Jan 142015

So Long
Today the Nationals announced the trade of LHP Danny Rosenbaum for AAA veteran Dan Butler, as part of an offseason push to replenish the upper minors with catchers.

Rosenbaum was a 2009 pick out of Xavier University who quickly established himself as a workhorse, throwing 140+ innings in his first three full seasons (2011-2013). That also earned him a Rule 5 look-see during the 2012-13 offseason before developing Nationals elbow last spring. He was expected to spend 2015 rehabbing in the GCL and perhaps Auburn before becoming a six-year free agent.

As noted in the link above, Roberts is one of several minor-league veteran catchers (Steven Lerud, Omir Santos) added in the wake of the departures of 40-man backstop Jhonatan Solano as well as AA/AAA reserves Brian Jeroloman and Mitch Canham.

Jan 112015

Transactions for NPP 2
After a two-plus week hiatus, Baseball America has made its latest transaction post for the period of December 24, 2014 to January 8, 2015. Among the transactions not previously reported:

• OF Kevin Mattison

• RHP Travis Henke
• C Austin Chubb
• SS Willie Medina

Mattison was released from Milwaukee’s AAA affiliate in August following an 0-for-19 slump in his final 14 games. The 29-y.o. centerfielder was drafted by the Florida Marlins in 2008 in the 28th Rd. out of the Univ. of North Carolina at Asheville.

Henke was a 2011 pick who topped out at High-A with 5-2, 5.24 record with Potomac over part of 2013 and all of the 2014 season. Chubb was drafted in 2012 but was a backup backstop in all three of his seasons, finishing with a .622 OPS in 21 games with Hagerstown. Medina had the plug pulled after just two seasons as the 31st Rd. pick out of High Point Univ. began 2014 in Hagerstown but was demoted to Auburn after hitting just .207 over 44 games, and finished up with a .247 mark over 27 games for the Doubledays.

Jan 032015

Winter Baseball Update
With the close of the Venezuelan Winter League last night, here’s the last look at how players in the Nationals organization did in the 2014-15 Winter Leagues.


Tyler Moore DWL 22 77 19 23 4 0 6 17 18 20 .299 .429 .584 2
Emmanuel Burriss DWL 17 55 4 16 4 1 0 4 2 6 .291 .350 .400 1
Estarlin Martinez DWL 2 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 .143 .250 .143 0
Wilman Rodriguez DWL 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 .500 .500 .500 0
Jose Lozada PWL 29 99 11 23 8 0 2 7 5 23 .229 .295 .429 0
Sandy Leon VWL 46 147 13 31 8 1 2 14 17 27 .211 .290 .320 1
Mario Lisson VWL 32 112 11 26 5 1 4 13 18 20 .232 .372 .402 2
Wilson Ramos VWL 18 67 4 15 2 0 1 6 2 17 .224 .257 .299 0
Adrian Sanchez VWL 5 6 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 .000 .000 .000 0


Richard Bleier DWL 1 3 0 5.23 7 4 20⅔ 26 14 12 2 4 12 1.45
Manny Delcarmen DWL 1 0 0 8.71 14 0 10⅓ 15 10 10 2 6 7 2.03
Gilberto Mendez DWL 0 0 0 0.00 3 0 2⅔ 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00
Rafael Martin MWL 1 0 10 1.90 24 0 23⅔ 22 8 5 1 4 22 1.10
Jose Lozada PWL 0 0 0 0.00 1 0 0⅔ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Paolo Espino VWL 3 0 0 3.74 8 8 33⅔ 34 14 14 3 11 34 1.34
Mitch Lively VWL 1 2 0 3.38 6 2 18⅔ 21 8 7 2 5 18 1.39
David Ramos VWL 0 1 0 2.95 6 0 18⅓ 19 6 6 0 6 7 1.36

As usual in early January, there’s very little to report on the minor-league front. Earlier this week, the Nationals signed another veteran catcher: 33-year-old Omir Santos, who appeared in just 11 games last summer with Pittsburgh’s AAA affiliate due to a concussion and an ankle injury. Santos was orignally drafted by the Yankees in 2001, but made his MLB with Orioles in 2008. Since filling in for former Nats catcher Brian Schneider for 96 games with the Mets in 2009, Santos has played sparingly — just 226 games across five seasons for the Mets, Tigers, Rockies, Indians, and Pirates, with only 15 games played at the MLB level (14 for Detroit in 2011 and 2012, one for Cleveland in 2013).

Dec 172014

Sorry, no “pair of Padres” pun this time.

Another December trade has the Nats taking part in an 11-player, three-team trade that will be known elsewhere as “Myers To Friars” and perhaps to us (Nationals fans) as the Souza for Turner trade.

Late-bloomer Steven Souza (2007, 3rd Rd.) and teenage southpaw Travis Ott (2013, 25th Rd.) are the two players reported to be on the move. In return immediately will be RHP Joe Ross (2011, 1st Rd.) while 2014 1st Rd. pick SS Trea Turner will be eligible to join the Washington organization in June, thanks to MLB’s rules that prohibit draft picks from being traded within a year of signing.

Obviously, most folks are interpreting this as a move to acquire a possible successor to Ian Desmond by using a bench/role player, albeit one coming off a career year as the International League’s MVP while giving up a young southpaw in exchange for AA pitcher. Having just traded for 2B Chris Bostick, one has to wonder if another trade is coming or if there’s another PTBNL in this deal, which, as of this writing, is not official yet.

Tacitly, it would also seem that GM Mike Rizzo is agreeing with the scouts who say that Difo is a 2B and not a SS. If you’re the type that likes to bring the tartar sauce when you go after a white whale, then you counter with the notion that when Turner comes in Difo moves up and whoever’s playing SS in Harrisburg steps aside.

A little more on the new guys…

Turner split time between SS-A Eugene and Low-A Fort Worth, posting a combined line of .323/.406/.448 with 23 steals in 69 games. He’s considered an 80-grade speedster but there are questions about his ability to hit for average at the upper levels. Defensively, he’s the unusual 3B-to-SS convert despite his size (6’1″, 170).

Ross made 19 starts for High-A Lake Elsinore and three starts for AA San Antonio with a combined ERA of 3.92 and a WHIP of 1.258. In his 2014 book, John Sickels noted the gap between the effusive praise for his “stuff” (93-97 FB, hard-breaking SL) and the pedestrian H/IP and K/9IP ratios (9.0 and 7.2 for his career) and wondered aloud at what point will the numbers improve or the scouts dial down?

As always, feel free to discuss in the comments.

Dec 112014

Guess it wouldn’t be December without a trade by the Nationals.

Multiple online sources are reporting that the Washington Nationals have traded LHP Ross Detwiler to the Texas Rangers for a pair of minor-leaguers, 2B Chris Bostick and RHP Abel de los Santos.

Bostick is a (*spoiler alert*) former Oakland A’s farmhand who has now been traded twice in two offseasons, going to Texas last year as part of the Choice-for-Gentry swap. He spent 2014 in the Carolina League with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans where he posted a line of .251/.322/.412 with 11HR and 62RBI, but alas, 116 whiffs in 130 games.

Defensively, he’s considered a project despite being a former shortstop, committing 55 errors 305 games at 2B, though scouts believe his range is decent and his arm strength adequate. As Sickels pointed out in his most recent prospect book, this is hardly unusual for someone his age (turns 22 in March). Between Wilmer Difo and Tony Renda, the most logical deductions are that Bostick may be forced to repeat High-A or change positions for 2015.

De Los Santos is a 22-y.o. Dominican just finishing up his fifth professional season. The 6’2″, 180-lb “northpaw” converted to relief in 2013, and has averaged 10.4K/9IP the past two seasons with 113K in 97⅔ IP. Scouting reports are scarce as he was not profiled by either Sickels or Baseball American in their 2014 editions (it also doesn’t help that Texas has a Miguel de Los Santos and Cincinnati has a RHP by the same name, too).

De Los Santos went 5-2 with eight saves in 33 appearances with High-A Myrtle Beach and one would think that the Nationals would like to pair him with Gilberto Mendez in the back end of the Harrisubrg bullpen in 2015.

Nov 082014

Hanging It Up for NPP
As noted earlier this week, Baseball America has released its list of the minor-leaguers who have become free agents. Without further ado, ze list…

(* = spent entire season on DL)
AA — Mitch Canham, Brian Jeroloman
SS-A — Alex Marquez

AAA — Brandon Laird, Will Rhymes
AA — Melvin Dorta*, Oscar Tejeda

AAA — Destin Hood,
AA — Quincy Latimore

AAA — Aaron Laffey, Tyler Robertson
AA — Zach Kroenke

AAA — Mitch Lively, Omar Poveda, Daniel Stange
AA — Paul Demny, Tyler Herron

Two of the names are notable if for no other reason than they were 2008 Nationals draft picks: Destin Hood (2nd Rd.) and Paul Demny (6th). After a career year in Syracuse (.294/.344/.482), Hood will undoubtedly sign with another organization. Let’s face it: He’s third in line behind the likes of Steve Souza and Michael Taylor when it comes to the last couple of outfielder slots on the Nats 40-man roster.

Demny, who has languished at AA for three seasons, is far less of a surprise. Even with a shift to the bullpen, his velocity has dropped, and he spent significant time on the DL this year as well. At 25, he seems more likely to either retire or go to the indy route if he is to continue pitching professionally.

Believe it or not, this list of 17 is actually the smallest in the five seasons this site has been in existence. Whether that’s a good thing or not is something to debate. We’ve certainly noticed that in the Rizzo era, he has no qualms in peppering the AA and AAA rosters with free agents and much like his predecessor (sorry, but it’s true) he favors the guys he’s drafted or scouted. However, he has also released a fair amount of guys already from his first two drafts (2009, 2010) so there may not be very many (or any) eligible to re-sign this time next year (if you’re wondering, just three not on the 40-man already from 2009 — Danny Rosenbaum, Pat Lehman, and Matt Swynenberg).

Sep 022014
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Harrisburg Won, 3-0 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Won, 6-1 END OF SEASON N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 9-8 END OF SEASON N/A
Auburn Won, 4-3 END OF SEASON N/A

Buffalo 8 Syracuse 2
• Laffey (L, 12-6) 4IP, 13H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 3K, WP
• Runion 3IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K
• Dobbs 2-4, 2B
• Hood 1-4, 2B, RBI

The Syracuse pitching staff presented few challenges to Buffalo in an 8-2 regular -season finale loss. With one out in the 1st, the Bisons loaded the bases on three singles before Matt Hague singled in Darin Mastroianni. After recording the first two outs in the 2nd, starter and loser Aaron Laffey allowed five hits, including two doubles. Among the thirteen hits Laffey allowed on the night and the twenty hits the Chiefs staff allowed, the biggest blow was a Brett Wallace double to left that scored Mastroianni and Cole Gilespie and put Syracuse down, 4-0. The Chiefs responded with an RBI double by Alabaman Destin Hood that scored Greg Dobbs. Laffey would give up two more runs on four hits and a sacrifice fly in the 4th before departing down 6-1. Sam Runion came on to start the 5th and was rudely greeted by a single, a double, and two more singles that put Syracuse down 8-1 before they put some lipstick on the pig with a Greg Dobbs ground-rule double and Will Rhymes RBI single off Brandon Morrow in the 9th.
Roster moves: Activated C Jeff Howell from 7-Day DL, CF Eury Perez from 3-Day TIL; Washington recalled C Sandy Leon, 1B-OF Tyler Moore, RHPs Blake Treinen, Aaron Barrett, LHP Xavier Cedeno; OF Steven Souza removed from roster, MLB rehab assignment ended (activated from MLB 15-Day DL).

Harrisburg 3 Portland 0
• Demny 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Simmons (W, 3-4) 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K, HBP
• Bates (SV, 3) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Tejeda 2-3, 2R, BB, CS
• Latimore 2-5, R, SB

Harrisburg avoided a tie for its worst record ever with a 3-0 whitewash of Portland in the season finale. Five Senators relievers combined on the shutout the Sea Dogs, beginning with Paul Demny, who threw three innings with two hits and two whiffs. Harrisburg scored an unearned run in the 2nd when Oscar Tejeda walked, took second on an error as Portland 2B Sean Coyle dropped the throw from the catcher, and scored on an RBI single by Adrian Sanchez. Tejeda and Sanchez teamed up again in the 4th as Oscar singled with one out to start the rally and Adrian beat out a double-play ball for his second RBI. James Simmons went the next three innings and earned the win by working around a one-out double in the 4th, an error in the 5th, and two-out double in the 6th. The Sens got their final tally of the 2014 campaign with a Drew Vettleson RBI single to score Quincy “The Dude” Latimore in the 7th. Robert Benincasa put up a zero the 8th to earn his first hold while Colin Bates closed it out in the 9th for his third save.

Potomac 6 Frederick 1
• Spann 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Henke (W, 5-2) 4IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, BB, K
• Martinez 3-4, R
• Oduber 2-4, R, RBI, SB
• Norfork 2-5, RBI

The Frederick fans that waited out the 104-minute rain delay might have left soon afterwards as the Keys relievers were unlocked for six runs over their first three full innings of work in a 6-1 loss to Potomac. P-Nats starter Matthew Spann threw three no-hit innings, needing just 23 pitches to go through the Frederick lineup once, as the one baserunner he allowed (walk) was erased on a double play. Travis Henke took over after the rain stopped play with one out in the top of the 4th and went the next four frames, giving up a run on five hits and a walk to earn his fifth win. Estarlin Martinez went 3-for-4 to lead the hit column while Pedro Severino went deep with a two-run blast to break the 0-0 deadlock in the 5th.
Roster move: RHP Ross Ohlendorf removed from roster, assignment with Potomac completed.

Lakewood 9 Hagerstown 8
• Cooper 3IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, 2HR
• Johns (BS, 3; L, 3-2) 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, HR
• Kieboom 2-3, 2R, 2HR, 2RBI
• Yezzo 3-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Mesa 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI

In an apparent effort to keep the starters rested, the Suns used all relievers and blew a 7-3 lead to lose the final game of the regular season, 9-8. Andrew Cooper was barreled up for three runs on a pair of 2nd-inning homers and four hits total over three innings. Spencer Kieboom got two runs back via solo HRs as Hagerstown piled up five runs over 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings to take the aforementioned 7-3 lead. Ryan Ullmann gave up three in the 7th and 8th innings while Samuel Johns was pinched for the final three Lakewood runs for his second loss and third blown save. James Yezzo and Narciso Mesa combined for six hits, four runs, two doubles, a homer (Yezzo) and four RBI to lead the Hagerstown offense.

Auburn 4 Batavia 3
• Bourque (W, 3-5) 5IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 4K, HBP, WP
• Bach (H, 5) 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Gardner 3-4, 2B, CS
• Abreu 2-3, 2R, SB(10)

The Doubledays rallied from an early 3-1 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the 3rd and neutered the Muckdogs over the final six innings for a 4-3 win to close out the season. Starter James Bourque gave up all three Batavia runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four to earn his third win. Connor Bach followed with three scoreless innings for his fifth hold while Tyler Mapes worked around a hit in the ninth to notch his fifth save. Jeff Gardner singled twice and doubled once to lead Auburn’s 11-hit parade.

Sep 012014
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-3 vs. Buffalo,
2:00 p.m.
TBD vs. Copeland (2-1, 2.00)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-2 @ Portland,
2:00 p.m.
Potomac Won, 6-5;
Won, 5-4
@ Frederick,
2:00 p.m.
Spann (9-5, 3.92)
vs. Brault (2-0, 0.69)
Hagerstown Won, 5-2 vs. Lakewood,
1:05 p.m.
Cooper (7-4, 5.78) vs.
Prosinski (5-5, 3.50)
Auburn Lost, 7-6 vs. Batavia,
2:05 p.m.
Bourque (2-5, 4.03) vs.
Smigelski (2-1, 4.66)

Syracuse 4 Buffalo 3
• Espino 6⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 4K
• Mattheus (H, 7) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Delcarmen (BS, 3)(W, 4-4) 1IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 0K
• Hood 2-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Moore 2-4, R, 2-2B
• Solano 2-3, R 2B, 2RBI

The Chiefs followed up their division-clinching road victory Saturday with a thrilling 4-3 walkoff win Sunday over the Bisons. Syracuse jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd with a Tyler Moore double followed by two-out doubles from Greg Dobbs and Jhonatan Solano. The Chiefs then loaded the bases with one out in the 4th on a Brandon Laird single, Destin Hood double and Greg Dobbs walk. Solano kept the line moving with a single that scored Moore, but Jose Lozada grounded into an inning-ending double play. Buffalo tied the game up with an RBI double by Brett Wallace in the 7th off starter Paolo Espino, an RBI double by Dalton Pompey off reliever Ryan Mattheus in the 8th, and an RBI single off Manny Delcarmen in the 9th. Order was restored when Destin Hood led off the 9th against Chris Hynes with his tenth homer to end the proceedings.
Roster moves: RHP Paolo Espino reassigned from Harrisburg; RHP A.J. Cole transferred to GCL Nationals roster.

Portland 6 Harrisburg 2
• Kroenke (L, 3-9) 5IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Benincasa 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Canham 2-3, RBI
• Vettleson 2-4, R

The Harrisburg Senators suffered through a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Portland Sea Dogs yesterday. Mike Miller hit a homer to put Portland up 1-0 with one out in the 1st. After Jason Martinson and Drew Vettleson singled, Mitch Canham tied the score at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly that drove home Martinson. Miller continued his devastation against Harrisburg with a bases-clearing double in the 5th that scored Ryan Dent, Heiker Meneses and Shannon Wilkerson against starter and loser Zach Kroenke. Neil Holland gave up two more runs on an RBI double to Jonathan Roof and a sacrifice fly double play where Caleb Ramsey gunned down Roof trying to advance to third. Portland’s Mike McCarthy made things interesting in the 9th when Harrisburg loaded up the bases and scored a run on a one-out RBI single by Ramsey. Portland closer Noe Ramirez was then summoned to record his eighteenth save, which came on a Quincy Latimore double play.

Potomac 6 Frederick 5 — GAME ONE
• Ohlendorf 3IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Harper (W, 2-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K, 1-0 IR-S
• Mendez (SV, 15) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Ballou 2-4, R, 2B, BB
• Renda 2-3, R, 2BB, SB
• McQuillan 2-2, R, 2BB

After a 92-minute rain delay, the P-Nats racked up four in the 1st and held on for a 6-5 win in the opener. Ross Ohlendorf came out of witness protection to pitch three shutout innings, with two hits and a walk given up and two set down on strikes. Pedro Encarnacion blew a 5-0 lead with five runs allowed over an inning and 2/3rds in relief. The game-winning run came on a double-play ball in the 6th after Khayyan Norfork walked and took third on Mike McQuillan’s second single of the game. Bryan Harper, who stranded the go-ahead run in the 5th, got the win while Gilberto Mendez racked up his 15th save with four-out save. Tony Renda singled twice and walked twice to pace the Potomac offense.

Potomac 5 Frederick 4 — GAME TWO
• Bacus (W, 7-6) 5IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, K, HR
• M. Rodriguez (SV, 1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Wooten 2-2, R, 3B, BB, 2RBI
• Martinez 1-3, R, 3B, 2RBI

In the nightcap, the two teams traded punches in the 2nd and 3rd innings with the P-Nats outpointing the Keys, 5-4 to sweep the doubleheader and eliminate Frederick from the playoffs. Estarlin Martinez smacked a two-run triple and scored on a wild pitch to open the barrage in the 2nd, while John Wooten’s one-out triple drove in the fourth and fifth Potomac runs in the 3rd. Dakota Bacus weathered one run in the 2nd (HR), and three in the 3rd, but made it through five innings to earn his seventh win. Manny Rodriguez spun two scoreless innings in his Carolina League debut to earn the save.
Roster moves: RHP Ross Ohlendorf assigned from Washington for MLB rehab.

Hagerstown 5 Lakewood 2
• Pivetta 5IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K, HBP, WP
• Lee (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• C. Lopez 2-3, 2B, BB
• Chubb 1-2, R, 2BB
• Masters 1-3, 2R, 2B, RBI

The Suns rallied for three in the bottom of the 8th for a 5-2 sportswriter’s win that secured the Sally North second half title (and not much else, thanks to the Sally League’s playoff procedures). Nick Pivetta got the start and let in two over five innings on six hits, no walks and three whiffs. Jake Johansen turned in his first scoreless outing in three weeks with doughnuts in the 6th and 7th innings while Nick Lee got the win with a pair of zeroes in the 8th and 9th. Carlos Lopez reached base three times with a walk, a single, and a double while Wilmer Difo hit home run no. 14 to lead the Hagerstown attack.

Batavia 7 Auburn 6
• Reyes 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K
• McDowell (L, 1-3) ⅔ IP, 6H, 6R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Read 2-5, 2-2B, 3RBI, PB(10)
• Abreu 2-5, R, E(20)
• Gardner 2-5, R, 2B, E(4)

For the second straight night, the Auburn bullpen melted down for a six-run 8th inning. This time, however, the offense had only built a 6-1 lead and thus fell 7-6 to Batavia. Two critical errors aided in the train wreck, rendering five of the six runs charged to Chase McDowell as unearned, though the 23-y.o. did give up six hits in the space of nine batters. The implosion erased five innings of one-run ball by starter Luis Reyes, who allowed three hits, no walks, and struck out three.

Aug 312014
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 6-2 vs. Buffalo,
6:30 p.m.
Espino (1st AAA start of ’14)
vs. Valdes (5-5, 3.82)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-1 @ Portland,
2:00 p.m.
Kroenke (3-8, 6.69) vs.
Rodriguez (5-8, 3.71)
Potomac Lost, 4-3 @ Frederick,
4:00 p.m.
TBD and TBD vs.
TAylor (6-2, 3.13) and TBD
Hagerstown Lost, 7-4 vs. Lakewood,
5:05 p.m.
Pivetta (13-8, 4.24) vs.
Imhof (0-2, 4.10)
Auburn Won, 12-7 @ Batavia,
5:05 p.m.
Reyes (0-1, 2.84) vs.
Farnworth (1-1, 3.71)

Syracuse 6 Pawtucket 2
• Lively (W, 5-2) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 11K, BK
• Grace (H, 8) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Taylor 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI, SB
• Souza 2-4, 2B, 3RBI, SB

The Syracuse Chiefs are now your International League North Division Champions following a professional 6-2 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox. After Michael “BATMAN” Taylor’s first home run for Syracuse in the 1st, Pawtucket scored its only two runs against starter Mitch Lively when Bryce Brentz doubled in Justin Henry and Alex Hassan. The Chiefs tied it up in the 4th at 2-2 when Taylor singled, stole second, and scored on Steven Souza’s RBI single. Souza would steal second and advance to third on a wild pitch, but PawSox starter and loser Matt Barnes, who recorded ten strikeouts without a walk, struck out the next three to keep the game tied. Syracuse put this away in the top of the 5th when two Chiefs snuck grounders into right and Jeff Kobernus loaded the bases on a bunt single. With two outs, Barnes threw a wild pitch to score Leon and Steven Souza doubled in Will Rhymes and Kobernus to give the Chiefs a 5-2 lead. Greg Dobbs homered to start the ninth for Syracuse, and Rafael Martin pitched the scoreless ninth that clinched the division for Syracuse.

Portland 5 Harrisburg 1
• Rivero (L, 2-7) 4⅔ IP, 3H, 5R, 1ER, 2BB, 8K, HR
• Self 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, 2-0 IR-S
• Sanchez 2-3
• Skole 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI

History, bad defense, and the Portland Sea Dogs defeated the Harrisburg Senators, 5-1. Sean Coyle hit a solo shot off tough-luck starter and loser Felipe Rivero to give Portland a 1-0 lead in the 4th. Following a leadoff walk in the 5th, Rivero’s teammates declined to support him defensively in the 5th. First, third baseman Mitch Canham allowed a runner to reach on his fielding error. After a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position, Jason Martinson’s error at shortstop allowed the Sea Dogs to take a 2-0 lead, and put runners on first and third. Drew Vettleson’s two-base error in right field allowed two more runs to score. Portland finally scored a run without an error when Sean Coyle doubled in Ryan Dent to conclude the scoring. The final tally: three errors, four unearned runs, and a 5-0 deficit. The Senators avoided a shutout when Matt Skole doubled in Quincy Latimore with two outs in the 8th.

Frederick 4 Potomac 3
• Rauh (L, 2-4) 6IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 1K
• Walsh 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Norfork 2-4, RBI
• Wooten 1-4, R, HR, RBI

Potomac’s playoff-clinching hangover continued with a third straight loss, this one by a 4-3 score to Frederick. The Keys hung a three-spot on starter Brian Rauh, who finished with all four Frederick runs allowed on five hits and three walks with one strikeout. The P-Nats scored had the tying run gunned down at the plate when John Wooten was unable to follow Isaac Ballou home on Khayyan Norfork’s two-out, one-run single in the 8th. Norfork led the hit column with two singles while Wooten homered in the 6th. With a Hillcats loss, the Keys are tied for second place and can make the playoffs if they win out. The Blue Rocks dropped a doubleheader to the Red Sox, who clinched a berth in the Southern Division, and will be eliminated with either their next loss or a win by Lynchburg or Frederick.
Roster moves: RHP Manny Rodriguez reassigned from Hagerstown.

Lakewood 7 Hagerstown 4
• Lopez 5IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Thomas (L, 3-5) 3IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Bautista 3-4, 2R, 2B, 2SB, CS
• Yezzo 2-4, R, CS

The longball was the Suns’ downfall Last Night In Hagerstown.
Roster moves: RHP Andrew Cooper activated from the 7-Day DL.

Auburn 12 Mahoning Valley 7
• A. Williams (W, 4-3) 5IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K, HBP
• Webb 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Eusebio 3-5, 2R, 2HR, 6RBI
• Read 3-5, 3R, 3-2B, RBI
• Mejia 2-5, 2R, HR, 3RBI

Diomedes Eusebio homered twice and drove in six as the Doubledays dumped the Scrappers, 12-7. Auburn pounded out 12 hits total with seven extra-base hits, including three doubles by Raudy Read and homers by Bryan Mejia and Jeff Gardner. Austen Williams got the win with five innings of one-run ball, giving up four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Joseph Webb and Mario Sanchez both spun two scoreless innings of relief while David “Mi Hermano es Wilson” Ramos was smoked for the remaining six runs as he failed to retire the six batters he faced in the 8th, serving up a pair of home runs.

Aug 302014
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 2-1 @ Pawtucket,
6:05 p.m.
Cole (7-0, 3.43) vs.
Barnes (8-8, 3.80)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-2 @ Portland,
6:00 p.m.
Rivero (2-6, 4.38) vs.
Haley (2-2, 1.47)
Potomac Lost, 2-0 @ Frederick,
6:00 p.m.
Rauh (2-3, 4.37) vs.
Bridwell (6-10, 4.51)
Hagerstown Won, 10-4 vs. Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Lopez (4-1, 1.49) vs.
Casimiro (5-9, 4.97)
Auburn Lost, 5-2 @ Mahoning Valley,
7:05 p.m.
A. Williams (3-3, 5.08) vs.
Santana (1-8, 4.58)

Pawtucket 2 Syracuse 1
• McGregor (L, 1-2) 4IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Runion 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Leon 1-2, BB
• Laird 1-4, R, HR, RBI

The Syracuse offense failed to rise up to the task of clinching a playoff spot in last night’s 2-1 loss to Pawtucket. The Chiefs managed just three hits and three walks. The right field defense delivered in the bottom of the 2nd when Steven Souza threw out Ryan Lavarnway at home. The bullpen delivered with four shutout innings, including two perfect innings from Aaron Barrett. Sadly, starter and loser Scott McGregor did not deliver and only lasted four innings and eighty pitches. He gave up a single by Bryce Brentz and a homer to Lavarnway to start out the 4th. Brandon Laird’s solo shot (18th homer) to start the 5th was Syracuse’s only response. Following Souza’s strikeout and a Tyler Moore walk, PawSox reliever Dalier Hinojosa retired the final two Chiefs and recorded his third save.
Roster moves: OF Eury Perez placed on 3-Day Temporary Inactive List; UT Jose Lozada activated from TIL.

Portland 3 Harrisburg 2
• Poveda (L, 1-3) 5IP, 8H, 3R, 1ER, BB, 7K
• Bates 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Martinson 3-4, R, 3B
• Keyes 2-4, RBI

History scored another victory against Harrisburg when the Portland Sea Dogs defeated the Senators 3-2. In the 1st, Portland jumped out to a 1-0 lead on two singles and an RBI double by Keury De La Cruz that scored Shannon Wilkerson. Starter and tough-luck loser Omar Poveda struck out the final two batters, however, and escaped further damage. Poveda’s luck went from bad to horrible when Matt Skole’s error from third base extended the 4th inning. Sean Coyle then snuck a grounder into left for a single that resulted in two unearned runs for Poveda and a 3-0 deficit. In the 6th, the Sens edged closer with a Quincy Latimore double and an RBI single by Kevin Keyes. Harrisburg narrowed the deficit to 3-2 when Jason Martinson tripled to lead off the 9th and scored on a Noe Ramirez balk. Ramirez then rebounded to strike out two of the next three Senators and record his seventeenth save.

Wilmington 2 Potomac 0
• Dickson (L, 5-9) 6⅔ IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 7K, WP
• Harper 1⅓ IP, 1H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K, HR, 1-0 IR-S
• Martinez 1-3
• Dent 1-2, SAC

Fighting for their playoff lives, Wilmington shut out Potomac for a second straight by a 2-0 count. Starter Ian Dickson fired another quality start (6th in 15GS) with one run let in on five hits but was saddled with the loss. He walked none and struck out seven over six and 2/3rds innings. Bryan Harper got the last out of the 7th but was greeted by the first batter in the 8th with a big fly to give the Blue Rocks a critical insurance run. Stephen Perez doubled to lead off the P-Nats 9th and took third on a Tony Renda groundout to second, but couldn’t score on flyball to center for the second out, and watched from 90′ away as Randolph Oduber became the 14th strikeout for the Blue Rocks pitchers. Lynchburg and Frederick both won to keep pace with Wilmington.
Roster moves: UT Cody Dent reassigned from Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 10 Lakewood 4
• Dickey 4IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 5BB, 2K
• Valdez (W, 2-0) 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Bautista 3-5, 3R, 2B, RBI
• Yezzo 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Davidson 1-4, R, BB, HR, 3RBI

Hagerstown responded to a two-run top of the 1st with three in the bottom of the 1st and piled on four more in the 2nd as they cruised to a 10-4 win over Lakewood. Robbie Dickey wobbled through four innings and thus couldn’t get the Jack Morris win as he allowed all four BlueClaws runs on six hits and five walks with just two strikeouts. Philips Valdez and David Napoli combined for five shutout innings to earn the win and save respectively. Austin Davidson homered in his Low-A debut, hitting a three-run bomb in the 2nd and was followed two batters later by James Yezzo with a solo shot. Rafael Bautista led the Suns’ 13-hit parade with a double, two singles, and three runs scored. Roster moves: OF Austin Davidson reassigned from Auburn.

Mahoning Valley 5 Auburn 2
• Torres (L, 1-2) 3IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K
• Mapes 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Langlois 2-4, R, 2B
• Gunter 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Read 2-4, 2B

Mahoning Valley scored three runs early and held off a late Auburn charge for a 5-2 win. Starter and loser Luis Torres was dinged for the aforementioned three runs on six hits over three innings. He struck out two and walked none. Robert Orlan was effective early, but the Scrappers got to him for two runs in his fourth inning of work on a pair of one-out singles and a double before Tyler Mapes came on to roll a double play. Brian Langlois, Cody Gunter, and Raudy Read all went 2-for-4 with a single and a double, but the clutch hit eluded the Doubledays as they finished with a 1-for-7 mark with RISP.