Minor League Roundup: P-Nats blanked, Richmond falls
Wilmington blanks P-Nats Behind a stellar start from Greg Billo, the Wilmington Blue Rocks shut out the Potomac Nationals 7-0 at Frawley Stadium on Monday Night. The Blue Rocks held the Nationals to just two-hits in their first meeting of the season in Delaware.
Against P-Nats starter Matt Swynenberg, Wilmington opened the scoring in the third inning. Juan Graterol led off the inning with a double and scored on a Whit Merrifield double to give the Rocks a 1-0 lead. Brian Fletcher knocked in Merrifield to increase the lead to 2-0 for Wilmington.
In the fifth, Wilmington blew the game open with four runs. With one out, Randolph Oduber misplayed a Merrfild line drive into a two-base error and the flood gates opened. Angel Franco hit a triple down the first base line scoring Merrifield increasing the lead to 3-0. Fletcher, Brett Eibner and Cheslor Cuthbert followed with hits and the Blue Rocks opened the lead to 6-0. Swynenberg (3-2) left the game after a double from Cuthbert giving up six runs over four and a third innings. He tied his season high with six strikeouts.
The Blue Rocks added another run in the sixth on a Graterol solo home run to lead off the inning. The first homer of the season for Graterol increased the Wilmington advantage to 7-0.
Blue Rocks starter Greg Billo was dominant from the start. He gave up just three base runners: two hits — one to Ricky Hague and one to Michael Taylor while also walking Taylor. Just two times, Taylor in the second and also in the fifth, Potomac was able to advance a player to second. Billo (4-3) got his second win of the year against Potomac in two starts. Billo along with reliever Leondy Perez were able to retire the final 15 Nationals.
Tomorrow is game two of the series as Potomac will send LHP Robbie Ray (1-1, 11.25) to the hill for a 6:35 start. The P-Nats return home Monday to face the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. For tickets, please call us at 703-590-2311.
Richmond losing streak at four The Bowie Baysox (18-25) used a five-run seventh inning to blow past the Richmond Flying Squirrels (20-24), 8-5, in the opener of a four-game set at Prince George’s Stadium on Monday night. The Squirrels have now lost their last four, the first time they have lost four consecutive games this season.
The Squirrels got off to a running start against left-hander Cole McCurry in the top of the first inning. Gary Brown led off the ballgame with a single back through the middle. He advanced to second on a wild-pitch, but stayed there as McCurry recorded the first two outs in the inning. Chris Dominguez worked a two-out walk, putting two aboard for Juan Perez. Perez rifled a two-run double into the left-field corner for a 2-0 lead. Johnny Monell followed and laced a double on the same flight-plan into in the corner in left. Perez came home for a 3-0 advantage.
Richmond added a run against McCurry in the second. Jose Flores also favored the left-field corner as he led off with a double. Joel Weeks bunted him to third and Brown made it 4-0 when he lofted a sacrifice-fly to center field.
Richmond left-hander Jason Stevenson worked a scoreless first inning, but the Baysox got to him in the second. Manny Machado led off with a single to left field and Stevenson issued a walk to Caleb Joseph. Zelous Wheeler bunted the runners into scoring position, and Steven Bumbry delivered a two-run single to right field. After two innings, the Squirrels held a 4-2 lead.
Brown delivered his second single of the night with one out in the fourth. With Brown running, Nick Liles poked a single into right field. Brown advanced to third on the play and scored when Daniel Mayora lifted a sacrifice-fly into center field.
McCurry departed the ballgame following the fourth inning. He was charged with five runs – all earned – on eight hits. He walked one, struck out one and didn’t factor in the decision.
Stevenson pitched himself into trouble again in the fifth, hitting Jonathan Schoop and walking Buck Britton to start the inning. He got a double-play from L.J. Hoes, but Robbie Widlansky made it 5-3 with an RBI single. Stevenson allowed another single to Machado before retiring for the night. Right-hander Austin Fleet came on and cleaned up the inning.
Fleet worked a scoreless sixth inning, but conceded a broken-bat infield-single to Schoop to start the seventh. It opened the floodgates for the Baysox. Fleet got the first two outs of the inning, but was lifted in favor of left-hander Tom Vessella. Vessella was summoned to face left-handed batting Robbie Widlansky. Widlansky singled into right field to bring in Schoop and make it a one-run ballgame. Vessella was removed for right-hander Daryl Maday. Machado greeted Maday with a double down the left-field line to put runners at second and third. Joseph then contributed a two-run single, giving the Baysox their first lead of the night, 6-5. Wheeler followed and belted the first pitch from Maday over the left-field wall to cap the scoring on the night. Maday (2-3) was saddled with the loss as his scoreless-innings streak was snapped at 13 1/3.
Left-hander Chris Petrini (2-1) earned the win in relief, working three scoreless innings. Lefty Pedro Viola worked a perfect eighth inning, and right-hander Greg Burke earned his seventh save with a scoreless ninth.
Game two of the four-game series is scheduled for 7:05 PM on Tuesday night at Prince George’s Stadium. Richmond RHP Chris Heston (3-2, 0.71) will make the start against Bowie RHP Oliver Drake (0-0, 1.50). Pregame coverage will begin at 6:35 PM on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.