Programming Note

Hitting the road for some *more* baseball…

April and Sue are both hitting the road for vacations, and we know this will shock you… but we’re going to see some baseball along the way. With our foreign correspondent trekking through the hinterlands of Canada and Northern New England and yours truly heading down I-81 to see some Appy League action (really advance scouting?) in Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia, Internet access may not be so reliable. But we’ll do our best to keep the News and Notes afloat and hope to have some features for you as well.

Wednesday’s News and Notes

Four out of six affiliates win on Wednesday

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 5-0 vs. Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. Erik Arnesen (5-7, 3.71) vs.
Fernando Nieve (2-0, 5.24)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 5-3 vs. Trenton, 7:00 p.m. Ryan Tatusko (10-3, 2.93) vs.
Cory Arbiso (5-2, 3.42)
Potomac Nationals Won, 7-5 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 4-3 vs. Delmarva, 7:05 p.m. Mitchell Clegg (9-2, 2.92) vs.
Nick Haughian (5-3, 4.04)
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 6-5 vs. Connecticut, 7:05 p.m. Matt Grace (SS-A debut) vs.
Clemente Mendoza (5-5, 4.74)
GCL Nationals Won, 7-6
@ GCL Cardinals
vs. GCL Mets, 12:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs W, 5-0 @ Lehigh Valley
Starter/Pitching Star: Martis (W, 8-7) 7⅔ IP 2H 0R 4BB 5K
Hitting Star #1: Ramos 2-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Espinosa 2-3, R
Notes: Shairon Martis threw a season-high 7⅔ innings of scoreless baseball, combining with Andrew Kown for two-hit shutout of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs by a count of 5-0. Hitters of the game Wilson Ramos doubled and homered while Danny Espinosa singled twice to account for four of the Chiefs’ eight hits. Boomer Whiting stole two bases, including home plate in the 8th inning. The win preserved Syracuse’s slim playoff hopes, as they trail Columbus by five games and Louisville by three games with 13 games remaining.

Harrisburg Senators W, 5-3 vs. Portland
Starting Pitcher: Peacock (W, 2-1) 5⅔ IP 6H 1R 0ER 3BB 2K
Pitching Star: Kimball (SV, 9) ⅔ IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Lombardozzi 3-4, 2R, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Lowrance 2-4, RBI
Notes: Steve Lombardozzi couldn’t manage a single, but got the other three-quarters of the cycle with a double, triple, and a home run to lead the Harrisburg Senators to a 5-3 win over the Portland Sea Dogs. Starter Brad Peacock got his 2nd AA win with 5⅔ innings pitched and one unearned run allowed on six hits and three walks to go with two strikeouts, while Cole Kimball quashed a late rally by striking out both batters he faced for his 9th save for Harrisburg. The win coupled with a Bowie loss, extended the Sens’ lead over the Baysox to 1½ games in the race for the Eastern League West’s wildcard.

Potomac Nationals W, 7-5 vs. Wilmington
Starting Pitcher: Barthmaier (ND) 5IP 7H 4R 4ER 2BB 4K
Pitching Star: Morris (SV, 1) 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Rhinehart 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 4RBI
Hitting Star #2: Norris 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI
Notes: See how Potomac reclaimed first place in grand fashion Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns L, 4-3 vs. Delmarva
Starting Pitcher: Applebee (L, 5-5) 6⅓ IP 12H 4R 4ER 0BB 4K
Pitching Star: Vasquez 2⅔ IP 2H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Ramirez 4-5, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Hague 2-5, 2R, 2-2B
Notes: Clutch hitting was AWOL on Wednesday as the two teams scored just seven runs on 25 hits, combining for an abysmal 5-for-26 with RISP. But as the 4-3 score indicates, Delmarva was simply one better (or one less worse) than Hagerstown, winning 4-3. Starter Paul Applebee took the loss with all four Shorebird runs allowed on 12 hits and no walks. J.P. Ramirez went 4-for-5 to lead the 11-hit Suns offense. The loss lowered the Suns’ elimination number to three with 11 games left in the second half.

Applebee (L, 5-5) 6.1 12 4 4 0 4 0 4.00
Vasquez, W 2.2 2 0 0 0 0 0 7.19

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 6-5 vs. Connecticut
Starting Pitcher: Ott (L, 0-2) 4⅔ IP 3H 1R 0ER 2BB 5K
Pitching Star: Zellers 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Martinson 3-3, SB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Labrie 0-1, 2R, 4BB, RBI
Notes: A five-run 7th put the Lake Monsters in a 6-0 hole that they almost climbed out of with five runs across the last three innings, leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 loss to Connecticut. Billy Ott was the hard-luck loser, tossing 4⅔ innings with one unearned run allowed on three hits and two walks with five batters set down on strikes. Jason Martinson went 3-for-3 to lead the offense. Second-place Tri-City also lost, preserving Vermont’s ½-game lead.

GCL Nationals W, 7-6 @ GCL Cardinals
Starting Pitcher: Ryan Mattheus 1IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Pitching Star: Kelvin Lopez 5IP 5H 2R 1ER 1BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Randolph Oduber 2-4, 2R, 2-2B, SB
Hitting Star #2: Angel Montilla 2-4, 2R, 3SB
Notes: A three-run rally in the 8th turned a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead, as the GCL Nationals held off the GCL Cardinals for a 7-6 win. Hitters of the game Randolph Oduber and Angel Montilla both went 2-for-4 to lead the 13-hit attack, with Oduber doubling twice and Montilla swiping three bags. Kelvin Lopez was the pitcher of the game with five innings pitched, two runs allowed on five hits and one walk, and three strikeouts. Rehabbing Ryan Mattheus tossed a scoreless inning to start the game with one hit and one walk allowed.

Last Night In Woodbridge

Bill Rhinehart’s grand slam in the 5th highlights a 7-5 victory over Wilmington that puts Potomac back in first place

Down 4-0 after 4½ innings, things were looking dismal for the Potomac Nationals. It was the sixth game of a six-game homestand that had begun with an eighth-inning meltdown against playoff-bound Winston-Salem and was threatening to send Potomac on the road down 1½ games, relying on other teams for help in their quest to make the postseason.

Like most rallies that begin in the lower half of the lineup, the big inning started slowly with a one-out walk. Then a hit batsmen. Then an error. Suddenly the bases were loaded and the top of the order was coming to the plate.

Leadoff hitter Francisco Soriano fell behind 0-2 after the first two pitches, but then worked the count full, and took the walk to send in the first run. Derek Norris would follow with a sky-high popup, and it looked for just a brief instant that yet another rally would fall short. Wilmington’s manager nevertheless made the call to the bullpen for some help to face Bill Rhinehart.

“Dolla” had doubled to left-center in the first inning, the first of just two hits up to that point. Hit no. 3 went just a little farther: A towering shot just to the right of the scoreboard for a grand slam that gave Potomac a 5-4 lead.

Marcos Frias would come on in relief of Jimmy Barthmaier in the very next inning (the sixth) and cough up the tying run on, of all things, a two-out wild pitch — the third that had eluded the grasp of catcher Derek Norris.

Norris would get his chance for redemption — be it the bases-loaded popup or the wild pitches — in the bottom of the 7th, blasting a ball just a few feet short of Rhinehart’s fifth-inning blast for a two-out double that put Potomac ahead for good at 6-5.

Both teams first man out of the bullpen would make a mistake then settle down for two-plus innings, but Wilmington’s second man out was not so lucky: surrendering an insurance run on a walk and two singles to give Potomac a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth.

A.J. Morris came on in the ninth to pitch a scoreless inning to earn his first professional save and ice the win, which put Potomac back in first place by ½ game and a one-game lead in the loss column. Tomorrow is the teams first scheduled off day since the August 1, and it will be badly needed to prepare for a three-game road series against Frederick this weekend, then a five-game series in Salem next Tuesday through Friday.

Tuesday’s News and Notes

The Chiefs, Sens and Suns win to highlight Tuesday night in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 5-4 @ Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m. Shairon Martis (7-7, 4.42) vs.
Brian Mazone (6-12, 3.86)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 6-3 vs. Portland, 7:00 p.m. Brad Peacock (1-1, 4.63) vs.
Jeremy Kehrt (2-10, 4.80)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 4-2 vs. Wilmington, 7:03 p.m. Jimmy Barthmaier (3-1, 3.54) vs.
Timothy Melville (2-11, 5.29)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 5-3; Lost, 2-1 vs. Delmarva, 7:05 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
Vermont Lake Monsters Canceled vs. Connecticut, 7:05 p.m. Matt Grace (SS-A debut) vs.
Brennan Smith (0-5, 3.67)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY @ GCL Cardinals, 12:00 p.m. N/A

Syracuse Chiefs W, 5-4 @ Lehigh Valley
Starting Pitcher: Chico 5IP 8H 3R 3ER 2BB 4K
Pitching Star: Bisenius 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Bixler 4-5, 2B, 3B, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Martinez 2-4, R, HR, RBI
Notes: Hitters of the game Michael Martinez homered and tripled to break a 3-3 tie in the top of the 9th while Josh Wilkie and Adam Carr weathered a two-hit, two-error ninth to get the win and save respectively as the Syracuse Chiefs prevailed 5-4 over the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. Matt Chico started the game and went five innings, allowing three runs eight hits and two walks. The win keeps the Chiefs’ slim playoff hopes alive with the elimination nos. for the division and wild card staying put at 8 and 4.

Harrisburg Senators W, 6-3 vs. Portland
Starting Pitcher: Milone (W, 11-5) 6⅓ IP 4H 3R 3ER 1BB 7K 1HR
Pitching Star: James (H, 4) 1⅔ 2H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Marrero 2-3, R, HR, BB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Pahuta 2-3, 2R, HR, BB, SB, RBI
Notes: Tom Milone remains unbeaten since the All-Star break, winning for the fifth time in seven starts (11-5 overall) with a 6-3 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs. With seven strikeouts, Milone also pulled ahead of teammate Brad Peacock for the organization lead at 143, as he allowed three runs on four hits and one walk, registering his 13th quality start in 25 starts. Chris Marrero and Tim Pahuta both homered and went 2-for-3 to pace the Harrisburg offense. The win, combined with doubleheader split between Bowie and Akron, extends the Sens’ wild-card lead by a ½ game over the Baysox and 3½ games over the Aeros

Potomac Nationals L, 4-2 vs. Wilmington
Starting Pitcher: Holder (L, 2-3) 5IP 5H 4R 4ER 2BB 5K 2HR
Pitching Star: Testa 3IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star: Moresi 2-3, R, 2B, RBI
Notes: See what happens when an average pitcher gets the gift of free swinging in Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns W, 5-3 vs. Lakewood (Game 1)
Starting Pitcher: Hicks 5⅓ IP 5H 0R 0BB 3K
Pitching Star: Morrison, K (W, 3-5) 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Sanchez 4-5, R
Hitting Star #2: Cuevas 2-5, R, 2SB, RBI
Notes: A two-run home run by Marcus Jones in the bottom of the 9th gave the Hagerstown Suns a 5-3 victory in the first game of the doubleheader. Starter Graham Hicks got the no-decision, working 5⅓ scoreless innings with five hits and no walks allowed while striking out three, while Kyle Morrison got the win with two scoreless innings of relief with one walk allowed and two batters struck out. Adrian Sanchez led the 14-hit attack with a 4-for-5 effort, as the Suns struggled to get the clutch hit with 10 men left on base and a 2-for-15 mark with RISP.

Hagerstown Suns L, 2-1 vs. Lakewood (Game 2)
Starting Pitcher: Demny (L, 6-8) 4⅔ IP 6H 2R 0ER 2BB 4K
Pitching Star: Erb 2⅓ IP 0H 0R 1B 3K
Hitting Star #1: Cuevas 2-3
Hitting Star #2: Perez 1-1, R, SB
Notes: A two-out error by Rick Hague in the 2nd enabled Lakewood to score two unearned runs, while the Suns could only muster one run to lose the nightcap 2-1. Starter Paul Demny was charged with both Blue Claws runs on six hits and two walks over his 4⅔ innings of work, giving him his 8th loss of the season. Hague would redeem himself with an RBI single in the bottom of the 3rd but the Suns were limited to just five hits while committing three errors.

Vermont Lake Monsters @ Lowell — CNCLD
Notes: Rain canceled the finale of this two-game series, which was also the final meeting between these two teams this season. A win by second-place Tri-City has shaved the Lake Monsters’ lead to a ½ game (two in the loss column), with a three-game series against third-place Connecticut set to begin tonight before their lone appearance at Aberdeen for Saturday through Monday.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
Notes: Just four games remain in the GCL season with the G-Nats visiting the Cardinals today and the Astros on Friday, and hosting the Mets tomorrow and the Marlins on Saturday.

Last Night In Woodbridge

Potomac flails and falls 4-2 to Wilmington

Some folks will say that Wilmington’s Will Smith dominated the P-Nats last night, but the more careful observer will tell you: This is what happens when you swing at pitcher’s pitches.

For eight innings, Potomac flailed at the Blue Rock southpaw, consistently putting themselves behind 0-2 and 1-2. For 5⅔ innings, Smith retired every batter he had faced before Nick Moresi singled up the middle to break up the perfect game.

The lanky centerfielder would be the lone exception as batter after batter refused to wait him out — even Derek Norris — as Smith racked up 12 strikeouts over eight innings against no walks.

Meanwhile, Trevor Holder’s troubles keeping the ball in the yard continued, as he surrendered two home runs to Wilmington, accounting for three of the four Wilmington runs. Holder has allowed five home runs in 45 innings for Potomac, but four have come in his last three starts.

But with such abysmal offense, it’s a nitpick. Potomac would get two runs in the bottom of the ninth against the Blue Rock bullpen as a walk, a Moresi double, and a Norris two-out double would cut the Wilmington lead in half before Tyler Moore would become the 13th and final strikeout on the night fly out to center to end the game.

The loss drops Potomac into second place, a ½ game behind Wilmington, and into a tie in the loss column. The latter matters because Wilmington will play just 68 games in the 2nd half, making it possible for the Blue Rocks to make the playoffs as a percentage-points winner.

Jimmy Barthmaier looks to stop the three-game slide for Potomac against Wilmington’s Timothy Melville, who is 0-1 with a 4.21 ERA in two starts against Potomac this season.

Monday’s News and Notes

Vermont wins a pitcher’s duel while Harrisburg & Potomac’s playoff chances are hurt with losses on a rainy Monday night in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs OFF DAY @ Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m. N/A
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 10-5 vs. Portland, 7:00 p.m. Tom Milone (10-5, 2.87) vs.
Kyle Weiland (5-7, 4.61)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 6-3 (14 inn.) vs. Wilmington, 7:03 p.m. Trevor Holder (2-2, 3.74) vs.
Will Smith (4-3, 4.17)
Hagerstown Suns Postponed vs. Lakewood, 5:05 p.m.
Paul Demny (6-7, 3.90) and
Graham Hicks (1-5, 5.79) vs.
Brody Colvin (6-7, 3.19) and
Trevor May (6-2, 2.67)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 2-1 @ Lowell, 7:05 p.m. Billy Ott (0-1, 6.00) vs.
Keith Couch (1-4, 4.66)
GCL Nationals Postponed OFF DAY N/A

Syracuse Chiefs — OFF DAY
Notes: Syracuse takes a quick two-game jaunt into Pennsylvania to play Lehigh Valley before returning home Thursday for two against Buffalo and three against Lehigh Valley

Harrisburg Senators L, 10-5
Starting Pitcher: Thompson (L, 4-13) 3⅔ IP 9H 8R 8ER 3BB 4K 2HR
Pitching Star: None
Hitting Star #1: Marrero 3-5, R, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Lombardozzi 3-5, R, 2B, RBI
Notes: Harrisburg’s Aaron Thompson continues to struggle, taking his 13th loss on Monday with eight runs charged against him in 3⅔ innings, including two home runs as the Portland Sea Dogs doubled up the Senators 10-5. Chris Marrero and Steve Lombardozzi both went 3-for-5 to lead the Harrisburg 13-hit attack. The loss dropped Harrisburg into a tie for second place with Bowie.

Potomac Nationals L, 6-3 (14 inn.)
Starting Pitcher: Rosenbaum 6IP 1H 1R 1ER 1BB 4K 1HR
Pitching Star: McCoy 3IP 2H 0R 0BB 1K
Pitching Un-Star: Phillabaum (BS, 4) 4BF 2H 2R 2ER 1BB 0K 1HBP
Hitting Star #1: Jacobsen 2-5, R, 3B,
Hitting Star #2: Moore 2-6
Notes: See Sue’s take on what went wrong in Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns vs. Lakewood — PPD
Notes: Monday’s game with Lakewood was rained out and will be made up today as part of a doubleheader starting at 5:05 p.m.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 2-1 @ Lowell
Starting Pitcher: Jordan (ND) 6IP 3H 1R 1ER 2BB 2K 1HR
Pitching Star: Holland (SV, 3) 1⅓ IP 0H 0R 1BB 3K
Hitting Star: Jimenez 2-4
Defensive Star: Moore, OF assist at HP
Notes: Single runs in the first and eighth innings were enough to support some outstanding pitching as the Vermont Lake Monsters won 2-1 in Lowell. Taylor Jordan posted his first quality start with one run allowed on three hits and two walks over six innings, while Ryan Demmin got the win in relief with 1⅔ scoreless innings. Neil Holland struck out three of the six batters he faced over the last 1⅓ innings to register the save, his third of the season.

GCL Nationals L, 9-4 @ GCL Marlins
Starting Pitcher: Tyler Hanks (L, 4-1) 3⅓ IP 7H 6R 5ER 1BB 3K
Pitching Star: Ryan Mattheus 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Michael Taylor 2-4, 2B, RBI,
Hitting Star #2: Jeremy Mayo 1-3, R, BB
Notes: Three-spots in the 1st and 4th innings by the Marlins were too much for the GCL Nationals to counter in an eventual 9-4 loss. Starter Tyler Hanks was the victim of both rallies, giving up seven hits and a walk over 3⅓ innings. Michael Taylor led the eight-hit offense with a 2-for-4 effort.

Last Night In Woodbridge

Wilmington prevails in extras for a 6-3 win on rainy Monday night

The World Cup came to Woodbridge on Monday Night, as the Wilmington Blue Rocks scored twice in the final minute ninth to tie it at 3-3 and then broke through for three more in extra time innings for a 6-3 win over the Potomac Nationals.

The 14-inning game took three hours and 51 minutes to play, much of it in a light rain, and featured just 25 baserunners over the 28 frames. Wilmington’s Ernesto Mejia was one-man wrecking crew for the Blue Rocks, driving in five of the six runs on a single, triple, and home run, including the two game-tying runs in the ninth and the first two go-ahead runs in the 14th.

Former Washington Nationals draftee Aaron Crow did not make his scheduled start, as he reportedly claimed to have “a strained oblique muscle in his back,” which is odd because the obliques are, in fact, located in the abdomen.

Nevertheless, the weather was fit for a duck, the game started on time in a light rain and the game quickly turned into a pitcher’s duel. Mejia got the Blue Rocks on the board first with a towering shot off the scoreboard in the second, Potomac responded one inning later with back-to-back doubles by Nick Moresi and and Francisco Soriano that would tie the game, while Derek Norris would break an 0-for-7 skid with an RBI single to give Potomac the lead at 2-1.

Robby Jacobsen would put the P-Nats up by two in the fifth with a Little-League home run of a triple to center and a relay that went into the stands.

Starter Danny Rosenbaum, who despite his final line, labored with his control but got the key groundballs when they were needed to go six innings with the one run allowed, one walk and four strikeouts. Rob Wort would hold the lead with two scoreless innings to deliver the ball to Justin Phillabaum in the ninth.

It took just four batters for the lead to evaporate as a single, hit batsmen, and a walk loaded the bases for Mejia, who promptly singled to left to tie the game at 3-3. Pat McCoy would come on in relief and limit the damage, but despite having the 3-4-5 hitters up in the bottom of the ninth, Potomac would go down 1-2-3.

McCoy would pitch the 10th and 11th innings, giving way to Pat Lehman who delivered two scoreless innings before the Blue Rocks would rally for three in the 14th on a double, sacrifice, and a Mejia triple to take the lead. Mejia would later come around on a wild pitch.

Potomac would stage a two-out rally in the bottom of the 14th as Bill Rhinehart and Sean Rooney both singled, but Jose Lozada couldn’t get the clutch hit, as the P-Nats went down in defeat by the final count of 6-3.

With the loss, Potomac’s lead falls to just a ½ game (one in the loss column) as the two teams meet for game two of three-game series tonight (weather permitting). Trevor Holder and Will Smith are the announced starters.

Sunday’s News and Notes

The Sens sweep into playoff position to highlight Sunday’s action in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Cancelled OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Senators Won 6-1; Won 2-1 vs. Portland, 7:00 p.m. Aaron Thompson (4-12, 5.74) vs.
Blake Maxwell (4-0, 1.69)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 9-8 vs. Wilmington, 7:03 p.m. Danny Rosenbaum (2-2, 2.63) vs.
Aaron Crow (1-2, 5.74)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 9-7 vs. Lakewood, 7:05 p.m. Graham Hicks (1-5, 5.79) vs.
Brody Colvin (6-7, 3.19)
Vermont Lake Monsters Postponed @ Lowell, 7:05 p.m. Taylor Jordan (2-2, 5.84) vs.
Hunter Cervenka (0-4, 4.02)
GCL Nationals Won, 10-9
vs. GCL Astros
@ GCL Marlins, 12:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — CANCELED
Notes: The series finale between these two teams was canceled due to rain and will not be made up. The news, however, was not entirely dismal as the Washington Nationals announced they will be extending their PDC with Syracuse through the 2012 season.

Harrisburg W, 6-1 @ Akron (Game 1)
Starting Pitcher: Roark (ND) 5⅔ IP 4H 1R 1ER 1BB 4K
Pitching Star: Hernandez, O (W, 1-1) 2⅓ IP 0H 0R 0BB 4K
Hitting Star #1: Baez 3-3, R, BB, 3SB
Hitting Star #2: Lombardozzi 2-5, R, 3B, 2RBI
Notes: Jhonatan Solano’s RBI single in the top of the 8th broke open a 1-1 tie, while Steve Lombardozzi’s two-run triple opened the floodgates as the Harrisburg Senators would rally for five runs to ground the Akron Aerons with a 6-1 win. Starter Tanner Roark got the no-decision with
5⅔ innings pitched, allowing the lone run on four hits and one walk while the 40-something Orlando Hernandez came on in relief and finished the game with 2⅓ perfect innings for the win.

Harrisburg W, 2-1 @ Akron (Game 2)
Starting Pitcher: Spradlin 3⅔ IP 3H 0R 1BB 8K
Pitching Star: Kimball (S, 7) 1⅓ IP 0H 0R 1BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Ivany 1-3, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Marrero 2-3, R
Notes: Devin Ivany drove in both runs as the Harrisburg bullpen combined for seven strong innings as the Harrisburg Senators prevailed 2-1 to sweep the doubleheader and the series. Jack Spradlin struck out eight in 3⅔ scoreless innings as the spot starter, allowing three hits and one walk. Rafael Martin got the win in relief while Cole Kimball closed out the game for his seventh save. Chris Marrero led the eight-hit offense with two singles and a run scored.
With the sweep, combined with weekend losses by Bowie, Harrisburg is now in position to earn the Western Division wild card, leading the Baysox by one game and the Aeros by three.

Potomac Nationals L, 9-8 vs. Winston-Salem
Starting Pitcher: Maya (L, 0-1) 4+ IP 7H 6R 6ER 3BB 4K 1HR
Pitching Star: Phillabaum 1IP 0H 0R 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Walton 3-5, R, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Rooney 3-5, R, 2B
Notes: If you haven’t already, see how things shook out on Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns W, 9-7 vs. Lakewood
Starting Pitcher: Bronson (ND) 5IP 10H 6R 5ER 0BB 2K
Pitching Star: Smoker (SV, 2) 1IP 2H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Ramirez 2-5, 2R, HR, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Cuevas 3-4, R, 2B, SB
Hitting Star #3: Hood 3-5, 2B
Notes: J.P. Ramirez’s two-run home run in the bottom of the 8th capped a four-run rally as the Hagerstown Suns cracked the Lakewood Blue Claws by a 9-7 tally. The Suns banged out 15 hits, with five batters collecting multiple hits, while Stephen King and Rick Hague also homered. Starter Evan Bronson went the first five innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on 10 hits, while Luis Garcia got the win in relief. Josh Smoker allowed the tying runs to reach base but got the three outs he needed for his second save.

Vermont vs. Brooklyn — PPD
The completion and regularly scheduled game were both rained out on Sunday. The games will be made up next week when the Lake Monsters visit Brooklyn on August 31 to September 2.

GCL Nationals W, 10-9 vs. GCL Astros
Starting Pitcher: Pedro Encarnacion 4IP 4H 3R 2ER 2BB 2HR
Pitching Star: None
Hitting Star #1: Randolph Oduber 5-5, 3R, 2B, SB, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Jeremy Mayo 3-5, 2-2B, 2RBI
Hitting Star #3: Angel Montilla 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI
Notes: After coughing up five runs in the top of the 9th to fall behind 9-5, the GCL Nationals got them back in the bottom half of the inning for a 10-9 victory. Pitching and defense took the day off, as the two teams combined for 19 runs, 27 hits and eight errors. Starting pitcher Pedro Encarnacion went four innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks, as every no G-Nat pitcher was unscathed. Randolph Oduber led the 14-hit attack with a 5-for-5 effort, including a double and a stolen base.

Sunday Afternoon in Woodbridge

The Winston-Salem Dash reasserted themselves as the class of the Carolina league with a 9-8 victory (and a series win) over Potomac today. But with a four-run eighth and the tying run being cut down at the plate in the ninth to end the game, Potomac let it be known that this may not be the last time these two teams meet in 2010.

The allure of a rehabbing pitcher is a great marketing tool to draw casual fans to a minor-league, but regular readers of this space already know that rehab starts are overrated. This Sunday was no exception.

Despite the threat of rain, Yunesky Maya took the mound in Potomac and looked every bit the pitcher who hadn’t faced experienced professional hitters in more than a year. And make no mistake: This Winston-Salem team can hit. As a team, they’re averaging a line of .287/.351/.432 in a league where the median is .260/.330/.386

Maya’s command was spotty, but he got hitters out the first time through the lineup while fiddling with both his pitches (fastball, slider, curve) and his arm angle (overhand and three-quarters). At times his motion was fluid, but more often than not, he was slow and deliberate. The most impressive of his pitches was his curve, which he threw at two distinctly different speeds.

The second time through the lineup, the Dash took advantage of Maya’s rust as the first six batters reached base in the fourth inning before he retired the No.9 hitter by strikeout, as the Dash scored five runs on five hits and two walks during the inning. The fifth inning wasn’t any better, as the cleanup hitter smacked a long solo HR to right field and the second batter walked before he was lifted with no outs by manager Gary Cathcart.

Maya’s final line: four-plus innings, six runs (all earned) on seven hits, with three walks and four strikeouts.

Put in a 6-1 hole by a rehabbing pitcher, the Potomac offense did not, however, roll over. They would mimic their opponents in the sixth with a walk and four singles sandwiched around a strikeout by Jose Lozada, who smacked a would-coulda-grand slam for a very loud strike one, to cut the lead to 6-3.

Winston-Salem answered right back with three runs in the seventh to go back up 9-3. Like a punch-drunk boxer, the response would come late, in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Lozada doubled, Jerome Walton singled to score him for a 9-4 tally, then Francisco Soriano walked to load the bases for Chris Curran.

Curran blistered a ball down the first base line that the first baseman was unable to handle — a questionable ruling as an error — but a play that sent home both Walton and Soriano to narrow the gap to 9-6. Sean Nicol’s infield single off Dash closer Tyson Corley would complete the four-run rally, Winston-Salem 9, Potomac 7 after eight full innings.

In the bottom of the ninth, Potomac would rally once again with one out. Sean Rooney doubled to left, Lozada singled to move him to third, and Walton singled to score Rooney. Soriano would fly to right, Lozada tagging to take third. A wild pitch sent Lozada scampering home for the possible game-tying run, but the catcher got a strong rebound and gunned it to Corley for the tag, the third out, and a 9-8 final in favor of the Dash.

The loss, combined with a Wilmington win in Lynchburg, reduces the Potomac lead back to 1½ games as the Blue Rocks come to town tomorrow for a three-game showdown. Trevor Holder is set to take the hill against Aaron Crow, the Washington Nationals No. 9 draft choice that went unsigned in 2008.

Saturday’s News and Notes

Potomac wins big, D-Nats close out with a win to highlight an otherwise dismal Saturday

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 4-3 @ Louisville, 7:05 p.m. Shairon Martis (7-7, 4.42) vs.
Zach McAllister (8-10, 5.09)
Harrisburg Senators Postponed @ Akron, 1:05 p.m.
Tanner Roark (1-1, 2.25) and
Aaron Thompson (4-12, 5.74) vs.
Corey Kluber (1-2, 5.79) and
Matt Packer (0-1, 4.74)
Potomac Nationals Won, 9-2 vs. Winston-Salem, 1:05 p.m. Yuniesky Maya (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Terry Doyle (5-8, 3.62)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 6-1 vs. Lakewood, 2:05 p.m. Evan Bronson (3-2, 4.18) vs.
Colby Shreve (7-5, 3.67)
Vermont Lake Monsters Suspended, Bottom of 12th vs. Brooklyn, 1:05 p.m.
(Completion & Reg. Game)
Taylor Jordan (2-2, 5.84) vs. TBD
GCL Nationals Lost, 5-4
@ GCL Mets
vs. GCL Astros, 12:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 5-3 vs. DSL Giants Season Over N/A

Syracuse Chiefs L, 4-3 vs. Scranton
Starting Pitcher: Arnesen 7IP 3H 0R 2BB 9K
Pitching Un-Star #1: Bisenius (H, 2) ⅓ IP 1H 2ER 1BB
Pitching Un-Star #2: Bergmann (BS, 2)(L, 6-4) ⅔ IP 2H 1ER 0BB 1K 1HR
Hitting Star #1: Orr 2-4 1-2B
Hitting Star # 2: Bynum, 0-2, 1R, 2BB
Notes: Despite an amazing pitching performance by Erik Arnesen, who pitched seven complete innings, allowing only three hits and two walks, while striking out nine, the Chiefs’ bullpen could not hold on to a 2-0 lead, allowing four runs over the final two innings. A three-run homerun by Montero in the eighth was the game-changer, but the added insurance run paid off deeply for Scranton, as the Chiefs managed to score another run in the bottom of the inning, but they fell one run short by the final score of 4-3.

Harrisburg Senators — PPD
Notes: Rain postponed last night’s game between the Harrisburg Senators and the Akron Aeros. It will be made up today with a doubleheader starting at 1:05 p.m. Click the link above for more details.

Potomac Nationals W, 9-2 vs. Winston-Salem
Starting Pitcher: Alaniz (W, 7-4) 5IP 6H 2R 2ER 2BB 5K 1HR
Pitching Star: Testa 2IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Moore 4-4, 3R, 2B, 2HR, 5RBI
Hitting Star #2: Norris 3-4, 4R, 2B, BB, HR, 2RBI
Notes: See Sue’s take on what went down Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns L, 6-1 vs. Lakewood
Starting Pitcher: Clegg, M (L, 9-2) 4⅔ IP 9H 6R 5ER 1BB 5K
Pitching Star: McCatty 3IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star : Leon 1-3, R, HR, RBI
Notes: Unfortunately, this game was not the best game that the Suns have ever played, as they managed more errors than hits. (five vs. four) the biggest hit came from Sandy Leon, who belted a solo shot in the eighth inning to break up the shutout. This was his 2nd of the year. It was an off game for starter Mitchell Clegg, who has been dominant all season. The loss his just his 2nd of the year. Clegg went 4⅔ innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits and a walk. McCatty tried to keep the Suns in it for the chance to come back, pitching three perfect innings, but it was too late as Lakewood’s starting pitcher, Jonathan Pettibone, was amazing. The 20-year-old went eight complete innings, allowed only three hits, one run (the Leon HR), no walks and struck out eight.

Vermont Lake Monsters, 8-7 vs. Brooklyn (Suspended) (Suspended)
Starting Pitcher: Hansen 3⅓ IP 7H 5R 5ER 2BB 2K 2HR
Pitching Star: Selik 2⅔ IP 0H 0R 0BB 7K
Hitting Star #1: Martinson 2-6, 3B, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moldenhauer 2-5, R, 2B, BB, RBI
Hitting Star #3: Mozingo 3-6, 2R
Notes: Rain suspended this game in the bottom of the 12th, with Vermont down 8-7 with one out and runners on first and second. Leadoff hitter Chad Mozingo will be at the play when play resumes today at 1:05 p.m., followed by the regularly scheduled game at 1:05 p.m.

GCL Nationals L, 5-4 @ GCL Mets
Starting Pitcher: Gregory Baez 4IP 6H 3R 3ER 2BB 5K
Pitching Star: Manuel Rivera 3IP 2H 1R 0ER 2BB 4K
Hitting Star: Estarlin Martinez 1-2, R, 2BB
Notes: The GCL Mets did all they could to lose this one (two errors, five walks) but the GCL Nationals would have none of it, giving away the winning run with a leadoff walk, single, and a double in the bottom of the ninth to lose this one 5-4. No batter got multiple hits, as the GCL Nationals totaled just six hits. Starter Gregory Baez went four innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five.

DSL Nationals W, 5-3 vs. DSL Giants
Starting Pitcher: Wirkin Estevez (W, 6-7) 6IP 3H 3R 1ER 1BB 7K
Pitching Star: Andy Santana 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Victor Chavez 3-3, 2R, HR, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Narciso Mesa 1-3, 2B; OF assist at HP
Notes: The DSL Nationals survived five errors and defeated the first-place DSL Giants by a score of 5-3. The win gave the D-Nats a winning record at 36-35. Starting pitcher Wirkin Estevez went six innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on three hits and one walk while striking out seven. Victor Chavez paced the offense with a 3-for-3 game, highlighted by a two-run shot in the bottom of the 6th that put the D-Nats ahead at 4-3. Chavez would also single in the bottom of the 8th and his pinch-runner would come around to score for the insurance run. Inocencio Heredia closed out the game with a scoreless inning to earn his 10th save.