Monday Afternoon in Woodbridge

Potomac turned to Whit Mayberry on two days’ rest and the 26-y.o. veteran responded with seven monster innings as the P-Nats clinched a second-half title with a 3-1 victory.

The midseason pickup threw 79 pitches, 56 for strikes, and struck a career-high nine, getting Cuban cleanup man Yasiel Balaguert three times after the Prince Fielder doppelgänger had tortured Potomac pitchers for eight hits and four RBI over the past three games.

Early on, the P-Nats racked up the hits — three in the 1st, two in the 2nd, one in the 3rd — but the clutch hit was absent as they had just one run to show for it.

They finally broke through in the 5th with a little “help” from the Pelicans pitcher who threw past first base to allow Victor Robles to turn a bunt single into a Little League double, though he might have been able to make it a “triple” had he not done his best imitation of Deion Sanders by spinning around halfway past first base and backpedaling into second base.

Austin Davidson followed with a single to left to send in Robles. MLB rehab Stephen Drew did his best imitation of Robles with an HBP to push Davidson to second and Osvaldo Abreu completed the two-run rally with another single to left.

The two teams traded donuts in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, with Gilberto Mendez following Mayberry and working around a single before giving way to closer (and postseason All-Star) Ryan Brinley in the 9th.

Maybe it was nerves, but the defense was less than steady in the 9th for Brinley, with Bryan Mejia booting a grounder to second for his 26th miscue to open the innings and Austin Davidson bullfighting a two-out grounder to the 5/6 hole that was ruled a single. A subsequent safety to right plated the lone Myrtle Beach run and brought up the go-ahead run.

Light-hitting Jesse Hodges put a charge into the final out but a warning-track flyball is the same as a can of corn in the scorebook as the P-Nats celebrated their third second-half title in the past four seasons.

The win earned Woodbridge nine one less road game, as the Lynchburg Hillcats will have to come to the Pfitz on Wednesday to open best-of-three Carolina League North Divisional Series. Unofficially, it’ll be Matt Esparza (2-4, 3.92) facing off against Potomac’s Boone Whiting (11-3, 3.45).

Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 @ Scranton/WB,
12:05 p.m.
J. Ross (0-2, 3.48) vs.
Bleier (2-3, 3.61)
Harrisburg Won, 6-3 vs. Hartford,
1:30 p.m.
Fedde (2-1, 3.99) vs.
Howard (5-6, 4.10)
Potomac Lost, 11-4 vs. Myrtle Beach,
1:05 p.m.
J. Martin (1-2, 5.96) vs.
TBD
Hagerstown Won, 10-5 @ Asheville,
2:05 p.m.
Reyes (0-2, 2.81) vs.
Johnson (7-4, 4.23)
Auburn Lost, 1-0;
Lost, 6-5
@ Batavia,
1:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 5 Syracuse 4
• Laffey 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• Self (BS, 1) 2⅔ IP, 4H, 2R, 2BB, 0K
• DeFratus (L, 2-3) 1IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 2K, 1-0 IR-S
• den Dekker 2-5, R, RBI
• Ramsey 3-4, 2RBI

The RailRiders scored twice in the 8th and once in the 9th to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 win over the Chiefs. Aaron Laffey got the start and turned in five innings of two-run ball on five hits, including a two-run HR in the 2nd. He walked none and struck out five. Derek Self was pushed an inning too far as he blew the save in his third inning of work with two runs let in. Justin DeFratus coughed up the gamewinner in the 9th on a hit and two walks. Tablesetters Matt den Dekker and Caleb Ramsey combined for five of the ten Syracuse hits. Roster moves: RHP Reynaldo Lopez recalled to Washington; RHP Russell Harmening, LHP David Ramos reassigned from Auburn.

Harrisburg 6 Hartford 3
• Valdez (W, 6-4) 7+ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K
• Benincasa (SV, 3) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• A. Sanchez 2-3, BB
• Stevenson 2-4, 2R, BB, RBI, CS
• Bautista 2-5, R, 3B, SB(55), CS

Harrisburg scored in each of the first four innings while doubling up Hartford, 6-3. Phillips Valdez pitched into the 8th for the fourth straight start, and earned his sixth win (12th overall) with three runs allowed on six hits and two walks. Nick Lee and Mitch Lively divvied up the 8th to each earn a hold while Rober Benincasa worked around a one-out single to get his third save. Andrew Stevenson and Adrian Sanchez both reached base three times to pace the Sens’ 11-hit, four-walk offense. Thanks to a third straight loss by the Curve, the Senators were not eliminated from the playoffs but need to win again while Altoona loses again to become the E.L. West wildcard.

Myrtle Beach 11 Potomac 4
• Williams (L, 4-6) ⅔ IP, 4H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 0K, HR, HBP
• Sanchez 6IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 5K
• Davidson 2-3, 2-2B, 2R, BB
• Robles 2-4, 2B

Mario Sanchez turned in six strong innings of pitching with two runs allowed on five hits and a walk while striking out five. The problem is that it came in relief after the P-Nats dug themselves into a 9-2 hole en route to a third straight loss to the Pelicans, 11-4. Austen Williams hit the 40-pitch-in-one-inning limit in the 1st as he retired just two of eight batters faced, giving up six runs on four hits and a walk and hitting a batter. Austin Davidson doubled twice and scored twice while Victor Robles singled and doubled to lead the Potomac offense. Playoff update: The Hillcats lost yet again to the Red Sox, 5-4 in 12 innings, to keep the P-Nats’ hopes of a 2nd half title alive.

Hagerstown 10 Asheville 5
• Baez (W, 9-7) 6IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 0K, HBP, 4WP
• Held (SV, 1) 3IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K, WP
• Sagdal 4-5, 3R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• DeBruin 4-5, R, RBI
• Noll 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI

Hagerstown put up five in the 4th and four in the 8th as they outslugged Asheville, 10-5. Joan Baez managed to give up four runs on three hits and three walks over six innings. He struck out none while winning his ninth game. Sam Held closed it out with one run over the last three innings for the save. Ian Sagdal and Grant DeBruin both went 4-for-5 while and Jake Noll both homered as the Suns pounded out 16 hits total.

Batavia 1 Auburn 0 – COMP.
• Dunning (L, 1-2) 9IP, 6H, R, ER, BB, 8K
• J. Soto 1-3
• Dulin 1-3, 3B, BB

Dane Dunning picked up where he left off 22 days ago and threw another six innings for a complete-game, 1-0 Doubledays’ loss to the Muckdogs. Dalton Dulin was the only Auburn batter to reach base twice, going 1-for-3 with a walk as Batavia’s Sam Perez held the Doubledays to just three hits over seven innings of “relief.”

Batavia 6 Auburn 5 – GAME TWO
• Fuentes 4IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 7K
• Mooney (L, 0-2) ⅓ IP, 4H, 5R, 4ER, 2BB, 0K, 0HR
• J. Soto 2-3, R, 2B, BB
• A. Martinez 0-1, BB, 2HBP
• 1-for-16 RISP; 11 LOB

Batavia did all it could to give it away with six errors, but Auburn insisted on being a good guest by blowing a 5-1 lead in the 7th and final inning for a 6-5 walkoff loss. Steven Fuentes tossed four scoreless innings to start, while Hayden Howard followed with an unearned run over the next two innings. Kevin Mooney retired just one of seven batters faced in the final frame as he was lit up for five runs on four hits and two walks for his second loss.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 2-1 @ Scranton/WB,
1:05 p.m.
Laffey (6-6, 3.83) vs.
Wotherspoon (2-0, 1.37)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-2;
Won, 3-0
vs. Hartford,
1:30 p.m.
Valdez (5-4, 4.69) vs.
Jemiola (8-9, 4.27)
Potomac Lost, 5-4
(14 inn.)
vs. Myrtle Beach,
6:05 p.m.
Williams (4-5, 4.75) vs.
Pugliese (6-5, 3.87)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-2 @ Asheville,
7:05 p.m.
Baez (8-7, 3.91) vs.
Palacios (1-5, 5.92)
Auburn Lost, 5-0 @ Batavia,
4:05 p.m.
Dunning (3-1, 2.36) and
Fuentes (2-1, 3.97) vs.
TBD and TBD

Pawtucket 2 Syracuse 1
• Hill (L, 6-13) 7IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 4K
• E. Davis 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Collier 1-3, BB
• Lombardozzi 2-4

Syracuse broke up the shutout in the 6th but couldn’t draw to a tie, losing the series finale to Pawatucket, 2-1. Taylor Hill let in both PawSox runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings but lost for the organization-leading 13th time. Jason Martinson’s RBI double accounted for the lone tally as the Chiefs were a woeful 1-for-10 with RISP. Steve Lombardozzi led the hit column with two singles. Roster move: OF Matt den Dekker outrighted from Washington.

Hartford 3 Harrisburg 2 – GAME ONE
• Mapes (L, 12-10) 7IP, 8H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 1K, HBP
• Bautista 4-4, R, SB

Tyler Mapes went the distance in the opener for the Sens but the offense couldn’t do their part in a 3-2 loss in the opener. Mapes gave up eight hits and two walks and hit a batter while fanning one as he lost for the tenth time. Rafael Bautista singled four times, scored a run, and stole a base, but the rest of the line up mustered just three hits and a walk.

Harrisburg 3 Hartford 0 – GAME TWO
• Simms (W, 8-5) 5IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 4K, HBP; 0-0, 2BB
• Suero (SV, 4) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• A. Sanchez 2-3, R, 2-2B, RBI
• Rickles 2-3, R, HR, RBI

John Simms and Wander Suero cobmined on six-hit shutout to split the doubleheader with a 3-0 win for the Senators. Simms went the first five and allowed four hits and hit a batter while striking out four to win his eighth decision. Suero worked around two singles in the 6th then set the side down in order in the 7th for his fourth save. Adrian Sanchez doubled twice, drove in a run, and scored a run while Nick Rickles singled and homered to lead the Harrisburg attack. Playoff update: Akron also won to push Harrisburg to the brink of elimination; the RubberDucks must lose twice and the Senators must win twice to make the playoffs.

Myrtle Beach 5 Potomac 4 (14 inn.)
• Crownover 6IP, 7H, 4R, 3ER, BB, 9K, HR
• Thomas 3IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Orlan (L, 5-6) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 1K, 2WP
• Read 3-7, 2B, RBI, PB(19)
• Mejia 3-6, R

Potomac got a ton of solid pitching and a pound of adequate catching as they gave away this one in 14 innings, 5-4. A passed ball in the 6th let in the tying run after the P-Nats battled back from 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead. In the 14th, a wild pitch took away the double play and allowed the winning run to get to 3rd with just one out. R.C. Orlan took the loss as he gave up the final Pelicans run on two singles and no walks. Matt Crownover recovered from a three-run HR in the 1st to turn in six strong innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk while striking out nine. Raudy Read and Bryan Mejia both had three hits to pace the P-Nats attack. Playoff update: Lynchburg lost again to Mills Cup favorite Salem, 9-3, to preserve the first-place tie in the C.L. North.

Asheville 5 Hagerstown 2
• Watson (L, 1-1) 5IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K, WP
• Bourque 3IP, 4H, R, ER, BB, 2K, HBP, WP
• Beckwith 2-4, 2-2B
• Reetz 2-4

The Tourists burned the Suns for four runs in the middle innings for 5-2 win. Tyler Watson suffered the loss with four runs allowed on nine hits and two walks over five innings. Tyler Beckwith doubled twice, Jakson Reetz singled twice, and Rhett Wiseman homered to lead the eight-hit, no-walk offensive effort.

West Virginia 5 Auburn 0
• W. Davis (L, 3-6) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
• Ortiz 1-3, BB

Three West Virginia pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout to complete the three-game sweep of Auburn with a 5-0 win. Weston Davis dropped his sixth game while tossing five innings of two-run ball on five hits and two walks. He struck out four. Oliver Ortiz broke up the no-hitter with two out in the 4th and drew one of the four Doubledays’ walks.

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 1-0
(10 inn.)
@ Pawtucket,
6:05 p.m.
Hill (6-12, 4.75) vs.
O’Sullivan (8-6, 4.14)
Harrisburg Won, 4-3
(13 inn.)
vs. Hartford,
6:00 p.m.
Simms (7-5, 3.49) and
Mapes (12-9, 3.16) vs.
Burke (0-0, 2.89) and
Wade (1-3, 5.20)
Potomac Lost, 2-1 vs. Myrtle Beach,
6:35 p.m.
Crownover (4-4, 4.27) vs.
Leal (10-4, 2.98)
Hagerstown Won, 5-1 @ Asheville,
6:05 p.m.
Watson (1-0, 3.60) vs.
Killian (11-6, 3.94)
Auburn Lost, 7-4 vs. West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
W. Davis (3-5, 2.57) vs. TBD

Syracuse 1 Pawtucket 0 (10 inn.)
• Giolito 8IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 5K
• DeFratus (W, 2-2) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Self (SV, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Collier 0-3, R, BB, SB
• Bostick 1-4, RBI

Lucas Giolito went a career-high eight shutout innings, combining with two relievers for the Chiefs’ three-hit, ten-inning shutout of the PawSox, 1-0. The 22-y.o. walked one and struck out five while giving up a single and a double. Justin DeFratus and Derek Self each turned in a goose egg to earn the win and save respectively. Zach Collier drew a leadoff walk in the 10th, stole second, took third on groundout to second, and scored on Chirstopher Bostick’s RBI single for the fifth and final hit by Syracuse on the night. Roster moves: RHP Mat Latos, LHP Sean Burnett added to 40-man roster; OF Matt den Dekker designated for assignment; Washington recalled – LHPs Burnett, Matt Grace, RHPs Latos, Trevor Gott, Rafael Martin, C Pedro Severino, OF Brian Goodwin; IF Khayyan Norfork, C Brian Jeroloman, RHP Derek Self reassigned from Harrisburg.

Harrisburg 4 Hartford 3 (13 inn.)
• Brady 7IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 8K, HR
• Runion (W, 2-1) 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K; SAC
• Difo 3-6, R, HR, 2RBI
• Stevenson 2-4, R, 2BB, SB

Harrisburg finally cashed in on its numerous chances to score in extras to walk off in 13, 4-3 and keep pace with Akron, which took both ends of a twinbill from Bowie. Michael Brady got the start and gave up all three Yard Goat runs on six hits and a walk while fanning eight over seven innings. The win went to Sam Runion, who combined with Nick Lee and Andrew Robinson for six scoreless innings of relief. Stephen Perez and Spencer Kieboom both walked to lead off the 13th, were moved up 90′ with a sacrifice bunt by Runion, and Perez scored on Rafael Bautista’s RBI single. Roster moves: RHP Michael Brady, C Spencer Kieboom activated from the 7-Day DL.

Myrtle Beach 2 Potomac 1
• Silvestre 5IP, 2H, 0R, 4BB, 2K
• Pantoja (BS, 3) 1IP, 1H, R, ER, 2BB, K
• Holland (L, 1-4) 2IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K
• Robles 3-4, R, 2SB
• Page 1-3, E

The P-Nats and Pelicans matched up in a pitcher’s duel with the C.L. South leader edging the C.L. North, 2-1. Hector Silvestre got the start but struggled with his command, issuing four walks over five scoreless innings, though he gave up just two hits. The loss went to Neil Holland who gave up a one-out double that came around to score when Matt Page cricket-wicketed the would-be third out of the 8th. Victor Robles singled three times, stole two bags, and scored the lone run but the rest of the team managed just two hits and a walk. Lynchburg also lost, keeping the two teams in a tie for first place.

Asheville 8 Hagerstown 2
• Guilbeau (W, 5-2) 5⅔ IP, 5H, R, ER, 3BB, 7K
• Johansen (H, 2) 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, WP, 2-0 IR-S
• Noll 2-4, R, RBI
• Wiseman 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI
• DeBruin 2-5, R, 2B

Hagerstown put up three in the 5th and cruised to a 5-1 win over Asheville. Taylor Guilbeau pitched into the 6th for his sixth straight start, giving up the lone Tourist run on five hits and three walks while striking out seven for his fifth win. Jake Johansen stranded two runners for Guilbeau then pitched two more scoreless innings to earn the hold. The Suns collected 11 hits total, with Rhett Wiseman leading the charge with a single and his 12th HR while driving in two.

West Virginia 7 Auburn 4
• Bogucki (L, 0-6) 4IP, 7H, 6R, 5ER, 3BB, 2K
• Pirro 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• J. Soto 2-3, R, 2B, 2BB
• Banks 2-3, R, 2BB

The Black Bears mauled A.J. Bogucki for six runs over the first four innings and went on to a 7-4 win over the Doubledays in Game Two of the three-game series. Bogucki walked three and surrendered seven hits while losing for the sixth time in 12 appearances. Juan Soto and Nick Banks both went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks to pace the Auburn offense.

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 2-1 @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
Giolito (1-2, 2.76) vs.
Elias (10-5, 3.78)
Harrisburg Won, 8-6 vs. Hartford,
7:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Potomac Won, 3-1 vs. Myrtle Beach,
7:00 p.m.
Silvestre (0-0, 3.38) vs.
Underwood (C.L. debut)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-2 @ Asheville,
6:35 p.m.
Guilbeau (4-2, 3.72) vs.
Tinoco (3-7, 5.83)
Auburn Lost, 6-2 vs. West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Bogucki (0-5, 7.66) vs.
Beddes (5-3, 2.48)

Syracuse 2 Pawtucket 1
• Espino (W, 8-11) 8IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 8K
• R. Martin (S, 22) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Lombardozzi 3-4, R, RBI
• Skole 2-4, R, HR, RBI

Paolo Espino turned in eight strong innings and Rafael Martin didn’t blow the save as Syracuse edged Pawtucket, 2-1. Espino let in one unearned run on four hits and two walks while fanning eight to tie A.J. Cole for the team lead in wins with eight. Martin tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his 22nd save. Matt Skole singled and homered while Steve Lombardozzi went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI to lead the Chiefs’ offense.

Harrisburg 8 Bowie 6
• Blackmar (W, 4-5) 7+ IP, 4H, 5R, 5ER, 4BB, 3K, HR
• Benincasa (H, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 2-1 IR-S
• Jeroloman 3-5, R, RBI
• Pleffner 2-4, 2-2B, BB, RBI
• Bautista 2-5, 2R, 3B, 2RBI

The Sens put up crooked numbers in three straight innings to win an 8-6 slugfest versus the BaySox. Mark Blackmar pitched into the 8th and was charged with five runs on four hits and four walks while striking out three to win his fourth AA game. Robert Benincasa let in one of two inherited runners in the 8th but earned the hold while Mitch Lively was credited with the save in the 9th for preserving the lead despite giving up a run. Brian Jeroloman singled three times while Shawn Pleffner doubled twice to lead the Harrisburg hit parade.
The RubberDucks fell to the Seawolves again and now lead the Sens in the loss column by just one game.

Potomac 3 Frederick 1
• Whiting (W, 11-3) 6⅓ IP, 5H, R, ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Sanchez (SV, 2) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Drew 1-1, 2B, 2RBI, 2BB
• Abreu 1-3, BB, RBI, CS(10)

Rehabbing Steven Drew doubled in two (hey, that rhymes!) to lead Potomac to a 3-1 victory that, coupled with a Lynchburg loss, put the P-Nats back in a first place tie in the C.L. North. Boone Whiting pitched into the seventh for the ninth time in 23 starts, giving up the lone Frederick run on five hits and a walk while striking out four to earn his team-leading 11th win. Robert Orlan and Mario Sanchez both recorded four outs to close out the game and earn the hold and save, respectively. Raudy Read led off the 5th with a triple and Osvaldo Abreu followed with a single to account for the third Potomac run. The P-Nats managed just four hits total, but drew seven walks. Roster moves: IF Stephen Drew assigned from Washington for MLB rehab; OF Alec Keller placed on the 7-Day DL; OF Narciso Mesa reassigned from Hagerstown.

Charleston 8 Hagerstown 2
• Rodriguez (L, 7-11) 1⅔ IP, 4H, 7R, 7ER, 7BB, 0K
• VanVossen 3⅓ IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K, HR
• La Bruna 2-4, R, CS
• Wiseman 2-4

The RiverDogs jumped on Jefry Rodriguez for seven runs in the first two innings to cruise to an 8-2 win over the Suns in the series finale. Rodriguez walked seven and gave up four hits over just an inning and 2/3rds to lose his 11th game. Angelo La Bruna and Rhett Wiseman both went 2-for-4 to pace the Hagerstown offense. Roster move: OF Telmito Agustin activated from the 7-Day DL.

West Virginia 6 Auburn 2
• Mills (L, 4-5) 5⅓ IP, 5H, 6R, 4ER, 2BB, 5K, HR(GS)
• Mooney 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• J. Soto 2-4, RBI
• Ortiz 1-4, R, 2B

West Virginia’s Albert Baur smacked a grand slam in the 6th to snap a 2-2 tie and Auburn had no answer, losing 6-2. McKenzie Mills gave up the gamewinner with one out in the 6th and was charged with all six BlackBear runs (four earned) on five hits and two walks while fanning five. Juan Soto picked up where he left off in the GCL and singled twice and drove in one to lead the Doubleday offense. Roster move: OF Juan Soto promoted from the GCL.

Thursday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-3 @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
Latos (1-0, 1.29)
B. Johnson (5-6, 4.33)
Harrisburg Won, 5-4
(10 inn.)
@ Bowie,
7:05 p.m.
Blackmar (3-5, 5.22) vs.
Hess (5-12, 5.31)
Potomac Won, 11-5 @ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Whiting (10-3, 3.58) vs.
Keller (0-2, 3.18)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-5 @ Charleston,
6:35 p.m.
Rodriguez (7-10, 4.51) vs.
Rosa (1-5, 3.32)
Auburn Lost, 9-2 vs. West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Mills (4-4, 3.38) vs.
Marvel (4-6, 4.58)

Abbreviated writeups until I get back up to speed…
Rochester 4 Syracuse 3
• Ross 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Voth 6IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 5K
• Gott (BS, 2; L, 3-3) 6BF, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 0K
• Goodwin 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Soto 2-4, R

A 3-1 lead was too small for Trevor Gott to hold as he failed to retire the six batters he faced in the 9th to give the RedWings a 4-3 victory.

Harrisburg 5 Bowie 4 (10 inn.)
• Fedde 6IP, 4H, R, ER, BB, 12K
• Lee (W, 3-1) ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Robinson (SV, 9) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Sanchez 2-3, R, BB, SB
• Ballou 2-4, RBI

Erick Fedde struck out a career-high of 12 but the Harrisburg ‘pen couldn’t preserve the win for him as they blew it in the 9th. Rafael Bautista walked, stole second (#53), took third on an Andrew Stevenson bunt single, and scored on a Wilmer Difo sac fly in the 10th for the 6-5 tally that was the game’s final score. Akron lost to narrow the gap between the two wildcard contenders to 1½ games.

Potomac 11 Frederick 5
• Martin (W, 1-2) 7⅔ IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 5K, HR
• Brinley 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Abreu 3-5, 3R
• Vettleson 2-3, 2R, 2B, 2BB, RBI
• Mejia 1-2, R, HR, 3SF, 5RBI

The P-Nats finally clinched a playoff spot with an 11-5 dismantling of the Keys, led by Bryan Mejia’s five RBI. Lynchburg, however, also won to maintain its one-game advantage on Potomac in the C.L. North 2nd half title race.

Charleston 6 Hagerstown 5
• Reyes (L, 0-2) 5IP, 9H, 6R, 3ER, 2BB, 4K
• Held 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• DeBruin 2-5, 2-2B, RBI
• Beckwith 2-3, R, 2B, BB, SB

Charleston chewed up Luis Reyes for all six runs and held off a late Hagerstown rally to win, 6-5.

Brooklyn 9 Auburn 2
• Acevedo (L, 2-5) 3IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 0K
• Pirro 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Johnson 2-4, R, 2B, 3B, BB
• Ortiz 2-3, 2B, BB, RBI

The Cyclones blew through the Doubledays pitchers for 14 hits and nine unanswered runs in a 9-2 win to take the series finale.

Nats Contingent to AFL Named

I can’t remember such little fanfare for the release of usually routine information related to a baseball club. Enter the 2016 Washington Nationals AFL contingent, which is as follows:

  • Ryan Brinley, RHP
  • Nick Lee, LHP
  • Austin Voth, RHP
  • Osvaldo Abreu, SS
  • Drew Ward, 3B
  • Andrew Stevenson, OF

This seems to be one of the youngests group to be sent – if memory serves, my late father always said it was the second thing to go – with the trio of Abreu, Stevenson, and Ward (22, 22, 21) along with 23-y.o. Ryan Brinley. But, the practice of using the Arizona Fall League to guage a Rule 5 eligible pitcher (Voth) and a 40-man guy on the cusp (Lee) has returned.

This year, the Nationals will be filling out the roster of the Glendale Desert Dogs. Play begins in the six-team AFL on Tuesday, Oct. 11 and runs through Nov. 17 with a one-game championship on Saturday, November 19th.

Feel free to discuss in the comments.

Wednesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-1 @ Rochester,
7:05 p.m.
J. Ross (0-2, 4.15) vs.
Berrios (10-5, 2.44)
Harrisburg Won, 3-1 @ Bowie,
7:05 p.m.
Fedde (2-1, 4.63) vs.
Barker (5-6, 4.43)
Potomac Lost, 17-10 @ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Martin (0-2, 6.00) vs.
Romero (6-4, 6.16)
Hagerstown Won, 2-0 @ Charleston,
7:05 p.m.
Reyes (0-1, 1.64) vs.
Cedeno (7-9, 3.83)
Auburn Won, 5-0 @ Brooklyn,
7:00 p.m.
Acevedo (2-4, 3.27) vs.
H. Gonzalez (6-2, 1.57)

Abbreviated writeups until I get back up to speed…
Rochester 5 Syracuse 1
• Lopez (L, 2-2) 7IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 4K, 2HR
• Severino 2-4, R
• Collier 1-2, 2B, 2BB

Syracuse coughed up HR’s in the 7th and 8th innings to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 5-1 loss in the series opener against Rochester.

Bowie 7 Harrisburg 6
• Valdez (W, 5-4) 7⅔ IP, 8H, R, ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Robinson (SV, 8) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Ballou 2-3, 2R, BB
• Bautista 2-4, BB, RBI, SB

The Sens got back in the win column with a 3-1 triumph, highlighted by Philips Valdez pitching into the 8th for the second straight start to win his 5th AA decision. Unfortunately, the RubberDucks won to keep pace and remain 2½ games ahead for the E.L. West wildcard.

Frederick 17 Potomac 10
• Williams 3⅔ IP, 8H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Holland (L, 1-3) ⅔ IP, 8H, 8R, 0ER, 0BB, 1K
• Abreu 2-4, R, HR, BB, 4RBI
• Robles 2-4, 2R
• Davidson 2-5, R

Frederick eviscerated the Potomac ‘pen for 11 runs, including eight in the 8th, to win a 17-10 slugfest and stave off playoff elimination. The P-Nats also blew a chance to climb back into a first-place tie in the C.L. North with the Hillcats, who lost 1-0 in 11 innings to the C.L. South-leading Pelicans.

Hagerstown 2 Charleston 0
• Baez (W, 8-7) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 4BB, 4K
• Borne (H, 4) 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Peterson (S, 8) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Wiseman 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI

Three Suns pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout of the RiverDogs, making Rhett Wiseman’s two-out, two-run HR in the 1st stand up for a 2-0 win, their fourth straight. Hagerstown’s first-round opponent, the Lakewood BlueClaws, also won to clinch a playoff spot and lower its magic number to win the second half to four with six games to play. Roster move: CF Blake Perkins promoted from Auburn.

Auburn 5 Brooklyn 0
• Ramirez (W, 4-2) 5IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 3K, WP, HBP
• Simonds 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Johnson 3-4, R, 3SB (9,10,11)
• Panaccione 3-5, 2R, 3B, SB
• Banks 2-5, RBI

Four Auburn pitchers combined to blank Brooklyn on seven hits for a 5-0 win to even the series at 1-1.

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 9-3 @ Rochester,
7:05 p.m.
Espino (7-11, 3.48) vs.
Hurlbut (0-1, 2.70)
Harrisburg Lost, 7-5 @ Bowie,
7:05 p.m.
Valdez (4-4, 5.05) vs.
Means (4-6, 4.70)
Potomac OFF DAY @ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Williams (4-5, 4.32) vs.
Richardson (4-6, 4.11)
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ Charleston,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs.
Vargas (10-6, 2.66)
Auburn Won, 4-3 @ Brooklyn,
5:05 p.m.
Ramirez (2-2, 4.29) vs.
Dunn (1-1, 1.50)

Abbreviated writeups until I get back up to speed…
Pawtucket 9 Syracuse 3
• Hill (L, 6-12) 6IP, 10H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 2K, 2HBP
• Grace 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Martin ⅓ IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, BB, K
• Skole 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• den Dekker 1-3, 2B

Rafael Martin retired just one of eight batters faced as he turned a 4-3 deficit into a 9-3 smackdown to guide the Chiefs to a 3-1 series loss to the PawSox. Roster moves: RHP Lucas Giolito optioned from Washington; CF Michael Taylor recalled to Washington.

Bowie 7 Harrisburg 6
• Mapes (L, 12-9) 5IP, 9H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 4K, WP
• Ross 1IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Bautista 2-5, 2R, RBI, SB
• Ballou 2-4, R
• Perez 0-1, 3BB, SB(10)

Harrisburg rallied for five in the 9th, but left the tying run at second as they dropped the series opener to Bowie, 7-6. The loss dropped the Sens to 2½ games behind the RubberDucks for the E.L. West wildcard. Roster move: 3B Drew Ward placed on the 7-Day DL, retroactive to Aug. 26.

Potomac – OFF DAY
The P-Nats can clinch a playoff spot with a win tonight against the Keys. The real race is for the 2nd half title, which would give Potomac a home game in the C.L. North Divisional series. Otherwise, the entire series will be played in Lynchburg. The P-Nats trail the Hillcats by one game with seven games left in the regular season.

Hagerstown – OFF DAY
Unlike the Carolina League, there is no advantage to winning both halves in the South Atlantic League; the 1st Half winner hosts Games 2 and (if necessary) 3 of the first round while the 2nd Half winner or wildcard hosts Game One. Thus, Hagerstown will be on the road until next Friday as they play three in Charleston, four in Asheville and (barring an epic collapse) Game One in Lakewood.

Auburn 4 Brooklyn 3
• Dunning (W, 3-1) 5IP, 4H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K, HR
• D. Ramos (SV, 2) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Johnson 2-3, R
• Dulin 1-3, R, 3B, 2RBI

The Doubledays won the opener of their series against the Cyclones, 4-3, with 2016 1st Rd. pick Dane Dunning winning his third game with five innings of one-run ball on four hits and two walks while striking out five.

Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-0 vs. Pawtucket,
6:35 p.m.
Hill (6-11, 4.70) vs.
O’Sullivan (7-6, 4.42)
Harrisburg OFF DAY @ Bowie,
7:05 p.m.
Mapes (12-8, 3.08)
Garcia (5-9, 4.79)
Potomac Lost, 8-7 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Won, 10-2 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn Lost, 7-0 @ Brooklyn,
5:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Abbreviated writeups until I get back up to speed…
Pawtucket 6 Syracuse 0
• Ross (L, 0-2) 1IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, K
• Laffey 4IP, 8H, 4R, 3ER, BB, 2K
• Solano 1-3
• Collier 2-2, 2B, BB

Syracuse was shut out for the second time in three games against Pawtucket by 3-0 score, mustering just three hits.
Roster moves: C Jhonatan Solano activated from the 3-Day TIL; RHP Reynaldo Lopez optioned from Washington; RHP Lucas Giolito recalled to Washington; RHP Joe Ross assigned from Washington for MLB Rehab.

Harrisburg – OFF DAY
The Senators trail the RubberDucks by 1½ games for the wildcard and the Curve by 3½ games with a week to go in the season. They’re at last-place Bowie for the next four games before returning to City Island against Hartford for five. Roster Moves: IF Wilmer Difo optioned from Washington; RHP Michael Brady placed on the 7-Day DL; RHP Greg Ross activated from the 7-Day DL.

Lynchburg 8 Potomac 7
• Crownover 5IP, 8H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 6K
• Brinley (BS, 2; L, 4-1) ⅔IP, 3H, 4R, 4R, BB, 0K, HR
• Page 3-4, RBI
• Abreu 3-5, R, HR, 3RBI
• Robles 3-5, 2R, 2B, 3B, SB

Potomac couldn’t complete the three-game sweep as Lynchburg rallied for four in the 9th to win, 8-7.
Roster move: 3B Kelvin Gutierrez reassigned from Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 10 Greensboro 2
• Watson (W, 1-0) 5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 7K
• Bourque 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Sundberg 3-4, 2R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
• Sagdal 2-3, 2-2B, BB, 2RBI
• La Bruna 2-5, 2B

The Suns completed a three-game sweep of Greensboro with a 10-2 smackdown while Tyler Watson won his first Low-A game with another five-inning, seven-whiff start. Roster move: OF Telmito Agustin assigned to GCL for MiLB rehab; OF Randy Encarnacion, RHP Robbie Dickey placed on the 7-Day DL; RHP Jake Johansen activated from the 7-Day DL.

State College 7 Auburn 0
• Davis (L, 3-5) 4IP, 3H, 2R, 0ER, 2BB, 4K
• Howard 3IP, 4H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Dulin 2-3, 3B, SB, 2E
• Barrera 1-4, 3B, E

Auburn lost for the fourth time in five games with a 7-0 shutout at the hands of State College.