Last Night In Woodbridge

After making the error that gave back the lead to Lynchburg in the top of the 9th, Stephen Perez was up sixth in the bottom of the 9th and would need some help, if not luck, to get a shot at redemption.

Narciso Mesa drew the leadoff walk from the leadoff position, the second time he’d reached base in the game, but had had a sub-.200 OBP coming into the game. After a strikeout by Estarlin Martinez, Oscar Tejeda came up and drew the second walk of the inning.

Tony Renda, who’d singled in each of the four previous at-bats, would’ve been the lede had he gotten a fifth hit. Instead, he too struck out, leaving it up to Shawn Pleffner, the 6’5″ first baseman who was unable to snag either Perez error, both of which had sailed over his 9′ or so reach with a short leap.

Pleffner had already singled twice the opposite way, towards Lynchburg LF Josh Elander, who hadn’t made an accurate throw all game long. Could Pleffner serve up another his way and send in Mesa for the tie? Or perhaps hit a gap and end it for sure?

Nope. Pleffner wouldn’t get the chance because the umpires made the rare but easy call of catcher interference when Pleffner’s bat struck the glove of Anthony Nunez, who got out of his crouch and shook his left hand while Hillcat manager Luis Salazar argued.

Bases loaded. Two out in the 9th. Perez got his chance and wasted no time by ripping the first pitch into right field to plate both the tying and winning runs and turn a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 walkoff. Perez finished with two errors, but also drove in three runs on three hits.

Derek Self, who faced two batters in the top of the 9th — Perez’s second error, and a strikeout — got the win in relief. He was the second man out of the ‘pen, following Brett Mooneyham, who pitched an up-and-down two and 2/3rds innings with two runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks.

Dakota Bacus, who started the original April 28th game and was on the mound when play resumed, went the first six innings and gave up three runs (one earned) on seven hits and a walk while striking out two. The win was Potomac’s 23rd and lowered their magic number to 25 over the second-place Wilmington Blue Rocks for the 1st-half title.

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.

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-0 vs. Columbus,
12:00 p.m.
Jordan (0-0, 0.82) vs.
Cloyd (1-3, 6.38)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-4 @ Trenton,
7:05 p.m.
Meyers (0-1, 4.15) vs.
Mitchell (1-2, 3.74)
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Lynchburg,
5:30 p.m.
Bacus (1-1, 3.68) and
Turnbull (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Ross (3-1, 2.72) and
Jadofsky (2-1, 5.14)
Hagerstown Lost, 10-8 @ Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Pivetta (6-2, 3.03) vs.
Reed (0-3, 8.79)


Syracuse 5 Columbus 0
• Ohlendorf (W, 1-0) 5IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Hill (SV, 1) 4IP, 6H, 0R, BB, 2K, HBP
• Laird 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Solano 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Hood 1-3, 2B, BB

Ross Ohlendorf and Taylor Hill combined on a 5-0 Syracuse shutout of Columbus to take a 2-1 series lead. Ohlendorf allowed just one hit and one walk over five innings while striking out four in his second rehab outing since going on the DL in late March. Hill, the original starter, was less efficient — six hits and a walk over four frames — but kept the ball on the ground and took part in two of three double plays turned while he pitched, including a 1-6-3 number to end the game and cinch his first professional save. The Chiefs only had six hits, but five went for extra bases with four doubles and a home run. Brandon Laird smacked the big fly and one of the doubles to go 2-for-4 and drive in two to lead the Syracuse offense. Roster move: RHP Warner Madrigal reassigned from Harrisburg.

Trenton 6 Harrisburg 4
• Poveda (L, 0-1) 6+ IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 7K, HR
• Grace (BS, 1) 2IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, K, 2-1 IR-S
• Taylor 2-4, R, BB
• Dykstra 2-4, BB

The Senators took leads of 1-0 and 4-2 but the lack of a killshot with bases loaded haunted them again as the Thunder roared for three in the 7th and one in the 8th for a 6-4 win. Omar Poveda made his first start since his demotion but the lower level didn’t raise his game. He gave up five runs on six hits and a walk over six-plus innings to take the loss. Harrisburg loaded the bases twice with less than two outs but couldn’t get the clutch hit, scoring a total of three runs with a sacrifice fly, a walk, and a double play. Michael Taylor, Cutter Dykstra, and Ricky Hague each went 2-for-4 as the Sens totaled 10 hits and six walks but stranded 11 baserunners.

Potomac — OFF DAY
Potomac begins stretch of five games in three days against Lynchburg with a continuation doubleheader tonight, a makeup doubleheader tomorrow, and a single game on Thursday. These are the final games between these two teams in the first half, and with a 3½ game lead, the P-Nats can hold serve with two or three wins while the Hillcats need to win four or more to climb back into the race to win the C.L. North division title. It’s also the beginning of an odd sequence where Potomac won’t be home for more than four consecutive days until the 4th of July weekend.

Lexington 10 Hagerstown 8
• Johansen 6IP, 6H, 5R, 3ER, BB, 3K, WP
• Thomas (BS, 4; L, 1-4) 1⅓ IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Difo 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, 3RBI
• Ballou 2-4, 3R
• Bautista 2-4, R

With an 8-1 lead with one out in the fourth inning, it looked like Hagerstown’s three-game skid was going to end. Instead, the Suns tumbled to a fourth straight loss as the Legends scored nine unanswered runs while Luis Rico eclipsed the Suns with five and 2/3rds innings of shutout relief for a 10-8 win. Hagerstown starter Jake Johansen was charged with five runs on six hits and a walk but left with an 8-5 lead after six innings. The loss (and blown save) was hung on reliever Justin Thomas, who stranded two runners in the 7th to preserve a slim 8-7 lead but gave up the tying run in the 8th. Michael Sylvestri let in the final two runs (charged to Thomas) to complete the meltdown. Wilmer Difo walked, singled, doubled, scored twice, and drove in three to lead Hagerstown’s offense, which Rico limited to just one hit (a single by Rafael Bautista) after the 4th inning.

A.J. Cole Named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week

A.J. ColeWith seven-inning complete-game shutout in the first game of last Saturday night’s doubleheader, A.J. Cole earned the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Week honors for the period of May 12th to May 18th.

Cole walked none and let up just four hits to earn his fourth win for the Senators. He retired the leadoff batter six times out of seven and allowed just two runners to get into scoring position (single and a double steal in the 1st, a double in the 6th) — both with one out.

Overall, Cole is 4-2 with an ERA of 2.25 (third-best in the E.L.), an FIP of 2.33 (best in the E.L.), and a WHIP of 1.33 with 34 strikeouts (7.65 per 9IP) and seven walks (1.58) in 40 innings pitched.

The 22-year-old was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 draft out of Oviedo HS in Florida. He was traded away in the Gio Gonzalez trade in December 2011 but re-acquired in Mike Morse trade in January 2013. He was rated the No. 2 Nationals prospect by both Baseball America in its 2014 annual book and the MLB Pipeline Top 20.

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.

Transaction Update

Transactions for NPP 3
Another day, another series of transactions. Here’s the rundown…

SYRACUSE
• OF Eury Perez recalled to Washington, placed on 60-Day DL
• C Sandy Leon optioned from Washington
• RHP Christian Garcia activated from 7-Day DL

HARRISBURG
• RHP Omar Poveda demoted from Syracuse

POTOMAC
• RHP Blake Schwartz demoted from Harrisburg

HAGERSTOWN
• LHP Sammy Solis reassigned from Harrisburg
• LHP Justin Thomas reassigned to XST (Auburn)

The Eury Perez move is a means to an end to get Greg Dobbs onto the 40-man roster, as has been reported ad infinitum (and whole lot of other places, too, Skipper). I suspect a few more moves may be coming, as it seems odd to have three catchers and three outfielders on the Chiefs roster.

The demotions of Poveda and Schwartz are being judged as such because of the poor performances thus far. Schwartz’s turn to pitch is not until Sunday and yesterday’s rainout coupled with an off day on Monday means Potomac is not hurting for starting pitchers just yet. The continuation game on Tuesday and doubleheader on Wednesday are another matter, but the timing doesn’t seem to sync, especially if the brass decide to move Sammy Solis from the Suns to the P-Nats in time for his next scheduled turn on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

Another move from Potomac is forthcoming, but has yet to be announced. Most likely: a pitcher (there are 14 active as of this writing) being placed on the DL with a strained rosteruem (pronounce it phonetically ;-).

As always, if/when that news comes, this space will be updated.

Good, Bad, Interesting – Vol. 5

GBI for NPP 2

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 20-20, 4th place I.L. North, 1 game behind

Good Taylor Jordan 0.82 ERA, 0.82 WHIP in first 2GS since demotion
Bad Will Rhymes .164/.230/.274 in May (13G)
Interesting Brian Goodwin 45K, 31BB in 40G



HARRISBURG SENATORS 11-26, 6th place E.L. West, 14 games behind

Good Quincy Latimore .371/.425/.514 in 18G
Bad Blake Schwartz 0-7, 7.04/5.47/1.83 in 8GS
Interesting 7-8 at home, 4-18 on the road



POTOMAC NATIONALS 20-16, 1st place C.L. North, 3½ games ahead

Good Bryan Harper 1.72/2.36/1.09 in 9 appearances, 14K in 15⅔ IP
Bad Narciso Mesa .342 OPS in 9 games
Interesting 58 team doubles, 8th in 8-team Carolina League



HAGERSTOWN SUNS 30-8, 1st place Sally North, 9 games ahead

Good John Wooten .396/.411/.698, 3HR, 9RBI in May
Bad 600 per game attendance, 14th in Sally Lg.
Interesting Sally Lg. 13th place team = 1,585 per game.

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.