Simms, Spann Promoted To Potomac (UPDATED)

Moving On Up for NPP
The Hagerstown Suns have announced that two relievers — RHP John Simms and LHP Matthew Spann — have been promoted to the Potomac Nationals. Taking their place on the Suns roster are LHP Hector Silvestre, who was activated from the 7-Day DL, and RHP Michael Sylvestri, who was activated from XST.

Simms was 0-0 with three saves and a 0.98 ERA in five appearances with two walks and 20 strikeouts over 18&#8531 innings for Hagerstown. The 22-year-old was twice drafted by the Washington Nationals: in the 39th Rd. of the 2010 Draft out of College Park HS in The Woodlands, TX and in 11th Rd. of last June’s draft out of Rice University. He posted an 0-3, 5.79 record for Auburn last summer but had terrific peripherals (2.2BB, 10.0K per 9IP), which earned him a spot on this site’s 2014 Watchlist.

Spann was the PTBNL in the strange saga of waiver-wire claim David DeJesus last summer, which earned him an entry as one of the Notable Arms on the aforementioned Watchlist. He was 2-0 with two saves and a 1.20 ERA in four appearances with four walks and 15 strikeouts over 15 innings for the Suns.

Potomac has had 11 pitchers on the roster since LHP Nick Lee and RHP Pedro Encarnacion were placed on the DL last week, which will bring them back to the usual complement of 13 pitchers. A corresponding move to reduce the Potomac roster to the 25-man limit has not yet been announced. If/when it is, this space will be updated.

UPDATE:
The Potomac Nationals announced the following roster moves this afternoon…

  • RHP Doug Fister removed from roster as MLB rehab
  • RHP Brian Dupra reassigned to Syracuse
  • OF Will Piwinica-Worms reassigned to Harrisburg

As noted last year, there are cases such as these in which the word promotion is not used because it’s pretty clear that the roster move is a needs-based assignment. This is not an indictment of the player but merely a reflection of that judgment (sometimes the clubs’ media folks themselves will use the word “transfer”). Sadly, this could also mean that I’m wrong about Spann and Simms, but that bell has already been rung.

This latest set of moves does appears to be a ripple effect from the placement of Bryce Harper on the parent club DL, which means that an OF from Harrisburg is likely on his way to Syracuse to replace Steve Souza, who was recalled to take Harper’s spot. If/when that news is received, I’ll update this space again.

UPDATE #2: The Syracuse Chiefs and Harrisburg Senators are announcing the following moves…

  • RHP Ryan Perry placed on the 7-Day DL
  • RHP Brian Dupra promoted from Potomac to Harrisburg
  • OF Will Piwnica-Worms reassigned from Potomac to Syracuse

Obviously, there’s some conflicting information here, which we’ll have to sort out tomorrow.

Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge

Potomac rallied from a 4-0 deficit and scored in each of the final five innings for a 6-5 walkoff win, their third straight of the homestand and fifth in a row against Lynchburg.

Doug Fister started for the first MLB rehab outing of the season by a pitcher in Potomac but struggled with his command early, racking up deep counts to the first three batters. Two of them would reach: one by an error — Stephen Perez’s team-leading 6th — another by a single before Fister would strike out his first batter looking.

Veteran minor-leaguer Kevin Ahrens cashed in the error with an RBI single to left before Fister would forget the outs and throw over to 1st on a tapper back to mound. The P-Nats defense let him down again as a passed ball by Pedro Severino scored the second Lynchburg run.

Fister settled down in the second and third innings, facing the mininum as double-play ball erased the third hit he gave up in the 2nd.

Things got hairy again in the 4th as a high-hopper to the left side was ruled an error when Adrian Sanchez couldn’t convert it into an out and the Hillcats got to Fister for three straight hits, though the first (Tyler Tewell) gave himself up by straying too far from 1B and the Potomac defense made him pay for his boneheadedness for the second straight game.

Fister rolled another double play ball to finish his day with four innings pitched, three runs allowed (all unearned) on six hits but no walks and three K’s on 59 pitches, 42 of which were strikes. The 31-y.o. former Tiger is expected to make another rehab start on Friday before returning to Washington next week.

As noted in the previous LNIW, Brett Mooneyham came on in relief instead of starting but seemed to respond well to the lower-pressure situation, though he gave up runs in his first and last innings of work. He walked a season-low of just one batter (though he hit two) and earned his second win.

This, of course, was courtesy of the offense, which scored in each of the last five innings and tallied 13 hits total; three apiece by Perez and Severino and another pair of singles by Adrian Sanchez.

Lynchburg would committ a critical balk in the 9th to set up the walkoff win, the miscue moving up Khayyan Norfork to second with nobody out after the Potomac second baseman led off with a single. The Hillcats elected to intentionally walk Oscar Tejeda to pitch to Brandon Miller and got the strikeout but Shawn Pleffner singled to center to drive in Norfork and give the P-Nats (and Mooneyham) the win.

Dakota Bacus (1-1, 2.08) gets the start tonight against Jarrett Miller (0-2, 3.86) in Game 3 of the four-game series.

Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 2-1 @ Indianapolis,
7:05 p.m.
Laffey (2-0, 0.00) vs.
Jackson (1-1, 7.71)
Harrisburg Won, 10-7 vs. New Britain,
7:00 p.m.
Gilliam (0-0, 6.92) vs.
Summers (0-1, 7.62)
Potomac Won, 6-5 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Bacus (1-1, 2.08) vs.
Miller (0-2, 3.86)
Hagerstown Won, 5-2 OFF DAY N/A


Indianapolis 2 Syracuse 1
• Tatusko (L, 1-3) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 4BB, 3K, HBP
• Robertson 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Rhymes 1-3, R, 2B, BB
• Peterson 1-4, RBI

The Indians and Chiefs batters were stymied by some good peyote pitching as the two teams combined for just eight hits in a 2-1 pitcher’s duel that Indianapolis took from Syracuse. Starter Ryan Tatusko turned in his third straight quality start but lost for the second time over that stretch. He allowed both Indians runs on four hits and four walks while striking out three. Will “Don’t Call Me Buster” Rhymes doubled with two outs in the 1st and Brock Peterson cashed in the first of just three chances they would get to drive in a baserunner from scoring position. The Chiefs were no-hit the rest of the way but did draw six walks.
Roster move: OF Steve Souza recalled to Washington.

Harrisburg 10 Bowie 7
• Rivero (W, 1-4) 5IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 4BB, 1K
• Mirowski (SV, 1) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 1BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Taylor 3-4, 4R, 3HR, BB, K, 4RBI
• Hague 2-5, 2R, HR, 2RBI
• Martinson 2-4, 2R, 3B, RBI

Frequent commenter SoulDrummer got a treat when his favorite player went deep three times Yesterday Afternoon In Harrisburg.

Potomac 6 Lynchburg 2
• Fister 4IP, 6H, 3R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• Mooneyham (W, 2-1) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 2K, 2HBP
• Perez 3-4, 3R, 2B
• Severino 3-4, R, 2RBI, SB
• Sanchez 2-4, SB

The P-Nats took their fourth straight from the Hillcats Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 5 West Virginia 2
• Giolito 4⅓ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Suero (W, 3-0) 4⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 2K
• Difo 3-5, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Ballou 2-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI, SF

Hagerstown completed the four-game sweep with a 5-2 win over West Virginia to complete a 6-1 roadtrip, for which the “1” came first and “6” have been since. Isaac Ballou, Wilmer Difo, and Drew Ward each had an RBI in the Suns’ three-run 6th that broke a 2-2 tie and gave Wander Suero, who finished the game with four and 2/3rds scoreless innings, his third win of the season. Lucas Giolito got the start and gave up both Power runs on three hits and three walks while striking out four in his fourth no-decision in five starts. Eight of the nine starters collected hits with Difo and Ballou combining for eight of the eleven.

Last Night In Woodbridge

The fireworks after the game got cancelled by the intermittent rain, but there were plenty during the contest as the P-Nats pounded the Hillcats, 6-2 for their fourth straight win over their divisional rival.

Ronald Pena got the start instead of last night’s scheduled pitcher Brian Rauh, which may be part of an upcoming rotation realignment for Potomac, thanks to injuries both actual and perhaps phantom to teammates Nick Lee and Pedro Encarnacion. Today’s rehab starter Doug Fister is also part of the equation, as the P-Nats have yet to replace either pitcher on the roster.

Pena, who’s received the most run support of any Potomac starter as reflected by the team’s 4-0 record despite his 8.04 ERA, would have to work from behind this evening as erratic defense put him in an early 1-0 hole. Lynchburg’s Alejandro Piloto got a gift triple with one out as recently activated Narciso Mesa badly misjudged his flyball to medium center.

With the infield drawn in, Khayyan Norfork laid out to knock down a grounder to the 3/4 hole and keep Piloto on third. But just one batter latter, Jose Peraza’s high-but-shallow fly fell safely between LF, CF, and SS as nobody seemed to call for it, thus nobody got it.

The rain began to fall just as the game became official in the 5th and after a strikeout by Mike McQuillan and back-to-back walks by Stephen Perez and Cole Leonida, for a moment it looked like the elements would win.

Instead, Adrian Sanchez, who’s seen his batting average go from .045 to .189 with an eight hits over his last five games, singled in the tying run with one out while Randolph Oduber got the groove line between 3B and SS for a two-out, two-run single and a 3-1 lead.

Pena started the 6th for the first time this season, but gave up a leadoff hit and was lifted after recording his only stgrikeout of the night in favor of Rauh, who stranded that runner and retired eight of nine batters and seemed poised to finish the game for the long save.

It was put in doubt the good way — by big rally in the bottom of the 8th. Shawn Pleffner, who was making his High-A debut, singled to center for his first hit of the season. He trotted home in front of Brandon Miller’s fifth home run of the season, a rocket to the left of the scoreboard for which the only doubt was how far it went.

Mike McQuillan was hit by pitch and took second when Perez tried to lay down a bunt single. The 24-y.o. DH had to jog a little to score the final run when Leonida hit one off the base of the left field wall for his fifth double in just eight games this season.

With Bryan Harper warming up during the rally, Rauh was still sent out to start the 9th but hit the only batter he faced. The elder Harper brother gave up back-to-back singles to let in the run but rolled a double play ball.

Manager Tripp Keister called on Gilberto Mendez, who hadn’t pitched in a week, to get the final out and did it as efficiently possible without pickoff: one pitch, one out, albeit a deep fly to the warning track in LF to nail it down.

As aforementioned, Fister is the scheduled pitcher for the P-Nats in this afternoon’s game, with Brett Mooneyham (1-1, 3.21) most likely to follow on the mound. The Hillcats will send Greg Ross (1-1, 2.84).

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-5 @ Indianapolis,
7:05 p.m.
Treinen (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Sadler (3-0, 1.67)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-2 vs. Bowie,
2:00 p.m.
Rivero (0-4, 6.61) vs.
Berry (1-0, 1.13)
Potomac Won, 6-2 vs. Lynchburg,
1:05 p.m.
Fister (MLB rehab) vs.
Ross (1-1, 2.84)
Hagerstown Won, 8-2 @ West Virginia,
1:05 p.m.
Giolito (2-0, 5.54) vs.
Carle (0-1, 3.24)


Indianapolis 6 Syracuse 5
• Roenicke 4⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 4BB, 3K
• Mattheus (BS, 2; L, 0-1) ⅓ IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 0K, 0HR,
• Solano 3-4, R, 2B
• Laird 2-4, 2RBI, SF
• 3-for-11 RISP, 13 LOB

The Syracuse ‘pen blew leads of 3-0 and 5-3, including a three-run implosion in the 9th to lose to Indianapolis, 6-5. Ryan Mattheus coughed up the decisive runs with just one of five batters faced retired as he gave up a leadoff walk, a single, a two-run double to tie, and an RBI single to lose. It was his second blown save in eight appearances. Josh Roenicke got the spot start and turned in four and a 1/3rd innings of scoreless, one-hit ball, though he walked four and struck out three. Jhonatan Solano led the Chiefs offense with a pair of singles and a double, followed by Brandon Laird’s 2-for-4 mark with 2RBI.

Bowie 6 Harrisburg 2
• Schwartz (L, 0-4) 5⅔ IP, 9H, 4R, 1ER, 1BB, 3K, HR
• Grace 2⅓ IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 5K, 1-0 IR-S
• Keyes 2-4, 2B
• Bloxom 2-4, R, 2-2B
• 14 team K’s, 10 LOB

The spiral is now six games as Bowie knifed Harrisburg for a 6-2 loss on Saturday. Blake Schwartz lost again, giving up four runs (one earned) on nine hits and one walk. He struck out three and surrendered his third HR in five starts. Matt Grace followed with two and a 1/3rd scoreless to keep the Senators close before Tyler Herron gave up two runs in the 9th. Justin Bloxom doubled twice and Kevin Keyes doubled once to go 4-for-8 combined with just one of Harrisburg’s 14 batting strikeouts.

Potomac 6 Lynchburg 2
• Pena (W, 2-0) 5⅓ IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K
• Rauh 2⅔ IP, 0H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 3K
• Oduber 2-4, 2RBI
• Sanchez 2-4, R, RBI
• B. Miller 1-4, R, HR(5), 2RBI

The P-Nats took their fourth straight from the Hillcats Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 8 West Virginia 2
• Pivetta (W, 3-2) 5IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 4BB, 2K
• Spann (SV, 2) 4IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 4K
• Ward 3-4, 2R, 2B, BB, HR, 2RBI
• E. Martinez 3-5, 2RBI
• W. Rodriguez 2-4, R, 2B, BB, SB

Drew Ward homered for the second straight game, a two-run shot that highlighted a four-run 1st as the Suns scorched the Power, 8-2, for their fifth straight win. Nick Pivetta and Matthew Spann continued the trend of Hagerstown using just one starter and one reliever. Pivetta went the first five innings, giving up a run on three hits and four walks with two strikeouts for the win. Spann went the last four frames with the second West Virginia run allowed on just two hits and one walk for the save. Estarlin Martinez notched his third three-hit game in the last nine days to lead the Suns’ 16-hit attack.
Roster moves: C Spencer Kieboom placed on 7-Day DL, C Austin Chubb activated from XST.

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 10-7 @ Indianapolis,
7:05 p.m.
Roenicke (0-2, 9.00) vs.
Locke (0-1, 5.73)
Harrisburg Lost, 14-2 vs. Bowie,
6:00 p.m.
Schwartz (0-3, 7.50) vs.
Wilson (3-0, 2.70)
Potomac Postponed vs. Lynchburg,
6:35 p.m.
Rauh (1-1, 4.58) vs.
Sims (1-2, 4.71)
Hagerstown Won, 7-5 @ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Pivetta (2-2, 5.40) vs.
Neverauskas (2-0, 3.00)


Louisville 10 Syracuse 7
• Poveda (L, 1-3) 3⅓ IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, 1BB, 2K
• Robertson 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Perez 4-5, 2R, 2B, RBI, SB
• Souza 3-5, R, 2B, RBI, SB
• Howell 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI

Syracuse posted a picket fence in its first three turns at the plate but got whitewashed by Louisville for 10 runs in the middle innings and fell short of a comeback in a 10-7 loss. Omar Poveda reverted to form with five runs allowed on eight hits and one walk over three and a 1/3rd innings. He struck out two in his third loss in four starts and went 1-for-2 at the plate. Leadoff man Eury Perez went 4-for-5 with a double, two runs scored, and stole his seventh base to lead the Syracuse hit parade of 15, followed closely by Steve Souza and Jeff Howell, who both went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. The 3-1 series win was the first-ever for the Chiefs against the Bats since Louisville Slugger Field opened in 2000. Roster move: LHP Mike Gonzalez activated from XST, filling the roster spot vacated yesterday.

Bowie 14 Harrisburg 2
• Cole (L, 2-1) 3⅔ IP, 10H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 2K
• Bates 2⅓ IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 3K
• Dykstra 2-3, R, BB, RBI, 2E
• Hood 2-4, RBI, OF assist at HP

Kevin Keyes doubled once and struck out twice in his AA debut but couldn’t prevent the Harrisburg tailspin from extending to five games as the BaySox battered the Sens for a 14-2 win. Staff ace A.J. Cole gave up a leadoff single but kept Bowie from scoring in the first, the first starter to do so twice this season. The BaySox got to him for three runs on seven hits in the 2nd and chased him with two outs in the 4th after racking up 10 hits total. He walked one and struck out two and suffered the loss. The curse of the GBI lives as the Harrisburg relievers were ineffective, charged with eight runs and nine hits before manager Brian Daubach waved the white flag and sent Sean Nicol to mop up, though the 27-y.o. journeyman was swabbed for three runs on four hits including two home runs while getting the last two outs in Bowie’s seven-run 9th. Cutter Dykstra and Destin Hood both had two hits and an RBI to lead the Harrisburg offense. Roster moves: C Brian Jeroloman activated from XST, C Mitch Canham placed on 7-Day DL; 1B Kevin Keyes promoted from Potomac, OF Qunicy Latimore placed on 7-Day DL.

Potomac vs. Winston-Salem — PPD
Between the rain, a return trip to the Pfitz for Winston-Salem in June, and getaway day, the decision to postpone came early for the series finale between the Dash and P-Nats. It will be made up with a doubleheader on Friday the 13th, with everyone welcome except Mrs. Voorhees and her son Jason.

Hagerstown 7 West Virginia 5
• Johansen 5IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 4K
• Cooper (BS, 1; W, 2-0) 3⅓ IP, 8H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1K
• Walsh (SV, 2) ⅔ 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, HBP, 1-0 IR-S
• Ward 3-5, R, 2B, HR, 4RBI
• Manuel 2-3, R, 2B, BB, HR, 2RBI
• W. Rodriguez 2-4, R

Drew Ward homered for the first time this season while Craig Manuel went deep for the third straight game this week as Hagerstown extended their win streak to four with a 7-5 win over West Virginia. Ward went 3-for-5 on the night, including a two-run single in the 9th that proved to the difference. Andrew Cooper couldn’t finish the game and gave up a run in the 9th, his second over three and a 1/3rd innings in relief. Jake Walsh got the last two outs by way of the K for his second save. Jake Johansen started but was jolted for three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four over five innings. Manuel also doubled while going 2-for-3 with a walk and had two RBI as the Suns racked up 11 hits total with four doubles and two walks.

Good, Bad, Interesting – Vol. 2


Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 10-10, T3rd place I.L. North, 1 game behind

Good Brian Goodwin 13BB in 20G, .388 OBP
Bad Josh Roenicke 0-2, 9.00 ERA, 1.75 WHIP
Interesting Syracuse pitchers, I.L.-best 42BB in 20G


HARRISBURG SENATORS 4-14, 6th place E.L. West, 6½ games behind

Good Relievers 3.44 ERA / 2.00 FIP / 1.26 WHIP
Bad Starters 2-11, 6.93 ERA / 4.63 FIP / 1.83 WHIP
Interesting 25 errors leads the Eastern League


POTOMAC NATIONALS 12-8, 1st place C.L. North, 3 games ahead

Good Khayyan Norfork .295/.367/.477, 4 triples (T1st C.L.) in 11G
Bad Travis Henke 9.35 ERA, 2.42 WHIP in 8⅔ IP
Interesting 99 runs scored, 99 runs allowed


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 15-5, 1st place Sally North, 4 games ahead

Good John Simms 0.98 ERA / 1.67 FIP / 0.82 WHIP, 3 saves
Bad Drew Ward 4E in 11G (yes, I’m reaching)
Interesting Six of eight saves, which leads the Sally League, have been 3 or more innings

Kevin Keyes Promoted To Harrisburg (UPDATED)

Moving On Up for NPP
Late last night, the Potomac Nationals announced that 1B Kevin Keyes has been promoted to Harrisburg.

Keyes had been hitting .284/.346/.500 with four HRs and 17 RBI and was named the Carolina League’s Batter of the Week just this past Monday.

He’s the first true promotion from one minor-league level to the next this season, as the the majority of the player movement thus far this season has been between Syracuse and Washington for relief and bench help.

Corresponding moves have not yet been announced. The activation of Shawn Pleffner from the 7-Day DL to take Keyes’s place is probably more likely than a promotion from Low-A Hagerstown. As always, if/when that occurs within a reasonable period of time, this space will be updated.

UPDATE: As predicted, Pleffner has indeed been activated to take the roster spot vacated by Keyes. The Potomac Nationals also officially announced:

• LHP Nick Lee placed on the 7-Day DL
• RHP Pedro Encarnacion placed on the 7-Day DL
• OF Narcisco Mesa reassigned from XST

As noted in today’s “Last Night In Woodbridge,” Lee left the game after taking his warmup tosses in the 5th inning last night. Encarnacion pitched four and 2/3rds on Wednesday night but did not appear to be injured.

Last Night In Woodbridge

There was a perfect game for three innings. There were four stolen bases. There were five errors and five extra-base hits. And there was a six-run inning.

In other words, it was just another game of “A” baseball.

The Potomac Nationals used that six-run outburst to break a 2-2 tie and even the three-game series with an 8-2 win over the Winston-Salem Dash.

Early on, if you can believe it, this was a pitcher’s duel between Nick Lee and Braulio Ortiz. Lee set down the first nine batters in order without the ball leaving the infield, striking out two in each of the 2nd and 3rd innings. Ortiz allowed just a pair of two-out baserunners in the 2nd.

In the 4th, things got messy.

Dash SS Tim Anderson tripled to the right-center gap to lead things off and break up the perfect game. Lee notched his 5th K on a dropped third strike that Pedro Severino held onto while trying to look back Anderson instead of throwing on down to 1st. It was incorrectly ruled as a wild pitch instead of a fielder’s choice.

Winston-Salem would score when that batter who reached took off for 2nd and Severino threw the ball into centerfield. Anderson, who did not take off until the ball sailed over second base, trotted home for the game’s first run. Severino was not charged with an error, despite Rule 10.07(b)’s explicit instruction.

Lee would leave the game with an unspecified injury after warming up to start the 5th inning, and Dakota Bacus was brought on to relieve on short order. He would turn in three hitless innings of relief with no walks and one strikeout.

Things got worse for Severino when the P-Nat backstop was plunked on the helmet with one out in the 5th, but as is often the case with young pitchers, Ortiz got rattled by the mistake. He would pitch away to Justin Miller and induce a foul pop to first base but when he went inside again to Randolph Oduber, he was tentative. A middle-in fastball became more middle than in and the Groovin’ Aruban drilled it to right-center for a triple to send in Severino, then scored on a dropped relay throw for the 2-1 lead.

Robert Benincasa followed Bacus in the 8th inning but gave up a run on a walk, a two-out single, and a wild pitch to blow the save and let Winston-Salem tie it at 2-2.

Oduber would lead off the bottom of the 8th. Manager Tripp Keister ordered up a sacrifice bunt, which Khayyan Norfork delivered but Dash pitcher Kyle Hansen sailed it up the line, enabling Oduber to take 3rd. Hansen would commit a second error on an errant pickoff throw to score Oduber and give the P-Nats a 3-2 lead.

Kevin Keyes singled in Norfork for the fourth Potomac run and the floodgates opened as Brandon Miller walked, Mike McQuillan bunted his way on, Stephen Perez cracked a two-run double to score Keyes and Miller, Severino hit a sacrifice fly, and Justin Miller doubled to left to plate Perez.

Benincasa pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts to earn the (dreaded) blown-save-win.

The series concludes tonight, weather permitting, with Brian Rauh (1-1, 4.58) getting the ball for Potomac against Winston-Salem’s Mike Recchia (1-2, 4.11)

Last Night In Woodbridge

On a cold, blustery night the Winston-Salem doubled up Potomac, 4-2 as the Dash’s Tony Buccifero outpitched the P-Nats’ Pedro Encarnacion.

The 24-year-old Buccifero, who led all starters in affiliated baseball with an FIP of 1.74 in 2013, tossed a career-high of eight innings while scattering nine hits but walking none to limit the damage to just two runs. He struck out eight.

Potomac did, however, connect for three doubles of the Dash starter, two of which came around to score: Oscar Tejeda’s two-out double in the 1st, on which he pulled up lame and was lifted for a pinch-runner, and Will Piwnica-Worms’s leadoff double in the 5th.

However, Potomac was only able to manage back-to-back hits twice last night: Kevin Keyes’s two-out RBI single following Tejeda’s double and Pedro Severino’s infield hit that Dash 3B Nick Basto was able to knock down but not field cleanly.

While it’s tempting to attribute Buccifero’s success to luck — there were a handful of “at ’em” balls to infielders — Chicago’s 14th Rd. pick in 2012 has a track record for this, most notably in his ability to generate ground balls (12 groundouts last night) which stands at 61.5% this season and has risen from a 50.9% rate last season.

His counterpart, Pedro Encarnacion continues to have an up and down season, but the one constant is that he’s had trouble making it to the fifth. For third time in four starts, the 22-y.o. Dominican was knocked out in the 5th after giving up a homer-single-single sequence with two outs for the third Winston-Salem run. He gave up eight hits total, two walks and four strikeouts.

Ian Dickson finished the game for Potomac, turning in four and 1/3rd innings of one-run ball, which makes him a candidate — as he did a year ago — to slide into the rotation if/when needed, which is certainly possible as the no-quality-start streak was extended to 19 games.

Potomac got the tying runs on in the 9th against Dash reliever Bryan Blough with a pair of one-out singles by Severino and Piwnica-Worms, who both went 2-for-4 on the night, but couldn’t push either runner over or across as Randolph Oduber flew out and Khayyan Norfork popped out to end the game.

With the loss, Potomac drops to 11-8 but maintains a two-game lead in the Carolina League North. Tonight, Nick Lee (0-2, 13.06) gets the start for Potomac against Braulio Ortiz (0-2, 4.38) for Winston-Salem.