a specialist tomorrow. No timetable was given for his return, but most estimates for the timeframe to heal place the minimum at four weeks.
*No Canadian jokes, please.

As previously noted, this is Rendon’s left ankle; not the one fractured twice previously, a.k.a. his right. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has been on record as stating that this is good news because a break like this “probably heals quicker than a bad sprain,” and is not considered season-ending. Much, of course, depends on the type of fracture (lateral, medial, or posterior), whether it’s the result of an inversion (turned inward) or eversion (turned outward), and the degree of ligament damage (if any) — which is why Rendon will be seeing a specialist.

Further details will be passed along as they become available.

Apr 122012
 

Baseball America has released its latest transaction post, covering the period of April 6-9. In-season, this is mostly a fail-safe for my daily visit to each league’s transaction page (let’s just say I’ve memorized the three-digit codes in the URL include, okay?) and I consider it a good week when I’ve already reported on every move. But as some of you may have seen on Twitter, MiLB.com isn’t always timely when it comes to roster moves and often skips releases and signings. It’s even worse in the offseason.

Without further ado…
RE-SIGNED
OF Tony Nix — 50th Round Pick in 2011 Draft who had his contract voided for undisclosed reasons.
Click here to see his page on the
DC is For Baseball’s 2011 Nats Draft Info blog.

PLACED ON DL
2B Manny Mayorson

ACTIVATED FROM DL
C Devin Ivany

Apr 122012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 7-6 @ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Maya (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Misch (0-1, 3.60)
Harrisburg Won, 8-4 vs. Reading,
7:00 p.m.
Mandel (0-0, 0.00) vs.
May (1-0, 7.20)
Potomac Won, 6-3 @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Winters (0-1, 9.00) vs.
Buckel (0-0, 0.00)
Hagerstown Lost, 3-0 @ Lakewood,
6:35 p.m.
Meyer (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Nesseth (0-1, 14.73)

Lehigh Valley 7 Syracuse 6
• Roark (L, 0-2) 4IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, 3BB, 3K
• Bibens-Dirkx 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Brown 4-5, 2B, R, SB, CS
• Solano 3-5, R, E
• Moore 2-3, R, HR, 2BB, RBI

The IronPigs scored in each of the first four innings off starter Tanner Roark, building a 6-2 lead. The Chiefs rallied for three in the 6th to pull within one at 6-5 but double plays in the 7th and 8th innings killed any chance of a comeback. Tyler Moore homered with one out in the 9th to answer Lehigh Valley’s big fly in the 8th, but Bryce Harper, who had tripled earlier in the contest, grounded out and Jhonatan Solano struck out to end the game. Corey Brown led the 13-hit attack with a 4-for-5 night, including a double, a stolen base, and a run scored.

Harrisburg 8 New Britain 2
• Demny (ND) 4⅔ IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 5BB, K
• Davis (W, 2-0) 3⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Lozada 3-4, R, RBI
• Hood 2-4, R, 2B, 3B, 4RBI
• Rahl 2-4, R, 2B, SB

A pair of four-run rallies in the fifth and seventh innings pushed the Senators past the Rock Cats for an 8-2 victory and a 2-1 series win. For the second time in as many starts, Paul Demny struggled with his control and couldn’t go the requisite five innings for the “W.” The 22-year-old walked five of the 23 batters he faced and struck just one over 4&#8532l innings. Erik Davis followed him again but pitched much better: 3⅓ scoreless innings to earn his second win. After a 1-for-23 start in the first six games, Destin Hood drove in four runs and collected two extra-base hits (double, triple). Jeff Kobernus extended his season-opening hit streak to seven games while Eury Perez went 0-for-4 to stop his streak at six. Harrisburg opens its home schedule with a four-game set tonight against the Reading Phillies, followed by a three-game series against the Altoona Curve.

Potomac 6 Myrtle Beach 3
• Swynenberg (W, 1-0) 5H, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K
• Demmin (SV, 1) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Freitas 3-4, 2R, BB, RBI
• Bloxom 2-4, 2B, 2RBI, E(3)

With six free passes over the first two innings, the P-Nats took advantage to score all six runs as they doubled up the Pelicans, 6-3 for their second win of the 2012 campaign. Myrtle Beach walked 11 batters overall, including four in the first inning without an out by Wilmer Font (guess the strike zone wasn’t his type?). David Freitas paced the offense with a 3-for-4 night, scoring twice and driving in a run, followed by Justin Bloxom with a 2-for-4, 2RBI effort. Matt Swynenberg got the win with three runs allowed on five hits and two walks over five innings while Trevor Holder and Ryan Demmin both turned in two scoreless frames to close out the game.

Lexington 3 Hagerstown 0
• Dupra (L, 0-2) 6IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, 3K
• Karns 3IP, 0H, 1R, 1ER, 4BB, 4K, 2WP
• Leonida 1-3
• Jimenez 1-3

Brian Dupra pitched six solid innings, scattering five hits and allowing just two runs (on earned), which would be good enough to win most of the time. But Lexington’s hurlers, led by Mike Foltynewicz, were just a little better, limiting the Suns to a season-low four hits — all singles — to hand Hagerstown a 3-0 shutout loss. The Legends scored single runs in the 4th, 6th, and 8th and left on six runners, while the Suns were unable to push any of their nine baserunners past third base. The Suns finish their homestand at 5-2 and head north to visit the Lakewood Blueclaws for a four-game series.

Apr 112012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Losing, 2-0
(Susp., 4 inn.)
@ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Roark (0-1, 1.50) vs.
Hyatt (0-0, 3.18)
Harrisburg Won, 7-2 @ New Britain,
10:35 a.m.
Demny (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Albers (0-0, 0.00)
Potomac Won, 6-4 @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Swynenberg (0-0, 9.00) vs.
Font (0-0, 0.00)
Hagerstown Won, 16-8 vs. Lexington,
10:35 a.m.
Dupra (0-1, 8.10) vs.
Foltynewicz (0-0, 6.75)

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 2 Syracuse 0 — SUSP. (4 inn.)
• Atkins 4IP, 4H, 2R, 0ER, 4BB, 2K
• Teahen 1-1
• Harper 0-2, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 0RBI, 0E

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was leading 2-0 when the rains came in upstate New York. The game will be resumed on Saturday, followed by a 7-inning game.

Harrisburg 7 New Britain 2
• Gilliam (W, 1-1) 7IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• McCoy (H, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Kobernus 3-5, R, 2B, 2RBI, CS
• Leon 3-4, R, RBI
• Perez 2-5, R, RBI

After six innings, it looked rather bleak: Down 2-0, outhit 7-1. But Harrisburg racked up 11 hits and dialed up Dallas (214) over the last three innings to run away with a 7-2 win over New Britain. H/T to Geoff Morrow for pointing out Eury Perez, along with Jeff Kobernus, also has hit safely in every game. Combined the 1-2 batters in the Sens lineup are .411 (23-for-56) with 10 runs scored, six bases stolen, and eight RBI. Both are riding six-game hit streaks. Rob Gilliam got the win with seven strong innings, both Rock Cat runs allowed on seven hits (one HR) and no walks while striking out five. The Pats McCoy and Lehman finished out the game with two 1-2-3 innings.

Potomac 6 Myrtle Beach 4
• Grace (W, 1-0) 5IP, 5H, 2R, ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Selik (SV, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Taylor 2-3, 2B, BB, 3RBI, CS(3)
• Freitas 3-5, 2B

Michael Taylor’s bases-clearing double in the top of the 2nd capped off a four-run rally as Potomac finally got a win, 6-4 over Myrtle Beach. Matt Grace got the win with five innings pitched, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks. He struck out two and allowed a solo HR. Cameron Selik pitched a three-up, three-down 9th for the save. Following the game, the P-Nats formally announced that 3B Anthony Rendon has been placed on the DL, replaced by minor-league FA Brent Greer, a native of Manassas, VA, who had been released at the end of spring training by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Hagerstown 16 Lexington 8
• Estevez (W, 1-0) 5IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 7K, 2HR
• Martinson 3-3, 2R, 2B, 2HR, 2BB, 6RBI, E
• Ramirez 4-5, 2R, RBI, SB
• Nieto 3-5, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Newsome 1-1, R, HR, 4RBI

Pitching and defense took a back seat to slugging as the Suns debunked the Legends, 16-8. Jason Martinson would not settle for a single, doubling once and homering twice, including a grand slam in the 2nd inning that turned an early 3-2 Lexington lead into a 6-3 Hagerstown advantage. Martinson drove in six runs altogether. Wirkin “For the Weekend” Estevez got the rulebook win with five innings pitched, four runs allowed on five hits and three walks, though he did strike out seven. The 20-year-old has an ERA of 10.00 with just three scoreless innings out of nine thus far. Rehabbing Rick Ankiel was a mere 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. OF Brian Goodwin has been placed on the DL with what’s being called an “upper leg injury” — groin, quadricep, or hamstring was not specified; Bill Belichek would be proud. OF Angel Montilla was also placed on the DL. Replacing Goodwin and Montilla on the Suns roster are OFs Narciso Mesa and Billy Burns. Both are on our watchlist. UPDATE: Byron Kerr once again has the nitty-gritty, reporting that Montilla is out with a broken hamate bone in his left hand.

Apr 102012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 6-5 vs. Scranton/WB,
6:00 p.m.
Mitch Atkins (0-1, 0.00) vs.
Craig Heyer (0-0, 0.00)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-3 @ New Britain,
6:35 p.m.
Rob Gilliam (0-1, 5.40) vs.
Luke French (1-0, 0.00)
Potomac OFF DAY @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Matt Grace (12-7, 5.17
in ’11 @ A-) vs.
Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 1.93
in ’11 @ SS-A)
Hagerstown Won, 8-7
(11 inn.)
vs. Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Wirkin Estevez (0-1, 13.50) vs.
Carlos Quevedo (0-0, 6.75)

Syracuse 6 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 5
• Duke (W, 1-0) 6IP, 4H, R, ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Wilkie (H, 1) ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Rivero 2-4
• Brown 1-3, 2R, 3B, 2BB, E, OF assist
• Moore 1-3, R, HR, 3RBI, SF

Tyler Moore drove in three runs, including a two-run blast in the second, as the Chiefs built a 6-0 lead early and held on for a 6-5 win. Corey Brown drew two walks and tripled, while Carlos Rivero singled twice to lead the nine-hit attack. Zach Duke gave up just one run on a homer, and four hits total over six innings to earn the win. Three of the four Syracuse errors came in the Yankees’ three-run 7th inning, including one on CF Bryce Harper after colliding with Xavier Paul in RF, a ball that was Paul’s. Harper got some measure of redemption by throwing out Scranton backstop trying for two after driving in a run (who got on base by doubling over Harper’s head) in the 9th inning. Ryan Perry was credited with the save, but the reliever of the night was Josh Wilkie, who stranded two runners with one out in the 8th for his first hold of the season.

New Britain 6 Harrisburg 3
• Ballard (L, 0-1) 4⅔ IP, 10H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Pucetas 2⅓ IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Johnson 3-4, R, HR, RBI
• Kobernus 2-5, 2B — five-game hit streak (.409)

A three-run shot with two out in the 3rd capped a four-run rally as the Rock Cats cruised to 6-3 win over Harrisburg. The Senators were a respectable 4-for-11 with RISP, stranding eight runners, but the turning point came in the 5th when they loaded the bases with three straight singles with nobody out and only came away with one run as New Britain got a comebacker to the mound for one out and double play after Tim Pahuta singled in the lone run. Mike Ballard took the loss with all six Rock Cats runs allowed on 10 hits and a walk. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for Harrisburg, but Jeff Kobernus’s first-inning double extended his hit streak to five games.

Potomac — OFF DAY
For whatever reason, the Potomac Nationals and slow starts seem to be synonymous. It’s 0-3 so far in ’12, 2-6 in both ’10 and ’11 and 2-4 in ’09. In years past, it’s been cold and rainy, but with temps in the 60s and sunshine expected for the long-range forecast, the weather (e.g. cold or rain) can’t be blamed… Anthony Rendon has not been officially placed on the DL just yet, as multiple online reports are stating that team officials are waiting for the swelling to subside in order to further evaluate the extent of the ligament damage. Thus far, the only “known” is that the ankle is not fractured.

Hagerstown 8 Lexington 7 (11 inn.)
• McKenzie 4IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 5K
• Simko 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K, 1-0 IR-S
• Skole 2-5, R, HR, 4RBI (GS)
• Ramsey 1-2, RBI
• Goodwin 1-2

A Matt Skole grand slam gave the Suns an early 4-1 lead, but a bullpen meltdown sent the game into extras, where Caleb Ramsey stroked a two-out walkoff single to give the Suns an 8-7 win in 11 innings. Two errors (including one my Michael Morse, who also failed to throw out the first Lexington run in the first on a flyout to medium left field) sandwiched around a single, double, and another single fueled the Lexington rally that tied the game at 7-7 in the 7th. Todd Simko put out the fire with a grounder and two strikeouts. Morse and Rick Ankiel were 4-for-7 combined with Ankiel connecting on a two-run homer and drawing two walks. Brian Goodwin left the game in the second inning after beating out an infield hit to the first baseman. Officially, it’s a leg injury, but unofficially it appeared to be the usual turned ankle that comes with hitting the bag awkwardly. Like Rendon, no word yet on the extent of (or timetable for the return from) the injury. UPDATE: Byron Kerr is reporting that it’s an upper leg injury, not the ankle or knee. I was was watching the game via MiLB.tv when the injury occurred but was unable to see what Kerr describes due to the stationary nature of the video (i.e. he limped out of camera range).