Thursday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY vs. Pawtucket,
7:00 p.m.
Tatusko (1-5, 2.31) vs.
Barnes (1-1, 2.89)
Harrisburg Won, 9-0 @ Trenton,
7:05 p.m.
Cole (4-2, 2.25) vs.
Ruth (0-0, 3.86)
Potomac Won, 3-2; Lost, 3-2 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Pena (3-1, 4.81) vs.
Sims (4-3, 4.07)
Hagerstown OFF DAY vs. Asheville,
7:05 p.m.
Silvestre (1-0, 1.19) vs.
Senzatela (4-1, 4.32)


Syracuse — OFF DAY
After their lone scheduled day off in May, the Chiefs continue an eight-game homestand with four against the PawSox. The Chiefs are currently in last place in the I.L. North, but trail the first-place Bison by just a game and a half.
Roster moves: RHP Blake Treinen recalled to Washington, RHP Ryan Mattheus optioned from Washington.

Harrisburg 9 Trenton 0
• Espino (W, 1-2) 6IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, 2HBP
• Holland 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Tylor 3-5, 3R, HR, RBI, 2SB
• Martinson 2-4, 2HR, 2RBI
• Skole 2-4, R, BB, RBI

Three Harrisburg pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout in a 9-0 win over Trenton to break a three-game losing streak. Paolo Espino (6IP), Neil Holland (2IP), and Tyler Herron (1IP), each gave up a hit and combined for two walks and five strikeouts for Espino’s first win of 2014. Jason Martinson (2-for-4) went deep twice and Michael Taylor (3-for-5) once while Matt Skole reached base three times with two singles and a walk, one of seven the Thunder pitchers issued as the Senators scored nine times on just eight hits.

Potomac 3 Lynchburg 2 — GAME ONE
• Solis (W, 1-0) 5⅓ IP, 7H, R, ER, BB, 4K
• Benincasa (SV, 8) 1⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Renda 2-3, R, SB
• Tejeda 2-3, R, 2-2B, RBI

Sammy Solis continued his rehab tour Last Night In Woodbridge.

Lynchburg 3 Potomac 2 — GAME TWO
• Dickson (L, 1-3) 6IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K
• Mendez 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Piwnica-Worms 2-3, 2B, RBI
• Perez 1-2, BB, SB

Both teams got to the starters in the second game, with Lynchburg putting up three in the top half and Potomac answering with two in the bottom half. Neither team would score again as the Hillcats returned the favor with a 3-2 win of their own to split the doubleheader. Ian Dickson went six innings, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out six but took the loss. Will Piwnica-Worms was the sole P-Nat to notch multiple hits with a 2-for-3 night, though Stephen Perez also reached base twice with a walk and a single.
Roster moves: LHP Sammy Solis transferred from Hagerstown, LHP Matthew Spann reassigned to Harrisburg to make room on roster (two will likely swap places on Sens roster by Saturday).

Hagerstown — OFF DAY
Hagerstown returns home for four games against Asheville after losing its first full series of the season, 3-1 to Lexington. Like the P-Nats, the Suns are in the midst of a long sequence (31 days) where they’re home for just one series against one team. Despite the hiccup, Hagerstown still holds a commanding nine-game lead over second-place Delmarva and Greensboro.

Wednesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-3 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Lost, 5-1 @ Trenton, 10:35 a.m. Espino (0-2, 6.64) vs. Cotham (0-1, 2.35)
Potomac Won, 6-5; Lost, 10-1 vs. Lynchburg,
5:30 p.m.
TBD and TBD
Solis (1st A+ start of ’14) and Dickson (1-2, 5.40) vs.
Parsons (3-1, 3.72) and Miller (1-4, 4.46)
Hagerstown Lost, 10-8 OFF DAY N/A


Syracuse 5 Columbus 3
• Jordan 3IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, K, HR
• Stange (W, 2-2) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Peterson 2-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI
• Souza 2-5, 2R, 2B

Syracuse scored all five of its runs in each of the first three innings and won the battle of the bullpens as they defeated Columbus, 5-3 and took the four-game series, 3-1. Taylor Jordan started but left after three innings with reported elbow soreness, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk and a strikeout. Four relievers combined for six innings of one-run relief, with the win going to Daniel Stange, the save going to Michael Gonzalez, and holds going to Warner Madrigal and Christian Garcia. Every Chiefs batter hit safely with two batters — Brock Peterson (2-for-4, HR) and Steve Souza (2-for-5, 2B) — racking up multiple hits.

Trenton 5 Harrisburg 1
• Meyers (L, 0-2) 3IP, 6H, 5R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Simmons 5IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Latimore 3-4
• Jeroloman 2-4

Brad Meyers was hit hard again while the Sens got plenty of hits but couldn’t get them in (again) in a 5-1 loss to the Thunder. Meyers was charged with all five Trenton runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks. He struck out two and gave up his fourth HR in three starts. James Simmons finished the game with five scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit and fanning four. The 7-8-9 trio of Quincy Latimore, Brian Jeroloman, and Jason Martison combined to go 7-for-12 and did figure in the lone run scored with Latimore and Jeroloman getting 9th-inning singles to load the bases with nobody out behind pinch-hitter Justin Bloxom, who drew a leadoff walk. Alas, Harrisburg could only get one run out of it as Martinson struck out and none of the next three batters could get the ball out of the infield.
Roster move: LHP Matt Purke placed on the 7-Day DL. A possible replacement could be LHP Zach Kroenke, purchased yesterday from the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League. Kroenke is a former Yankee and Diamondback farmhand who pitched last year for the Brewers’ AAA team in Nashville.

Potomac 6 Lynchburg 5 — COMP.
• Bacus 6IP, 7H, 3R, 1ER, BB, 2K, 2WP
• Mooneyham 2⅔ IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 3K, BK,
• Self ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Renda 4-5, 2R
• Perez 3-5, R, 3RBI, 2E
• Pleffner 2-4, R

Stephen Perez got his shot at redemption Last Night In Woodbridge.

Lynchburg 10 Potomac 1 — GAME TWO
• Turnbull (L, 0-1) 4IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 0BB, K, HR, BK, WP
• Suero 3IP, 4H, 5R, 5ER, 4BB, 2K, 2WP
• Pleffner 2-3, BB
• Perez 1-1, 2BB

In the nightcap, Kylin Turnbull picked up where he left off in April 2013 by getting smacked around for five runs on nine hits including a two-run HR in the 1st as the Hillcats pummeled the P-Nats, 10-1 in seven innings. Turnbull pitched four innings and struck out one while issuing a balk and throwing a wild pitch. Wander Suero was no better in relief, coughing up five runs on four hits and four walks over three innings with two wild pitches. Shawn Pleffner and Stephen Perez, who had four hits in the completion, added three hits and three walks in this one with Pleffner driving in the sole Potomac run. The rest of the lineup was just 2-for-19 and left 10 men on for the night.
Roster moves: RHP Blake Schwartz placed on the 7-Day DL, RHP Dakota Bacus activated from the TIL; UT Mike McQuillan placed on the 7-Day DL, OF Narciso Mesa activated from the 7-Day DL.

Hagerstown 11 Lexington 4
• Pivetta (W, 7-2) 5⅓ IP, 9H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K
• Ullmann (H, 2) 2⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, K, 1-0 IR-S
• Difo 2-5, 2R, 2HR, 4RBI
• Middleton 2-2, R, 2RBI, 3BB
• Kieboom 1-3, 3R, 2B, 2BB

Hagerstown scored in each of the final six innings, pulling away from a 3-2 deficit to win this one 11-4 and prevent a four-game sweep by Lexington. Nick Pivetta won his Sally Lg.-leading 7th game, scattering nine hits over five and a 1/3rd innings for three runs charged, no walks, and three strikeouts. Wilmer Difo homered twice for the second time in six games and drove in four while Brendan Middleton reached base five times with two singles and three walks to lead the Hagerstown attack.
Roster moves: 3B Drew Ward placed on 3-Day Temporary Inactive List, OF Wilman Rodriguez activated from the 7-Day DL.

Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-3 vs. Columbus,
7:00 p.m.
Hill (5-1, 1.99) vs. TBD
Ohlendorf (MLB rehab) vs. Barnes (2-1, 3.86)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-3 @ Trenton,
7:05 p.m.
Poveda (1st AA start of ’14) vs.
Banuelos (0-1, 5.59)
Potomac Won, 4-2 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 1-0 @ Lexington,
10:05 a.m.
Johansen (3-1, 5.23) vs.
Edwards (1-2, 3.69)


Columbus 8 Syracuse 3
• Laffey (L, 4-2) 4⅔ IP, 9H, 7R, 5ER, 3BB, 3K,
• Roenicke 3⅓ IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K, HR, 1-0 IR-S
• Rhymes 3-5, R, HR, 2RBI
• Nicol 2-4, 2B, RBI, E

Will “Don’t Call Me Buster” Rhymes’s two-run homer highlighted a three-run 2nd, which pulled Syracuse within one of Columbus at 4-3. Alas, the Clippers shifted course and scored four unanswered for an 8-3 win, dropping the Chiefs to below .500 at 21-22. Aaron Laffey suffered his second straight loss, giving up seven runs over four and 2/3rds innings on nine hits and three walks. Rhymes would lead the 11-hit Syracuse offense with a 3-for-5 afternoon, followed by Destin Hood, Steve Souza, and Sean Nicol, who each had two hits.
Roster moves: RHP Ryan Mattheus recalled to Washington; RHP Ross Ohlendorf transferred from Potomac for MLB rehab.

New Britain 5 Harrisburg 3
• Purke (L, 1-6) 4IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 3K, HR, HBP
• Bates 4IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K
• Bloxom 2-4, 2RBI
• Bantz 2-4, 2B, RBI

With another three-run homer in the first — his third given up in eight starts, and fourth first-inning HR out of five total — Matt Purke fell behind early and the offense couldn’t catch up as New Britain defeated Harrisburg, 5-3. The 23-y.o. gave up four runs total on eight hits over four innings in his sixth loss. Colin Bates turned in four strong innings of long relief, allowing the final Rock Cats run on a triple and a sac fly in the 5th. Justin Bloxom and Brandon Bantz both went 2-for-4 and drove in all three Senators runs, with Bloxom plating two with a single in the 1st and Bantz driving in one with a single in the 4th.

Potomac 4 Myrtle Beach 2
• Schwartz 1IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 0K
• Spann (W, 3-0) 4IP, 4H, R, ER, 2BB, 4K
• Benincasa (SV, 7) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Perez 4-5, R, 2-2B, RBI
• Martinez 2-4, R, 2-2B

Potomac earned a split of its four-game series against the Carolina League’s top team with a 4-2 victory over Myrtle Beach. Indicating a forthcoming rotation reshuffle, Blake Schwartz threw just one inning as the starter before giving way to Matthew Spann. The 23-y.o. southpaw won for the third time in five relief appearances with four innings of one-run ball. Stephen Perez led the P-Nats offense with a 4-for-5 night, driving in one while smacking two doubles, a feat matched by Estarlin Martinez as well.
Roster moves: RHP Dakota Bacus placed on 3-Day Temporary Inactive List.

Lexington 1 Hagerstown 0
• Voth (L, 1-3) 6IP, 4H, R, ER, 2BB, 4K, WP, BK
• Ballou 1-4, 2B
• Manuel 0-1, HBP, 2BB

Isaac Ballou broke up the combined no-hit bid against the Suns with a one-out double in the 9th. He got as far as third base with two outs but couldn’t come around to tie the game as the Legends won, 1-0. Austin Voth took the loss despite allowing just one run on four hits and two walks while fanning four. Craig Manuel reached base three times, taking two walks and getting plunked to break up any chance of a perfect game.
Roster moves: LHP Sammy Solis reassigned to Harrisburg, LHP Justin Thomas returned from Auburn (both moves effective May 17).

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-1 vs. Columbus,
2:00 p.m.
Laffey (4-1, 3.82) vs.
Bauer (4-1, 2.15)
Harrisburg Won, 5-0;
Won, 9-3
vs. New Britain,
2:00 p.m.
Purke (1-5, 7.90) vs.
Rogers (3-3, 5.65)
Potomac Won, 2-1;
Lost, 4-3 (8 inn.)
@ Myrtle Beach,
6:05 p.m.
TBD Schwartz (1st A+ start of ’14) vs.
Parra (4-1, 4.10)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-2 @ Lexington,
2:05 p.m.
Voth (1-2, 1.87) vs.
Junis (4-2, 3.16)


Columbus 8 Syracuse 1
• Tatusko (L, 1-5) 7IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 4K
• Jackson 1IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, BB, K, 0HR
• Souza 3-4, R, 2B, 3B
• Peterson 2-3, RBI, HBP

Beginning with a three-run 6th, the Clippers scored eight unanswered runs in the last four frames to, um, sail past the Chiefs 8-1 in the series opener. Starter Ryan Tatusko went a season-high seven innings but also surrendered four runs on six hits and a walk to take his fifth loss. For the fourth straight appearance, Zach Jackson was gashed for multiple runs with a four-run pounding in the 8th. Steve Souza singled, doubled, and tripled to push his OPS to an even 1.000 while raising his BA to .347

Harrisburg 5 New Britain 0 — GAME ONE
• Cole (W, 4-2) 7IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 8K, 98-68 P-K
• Ramsey 2-3, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Dykstra 1-3, R, HR, RBI
• Taylor 1-4, R, HR, RBI

A.J. Cole threw a seven-inning complete-game shutout in the opener for a 5-0 win in the opener. Cole pounded the zone for 68 strikes out 98 pitches, walked none, and allowed just four hits as he earned his fourth win. Caleb Ramsey drove in two with a double in the 5th and went 2-for-3 overall to lead the Senators hit column. Cutter Dykstra and Michael Taylor both hit solo HRs.

Harrisburg 9 New Britain 3 — GAME TWO
• Dupra 3⅔ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 3K
• Holland (W, 4-1) 1⅓ IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K, 1-0 IR-S
• Keyes 3-3, 2R, HR, 3RBI
• Skole 2-2, 3R, 2B, BB
• Taylor 2-3, 2R, HR(10), BB, 2RBI

The Sens completed the doubleheader sweep with a 9-3 win in the nightcap. It was the third time this season they’ve won back-to-back games. Spot starter Brian Dupra gave up two runs on four hits and three walks over three and 2/3rds. Neil Holland stranded a runner in the 4th and was touched for a run in the 5th but got win #4 nevertheless. Kevin Keyes drove in three and went 3-for-3 while Michael Taylor and Justin Bloxom both hit two-run homers as Harrisburg made the most of its eight hits and four walks in six turns at bat.

Potomac 2 Myrtle Beach 1 — GAME ONE
• Pena (W, 3-1) 5IP, 5H, R, ER, 4BB, 2K
• Harper (H, 3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Self (SV, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Tejeda 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI

Oscar Tejeda’s two-run shot in 4th was enough as three Potomac pitchers held Myrtle Beach to a single run for a 2-1 win in the first game. Ronald Pena was charged with that run on five hits and four walks but got his third win. Bryan Harper and Derek Self each tossed a scoreless inning for hold #3 and save #2, respectively.

Myrtle Beach 4 Potomac 3 (8 inn.)— GAME TWO
• Simms 6IP, 6H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Mendez (L, 1-2) 1⅔ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Tejeda 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Perez 1-3, R, BB

The Pelicans have the number of Gilberto Mendez, as they got to him for three runs in the last of the 8th to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 walkoff win to split the twinbill. It was the second loss of ’14 for Mendez, both to Myrtle Beach, as he was charged with three runs on five hits over an inning and 2/3rds. Starter John Simms gave up one run on six hits and one walk over the first six innings for his third no-decision in four A+ starts. Oscar Tejeda homered again while going 2-for-4 and Steven Perez reached base twice with a walk and a single to lead the Potomac offense.

Lexington 5 Hagerstown 2
• Silvestre 5IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 1K
• Orlan (L, 0-1) 3IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K, HR, WP
• Difo 3-5
• Medina 1-2, BB, CS

After trading single runs twice, the Legends broke through for three in the last of the 8th for 5-2 sportswriter’s win against the Suns. Hector Silvestre made the start in place of Lucas Giolito and spun five frames of one-run ball, with one hit and one walk and… wait for it… one strikeout. R.C. Orlan took the loss with four runs given up on four hits and two walks. Wilmer Difo remains red-hot, going 3-for-5, but the rest of the Hagerstown lineup managed just five hits and left on 10 baserunners.

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 9-3 vs. Columbus,
7:00 p.m.
Tatusko (1-4, 1.85) vs.
Banwart (2-0, 3.60)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-3 vs. New Britain,
6:00 p.m.
Cole (3-2, 2.73) and Dupra (1-0, 5.56) vs.
Vasquez (2-0, 2.48) and Summers (1-2, 5.61)
Potomac Lost, 11-6 @ Myrtle Beach,
5:05 p.m.
Pena (2-1, 5.21) and Simms (0-1, 4.50) vs.
Knapp (0-1, 1.29) and Payano (3-1, 4.50)
Hagerstown Won, 11-0;
Lost, 9-2
@ Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Giolito (2-0, 2.51) vs.
Santos (3-1, 2.17)


Syracuse 9 Toledo 3
• Treinen (W, 2-0) 5⅔ IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K
• Garcia 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Goodwin 4-5, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Solano 3-5, 3R, HR, 2RBI
• Souza 2-3, R, BB, SB, CS

The Chiefs put up three in the 1st, two in the 5th, and scored in each of their last three “ups” as they tripled up the Mud Hens, 9-3 to split the four-game series. Blake Treinen scattered seven hits and let in two runs over five and 2/3rds to notch his second “W” with no walks and four strikeouts. Brian Goodwin led Syracuse’s 15-hit parade with three singles and a double for his first four-hit game, followed by Jhonatan Solano’s 3-for-5 effort and Steve Souza’s two singles and a walk. Christian Garcia struck out the side in his first appearance in nearly a month.

New Britain 4 Harrisburg 3
• Espino 4IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, BB, K, HR
• Herron (BS, 2; L, 1-2) 2IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, K, HR
• Dykstra 3-5, R, 2RBI, CS
• Skole 2-3, 2B, HR, 2RBI

A two-out, two-run homer in the top of the 8th was the difference as the Rock Cats edged the Senators, 4-3. Tyler Herron served up the gamewinner for his second loss and second blown save. Paolo Espino started and went the first four innings, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk. Harrisburg rallied for three with two outs in the 5th, with Cutter Dykstra driving in two with single and Matt Skole plating Dykstra with a double. That was the exception as the Senators left 12 men on base for the night, with Dykstra’s single the one hit in twelve chances with runners in scoring position.

Myrtle Beach 11 Potomac 5
• Dickson 4IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 3K, 3HR
• Suero (L, 0-1) 3IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 5K, HR
• Benincasa 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 0K, 2HR
• Pleffner 2-5, 2B, RBI
• Piwnica-Worms 2-3, R, BB
• J. Miller 1-3, 2R, 2RBI

The Pelicans blasted six home runs off three P-Nats pitchers to take this one 11-5 and their fourth game in five meetings. Ian Dickson served up the first three (all solo shots) and five hits total over four innings but left with a no-decision. Wander Suero was victimized just once, but it was part of a four-run 6th that saw Myrtle Beach go up for good, 8-4 and thus was charged with the loss. Shawn Pleffner went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI while Will Piwnica-Worms went 2-for-3 with a walk, one of eight Potomac batters drew on the night. Potomac stranded 11 baseunners and was just 2-for-9 with RISP.

Hagerstown 11 Lakewood 0 — GAME ONE
• Solis (W, 1-0) 6IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 7K
• Webb 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Difo 3-3, 3R, 2HR, 5RBI, SF
• Ballou 2-3, 3R, 2B, HR, BB, 2RBI
• Yezzo 2-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI

Sammy Solis threw six scoreless innings in his 2014 debut while the Hagerstown offense scored in five of six innings in an 11-0 shutout of Lakewood in the opener. Solis allowed just four hits, no walks, and struck out seven. Wilmer Difo homered twice while going 3-for-3 with five RBI. Isaac Ballou and James Yezzo also homered and went 2-for-4 as the Suns rapped out 15 hits total with newcomer Greg Zebrack the beer man as the only batter to go hitless.

Lakewood 9 Hagerstown 2 — GAME TWO
• Cooper (L, 4-1) 3⅓ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 2K
• Ward 2-4, RBI
• Ballou 1-3, 2R, BB, SB

Well, as a philosopher once noted, the sun don’t shine on the same dog’s [prosterior] every day, as Lakewood finally got the better of Hagerstown with a 9-2 beating in the nightcap. Andrew Cooper took the loss, his first, as he was touched for three runs on five hits and a walk over three and a 1/3rd innings. Drew Ward led the Suns offense with a 2-for-4 game, with Isaac Ballou scoring both runs while going 1-for-3 with a walk.

Friday’s News & Notes

rain for npp 3

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 3-2 @ Toledo,
7:00 p.m.
Treinen (1-0, 1.56) vs.
Hankins (2-3, 5.22)
Harrisburg OFF DAY vs. New Britain,
7:00 p.m.
Espino (0-2, 7.16) vs.
Dean (2-1, 3.69)
Potomac Postponed @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Dickson (1-2, 4.96) vs.
Faulkner (1-0, 2.25)
Hagerstown Postponed vs. Lakewood,
4:05 p.m.
Cooper (4-0, 2.74) and
Solis (1st start of ’14) vs.
Arteaga (3-4, 7.29) and
Leiter Jr. (Mark, not Al; 3-3, 4.22)


Toledo 3 Syracuse 2
• Jordan 6IP, 5H, 0R, BB, 3K, 12-2 GO-FO
• Jackson (BS, 2; L, 2-2) 1⅓ IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, K, HBP
• Stange 1BF, BK, 2-1 IR-S
• Souza 2-3, BB
• Burriss 1-2, R, BB

A walkoff balk?! That’s how the lone Nats-affiliated game that got in on Thursday night ended as the Mud Hens rallied for three against the Chiefs in the bottom of the 9th for a 3-2 win. Taylor Jordan started and threw six shutout innings, allowing five hits and one walk while setting down three on strikes. He left with a 2-0 lead after Syracuse scored two in the top of the 6th on a Jhonatan Solano sac fly and an RBI single by Brian Goodwin. Zach Jackson fell a HR short of the cycle in the 9th, giving up a single, triple, a hit batsman, and a double before giving way to Daniel Stange. With one out and runners on 2nd and 3rd, Stange threw his first pitch in the dirt, then flinched towards home plate before he could throw the second pitch to send in the gamewinner.

Harrisburg — OFF DAY
While the rain probably would have given them the day off anyway, the Senators, losers of five straight, got a badly needed respite on Thursday as they return home for four games in three days against the New Britain Rock Cats. Weather and/or field condition permitting, of course.

Potomac vs. Myrtle Beach — PPD
The first of four games between the Carolina League division leaders was postponed to tomorrow night for a cash cow Saturday night doubleheader. Last weekend, the Pelicans took three of four, including a comeback from a 5-1 deficit in the 9th a week ago tonight. Roster moves: OF Brandon Miller placed on the 7-Day DL, OF Estarlin Martinez reassigned from Hagerstown.

Lakewood vs. Hagerstown — PPD
The rain that stretched from South Carolina to Montreal also washed out the second of three games against Lakewood to create a twinight doubleheader at the Muni tonight. Roster move: OF Greg Zebrack activated from XST to take place of Martinez.

Thursday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 3-0 @ Toledo,
6:30 p.m.
Jordan (0-0, 1.80) vs.
VerHagen (1-4, 4.81)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-2 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Lost, 12-5 @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Dickson (1-2, 4.96) vs.
Faulkner (1-0, 2.25)
Hagerstown Won, 4-2 vs. Lakewood,
6:35 p.m.
Cooper (4-0, 2.74) vs.
Arteaga (3-4, 7.29)


Syracuse 3 Toledo 0
• Hill (W, 5-1) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Delcarmen (SV, 3) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Laird 2-4, R
• Burriss 1-3, 2B, 2BB, 2RBI, CS

Emmanuel Buriss’s two-run double in the 5th proved to be the game-winner as the Chiefs went back over .500 with a 3-0 shutout of the Mud Hens. Taylor Hill went the first five innings, allowing just two hits, no walks and striking out four. A 116-minute rain delay forced him from the game, but Mike Gonzalez and Manny Delcarmen combined for two scoreless frames apiece to earn the hold and save, respectively. Brandon Laird was the sole Syracuse batter to have multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Burriss also walked twice to reach base three times. Roster move: LHP Tyler Robertson placed on the 7-Day DL.

Akron 4 Harrisburg 2
• Meyers (L, 0-1) 4IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 2K, 2HR
• Bates 3IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Latimore 2-3, SAC
• Taylor 1-3, R, BB, OF assist at HP

Akron had their ducks in a row as they hit three homers in a 4-2 win to complete the three-game sweep of Harrisburg. Veteran Brad Meyers served up two of the longballs, and three runs total on five hits over four innings for his first loss. He walked one and struck out two and left on the losing end of a 3-1 score. Kevin Keyes homered in the 7th to pull the Sens within one at 3-2 but the RubberDucks answered with their third HR with two outs in the 8th for the final score.

Frederick 12 Potomac 5
• Ohlendorf (L, 0-1) 2⅓ IP, 11H, 7R, 7ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Spann 1⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K, 2WP, 1-1 IR-S
• Pleffner 3-4, 2R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
• Perez 2-3, 2R, 2-2B, 2BB
• Tejeda 2-2

Ross Ohlendorf threw batting practice was dinged for seven runs on 11 hits in his first rehab start as Frederick took the rubber match from the Potomac in a 12-5 smackdown. All seven runs came in the 3rd as the Keys got six consecutive hits to open the inning and sent 11 men to the plate to turn a 3-0 deficit into a 7-3 advantage. Stephen Perez and Shawn Pleffner both reached base four times, combining for five hits, four runs, three doubles, three walks, and two RBI. Brandon Miller left the game in the 3rd after suffering an apparent leg injury while running out a double-play groundout.

Hagerstown 4 Lakewood 2
• Pivetta (W, 6-2) 7IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Thomas (SV, 2) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Ward 2-4, R, E(8)
• Bautista 1-3, R, 2B, 2RBI, SB

Lakewood continues to be Hagerstown’s bitc… er, favorite opponent as the Suns took their eighth straight game from the BlueClaws with a 4-2 win, their fourth straight win and 30th of the season. Nick Pivetta went a season-long seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four to win his Sally Lg.-leading sixth game. Drew Ward went 2-for-4 with a run scored to lead the hit column. Rafael Bautista started the scoring with a two-run double in the 2nd and scored when Lakewood committed an error trying to prevent his 14th steal of the season. Roster moves: RHP Dixon Anderson retired, LHP Joseph Webb reassigned from XST.

First Impressions

First Impressions for NPP
It’s probably not as many games to go on as I’d like (thanks to rainouts and personal obligations), but it’s mid-May and we’re at the quarter pole, so here goes with the annual “first take” on the guys at Potomac.

Having grown up in New England during the 1970s and 1980s, I’m more than familiar with teams that can hit but can’t quite pitch with any consistency. The 2014 P-Nats are just such a team.

Of course, they’re in first place, but the last series with Myrtle Beach is indicative of what awaits in the playoffs if things stay the same. It’s easy to get complacent (as a fan) and assume that the reinforcements from Hagerstown, of which there have already been a few, will come up and dominate here the way they have there.

Last night’s starting pitcher is a case in point. As noted in the comments, Brett Mooneyham has still not adjusted to the level and may need to catch the Hellenic Flu to recover.

Without further vamping, here are my takes, position-by-position…

FIRST BASE
Kevin Keyes has come and gone, having finally made it to AA after spending parts of three seasons in Potomac. Shawn Pleffner is a step down on offense thus far, but a step up on defense. He’s a true first baseman, which the P-Nats haven’t had in quite some time and with his big frame, he’s already saved a few errors.

SECOND BASE
Tony Renda appeared in just three games that I saw before he went down with injury. I have to pass on saying more until I can see more of him on a regular basis. Khayyan Norfork has been adequate in his absence, nowhere near the offensive force but as good or better on defense — roughly what you’d expect from a 25-y.o. veteran.

SHORTSTOP
Maybe it’s my fault for not playing him more in the writeups (though I’ve featured him in the GBI), but Stephen Perez gets a lot less mention outside this site for a shortstop hitting .316 with a some pop (.427) than you’d think. Defensively, I see a lot of Ian Desmond in terms of athleticism and errors, but it doesn’t have the same “makes the really hard plays look easy, botches the really easy plays” that made Desmond so maddening. Still, he’s been hitting and fielding far better than anyone could have reasonably expected based on what he showed last year in Hagerstown.

THIRD BASE
I know what you’re thinking: Who cares? Drew Ward will be here soon. Well, it’s never as soon as the comment campaigners want and Ward may actually be held down until the glove is ready, not the bat. Adrian Sanchez and Oscar Tejeda have been splitting the position, and on defense, it’s not even close: Sanchez, who I wrote last year was miscast as a 2B, has found his spot as a 3B (Tejeda is hit-first MI). Sanchez has since been pushed up to Harrisburg, but time will tell if that’s a permanent move or not, but he went on a tear after starting the season 2-for-45. Tejeda, 15 months older, is exactly what you’d expect out of a AA guy at High-A: a .300+ hitter here, .250-something hitter there.

LEFT FIELD AND CENTERFIELD
It’s not his best positions, but Randolph Oduber has played in LF and CF the most among the group of OFs. You get the sense that he’d prefer to be in RF, where he’s played the most, as he’s looked uncomfortable at times in LF, especially going to his left. Offensively, The Groovin’ Aruban has lived up to the nickname this month, hitting the ball hard to all fields.

Besides Oduber, Mike McQuillan and Will Piwnica-Worms have played LF and CF the most, respectively. However, neither player could be truly considered an everyday player. I get the sense that the organization would be happier if Narciso Mesa could establish himself in CF, but he’s looked overmatched in the few times I’ve seen him.

RIGHT FIELD
Brandon Miller has played here everyday and it’s pretty clear that that’s where the Nats want him. Defensively, he’s adequate — makes the routine plays, has a good enough arm, etc. Offensively, he’s been all-or-nothing (46Ks, 10HR in 34G) but has been taking enough walks (19) to offset his low average (.163). It’s disturbing to see so few doubles from a guy with his power, never mind the K rate that has increased from last season.

CATCHER
Longtime readers have known about Pedro Severino‘s arm and defense before the rest of the prospect world seemed to have stumbled on it this past offseason. And it almost seems like he’s hell-bent in living up to that hype, which seems to be leading
to an inordinate number of errors, passed balls, errant throws, etc. The offense has also fallen off, but that’s far less of a surprise, given that his hitting has always been in question. Cole Leonida remains a quite capable backup with decent pop, enough that you’d not mind him DHing a couple of times a week.

BENCH
Manager Tripp Keister has been getting these guys a fair amount of playing time, as you might have inferred from the remarks on Leonida, McQuillan and Piwinca-Worms. Except for Leonida, none of them have been exceptionally good on offense, nor have any of them been exceptionally bad, either. They are what they are: 24-25-y.o. veterans that can come off the bench and contribute.

STARTING PITCHERS
Ronald Pena — The mid-90s heat hasn’t really shown itself, but the thing that strikes me the most (until obviously this last start) is how few strikeouts he’s been getting for a power pitcher. He is relatively young (23 in Sept.), big, and strong so I have a feeling he’s going to keep starting, though he did pitch in relief a fair amount last year in Hagerstown.

Brett Mooneyham — He’s tall, lefthanded and can hit 90 on the gun. The problem is that he can’t seem to locate his pitches for a strike without them getting hit. Hard. This is not new, either. He walked 13 in 11⅓ innings last year; he’s walked 28 in 26⅔ innings this year. If I knew how to fix it, I’d be employed as a coach. But it seems clear that after 10 starts at this level, Mooneyham is not a High-A starting pitcher.

Dakota Bacus, Ian Dickson — I’ve liked what I’ve seen but it’s only been one or two starts and couple of relief outings for both pitchers. Bacus doesn’t throw terribly hard but changes speeds well and has a decent curve. Dickson throws a little harder, but that could also be a byproduct of a good changeup.

Nick Lee, Brian Rauh, Pedro Encarnacion, John Simms — The first three were hurt, Simms I’ve only seen once. Injuries have hit the P-Nats fairly hard as eight pitchers have started two or more games so far this season.

RELIEVERS
For the most part, the relief corps has been very, very good. Last Friday’s meltdown obviously lingers in the air, but I’m not keeping a spreadsheet this year (like I did last year) to track blown saves, either. Collectively, the top five (in terms of appearances) of Robert Benincasa, Gilberto Mendez, Travis Henke, Derek Self, and Bryan Harper are 7-1 with nine saves, five holds, an ERA of 3.18, an FIP of 2.60, and a WHIP of 1.17. That’s really hard to complain about, especially when they’ve mostly had to work with very little margin for error. Maybe that’s what happened last Friday?

Anyway, as we’ve done the past few years, we’ll check back in a few weeks and revisit these impressions.

Wednesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 11-5 @ Toledo,
10:30 a.m.
Hill (4-1, 2.22) vs.
Hardy (1-1, 3.63)
Harrisburg Lost, 10-3;
Lost, 7-6
@ Akron,
10:35 a.m.
Meyers (0-0, 1.93) vs.
Arias (4-2, 3.90)
Potomac Lost, 7-0 @ Frederick,
11:00 a.m.
Bacus (1-1, 2.36)
Ohlendorf (MLB rehab) vs.
Taylor (4-1, 1.09)
Hagerstown Won, 3-1 vs. Lakewood,
6:35 p.m.
Pivetta (5-2, 3.13) vs.
Viza (2-2, 3.71)


Toledo 11 Syracuse 5
• Laffey (L, 4-1) 4⅔ IP, 12H, 7R, 7ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Mattheus 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Hood 2-3, R, HBP
• Goodwin 2-4, R, OF assist at 3B

Toledo broke out for four runs in the 4th, then three in the 5th and cruised to an 11-5 win over Syracuse. Aaron Laffey was pounded for seven runs on 12 hits over four and 2/3rds innings to suffer his first loss and push his ERA from 2.22 to 3.82. Destin Hood and Brian Goodwin both singled twice and scored a run as the Chiefs got four of the runs back in the 8th on a Brock Peterson grand slam.

Akron 10 Harrisburg 3 — COMP.
• Martin (L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 5H, 7R, 6ER, 2BB, 0K, HR
• Simmons 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Dykstra 2-4, RBI
• Jeroloman 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI

Rafael Martin’s return to AA was a grand one… for Ronny Rodriguez, who highlighted Akron’s seven-run 7th with circle clout in the continuation of Monday night’s game for a 10-3 win over Harrisburg. The Senators put runners on in the 8th and 9th innings via singles by Cutter Dykstra and Ricky Hague but neither got into scoring position as the Harrisburg failed to score after the 3rd.

Akron 7 Harrisburg 6
• Schwartz (L, 0-7) 4+ IP, 6H, 6R, 5ER, 2BB, 4K
• Grace 1⅓ IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, K, 3-3 IR-S
• Latimore 3-4, 2R, 2B, RBI, SAC
• Hague 2-4, R
• Bloxom 1-3, R, BB, RBI

The Senators rallied for five in the 5th to erase a 3-0 deficit but the lead was short-lived as the RubberDucks scored three to take a 6-5 lead and held on for the 7-6 win. Blake Schwartz left with the bases loaded in the 5th and was charged with the first six Akron runs for his seventh loss in eight starts. He gave up six hits and walked two in four-plus innings. Quincy Latimore went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored to lead the Harrisburg hit column of twelve.

Frederick 7 Potomac 0
• Mooneyham (L, 2-4) 5IP, 6H, 7R, 6ER, 3BB, 3K, HR, 2WP, 2HBP
• Henke 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Renda 1-4, K

Parker Bridwell and Jesse Beal combined on a one-hit shutout as the Keys blanked the P-Nats, 7-0. Brett Mooneyham was hammered for seven runs for the third straight start but made it through five innings with six hits, three walks, two hit batsmen, two wild pitches allowed and three strikeouts (none of them swinging). Cole Leonida broke up the perfect game with a walk in the 6th while Tony Renda singled with one out in the 9th to end the no-hit bid.
Roster moves: OF Narciso Mesa placed on the 7-Day DL, OF Will Piwnica-Worms activated from the 7-Day DL.

Hagerstown 3 Kannapolis 1
• Johansen 5IP, 6H, R, ER, 0BB, 6K
• Ullmann (W, 1-0) 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Valdez (SV, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
• Wooten 2-4, 2-2B
• Yezzo 3-4, 2B, RBI
• Kieboom 1-4, R, HR, RBI

Hagerstown continues to roll, winning its third straight against Kannapolis to take the game and the series, 3-1. Jake Johansen started and allowed the lone Intimidator run on six hits with no walks and six K’s but got the no-decision. The win went to Ryan Ullman for his three scoreless innings of relief while Phillips Valdez worked around a pair of walks to earn the save in his Low-A debut. John Wooten remains red-hot, doubling twice to push his hit streak to six games, all with multiple hits, and his average to .321 for the season. James Yezzo went 3-for-4 to lead the hit column while Spencer Kieboom went deep in the 8th for third and final Suns run.

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 @ Toledo,
6:30 p.m.
Laffey (4-0, 2.22) vs.
Lobstein (2-3, 5.01)
Harrisburg Tied, 3-3
(Susp. 7th, Rain)
@ Akron,
5:05 p.m.
TBD and Schwartz (0-6, 6.55) vs.
TBD and von Schamann (1-0, 2.67
Potomac Won, 8-4 @ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Mooneyham (2-3, 7.06) vs.
Bridwell (0-5, 6.94)
Hagerstown Won, 2-1 (11 inn.) vs. Kannapolis,
10:35 a.m.
Johansen (3-1, 5.88) vs.
Sanchez (4-0, 1.27)


Columbus 5 Syracuse 4
• Tatusko 6IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 3K
• Jackson (BS, 1) 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 0K, 0HR
• Stange (L, 1-2) ⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 0K
• Peterson 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI
• Solano 1-3, R, HR, BB, 2RBI

After coughing up a 4-3 lead in the top of the 9th, Columbus rallied for the gamewinner with two outs to take the game by 5-4 score and win the series, 3-1. Ryan Tatusko continues to pitch well but have little show for it in the win column as he posted his fifth quality start with one unearned run on two hits and two walks over six innings. He struck out three and lowered his ERA to 1.85. Jhonatan Solano (1-for-3, BB) and Brock Peterson (2-for-4) both homered to account for the first three Chiefs runs and three of the eight Syracuse hits.

Harrisburg 3 Akron 3 — SUSP.
• Purke 1IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 2K
• Dupra 5IP, 4H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Jeroloman 2-3, R, HR, 2RBI
• Dykstra 1-3, RBI

Matt Purke suffered a setquack as the RubberDucks got to him for three in the 1st in a game that was tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 7th when severe weather halted play (H/T Geoff Morrow, Richie Mirowski). Senators reliever Brian Dupra held things in check for five innings while Brian Jeroloman homered to get two back in the 2nd. Cutter Dykstra’s RBI single in the 3rd plated Michael Taylor, who had led off with a walk and stolen 2nd with one out to tie it. The game will resume tonight at 5:05 p.m., followed by the regularly scheduled 9-inn. game.

Potomac 8 Frederick 4
• Pena 6IP, 6H, 4R, 2ER, 0BB, 8K
• Self (W, 1-0) 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• B. Miller 2-4, R, 2B, HR(10), BB, 3RBI
• Renda 2-4, R, 2B, BB
• Oduber 2-5, R, 2B, RBI

Potomac rallied for four in the 4th and three in the 9th as they doubled up Frederick, 8-4. Starter Ronald Pena struck out a season- and career-high of eight over six innings but got the no-decision as the Keys scored two unearned runs against him in the 6th to tie it at 4-4. He walked none and gave up six hits. Derek Self got the win with three shutout innings of relief, allowing just one hit, no walks, and whiffed three. Tony Renda picked up where he left off last month with a single, double, and a walk while Brandon Miller swatted his 10th big fly while driving in three to lead the P-Nats offense.

Hagerstown 2 Kannapolis 1 (11 inn.)
• Voth 6IP, 5H, 0R, BB, 7K
• Orlan 4IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 7K
• Cooper (W, 4-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Wooten 3-5, E
• Medina 2-3, R, BB, CS, E

It was another walkoff for the Suns as an Intimidators error sent in Drew Ward for a 2-1 win in 11 innings. Three Hagerstown pitchers combined for 15K on the night, with starter Austin Voth fanning seven in six shutout innings, R.C. Orlan striking out seven over four frames, and winning pitcher Andrew Cooper getting the 15th while working around a hit in the 11th. John Wooten went 3-for-5 for his fifth straight multi-hit game. Willie Medina also reached base three times with a pair of singles and a walk. The Suns tallied 10 hits total but hit into two double plays and were caught stealing twice to limit their RISP chances to just seven.