Sunday’s News and Notes

Harrisburg wins big to take control of its playoff destiny and highlight Sunday in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 5-4 @ Pawtucket, 1:05 p.m. Erik Arnesen (6-7, 3.91) vs.
Ramon Ramirez (4-5, 3.03)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 13-3 @ Binghamton, 1:05 p.m. Tanner Roark (1-1, 2.37) vs.
Dylan Owen (4-4, 4.23)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 1-0 (10 inn.) vs. Kinston, 1:05 p.m. Marcos Frias (7-5, 6.14) vs.
T.J. McFarland (11-5, 3.13)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 4-3 (10 inn.) @ West Virginia, 1:05 p.m. Paul Applebee (6-5, 3.82) vs.
Brett Lorin (2-3, 5.73)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 7-4 SEASON OVER N/A

Syracuse Chiefs W, 5-4 @ Pawtucket Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Martis 5IP 4H 3R 3ER 4BB 4K
Pitching Star: Carr (SV, 9) 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K; 1-3 IR-S
Hitting Star #1: Lambin 2-3, 2R, HR, BB, SB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Burke 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
Notes: A two-run rally in the top of the 8th broke a 3-3 tie and some clutch pitching by Adam Carr led the Chiefs to a 5-4 victory over the Pawtucket Red Sox. Seth Bynum hit a sacrifice fly to get the go-ahead run and hitting star Chase Lambin’s solo HR provided the insurance run. The PawSox loaded the bases in the bottom of the 8th with no outs to chase Atahualpa Severino. Carr came on and and got two groundouts (and an assist) and a called third strike to end the threat, then set down the side in the ninth for his ninth AAA save. Severino got the win, while starter Shairon Martis got the no-decision with five innings pitched, and three runs allowed on four hits and four walks.

Harrisburg Senators W, 13-3 @ Binghamton Box | Gamer
Starter/Pitching Star: Tatusko (W, 3-1) 7IP 6H 1R 1ER 0BB 6K
Hitting Star #1: Coon 5-5, R, HR, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Burgess 2-4, R, 2BB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #3: Johnson 2-4, 4R, 3B, 2BB, 2RBI
Notes: The Senators are now in the driver’s seat for the E.L. West wildcard, thanks to 13-3 win over the Binghamton Mets and a 1-0 loss by Bowie. An eight-run third inning put this game away early, as Harrisburg pounded out 18 hits, with Brad Coon leading all hitters with a 5-for-5 effort. Starter Ryan Tatusko went seven strong innings, allowing just one run on six hits while striking out six. A Senator win or Bowie loss this afternoon in Richmond will seal the deal.

Potomac Nationals L, 1-0 (10 inn.) Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Barthmaier 5IP 4H 0R 0BB 4K
Pitching Star: Testa 3IP 0H 0R 1BB 4K
Hitting Star: None
Notes: See what happened Sunday Afternoon in Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns L, 4-3 @ West Virginia (10 inn.) Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Hicks 6IP 2H 1R 1ER 4BB 5K
Pitching Star: Weaver 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
Pitching Un-Star: Garcia (BS, 2) 2IP 3H 2R 2ER 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Rogers 2-4, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Taylor 2-4, 2B, RBI
Notes: A leadoff HR in the bottom of the 10th downed the Suns by a 4-3 tally. The Suns bullpen was unable to hold a 3-1 lead, ruining a strong start by Graham Hicks, who gave up just one run on two hits and four walks over the first six innings. The Suns left eight runners on base and went 1-for-6 with RISP, with Mills Rogers and Michael Taylor pacing the offense as each went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Vermont Lake Monster W, 7-4 @ Staten Island Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Mattheus 2IP 2H 1R 0ER 0BB 3K
Pitching Star: Ott 3IP 1H 1R 1ER 1BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Rowe 2-4, 3B, 4RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moldenhauer 2-5, R, 2-2B, RBI
Notes: Two three-run rallies led the Lake Monsters past the Staten Island Yankees for a 7-4 win, just their 15th in the past 45 games. Ryan Mattheus led the parade of pitchers, going the first two innings with an unearned run allowed on two hits. Billy Ott followed for the next three, giving up one run on one hit and one walk and Christian Meza got the rulebook win as the first of four relievers to pitch a single inning. Connor Rowe led the Lake Monster offense with two hits and four RBI.

Sunday Afternoon in Woodbridge

Potomac is no-hit for a 1-0 loss

It’s odd that sometimes the games that are supposed to mean the least can end up being the best.

Last night, Potomac clinched a playoff spot. The night before, Kinston clinched by virtue of Potomac’s win over Salem. With playoff seeding largely predetermined, very little was at stake except for pride and professionalism.

But it was those two things that were on display in spades on Sunday afternoon in Woodbridge, as the Kinston Indians no-hit the Potomac Nationals for a 10-inning 1-0 win.

Marty Popham, Chris Jones, and Cory Burns combined on the no-no, with Popham tossing the first seven innings, Jones pitching the eighth and ninth, and Burns closing out the tenth for his league-leading 30th save.

Zach Dials was the loser, allowing one run over two innings with a single, sacrifice, and another single in plating the Kinston run.

Potomac’s sole scoring threat came in the seventh, as Francisco Soriano drew a walk to end the perfect game, then took second on a wild pitch. Nick Moresi grounded to second to push Soriano to third with one out. Jamar Walton would line out to a drawn-in first baseman for out number two. Derek Norris would draw the second walk of the inning and Sean Rooney would be the second groundout to second for the third and final out.

The loss would drop Potomac to 69-69 overall on the season and shave the margin over Wilmington to 1½ games. The divisional round of the Carolina League playoffs is slated to begin on Wednesday in Frederick.

Saturday’s News and Notes

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Lost, 8-2 @ Pawtucket, 6:05 p.m. Shairon Martis (8-7, 4.04) vs.
Fabio Castro (7-9, 4.76)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 3-2 @ Binghamton, 6:35 p.m. Ryan Tatusko (2-1, 1.82) vs. TBD
Potomac Nationals Won, 2-0; Lost, 7-5 vs. Kinston, 1:00 p.m. Jimmy Barthmaier (4-1, 4.15) vs.
Marty Popham (4-4, 4.28)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 7-0 @ West Virginia, 2:05 p.m. Graham Hicks (1-6, 5.64) vs.
Eliecer Navarro (1-2, 3.32)
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 3-1; Won, 7-2 @ Staten Island, 4:00 p.m. Ryan Mattheus (1-0, 0.00) vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs L, 8-2 @ Rochester Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Kown 5IP 3H 1R 0ER 1BB 6K
Pitching Star: 1IP 1H 0R 1BB 2K
Pyrotechnician: Wilkie (BS, 5)(L, 4-4) ⅓ IP 4H 6R 6ER 0BB 0K 1HR
Hitting Star #1: Martinez 2-3, BB, SB
Hitting Star #2: Burke 2-4
Notes: A six-run seventh put the brakes on a 12-game skid for Rochester and ran the Syracuse playoff bus off the road as the Red Wings flew past the Chiefs 8-2. Josh Wilkie was torched for six runs, including a three-run home run (just his second this season) during the inning. Starter Andrew Kown went the first five innings, giving up an unearned run on three hits and a walk while striking out six.

Harrisburg Senators L, 3-2 @ Binghamton Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Peacock (L, 2-2) 4⅔ IP 3H 3R 3ER 4BB 7K 1HR
Pitching Star: Pena 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 4K
Hitting Star: Johnson 2-3, R, 2B
Notes: With both Bowie and Harrisburg losing by a single run, the odds of a one-game playoff just got a little higher. Brad Peacock gave up all three of Binghamton’s runs in a 3-2 loss, going 4⅔ innings and giving up three hits (one a home run) while walking four and striking out seven. Four Binghamton pitchers combined to stifle the Senators, who managed just four hits and couldn’t take advantage of five walks, hitting into three double plays.

Potomac Nationals W, 2-0; L, 7-5 Gamer
GAME ONE | Box
Starting Pitcher: Holder (W, 3-3) 6IP 3H 0R 0BB 6K
Pitching Star: McCoy (SV, 6) 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Moore 1-3, RBI (110)
Hitting Star #2: Norris 1-2, R, BB, RBI
Notes: See how Potomac clinched Last Night In Woodbridge

GAME TWO | Box
Starting Pitcher: Martinez 4IP 5H 1R 0ER 1BB 2K
Midgame BP: Phillabaum 1⅓ IP 4H 6R 6ER 3BB 0K 1HR
Pitching Star: Lehman 1⅔ IP 1H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Lyon 2-3, R, 2B, BB
Hitting Star #2: Moresi 2-3, 2B, 2RBI
Notes: See how Potomac clinched Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown Suns L, 7-0 @ West Virginia Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Demny (L, 6-10) 4⅔ IP 3H 3R 2ER 0BB 3K
Pitching Un-Star: Erb 1⅓ 3H 4R 4ER 2BB 2K
Pitching Star: Graham 2IP 2H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star: Cuevas 3-4
Notes: The West Virginia Power pulled the plug on the Hagerstown Suns with a 7-0 shutout of the Hagerstown Suns. Starter Paul Demny was touched for the first three runs on three hits and no walks over 4⅔ innings. Relever Shane Erb coughed up the next four on three hits and two walks over the next 1⅓ innings. Justino Cuevas paced the Suns offense with three of their six hits.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 3-1; W, 7-2 Gamer
GAME ONE | Box
Starting Pitcher: Jordan (L, 2-3) 5⅓ 5H 3R 2ER 0BB 8K
Pitching Star: None
Hitting Star #1: Labrie 2-2, BB
Hitting Star #2: Freitas 2-3
Notes: The clutch hit escaped the Lake Monsters in game one, as the fell to the Staten Island Yankees by a 3-1 tally. Hitters of the game Ronnie Labire and David Freitas accounted for four of the five hits for Vermont, which left seven runners on base. Starter Taylor Jordan allowed all three SI-Yank runs on five hits and no walks while striking out eight.

GAME TWO | Box
Starting Pitcher: Swynenberg (W, 5-2) 5IP 4H 1R 1ER 2BB 2K
Pitching Star: None
Hitting Star #1: Martinson 2-2, 2R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Mozingo 3-4, R, RBI
Notes: A five-run third pushed Vermont towards the doubleheader split as the Lake Monsters would go on to a 7-2 victory. Jason Martinson would single, double, and walk while driving in two and scoring twice to join Chad Mozingo (3-for-4) for hitting-star honors. Matt Swynenberg won his 5th game with one run allowed on four hits and two walks over five innings.

Last Night In Woodbridge

It’s playoff time for Potomac

For the second time in three seasons, the Potomac Nationals are playoff-bound. They clinched with a 2-0 shutout of the Kinston Indians in the opening game of a doubleheader, the second shutout in as many games.

Perhaps more satisfying is that it came against Kinston ace Joe Gardner, who had beaten the P-Nat nine that past two times they had faced him. Or maybe that Trevor Holder kept the ball down and in the yard for six scoreless innings, just the second time a zero had appeared in the run column of his pitching line all season long.

Early on, it looked like it might be a rout. Derek Norris and Bill Rhinehart drew back-to-back walks with one out to bring up Tyler Moore, who scorched a grounder that third-baseman Kyle Bellows couldn’t handle and left-fielder Donnie Webb nearly misplayed (yes, it was hit that hard) for an early 1-0 lead. Webb recovered in more than enough time to throw out Rhinehart attempting to go from first to third.

After another walk, this one to Sean Rooney, Gardner got Jerome Walton to ground out to end the threat. It would be the first of 13 batters in a row he would retire.

Indian catcher Chun Chen would smack a double to left field to lead off the second and the feeling of a rout came back, but in the opposite direction. But then a funny thing happened: Holder struck out the side, en route to retiring nine straight.

After a brief threat in the fifth, which Holder escaped with a nicely turned 5-4-3 double play, Potomac would get an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, as Francisco Soriano led off with a walk, stole second, and took third on an error before Norris drove him in with a single to left.

Holder would finish with three hits allowed and six strikeouts against no runs and no walks to give way to Pat McCoy, who retired the Indians 1-2-3 for save no. 6, clinching the second-half Carolina League North Division title for Potomac.

GAME TWO
With the playoff bid secured, Rhinehart, Norris and Moore were given the rest of night off and swingman Carlos Martinez got the nod to start. The veteran swingman would put in four innings of work, leaving with a 1-1 tie before giving way to Justin Phillabaum.

For the 15th time in 29 appearances, Phillabaum was scored upon, coughing up three runs in the fifth with a bases-clearing, two-out triple by Abner Abreu. Inexplicably, Phillabaum was asked to throw again in the sixth. Predictably, the Indians torched him for another three runs, a no-doubt-about-it blast to right by Bo Greenwell.

Down 7-1 in the sixth, the P-Nats showed some heart to rally for three runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh, but the damage had been done as the Potomac would fall in the nightcap by a count of 7-5.

Friday’s News and Notes

Vermont loses but every other affiliate wins on Friday night in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 4-1 vs. Rochester, 7:05 p.m. Andrew Kown (2-4, 3.79) vs. TBD
Harrisburg Senators Won, 9-1; Won, 3-1 @ Binghamton, 7:05 p.m. Brad Peacock (2-1, 4.50) vs.
Robert Carson (1-6, 8.74)
Potomac Nationals Won, 5-0 vs. Kinston, 5:00 p.m.
(doubleheader)
Trevor Holder (2-3, 4.48) and
Carlos Martinez (0-0, 2.90) vs.
Joseph Gardner (12-5, 2.69) and
Austin Adams (5-1, 1.51)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 6-5 @ West Virginia, 7:05 p.m. Paul Demny (6-9, 4.25) vs.
Jason Erickson (7-6, 4.44)
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 7-4 @ Staten Island, 5:00 p.m.
(doubleheader)
Taylor Jordan (2-2, 5.08) and
Matt Swynenberg (4-2, 4.84) vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs W, 4-1 @ Rochester Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Mock (W, 1-1) 6IP 4H 1R 1ER 2BB 3K
Pitching Star: Bisenius 1⅓ IP 2H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Bynum 1-3, 2R, BB, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Davis 1-3, 3B, BB
Notes: Back-to-back RBI doubles by Chase Lambin and Pete Orr broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the seventh as the Syracuse Chiefs won their sixth straight game by a score of 4-1. Garrett Mock started and pitched six strong innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks to go with three K’s, while three Chiefs relievers combined for the final three scoreless innings. The win kept pace with Columbus, as the tragic number is now down to one, meaning Syracuse has to win out and the Clippers to lose out just to force a tie.

Harrisburg Senators W, 9-1; W, 3-1 @ Binghamton Gamer
GAME ONE | Box
Starter/Pitching Star: Milone (W, 12-5) 7IP 7H 1R 1ER 1BB 9K
Hitting Star #1: Marrero 3-4, 2R, HR, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Burgess 2-4, 2R, 2HR, 3RBI
Hitting Star #3: Lombardozzi 3-3, 2R, 2BB, HR, RBI
Notes: For the second straight season, Tom Milone has posted a 12-5 won-loss record, as the 23-year-old tossed a complete game in the opening game of the doubleheader. The 12 wins leads the Nats minors by two over teammate Chuck James, and the nine strikeouts is 14 ahead of teammate Brad Peacock. Chris Marrero, Mike Burgess, and Steve Lombardozzi all went deep, combining for eight of the 12 Harrisburg hits.

GAME TWO | Box
Starting Pitcher: Alaniz (W, 1-0) 5IP 2H 0R 2BB 5K
Pitching Star: Spradlin (H, 0) 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Johnson 2-3, 2R, 2-2B
Hitting Star #2: Burgess 1-3, R, HR, RBI
Notes: The nightcap was a scoreless pitcher’s duel through five full innings before Mike Burgess went deep for third time on the night, his solo HR giving the Senators a 1-0 lead in the sixth. Harrisburg added two more in the seventh to extend the lead to 3-0. Binghamton would get its lone run in the bottom of the seventh as Brahaim Maldanado greeted closer Cole Kimball with a big fly, which was just the third hit of the night for the B-Mets. Starter Adrian Alaniz went the first five innings, allowing just two his and two walks while setting down five on strikes.

The doubleheader sweep pulls Harrisburg into a tie with Bowie for the E.L. West wildcard. In the event of a tie, Bowie would host Harrisburg for a one-game playoff.

Potomac Nationals W, 5-0 @ Salem Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Rosenbaum (W, 3-2) 6IP 4H 0R 0BB 4K
Pitching Star: Dials (H, 4) 2IP 2H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Jacobsen 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Moore 1-3, R, HR (30), RBI (109)
Notes: With Wilmington idle, the Potomac Nationals shut out the Salem Red Sox 5-0, reducing their magic number to reach the playoffs to just one. Tyler Moore and Robbie Jacobsen both went deep in a three-run eighth that put the game out of reach. Starter Danny Rosenbaum went six scoreless innings, giving up just four hits and striking out four. Zach Dials pitched a scoreless 7th and 8th and A.J. Morris closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth. The win also clinched a playoff berth for this weekend’s opponent, the Kinston Indians.

Hagerstown Suns W, 6-5 @ West Virginia Box
Starting Pitcher: McCatty (W, 1-1) 5IP 4H 1R 0ER 0BB 8K
Pitching Star: Morrison (SV, 2) 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Newsome 2-5, R, 2-2B
Hitting Star #2: Leon 2-5, 2R, 3B, RBI
Notes: The Hagerstown Suns built a 6-1 lead and survived two late rallies to edge past the West Virginia Power, 6-5. Shane McCatty started and allowed just one unearned run on four hits over five innings while striking out eight to get the win. Kyle Morrison stopped the bullpen giveaways with 1-2-3 ninth on three strikeouts. Hitters of the game Brett Newsome and Sandy Leon both went 2-for-5 to pace the 10-hit Suns attack.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 7-4 @ Staten Island Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Hansen 4IP 11H 4R 4ER 1BB 4K
Pitching Star: Ray 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
Pitching Un-Star: Jenkins (L, 2-7) 3IP 3H 3R 3ER 2BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Rowe 2-4, 2B; Two OF assists at HP
Hitting Star #2: Kelso 2-4, SB
Notes: Vermont completed its collapse with a 7-4 loss to Staten Island, which coupled with a Connecticut win, eliminated the Lake Monsters from the playoffs. Pitching and clutch hitting were both AWOL as Bobby Hansen started and threw for four innings, giving up four runs on 11 hits and a walk and the Vermont offense went just 3-for-15 with RISP, stranding 10 runners. Connor Rowe doubled in a 2-for-4 night and gunned down two runners at the plate to earn hitting star honors along with Blake Kelso, who stole a base while also going 2-for-4.

Thursday’s News and Notes

Syracuse and Potomac win to highlight Thursday night in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 7-3 vs. Rochester, 7:05 p.m. Garrett Mock (0-1, 7.20) vs.
Chris Province (0-1, 7.27)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 3-2 @ Binghamton, 5:35 p.m.
(Doubleheader)
Tom Milone (11-5, 2.92) and
Adrian Alaniz (0-0, 3.00) vs.
Mark Cohoon (5-3, 4.36) and
TBD
Potomac Nationals Won, 10-3 @ Salem, 7:05 p.m. Danny Rosenbaum (2-2, 2.43) vs.
Stolmy Pimentel (9-10, 4.18)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 8-6 @ West Virginia, 7:05 p.m. TBD vs. TBD
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 8-1 @ Staten Island, 7:00 p.m. TBD vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs W, 7-3 vs. Rochester Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Detwiler (W, 1-0) 5IP 5H 3R 1ER 1BB 2K
Pitching Star: Balester (H, 4) 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Bixler 1-2, R, 3BB, 2RBI; OF assist at 3B
Hitting Star #2: Botts 3-4, RBI
Notes: It may be too little, too late but the Chiefs closed out their home slate with their fifth straight win, a 7-3 victory over Rochester. Starter Ross Detwiler went five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and one walk while Colin Balester and Atahualpa Severino each tossed two scoreless innings in relief. Brian Bixler reached based four times and drove in two to lead the Chiefs offense. The win combined with a Columbus loss kept Syracuse’s elimination number at two with four to play.

Harrisburg Senators L, 3-2 Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Thompson (ND) 5⅓ IP 6H 2R 2ER 4BB 4K
Pitching Star: Martin 1⅓ IP 1H 0R 1BB 0K
Hitting Star #1: Burgess 2-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Lombardozzi 1-3, R, BB, HR, RBI
Defensive Star: Baez, OF assist at HP
Notes: Solo home runs by Mike Burgess and Steve Lombardozzi were enough to chase blue-chipper Kyle Drabek, but the Senators were filibustered by the Fisher Cat bullpen as New Hampshire chipped away with single-run innings three times to come back for a 3-2 win. Starter Aaron Thompson threw 5⅓ innings and gave up two runs on six hits and four walks while striking out four. Harrisburg was held to just five hits, and could not capitalize on the six walks issued by New Hampshire, grounding into three double plays. The loss, combined with a Baysox win, dropped the Senators a ½ game behind Bowie in the E.L. West wildcard race.

Potomac Nationals W, 10-3 Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Bronson (W, 4-7) 6⅓ IP 4H 2R 1ER 2BB 4K
Pitching Star: Wort 1IP 0H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Walton 3-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Norris 3-5, 2R, 2-2B, BB, 3RBI
Hitting Star #3: Moore 3-4, R, BB, RBI
Notes: Jamar Walton’s three-run HR in the top of the fourth broke open a 1-1 game as the Potomac Nationals would break out for a 10-3 win over Salem. Combined with a Wilmington loss, the P-Nats’ magic number is now just two with five games to play. Evan Bronson made a triumphant return to the P-Nat rotation, tossing 6⅓ strong innings with two runs allowed on four hits and two walks. Also collecting three hits were Derek Norris, and the newly anointed Carolina League MVP Tyler Moore, as the Potomac offense collected 16 hits overall.

Hagerstown Suns L, 8-6 Box
Starting Pitcher: Clegg 5IP 7H 3R 3ER 2BB 3K 2HR
Pitching Un-Star: Garcia (BS, 1)(L, 4-4) 2⅓ 4H 5R 5ER 3BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Leon 3-4, 2R, 2-2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Hague 3-4, 2B, BB, 2RBI
Notes: The Suns bullpen couldn’t hold a 5-3 lead, coughing up five runs in three innings as the Lexington Legends took the game 8-6. Starter Mitchell Clegg allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks. Lexington turned four double plays to offset the 12 hits and five walks surrendered. Sandy Leon led the hit parade with two doubles and a single in hs four at-bats.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 8-1 Box | Gamer
Starting Pitcher: Barrett 4IP 5H 4R 4ER 1BB 5K
Pro Debut: A.J. Cole 1IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
Hitting Star: Kelso 1-4, R, HR, RBI
Notes: The death-spiral continues for Vermont, as the Lake Monster were spun 8-1 by the Brooklyn Cyclones for their eight loss in the past 11 games. Aaron Barrett made the start ahead of announced starter A.J. Cole and tired the Cyclones out with four runs allowed on five hits and a walk before Cole came on for a scoreless inning of relief for his pro debut. Blake Kelso’s solo HR in the eighth broke up the shutout, the third of three hits the Lake Monsters would manage on the night. The loss dropped Vermont to 2½ games behind Tri-City in the Stedler Divison and reduced the elimination number to just two.

Catching Up On Transactions

Here’s a rundown of player movement from the past week or so.

Having been on vacation in Tennessee the past week, I’m still wading through the detritus of unattended e-mail and RSS feeds. Also lost in the shuffle, has been a whole bunch of transactions, the past week of which I’ll try to summarize for folks:

SYRACUSE

  • IF  Danny Espinosa called up to Washington, placed on 40-man roster
  • CA Wilson Ramos recalled to Washington
  • LHP Ross Detwiler reassigned from Potomac
  • RHP Collin Balester to be recalled to Washington after 10-day option period expires (September 4)
  • LHP Victor Garate demoted to Harrisburg
  • RHP Yunesky Maya promoted from Potomac
  • RHP Garrett Mock promoted from Harrisburg

HARRISBURG

  • Adrian Alaniz promoted from Potomac
  • LHP Chuck James placed on 7-day DL

POTOMAC

  • Nick Moresi placed on 7-Day DL
  • Marcus Jones promoted from Hagerstown
  • Zach Dials demoted from Harrisburg

HAGERSTOWN

  • Sammy Solis assigned from Washington Nationals
  • Michael Taylor promoted from GCL
  • Randolph Oduber promoted from GCL

VERMONT

  • Robbie Ray assigned from Washington Nationals
  • A.J. Cole assigned from Washington Nationals
  • Kevin Cahill placed on Inactive List
  • Cameron Selik placed on 60-Day DL
  • Jack Walker transferred from 7-Day DL to 60-Day DL
  • Christian Meza promoted from GCL
  • Ryan Mattheus promoted from GCL
  • Billy Ott promoted from GCL

Wednesday’s News and Notes

Everybody wins at least once on Wednesday in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 7-2 vs. Rochester, 7:05 p.m. Ross Detwiler (0-0, -.–) vs.
Cole DeVries (0-1, 4.42)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 2-1 @ New Hampshire, 6:35 p.m. Aaron Thompson (4-13, 5.89) vs.
Kyle Drabek (14-9, 2.89)
Potomac Nationals Won, 4-2 @ Salem, 7:05 p.m. Evan Bronson (3-7, 4.06) vs.
Brock Huntzinger (7-7, 3.90)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 9-1 @ Lexington, 7:05 p.m. Mitchell Clegg (9-3, 3.38) vs.
Tanner Bushue (7-8, 3.92)
Vermont Lake Monsters Won, 6-4; Lost, 3-2 @ Brooklyn, 7:00 p.m. A.J. Cole (pro debut) vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs W, 7-2 @ Rochester
Starting Pitcher: Maya (W, 1-1) 5⅔ IP 6H 1R 1ER 2BB 3K
Pitching Star: Wilkie (H, 9) 1⅓ IP 0H 0R 0BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Bynum 3-3, BB
Hitting Star #2: Martinez 3-5, R, 2RBI
Hitting Star #3: Maldonado 2-3, 2B, BB, RBI
Notes: A four-run 5th gave Yunesky Maya all the run support he would need as the Chiefs would beat the Red Wings by a final count of 7-2. The Cuban defector’s first American professional win saw him go 5⅔ innings and give up one runs on six hits and two walks to go with three strikeouts. Veterans Seth Bynum, Michael Martinez, and Carlos Maldonado were the hitters of the game, combining for eight of the 11 Syracuse hits. The win kept pace with Columbus for the wild-card race, but the elimination number is now two with five to play.

Harrisburg Senators W, 2-1 @ New Hampshire
Starting Pitcher: Roark (ND) 6⅓ IP 5H 1R 1ER 3BB 2K
Pitching Star: Pena 1⅓ IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Johnson 2-3, 2R, 2-2B, BB
Hitting Star #2: Baez 1-3, BB, RBI
Notes: Edgardo Baez’s RBI single in the top of the 9th gave Harrisburg the 2-1 edge over New Hampshire. Tanner Roark got the no-decision, giving up the lone Fisher Cat run on five hits and three walks over 6⅓ innings. Hassan Pena and Jack Spradlin (who got the win by retiring the lone batter he faced) built the bridge for Cole Kimball, who pitched a scoreless bottom of the 9th for his 11th save for Harrisburg. The win keeps pace with Bowie, as the elimination number for the Baysox is now six. Fourth-place Akron lost to reduce its elimination number to three.

Potomac Nationals W, 4-2 @ Salem
Starting Pitcher: Frias (W, 7-5) 6IP 3H 1R 0ER 2BB 3K
Pitching Star: Martinez (H, 2) 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Rooney 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Jacobsen 2-3, 2B, RBI
Notes: Marcos Frias tossed his first quality start in nearly six weeks, while backup catchers Sean Rooney and Robby Jacobsen powered the Potomac offense to a 4-2 win over the Salem Red Sox. Frias went six innings and gave up an unearned run on three hits and two walks while striking out three. Rooney’s two-run blast in the top of the 4th broke a 1-1 tie to give Potomac the lead. In the 5th Jacobsen, who had been pressed into duty when starting catcher Derek Norris was ejected in the third, doubled in Francisco Soriano to extend the lead to 4-1. The win kept pace with Wilmington and reduced their magic number to clinch the second-half title to four, with two more to play in Salem before hosting red-hot (eight straight wins) Kinston this weekend.

Hagerstown Suns W, 9-1
Starting Pitcher: Solis 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Pitching Star: Applebee (W, 6-5) 7IP 4H 1R 1ER 0BB 5K
Hitting Star #1: Cuevas 2-4, R, 2-2B, SB, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Ramirez 2-5, R, 2B, 2RBI
Hitting Star #3: Hague 2-5, R, 2B, BB
Notes: Sammy Solis made his professional debut, tossing two perfect innings as the Suns debunked the Legends 9-1. The top third of the order (Hague, Cuevas, Ramirez) combined to go 6-for-14 with four doubles, four RBI and five runs scored as the Suns pounded out 14 hits overall. Paul Applebee followed Solis with seven solid innings, giving up the lone Lexington run on four hits, no walks, while setting down five on strikes.

Vermont Lake Monsters W, 6-4 (8 inn.) @ Brooklyn (Game One)
Starting Pitcher: Grace 4⅔ IP 3H 4R 2ER 1BB 2K
Pitching Star: Crane (W, 3-3) 3IP 1H 0R 2BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Moldenhauer 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Kelso 2-3, 2R, BB
Notes: The Lake Monsters overcame a 4-0 deficit with picket fence of crooked numbers, scoring two runs in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings to win 6-4 in the first game against Brooklyn. Russell Moldenhauer’s two-run double tied the game at 4-4 to help him earn Hitting Star honors alongside Blake Kelso. Starter Matt Grace allowed all four Cyclone runs on three hits and a walk over 4⅔ innings, while Dustin Crane got the win with three scoreless innings of relief.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 3-2 (8 inn.) @ Brooklyn (Game Two)
Starter/Pitching Star: Demmin 5IP 3H 0R 0BB 3K
Hitting Star: Moldenhauer 1-3, R, HR, RBI
Notes: The nightcap also went into “extra” innings, but this time the Cyclones came out on top by a 3-2 score as reliever Wilson Eusebio literally threw the game away with an error on a sacrifice bunt. Reliever Ryan Demmin turned in a strong spot start with five scoreless innings with three hits allowed and three batters struck out. Russ Moldenhauer was the hitter of the game again with a solo HR that gave the Lake Monsters an early 1-0 lead. With the doubleheader split, Vermont remains in third place, 1½ games behind Tri-City with an elimination number of just four with five games to play. Fourth-round draft pick A.J. Cole has been listed to start tonight, which would be his professional debut.

Tuesday’s News and Notes

Three walkoff losses lowlight the last night of August in the Nats’ minors

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 6-4 vs. Rochester, 7:05 p.m. Yunesky Maya vs. Anthony Swarzak (5-10, 6.08)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 1-0 (10 inn.) @ New Hampshire, 6:35 p.m. Tanner Roark (11-6, 3.91) vs.
B.J. LaMura (5-6, 3.98)
Potomac Nationals Won, 5-3; Lost, 3-2 @ Salem, 7:05 p.m. Marcos Frias (6-5, 6.61) vs.
Miguel Gonzalez (6-2, 3.88)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 10-7 @ Lexington, 7:05 p.m. Evan Bronson (4-2, 5.40) vs.
Luis Cruz (7-4, 3.13)
Vermont Lake Monsters Lost, 8-7; Lost, 6-4 @ Brooklyn, 6:00 p.m.
(doubleheader)
Matt Grace (0-1, 10.80) and
Ryan Demmin (2-1, 1.73) vs. TBD

Syracuse Chiefs W, 6-4
Starting Pitcher: Arnesen (W, 6-7) 5IP 7H 4R 4ER 0BB 6K 2HR
Pitching Star: Bisenius (H, 3) 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 3K
Hitting Star #1: Bynum 3-4, R, 2B, SB, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Martinez 2-4, 2R, 2B
Notes: Erik Arnesen won his sixth game, Adam Carr notched his seventh save as the Syrcause Chiefs staved off elimination one more day with their third straight victory.

Harrisburg Senators L, 1-0 (10 inn.)
Starter/Pitching Star: Tatusko 7IP 6H 0R 2BB 3K
Hitting Star: Johnson 1-2, 2BB
Notes: Matt Liuzza led off the bottom of the 10th to break a 0-0 tie and hand the Harrisburg Senators a heartbreaking 1-0 loss. Bowie, however, also lost while Akron won as the Sens’ lead remains a ½ game over the Baysox and 2½ games over the Aeros.

Potomac Nationals W, 5-3 @ Salem (Game One)
Starting Pitcher: Barthmaier (W, 4-1) 5IP 5H 2R 2ER 2BB 2K
Pitching Star: Morris (SV, 2) 2IP 1H 0R 2BB 2K
Hitting Star #1: Walton 1-3, 2B, 2RBI
Hitting Star #2: Rhinehart 2-3, RBI
Notes: See my take in Last Night In Salem

Potomac Nationals L, 3-2 @ Salem (Game Two)
Starting Pitcher: Lehman 4IP 5H 2R 2ER 0BB 2K 2HR
Pitching Star: Dials 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Norris 1-3, R, HR, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Rooney 1-3, 2B, RBI
Notes: See my take in Last Night In Salem

Hagerstown Suns L, 10-7 @ Lexington
Starting Pitcher: Hicks (L, 1-6) 4IP 9H 5R 5ER 1BB 8K 1HR
Pitching Star: None
Hitting Star #1: Hague 2-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
Hitting Star #2: Perez 2-4, 2R, 3SB (59, 60, 61)
Notes: Hagerstown rallied for three in the 7th to pull within two at 7-5, but the Lexington Legends answered right back with three of their own en route to a 10-7 victory and the Suns’ second straight loss.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 8-7 (12 inn.) vs. Brooklyn
Starting Pitcher: Hansen 3⅓ IP 7H 5R 5ER 2BB 2K 2HR
Pitching Star: Selik 2⅔ IP 0H 0R 0BB 7K
Hitting Star #1: Mozingo 3-7, 2R
Hitting Star #2: Martinson 2-6, 3B, 2RBI
Notes: In a continuation from a suspended game from last month, Vermont entered the bottom of the 12th with a runner on second and one out. With two chances to score the tying run, Chad Mozingo struck out and Blake Kelso flew out to end the game.

Vermont Lake Monsters L, 6-4 @ brooklyn
Starting Pitcher: Ott 4IP 6H3R 3ER 2BB 5K
Pitching Star: 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
Hitting Star #1: Mozingo 3-4, R, 2-2B, RBI
Hitting Star #2: Keyes 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
Notes: A three-run walkoff HR sent the Lake Monsters to a 6-4 defeat, dropping them below .500 and into third place, one game behind Tri-City and a ½ game behind Connecticut with seven games left to play.

Last Night in Salem

Potomac splits to open its last regular-season road trip

Despite late-inning heroics, the Potomac Nationals couldn’t take both games of the doubleheader and had to settle for a split to open up the last regular-season road trip of 2010 with a 5-2 win and a 3-2 loss.

GAME ONE
In opening game, Potomac pounced on Salem’s Michael Lee, connecting for three doubles on their first three hits as Derek Norris, Jamar Walton doubled before and after a two-out walk to Tyler Moore to take a 2-0 lead in the first.

Dan Lyons got double number three to lead off the second and came in on an RBI single by Francisco Soriano, who in turn scampered in when Chris Curran tripled him in. Bill Rhinehart would single after a walk to Norris to complete the rally and the scoring for game one.

Zach Hammes came on in relief of Lee and stifled the P-Nats bats over the next four innings while Salem picked away at the Potomac lead, which began with two runs in the bottom of the second off starter Jimmy Barthmaier, who went five innings and gave up five hits.

Rob Wort came on in relief in the sixth and failed to retire a batter, issuing two walks around a double. A.J. Morris preserved the lead with a first-pitch double play that plated the third Salem run and got the final out in the sixth.

The seventh, however, was a little different as Morris issued two walks and knocked down a ball that went for an infield single but also got two strikeouts and a flyball to earn his second save for Potomac and preserve the 5-3 win.

GAME TWO
Pitching on two days’ rest, Pat Lehman got the nod to start the nightcap and sailed through the Salem lineup with just two base runners allowed over the first three innings. In the fourth, Alex Hassan and Oscar Tejeda hit back-to-back jacks to erase an early 1-0 lead that came courtesy of a Norris solo HR in the first. Lehman would finish the inning, allowing five hits over his four innings of work with no walks and two strikeouts.

But like the first game, Potomac’s offense was the long hit or no hit at all. After the Norris big fly, the next five batters would go down in order. Then Robby Jacobsen committed the cardinal sin of making the first out at third by trying to stretch a leadoff double into a triple in the fourth, then six batters went down in order until Jamar Walton doubled with one out in the 5th.

Thus, the 2-1 lead looked almost safe as Salem veteran Mark Holliman went for the complete game and started the seventh. Bill Rhinehart doubled high off the RF wall to lead off the inning and Tyler Moore made a loud out to chase Holliman. Sean Rooney greeted Sox reliever Cesar Cabral with a double to left to cash in “Dolla” Rhinehart and pinch-hitter Jose Lozada singled to left, but too sharply for Rooney to come in from second. The rally was then killed when Cabral got Sean Nicol to roll (hey, that rhymes) into a 6-4-3 double play.

Justin Phillabaum, who had pitched the sixth, came out to pitch the seventh and immediately surrendered a leadoff single that Salem turned into a double as pinch-runner Ryan Dent stole second.

Potomac seemed for just a brief moment to have fortune on their side when a towering popup to shallow center caught Dent in-between as Chris Curran sprinted in after misjudging the arc of the ball and got the double-play call. But a walk and an error kept the inning alive, and .

With the top of the order coming up (and a lefthanded batter), Gary Cathcart summoned Joe Testa to escape the jam. The lefty-on-lefty matchup was rendered moot with a walk, loading the bases. And the game was lost when a 3-2 fastball was deemed too inside for the walkoff walk, and a 3-2 Potomac loss.

With the split and a Wilmington win, the Potomac lead is down to 1½ games (two in the loss column). The series continues tomorrow with Marcos Frias set to take the mound against Miguel Gonzalez.