Jul 202011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 4-3
(12 inn.)
vs. Buffalo,
5:00 p.m.
Yunesky Maya (1-6, 4.45) and
J.D. Martin (2-6, 4.28) vs.
Miguel Batista (0-0, 6.35) and
Gustavo Chacin (0-0, -.–)
Harrisburg Won, 5-4 vs. Bowie,
12:00 p.m.
Tanner Roark (4-6, 6.36) vs.
Zach Britton (0-1, 3.00)
Potomac Won, 1-0 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Danny Rosenbaum (5-4, 2.64) vs.
Zeke Spruill (7-8, 3.06)
Hagerstown OFF DAY vs. Augusta,
7:05 p.m.
A.J. Cole (2-5, 2.94) vs.
Michael Kickham (2-5, 4.71)
Auburn Lost, 3-2 @ Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
Brian Dupra (1-2, 6.11) vs.
Lino Martinez (3-2, 3.21)
GCL Nationals Won, 6-4
@ GCL Astros
vs. GCL Mets,
12:00 p.m.
Gregory Baez (1-1, 5.23) vs.
TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 4-1
@ DSL Cubs2
@ DSL Marlins,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse 4 Buffalo 3 (12 inn.)
• Wang 5⅔ IP, 7H, 3ER, BB, 4K, HR, HBP
• Balester 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Wilkie 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Mandel (W, 2-3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Marrero 1-2, R, 4BB
• Bynum 2-4, 2R, 2B

Syracuse outlasted Buffalo in a 4-3 win last night. Chien-Ming Wang made his first start for the Chiefs and was rudely greeted by a solo home run from the second batter of the game. Syracuse came back to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second when Carlos Maldonado hit a 2-RBI double to score Chris Marrero and Tug Hulett. Buffalo scored two more runs on Wang in the third on two singles, a double, and a sacrifice fly. Wang did not yield any more runs, and he was his usual groundball self, registering nine groundouts to two flyouts. He also pounded the zone, throwing 62 of his 91 pitches for strikes. The Syracuse bullpen was the true hero of the game as Atahualpa Severino, Collin Balester, Josh Wilkie and Jeff Mandel combined for six and 1/3rd innings of scoreless relief. Down 3-2 in the seventh, Syracuse loaded the bases and scored on a Jesus Valdez sacrifice fly. From there the teams traded zeroes until the bottom of the twelfth, when Brian Bixler sent the Syracuse faithful home happy with a walkoff sacrifice fly to score Seth Bynum after he doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch. With the win, Syracuse improves to fourth place in the IL North, one game up over Buffalo and 13½ games behind Lehigh Valley.

Harrisburg 5 Bowie 4
• Martis 5⅔ IP, 8H, 4ER, 2BB, 6K, GS HR
• Martin (W, 2-1) 1.1IP, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 4K
• Pahuta 3-3, R, 2RBI
• Rahl 2-4, 2R, 2B
Harrisburg mustered enough offense to squeak by Bowie in a 5-4 win last night. Harrisburg had 13 hits with Bill Rhinehart, Chris Rahl, Tim Pahuta, Stephen King, and Chris McConnell all registering at least two hits and every starter reaching base except the slumping Bryce Harper (1-25 over his last 7G). Harrisburg scored two in the second on four singles and two in the third on Tyler Moore’s league-leading 21st homer followed by a Rahl double and a Pahuta RBI single. Starter Shairon Martis almost held the lead, but gave up a two-out grand slam to Pedro Florimon in the top of the 6th. Cory VanAllen and Rafael Martin combined to pitch three and 1/3rd innings of scoreless relief to keep the game tied. In the bottom of the 8th, Bill “The Godfather” Rhinehart hit the game-winning RBI single after Josh Johnson and Derek Norris walked. Harrisburg’s win over second place Bowie extends their lead to 4½ games and improves their record to 56-39.

Potomac 1 Lynchburg 0
• Olbrychowski (W, 3-5) 5⅓ IP, 3H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Smoker (S, 1) 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Hood 3-4, RBI
• Perez 1-3, R

For the second straight game, the Potomac pitchers combined for a 1-0 shutout of the Lynchburg Hillcats. Unlike Monday night, the story was not keeping them off base but how the P-Nats pitchers bore down and denied the Hillcats the clutch hit. Lynchburg put 11 baserunners on but went 0-for-13 when they got into scoring position, including a one-out triple in the first and leadoff double in the second. Adam Olbrychowski pitched into the sixth, allowing three hits and two walks. Neil Holland, Joe Testa, and Josh Smoker each inherited two runners; the trio combined to strand six, pitching three and 2/3rds scoreless innings of relief. Offensively, Destin Hood led the nine-hit Potomac offensive effort, triple Monday’s output, with a 3-for-3 game and the game’s lone RBI. The win puts Potomac to 16-9, keeping pace with the Frederick Keys, who are currently on a six-game win streak.

Hagerstown Suns — OFF DAY
The Suns kick off an eight-game homestand against with four against the Augusta Greenjackets, winners of 10 straight, then four against the Greenville Drive.

Williamsport 3 Auburn 2
• Karns (L, 0-1) 4IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 5BB, 3K
• Barrett 3IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 1K
• Ramsey 3-4, R
• J Miller 1-3, RBI

The Doubledays loaded ‘em up with nobody out in the 9th, but could only get two runners in as the Crosscutters held on for the 3-2 win. Nathan Karns was tagged for the loss in his New York-Penn League debut, coughing up three first-inning runs and walking five over four innings while giving up six hits. David Hill pitched one scoreless inning and Aaron Barrett threw three to keep Auburn in it. Caleb Ramsey was the only Doubleday to collect multiple hits (3-for-4) as the Williamsport pitchers held the rest of the lineup to just three hits. The loss drops Auburn back to .500 at 16-16, but still just two games out of first place.

GCL Nationals 6 GCL Astros
• Mieses 3IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, K
• Hawkins (S, 1) 2⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Schill 3-5, R
• E Martinez 3-4, 2R, 2B, RBI

The long summer of discontent is finally over with the G-Nats 6-4 win over the G-Astros. Well, no, not really, but the eight-game losing streak is over, thanks to strong relief work from Pat Arnold and Ben Hawkins, who combined for four and 2/3rds scoreless innings and eight strikeouts to earn the win and save respectively. Wes Schill and Estarlin Martinez paced the offense with three hits apiece as the G-Nats pounded out 12 hits and committed just one (1) error. The G-Nats win, no. 9, was the first since July 9, as the 9-16 record trails the G-Marlins by 8½ games in the GCL East.

DSL Nationals 4 DSL Cubs2 1 (6 inn.)
• Silvestre (W, 2-1) 5IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 2K
• Guzman 0IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-3, 2B, RBI
• Mejia 2-3, R, 3B

The D-Nats scored in both of the first two innings, building a 3-1 lead and extended it to 4-1 before the game was called in the bottom of the sixth. Hector Silvestre got his second win in his second start, allowing an unearned run on two hits and three walks over five innings. Jose Marmolejos-Diaz and Bryan Mejia each had two hits to pace the D-Nats offense. The win puts the D-Nats at 21-22, 5½ games off the pace in the B.C. South Division of the DSL.

Jul 192011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Postponed vs. Buffalo,
7:00 p.m.
Chien-Ming Wang (rehab) vs.
Miguel Batista (0-0, 6.35)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-2 vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Shairon Martis (7-3, 2.70) vs.
Oliver Drake (1-1, 9.00)
Potomac Won, 1-0 vs. Lynchburg,
12:05 p.m.
Adam Olbrychowski
(2-5, 5.36) vs.
David Hale (1-3, 4.71)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-6 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn Won, 4-3 @ Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
Nathan Karns (SS-A debut) vs.
Mike Nesseth (1-2, 2.37)
GCL Nationals Lost, 6-4
(12 inn.)
vs. GCL Cardinals
@ GCL Astros,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 7-6
vs. DSL Giants
@ DSL Cubs2,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse-Buffalo — PPD
The Chiefs game against Buffalo was rained out and will be made up on Wednesday as part of a pair of 7-inning games. Yunesky Maya will start Game 1 and JD Martin will start Game 2. Chien-Ming Wang is still scheduled to makes his rehab start for the Chiefs tonight.

Bowie 4 Harrisburg 2
• Arnesen (L, 6-2) 6#8531; IP, 11H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 6K
• Pena 2⅔ IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Rhinehart 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• T Moore 2-4, RBI
• Jo Johnson 2-3, R, 2B, BB

Erik Arnesen was touched up early in a 4-2 Harrisburg loss to Bowie. In the first, he gave up a single, a walk, and a 2-RBI double. In the second, he gave up an RBI double, and in the third, he gave up a two out RBI single before settling down until he was removed in the seventh for Hassan Pena. Bill “The Godfather” Rhinehart doubled in Josh Johnson in the first for Harrisburg, and Rhinehart later scored on a Tyler Moore single in the third after leading off the inning with single. Potential comeback rallies in the fifth and seventh were snuffed out by Rhinehart and Derek Norris GIDPs. Despite the new “Harpersburg” promotion, Bryce Harper remains stuck in a slump (1-for-21 over last 6G) and was 0-3 with a walk. With the loss to Bowie, Harrisburg falls to 55-39, 3½ games ahead of Bowie with two games remaining in the key series against the second-place Baysox.

Potomac 1 Lynchburg 0
• Selik (W, 3-6) 6IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Frias 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Nelo (S, 12) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Soriano 1-2, R, 2B
• Hood 0-2, SF RBI

A close but unexciting 1-0 win Last Night In Woodbridge

Lexington 8 Hagerstown 6
• Ray 2⅓ IP, 3H, 3ER, 4BB, 5K, HR
• Manno 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K (ERA 0.87)
• Martinson 1-5, R, GS HR
• Rogers 2-4, 2B, RBI
Hagerstown fell to the Lexington Legends 8-6 in a back-and-forth affair. Robbie Ray was hit hard early in the contest and could not make it out of the third inning. He gave up a leadoff single in the second, and after an RBI single in the third, he gave up two walks to load the bases before giving up the ball to Paul Applebee, who allowed one of the inherited runners to score on an RBI groundout before getting out of the jam. Applebee then proceeded to give up two more runs in the fourth to make the score 5-1. Hagerstown rallied to take a 6-5 lead after Michael Taylor’s tenth homer, a leadoff blast, and Jason Martison’s eleventh homer, a grand slam. Unfortunately, Wilson Eusebio gave up three runs in the seventh during his three innings of reliefto put the Suns down by the final score of 8-6. With the loss, Hagerstown falls to 13-11, 3½ games behind first-half winner Hickory in the Sally North.

Auburn 4 Batavia 3
• Bates 6IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K
• Holt (W, 1-1) 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Perez 3-4, 2B
• Montilla 2-4, R

A three-run seventh and the pitching combo of former Univ. of North Carolina teammates Colin Bates and Greg Holt powered the Auburn Doubledays past the Batavia Muckdogs for a 4-3 win. Rick Hughes walked to start the rally, singles by Caleb Ramsey, Carlos Alvarez, and Adrian Nieto pushed in the first two runs while Justin Miller’s sac fly knocked in what proved to be the gamewinner. The win snaps a four-game losing streak and puts Auburn at 16-15, two games behind Jamestown.

GCL Cardinals 6 GCL Nationals 4 (12 inn.)
• King 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 4K
• Ja. Smith 2⅔ IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 2K
• P Severino 1-4, 2R, BB, RBI
• Karlen 1-4, BB, RBI, SB

With five in this one, 18 in the last four, and 31 in the last eight, the “E” light on the scoreboard continues to get a workout in the GCL faciities as the G-Nats lost again, 6-4 in 12 innings. No batter collected multiple hits and just three reached base twice. Brandon King started and went the first five, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts. The G-Nats’ won-loss mark is now 8-16, still nine behind the G-Marlins.

DSL Nationals 7 DSL Giants 6
• Mendez 5⅔ IP, 10H, 6R, 5ER, 0BB, 4K
• Barrientos (W, 2-3) 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Mercedes 2-6, 3RBI
• Eusebio 2-5, R, HR, RBI
• Mejia 2-5, R, 2-3B, RBI

With a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth, the DSL Nationals sent it to extras and scored the walkoff in the 11th for a 7-6 win. Yermin Mercedes drove in the gamewinner with a single to score “Fred” Ortega. Joel Barrientos got the win with three scoreless innings of relief. D-Nats starter Gilberto Mendez was charged with all six D-Giant runs on 10 hits over the first five and 2/3rds. The win improves the D-Nat mark to 20-22, six games off the pace.

Jul 192011
 

A two-base hit, a sacrifice bunt, and a “run-scoring flyball” gave Potomac a 1-0 win over the Lynchburg Hillcats.

The problem is that happened in the bottom of the first and it was never that certain that the P-Nats would prevail.

Cameron Selik, Marcos Frias, and Hector Nelo combined for a five-hit shutout, allowing just one runner to reach second base. The defense turned two double plays and gunned down a runner trying to stretch a single into a double. And the Potomac offense managed just two more hits from the second to the eighth innings.

It’s difficult to convey the excitement that a 1-0 game is supposed to elicit because, like the sign on Jimmie Dimmick’s lawn, it simply wasn’t there. After the first, it was two hours of wondering when the other shoe would drop: “We’re ahead, but it doesn’t feel like we’re winning.”

For three games now, the Potomac offense has been lifeless. They’ve managed to win two of those games… against a last-place team. To expect the pitching and defense to be that good that often is not realistic. Apologies for the short writeup today, but there’s not much else to say.

The win improves Potomac to 15-9 in the second half, still tied with Frederick for first place in the Carolina League North. Adam Oblrychowski (2-5, 5.36) is slated to start this afternoon, opposed by David Hale (1-3, 4.71).

Jul 182011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Won, 8-4 vs. Buffalo,
7:00 p.m.
Yunesky Maya (1-6, 4.45) vs.
Dylan Owen (4-5, 4.48)
Harrisburg Won, 9-7 vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Erik Arnesen (6-1, 2.27) vs.
Tim Bascom (5-2, 2.96)
Potomac Lost, 5-4 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Cameron Selik (2-6, 4.42) vs.
Chris Masters (5-4, 3.48)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-2 @ Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Robbie Ray (2-1, 1.76) vs.
Alex Sogard (1-3, 3.98)
Auburn Lost, 8-3 vs. Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
Colin Bates (2-1, 1.93) vs.
Tod McInnis (2-1, 1.44)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY vs. GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
Brandon King (1-2, 8.44) vs.
Victor De Leon (0-3, 5.03)
DSL Nationals OFF DAY vs. DSL Giants,
10:30 a.m.
Jesus Guzman (0-0, 2.33) vs.
Yeini Martinez (2-3, 2.55)

Syracuse 8 Lehigh Valley 4
• Milone (W, 8-5) 7⅓ IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 6K; 3-3, 2R, RBI (.421 BA)
• Wilkie ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Frazier 3-3, 2R, 2-2B, BB, RBI
• Marrero 3-4, R, 2-2B, 2RBI
• Lombardozzi 3-5, 2R, HR, 3RBI

Tom Milone picked up where he left off from before the All-Star break, tossing seven and 1/3rd innings of one-run pitching for his 8th win as Syracuse doubled up Lehigh Valley, 8-4. Steve Lombardozzi’s three-run homer in the bottom of the 4th was the offensive highlight, as five Chiefs would collect multiple hits, including Milone (3-for-3). The win improves Syracuse to 40-53, 15 games behind Lehigh Valley.

Harrisburg 9 Akron 7

• O Perez 2IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 2K, HR
• Barthmaier (W, 2-3) 3⅔ IP, 4H 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Moore 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Gilbert 2-4, 2R, 2B, 2RBI, SB

Perhaps it’s time for tines in the spine for Oliver Perez, who needed 67 pitches to get six outs while giving up four runs. He was bailed out by Jimmy Barthmaier’s hold-the-fort relief effort of three and 2/3rds scoreless innings, as the Harrisburg Senators fell behind early (4-1), went up big (9-4) and held on for a 9-7 win. Tyler Moore continues his assault on the E.L., smacking HR #20 to go back into a tie with teammate Bill Rhinehart for the league lead as the Sens got nine runs on nine hits and went 5-for-11 with RISP in the win. Second-place Bowie is in town for the next three, hoping to chip away at the 4½ game lead the Sens have built with their 55-38 mark.

Lynchburg 5 Potomac 4
• Demny (L, 6-8) 6IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Wort 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Soriano 2-5, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Kobernus 2-5, RBI

A too-little-too-late offensive effort for the P-Nats Last Night In Woodbridge

Lexington 6 Hagerstown 2
• Grace 6IP, 6H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 6K
• Hanks (L, 0-1) 2IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, K
• Keyes 2-3, 2R, 2B, BB, HR, RBI
• Martinson 2-4, 2B, RBI

Shortly after Kevin Keyes had bailed him out with a solo shot in the top of the 8th, Tyler Hanks was even less effective in the bottom of the 8th as the Lexington Legends battered him for five runs on six hits over the last two innings in a 6-2 win over the Hagerstown Suns. Matt Grace started and went the first six, allowing one unearned run on six hits and three walks while striking out three. Jason Martinson, David Freitas and Keyes each had two hits, but just one hit came from the rest of the lineup. With the loss, Hagerstown falls to 2½ games behind first-half champ Hickory in the Sally North with a 13-10 record.

Batavia 8 Auburn 3

• Rodriguez, M (L, 1-2) 4⅔ IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 3K
• Ramsey 2-5
• Skole 2-4, R, BB

The Muckdogs pretty much had their way with whomever was on the mound, as they battered three Doubledays pitchers for 15 hits in 8-3 romp over Auburn. Manny Rodriguez took the most damage, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts, losing his second game of the season.
Caleb Ramsey, Matt Skole, and “Bowden’s Folly” each had two hits in the nine-hit offensive effort. The loss was the fourth straight for Auburn, evening the Doubleday record at 15-15, two games behind the trio of Batavia, Jamestown and Mahoning Valley in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League.

GCL Nationals
Seems early to start referring to the elimination number, but with G-Marlins on an 8-game win streak and the G-Nats on a 7-game losing skid, it’s down to 25 with 33 games left to play and a nine-game deficit (6½ in the wild-card race) to overcome.

DSL Nationals
Just five games this week for the D-Nats, who are also looking at bleak prospects for postseason play — down six games in the division, eight games in the wild-card race.

Jul 182011
 

Two good innings of hitting weren’t enough to offset seven innings of bad as the Potomac Nationals saw their five-game win streak snapped with a 5-4 loss to the Lynchburg Hillcats.

Perhaps it was the hangover effect from facing a knuckleballer the night before. Journeyman Aaron Shafer simply wasn’t as good as his numbers might indicate, limiting the P-Nats to just four hits over the first seven innings. There seemed to be an unusual number of popups (5), particularly against a pitcher that wasn’t throwing especially hard.

The too-little, too-late effort made a loser out of Paul Demny, who pitched well enough to win: two runs on six hits (though one was home run #15 surrendered) and two walks against four strikeouts over six innings. On most nights, that would have been good enough to win.

Mitchell Clegg came on in the 7th and continues to be a decent pitcher on the road (3.58 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) and dreadful at home (7.94, 2.29). This despite showing an improved breaking pitch. He would go two innings, but one mistake (a three-run double) after a single, walk, and sacrifice-turned-hit loaded the bases and a near escape (strikeout, flyout to shallow center) would keep the trend going.

Curiously, the seventh also saw manager Matt LeCroy pull Destin Hood during the warmups and replace him with Cutter Dykstra, ostensibly a punishment for not running out the last out of the sixth, a high fly to left field. The last time such a thing happened (Eury Perez, July 1), the offender was benched for three games. Something to consider if Hood is out of the lineup tonight.

Potomac would rally for two runs in both the bottom of the 8th and 9th innings, pounding out five hits and drawing two walks but the five-run cushion built by Lynchburg would hold for the 5-4 win.

With the loss, Potomac drops into a first-place tie with Frederick at 14-9. Cameron Selik (2-6, 4.42) takes to the hill tonight, opposed by Lynchburg’s Chris Masters (5-4, 3.48).

Jul 172011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 8-6 vs. Lehigh Valley,
5:00 p.m.
Tom Milone (7-5, 3.15) vs.
Tyson Brummett (1-2, 4.44)
Harrisburg Lost, 11-5 vs. Akron,
6:00 p.m.
Oliver Perez (2-1, 2.48) vs.
T.J. McFarland (5-4, 4.30)
Potomac Won, 5-3;
Won, 3-2
vs. Lynchburg,
6:05 p.m.
Paul Demny (6-7, 4.48) vs.
Aaron Shafer (2-2, 2.66)
Hagerstown Won, 4-2 @ Lexington,
5:05 p.m.
Matt Grace (9-5, 4.87) vs.
Carlos Quevedo (6-4, 4.45)
Auburn Lost, 4-2 @ Batavia,
5:05 p.m.
Manny Rodriguez (1-1, 4.11) vs.
Mike Maness (0-0, 0.32)
GCL Nationals Lost, 9-5
@ GCL Marlins
OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals Lost, 5-3
@ DSL Rangers
OFF DAY N/A

Lehigh Valley 8 Syracuse 6
• Peacock (L, 0-1) 4⅓ IP, 6H, 7ER, 2BB, 4K, 3R HR, HR, 2 HBP
• Mandel 2IP, 2H, 0ER, 0BB, 4K
• Lombardozzi 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI
• Solano 2-4, 2R, 2R HR, 2RBI
Brad Peacock’s debut start for Syracuse was a sad 8-6 loss to Lehigh Valley. Peacock was rudely greeted to the International League as Lehigh Valley hit back-to-back leadoff doubles to usher him into the league and back-to-back homers later in a five-run first inning. Peacock was chased from the game in the fifth after allowing a one out single and hitting a batter. Zech Zinicola allowed both runners to score when he gave up a three-run blast later in the inning. He then pitched two more scoreless innings before Jeff Mandel pitched two shutout innings. Offensively, the Chiefs got on the board in the first on a Steve Lombardozzi leadoff home run. They added three in the fifth with a key RBI single from pitcher Zech Zinicola, a Lombardozzi RBI single, and a sac fly by Jesus Valdez. Down 8-4, the Chiefs rallied for two runs in the eighth on a Jhonotan Solano two run homer but failed to complete the comeback. Syracuse has now lost three in a row and falls to 39-53, sixteen back of first place Lehigh Valley in the IL North.

Akron 11 Harrisburg 5
• E Davis (L, 5-4) 3⅔ IP, 7H, 6R, 5ER, 5BB, 4K, 2HR
• C Martinez 2⅓ IP 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K
• Johnson 2-4, R, 2B
• Moore 3-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI
Starter Erik Davis was roughed up for six runs, five earned, in an 11-5 loss to Akron last night. Things started ugly for Davis, with a leadoff walk and back-to-back homers in the top half of first. Harrisburg answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning, but Akron scored
two in the second and one in the third to take a 6-2 lead that Harrisburg could not overcome. Tyler Moore had three hits, including his 19th homer. A slumping Derek Norris got back on the ledger with two hits to raise his average to .197. Relievers Carlos Martinez, Hassan Pena, and Pat Lehman all gave up runs as Akron extended their lead to a final score of 11-5. With the loss, Harrisburg falls to 54-38 but still has a one-game lead over New Hampshire for the best record in the Eastern league and a 4½ game lead over Bowie for first place in E.L. West.

Potomac 5 Kinston 3
• Solis (W, 3-0) 6IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 9K
• Holland (S, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Bloxom 2-3, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Soriano 2-3, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Hood 1-3, R, HR, RBI

Potomac 3 Kinston 2
• Bronson 4⅓ IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Lozada 1-3, 2B
• Dykstra 1-3, 2RBI
• Souza 0-1, R, 3SB (18, 19, 20)

A doubleheader sweep and two sportswriter’s wins Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 4 Lexington 2
• McKenzie (W, 3-3) 6IP, 2H, ER, BB, K, HR
• Brown (S, 3) 3IP, 3H, ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Sanchez 2-4, R
• Taylor 2-4, R, 2R HR, 2RBI
• Freitas 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI

Chris McKenzie pitched six strong innings in a 4-2 Hagerstown win over the Lexington Legends. Bryce Lane was the only Legend to score, hitting solo shots off both McKenzie and reliever Sam Brown. Hagerstown managed two homers of their own, a solo shot by David Freitas in the third (10th overall) and a two run shot by Michael Taylor (9th overall) in the sixth. Hagerstown’s other run was an unearned tally in the first after Jay Austin misplayed an Adrian Sanchez single to center to allow him to reach third base. Hagerstown managed 11 hits to just five for Lexington in the win. Hagerstown improves to 13-9, 1½ games behind Hickory in the Sally North.

Batavia 4 Auburn 2
• Meza (ND) 6IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 3K
• Skole 2-4, 2B
• J Miller 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI

Auburn’s loss streak reached three with a 4-2 loss to Batavia, spoiling a strong start by Christian Meza. The lefty went six innings and allowed just one run on three hits and two walks while striking out three. He left with a 2-1 lead but the Doubleday ‘pen was no match for the Muckdog counterparts, as the two Auburn relievers were touched for three runs over three innings while three Batavia pitchers tossed four scoreless innings. The loss drops Auburn to 15-14 and into fourth place, two games behind Jamestown in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League.

GCL Marlins 9 GCL Nationals 5
• Medina (ND) 5IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 8K
• Simko (BS, 2)(L, 1-2) 6BF, 0IP, 3H, 6R, 1ER, 0BB 0K, 0HR
• E Martinez 3-4, 2R, HR, BB, SB, RBI
• JC Valdez 2-4, R, 3B, RBI

With a run in the second, three in third, the G-Nats built a 4-0 lead. The G-Marlins chipped away, scoring single runs in the 4th, 6th, and 7th innings, to pull within one at 4-3. Sadly, today was not a doubleheader as the wheels, axles, and the driveshaft fell off the metaphorical bus as the G-Nats committed five errors in the six-run G-Marlins eighth. That’s now seven straight losses for the G-Nats, who are now 8-15 and 8½ games behind the pace.

DSL Rangers 5 DSL Nationals 3
• Pineyro (ND) 5IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 6K
• K Rodriguez (H, 3) 2IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 2K
• Difo 2-4, 2R, 2-3B, SB
• Rosario 2-4, R, 2RBI
• Mercedes 2-4, 2B, 3B, RBI

The bullpen implosion that ran rampant on Saturday night started here in the D.R. as the DSL Rangers scored three runs in the bottom of the 8th, and the four runs of the game to turn 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 win over the DSL Rangers. Ivan Pineyro got the start and went the first five, giving up one run on four hits and two walks while striking out six. The top three batters (Difo, Rosario, Mercedes) combined to go 6-for-12 with a double, three triples, amd three runs scored. The loss puts the D-Nats at 19-22, six games behind the D-Rangers in the B.C. South.

Jul 172011
 

With a doubleheader sweep of the Kinston Indians, the Potomac Nationals have now won five straight games and five straight series.

Since the season’s lowpoint — 11 straight losses from May 22 to June 1 — the P-Nats have gone 26-14, a .650 winning percentage, and it’s a familiar story: The bats have begun to heat up, the bullpen has solidified, and the defense has tightened.

But even better, the tendency to play better on the road has subsided. With the 5-3 and 3-2 wins, Potomac has 15 of its last 20 home games. Quite a turnaround from the 5-16 mark in the first 21 games.

In game one, Sammy Solis worked around a lapse of concentration in the second — back-to-back moonshots by Jeremie Tice and Abner Abreu, the second coming on a flat fastball — to go six innings and strike out nine batters against two walks. Yes, he gave up eight hits but three were of the “dying quail” variety that spilled just over the infielders into the outfield.

Those two home runs gave the Indians a brief 2-1 lead until Francisco Soriano struck again for another two-RBI hit, this one a double down the left-field line with two outs. Soriano would collect six RBI for the series.

In the bottom of the sixth, Potomac would match the Kinston second with Destin Hood and Justin Bloxom clearing the fences on consecutive at-bats to break a 3-3 tie and go ahead 5-3. Neil Holland would pitch the final frame and set the Indians down in order for his first High-A save.

In game two, Potomac got the pleasure of facing Steven Wright, the pitcher, and now one of the latest pitchers in affiliated baseball to throw the dreaded/beloved knuckleball. The last one spotted here was John Barnes in 2006, pitching for Wilmington when it was a Boston Red Sox affiliate.

Unlike Barnes, Wright is not a position player seeking a new baseball life — he’s a reliever capable of throwing in the low 90s that is looking for an edge, as he’s stalled at AA for parts of the past four season and will be 27 at the end of next month. Acccording to an Indians prospect site, he worked with Tom Candiotti during spring training and has been starting this season to get a feel for the pitch.

He’ll also need to learn to hold runners on much better, as the P-Nats stole five bases and took advantage of an errors on throws to the bases to score. Otherwise, the Potomac nine looked helpless, and perhaps a bit sore from flails at 55 m.p.h. pitches.

Evan Bronson opposed Wright and much like Solis, the number of hits he gave up was not indicative of his stuff. The predominantly righthanded Kinston lineup (Chase Burnette is the sole lefty… on the roster) three of six hits were hit to short right field, in front of Destin Hood. Ironically, the one mistake Bronson made came against Burnette, as the first baseman smacked a two-run homer for Kinston’s only runs.

Like the first game, the P-Nats made it a “sportswriter’s win” — usually a game won in the bottom of the 8th, but here the bottom of the sixth — after J.P. Ramirez led off the inning with a clean single to center. J.R. Higley was called on to pinch-run, but hurt himself trying to get back to first on numerous pickoff attempts.

Jeff Kobernus replaced him and took second and third in the same way that Francisco Soriano had to tie the game at 2-2 in the previous inning: A steal of second and a scamper to third on an error.

A wild pitch scored the 2nd Potomac run, but the third came in a much more conventional way as Kinston changed pitchers after Wright issued his fourth walk and allowed the fifth steal. Cutter Dykstra pounded a grounder that bounced just high enough for Kobernus to score without a throw to the plate.

Joe Testa got the call to close out the game in the 7th, allowing a leadoff single to short on a slow roller but otherwise got the job done to preserve the 3-2 win.

Potomac now stands at 14-8, one full game ahead of Frederick and hosts the last-place Lynchburg Hillcats for the next four games.

Jul 162011
 

A few transactions showed up in today’s sweep…

HAGERSTOWN
• Taylor Jordan placed on 7-Day DL
• Ben Graham placed on 7-Day DL
• Chris McKenzie assigned from GCL Nationals
• Tyler Hanks assigned from GCL Nationals

AUBURN
• Taylor Hill assigned from Washington Nationals (6th Rd. Draft Pick)

DSL Nationals
• Jesus De Los Santos assigned to DSL Nationals from Washington Nationals
(Int’l Free Agent, signed ’10-’11 offseason)

Jul 162011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitcher
Syracuse Lost, 7-6 vs. Lehigh Valley,
7:00 p.m.
Brad Peacock (AAA debut) vs.
Ryan Feierabend (8-5, 5.52)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-3 vs. Akron,
7:00 p.m.
Erik Davis (5-3, 3.74) vs.
Joe Gardner (6-6, 4.11)
Potomac Won, 4-3 vs. Kinston,
5:30 p.m.
Sammy Solis (2-0, 2.08) and
Evan Bronson (2-3, 3.77)vs. TBD
Hagerstown Lost, 7-0;
Lost, 3-2 (11 inn.)
@ Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Carlos Quevedo (6-4, 4.45)
Auburn Lost, 10-4 vs. Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
Christian Meza (0-0, 12.86) vs.
Jose Almarante (2-0, 2.81)
GCL Nationals Lost, 8-6
@ GCL Mets
@ GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
Chris McKenzie (1-0, 5.40) vs.
TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 5-1
@ DSL Phillies
@ DSL Rangers,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Lehigh Valley 7 Syracuse 6
• Stammen 4⅔ IP, 10H, 5ER, 2BB, 7K, 2R HR, HR
• Mandel 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0ER, BB, 2K, 1 IR stranded
• Lombardozzi 3-5, R, RBI
• Bynum 2-4, 2R, RBI, SF

Syracuse fell in a 7-6 loss to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Syracuse hit 13 singles and couldn’t match the power of Lehigh Valley’s two home runs. Starter Craig Stammen gave up two runs in the third, one run in the fourth, and two runs in two-thirds of an inning in the fifth before being lifted for Collin Balester. Balester took the loss, giving up two runs in one and a third innings pitched. Jeff Mandel and Atahualpa Severino combined for
two innings of scoreless relief to keep the Chiefs in the game. With the loss, Syracuse falls to 39-50 and a tie for fourth place with Buffalo, fifteen games back of Lehigh Valley.

Akron 4 Harrisburg 3
• Roark (L, 4-6) 5IP, 8H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K, HR
• McCoy 2IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Moore 2-4
• Rhinehart 1-3, R, 2R HR, 2RBI, BB

Harrisburg fell 4-3 to Akron despite a two-run homer from Bill “The Godfather” Rhinehart in the sixth after a Derek Norris walk. Jerry Hairston, Jr. went 0-3 and played shortstop in a rehab start. Bryce Harper has cooled off at the plate and earned a sombrero, striking out three times. Tanner Roark continues to struggle at AA (6.36 ERA) and took the loss, allowing eight hits and walking two. Jimmy Barthmaier and Pat McCoy pitched two scoreless innings apiece to keep the game close. Harrisburg remains 5½ games over Bowie for first place in the E.L. West at 54-37 overall.

Potomac 4 Kinston 3
• Rosenbaum (W, 5-4) 8IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 8K
• Nelo (S, 11) 1IP, 1H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 0K
• Soriano 2-4, 2R, 2HR, 4RBI
• Lozada 1-3, R, 3B

After two unscheduled nights off, it was all right Last Night In Woodbridge
Augusta 7 Hagerstown 0
• Cole (L, 2-5) 2IP, 3H, ER, 0BB, 5K
• McCatty 2IP, 4H, 4ER, 3BB, 2K
• Freitas 1-3
• Rogers 1-3
Hagerstown lost 7-0 in the resumption of yesterday’s suspended game. A.J. Cole gave up a single and an RBI double in the second but struck out Bobby Haney, his last batter, and struck out five of the six Greenjackets that he retired on Thursday night. Four Greenjackets pitchers combined to limit the Suns offense to just three singles and two walks in the seven-inning shutout.

Augusta 3 Hagerstown 2
• Swynenberg 4IP, 2H, 2ER, 3BB, 2K
• Manno 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 3 IR stranded
• Kelso 1-5, R
• W Moore 1-2, 2RBI
Hagerstown was swept in the doubleheader when they lost 3-2 to Augusta in eleven innings. Starter Matt Swynenberg gave up a run in the third when Carlos Willoughby tripled and scored. Two leadoff walks in the fourth eventually led to a second run. Hagerstown came back to tie in the sixth with a two-run rally. Christopher Manno came in with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth and struck out Jeff Arnold and got Willoughby to get the Suns out of deep trouble. Overall, Paul Applebee, Manno, and Ryan Demmin combined for six innings of scoreless relief before Demmin tired in the eleventh and gave up three two-out walks, one intentional, to give Augusta the dreaded walkoff walk. After the doubleheader sweep, Hagerstown falls to third place at 12-9, 1½ games back of first-place Hickory in the Sally Northern division.

Brooklyn 10 Auburn 4
• Estevez (L, 2-2) 4IP, 10H, 8R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K
• Henke 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Rowe 1-2, R, 2BB
• Hughes 1-4, 2RBI

Brooklyn scored in each of the first four innings, building an 8-1 lead as the Cyclones cruised to a 10-4 win over the Auburn Doubledays. Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez gave up 10 hits in four innings, allowing eight runs (four earned) on 10 hits and two walks. The Doubledays took advantage of five walks to score four runs on just six hits. The loss drops Auburn to 15-13, one game behind Jamestown and Mahoning Valley.

GCL Mets 8 GCL Nationals 6
• Encarnacion (L, 0-2) ⅔ IP, 4H, 5R, 0ER, 0BB, K
• Lucas 3⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• E Fernandez 4-4, R, RBI
• Mesa 2-5, 3B, 2RBI
• Je Valdez 1-3, R, HR, 3RBI

Make that six losses in a row for the G-Nats, who fell 8-6 to the G-Mets. Pedro Encarnacion started and lasted 2/3rds of an inning, giving up four hits, throwing two wild pitches as the defense committed three of its five errors in the G-Mets five-run first inning. The Mets would tag on another three runs in the fourth to build an 8-0 lead. Jean Carlos Valdez smacked a three-run homer in the top of the 7th, as the G-Nats would score five in the 7th and one in the 8th to pull within two runs. The G-Nats are now 8-14, 7½ games behind the G-Marlins in the GCL East.

DSL Nationals 5 DSL Phillies 1
• Santana (W, 2-1) 6IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, BB, 9K
• W Suero (S, 1) 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• Rosario 2-5, 2R, 2B
• Mercedes 2-5, R
• Difo 2-5, SB (25)

Behind six strong innings from starter Andy Santana, the DSL Nationals defeated the DSL Phillies by a 5-1 score. Santana gave up just one run on four hits and a walk while striking out nine to earn the win. Wilmer Difo, Dioncio Rosario and Yermin Mercedes combined to go 6-for-15 from the first three spots in the batting order. Wander Suero pitched three scoreless innings for the save, his first of the year. The D-Nats improved to 19-21, five games in back of the D-Rangers in the B.C. South Division.

Jul 162011
 

Behind a pair of Francisco Soriano two-run HRs and eight strong innings from Danny Rosenbaum, the Potomac Nationals returned to action with a 4-3 win on Friday night.

Enjoy this while it lasts because if history serves, Rosenbaum’s time in Woodbridge may be coming to an end.

One of the most common questions* is when will Player X get promoted. For position players, I keep telling folks, the new world order is that it’s a level a year below AA. Pitchers are the most likely to get in-season moves. Tonight, Brad Peacock makes his first AAA start. Next week, Nathan Karns will be likely to start for the first time north of Florida. *Answerable; I know nothing about incriminating pictures or information that’s keeping a given player active or on the 40-man roster.

With his one-year anniversary of his high-A debut coming next week, Rosenbaum’s AA debut could be on deck in the next three or four weeks. He certainly made the case with his performance: eight innings pitched, a season-high eight strikeouts and eleven groundball outs. His fastball command was a little shaky but hitters couldn’t touch his changeup, as several times he was able to fool them with it on back-to-back pitches.

Walks have been his bugaboo this year — something I believe has come with a jump in his top velocity from the high 80s to the low 90s — and though he walked just one, wouldn’t it figure that the lone walk would lead to the lone run? It came in the fourth inning with one out and was followed by a single that pushed the runner to third. Eury Perez snagged the flyout in medium center, waving off J.R. Higley and launched missile to home plate… just up the line enough for the runner to score.

The sacrifice fly was the first of five straight batters retired before a leadoff single in the sixth. That would be the last Indian to reach base against Rosenbaum, who retired the last eight batters he faced, including a 6-4-3 double to erase that single.

Not to bury poor Francisco Soriano, who was the story on offense. It’s one thing to hit two home runs in a game, it’s quite another to do it from both sides of the plate. Soriano drove in all four runs for Potomac, including a shot off the LF foul pole in the 7th to put the P-Nats up 4-1. As P-Nats broadcaster Will Flemming tweeted last night, his four HR in 41 games this year matches the four HR he had hit in the 245 games he had played previously.

The 4-3 final correctly suggests that Hector Nelo was less than stellar in the ninth. He walked the leadoff batter and his deliberate delivery enabled not one but two Kinston baserunners to steal against Sandy Leon (55% CS rate). An error “helped” make one of the two runs unearned with the runs coming in on single over Jeff Kobernus into right-center and groundout to Kobernus for the second out. Soriano gunned down the last batter with the tying run at third to end it.

The win improves Potomac to 12-8 for the second half, still a ½-game ahead of the first-half winner Frederick in the Carolina League’s Northern Division. Sammy Solis (2-0, 2.08) makes his second Pfitz start in the opener of tonight’s doubleheader against Kinston, with Evan Bronson (2-3, 3.77) pitching the nightcap.