Nationals minor league report: 4/24/19

From staff and wire reports:

Fresno (AAA Pacific Coast League): With his club-leading ninth multi-hit effort of the young season on Wednesday evening, Carter Kieboom helped lead the Fresno Grizzlies (11-8) to a 9-5 win over the Reno Aces (5-14) with a gap RBI double in the first inning and a solo homer in the fifth. It was the opener of a five-game set in the Little Biggest City, lasting through Sunday, and Fresno improved to 5-1 against Reno in 2019. On base three times with a walk on Wednesday, Kieboom continues to lead the PCL with 16 free passes in 18 games played.

Not to be outdone was Fresno first baseman Brandon Snyder, who enjoyed a 4-for-4 night, driving in two runs and scoring three of his own (on base five times, walk). Snyder, like Kieboom, homered to opposite field (in the seventh inning), which was a compliment to an earlier RBI double. Matt Reynolds drove in three runs with a two-run single and a double. Snyder’s homer completed the scoring for Fresno. Yasmany Tomas’ two-run homer in the eighth was the final blow for the home side.

It all totaled to more than enough for Grizzlies’ starter Paolo Espino, who became the first Fresno hurler to toss seven complete innings this season. The right-hander spun a quality start, scattering three earned runs on seven hits. Espino struck out five and did not walk a batter in earning his second winning decision. In two starts against Reno this season, Espino holds a 2.25 ERA (12.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 11 K).

Top Performers: Fresno Grizzlies (Washington Nationals)

• 1B Brandon Snyder (4-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, BB)

• 2B Carter Kieboom (2-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, BB)

• RHP Paolo Espino (7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)

• SS Matt Reynolds (2-5, 2B, 3 RBI)

Top Performers: Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks)

• C Tyler Heineman (2-3, RBI, R, BB)

• 2B Juniel Querecuto (2-5, RBI, R)

• 1B Yasmany Tomas (1-4, HR, 2 RBI)

ON THAT FRES-NOTE: Former Grizzlies catcher, Tyler Heineman, (2015-2016) had a pair of hits, an RBI, and a run in his first game against Fresno as a member of the Reno Aces. Heineman played for the Grizzlies during his time in the Houston Astros organization and is on his third stop in the PCL, having spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons in the Milwaukee Brewers organization at Colorado Springs. The Astros traded Heineman to the Brewers following the 2016 season. Heineman missed the season-opening series in Fresno at Chukchansi Park; he began the regular season confined to extended spring training after an injury late in camp.

Former Grizz outfielder, Andrew Aplin, (2015-2017) went 0-for-1 as a pinch hitter on Wednesday.

Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): The Senators’ seven-game winning streak came to an end Wednesday afternoon with a 10-5 loss at the hands of the Altoona Curve. Altoona plated four runs in the first inning and never trailed, scoring single runs in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings to tack on to their lead. Drew Ward had three doubles, tying a franchise record, and drove in a run. Harrisburg is 16-3, while Altoona improves to 9-10.

Turning Point
Altoona plated four in the first to take a 4-0 lead, but the Senators came back in the bottom of the inning scoring twice. However, the Senators could not keep the Curve off the scoreboard as Altoona scored single runs in four straight innings to keep the Senators at bay.

On Capitol Hill
Four pitchers took the mound for the Senators, and only Joan Baez was unscored on. Sterling Sharp started and lasted 3.2 innings, allowing seven runs on ten hits. Jacob Condra-Bogan was next and went 2.1 innings and allowed just one run on three hits. Ronald Pena pitched two innings and allowed two runs on four hits.

With the Gavel
Drew Ward had three hits, all doubles. Bryan Mejia hit his first Double-A home run, and Ian Sagdal continued his power surge by hitting his third home run and second in the series. The Sens scattered nine hits and went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position.


  • The loss snapped the Senators seven-game winning streak.
  • It was the first loss by the Senators on a day other than Sunday
  • Even with the loss, after 19 games, this is the best start in modern Sens history (since 1987). 
  • Drew Ward‘s three doubles tied a franchise record for most doubles in a game.
  • The hits and runs by Altoona were the most by an opponent of the Senators this season.

On Deck
The Senators open a four-game series in Hartford Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Harrisburg sends RH Tyler Mapes to the hill against RH Ashton Goudeau. 

Potomac (High-A Carolina League): Following a 2-0 shutout at the hands of the Salem Red Sox (7-12) on Tuesday night, the Potomac Nationals (8-12) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on Wednesday evening, but saw the Red Sox score four runs in the next half inning and later bust the game open with a five-run sixth frame.

RHP Bryan Mata (ND) struggled with his command for the Red Sox in the second inning, as a leadoff walk led to a three-run frame for Potomac. CF Armond Upshaw made it 2-0 Potomac with a two-run double, while 2B Cole Freeman extended his hit streak to 10 games with an RBI single. Freeman’s first of two hits on the night gave Potomac a 3-0 lead, which evaporated in the top of the third inning.

Salem strung together four consecutive two-out hits off of LHP Nick Raquet (L, 1-3) in the third frame, as a three-run deficit for the Red Sox turned into a one run lead. SS Marco Hernandez got Salem on the board with an RBI single, while 1B Pedro Castellanos tied the game with a two-run double. 2B Ryan Fitzgerald followed with an RBI single, which gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead and knocked Raquet out of the game. The teams then exchanged single runs in the fourth and fifth frames, as each side scored in each trip to the plate.

The Red Sox took a 6-5 lead into the sixth inning, as LHP Grant Borne worked his second inning of relief for Potomac. Salem sent 10 men to the plate in the frame, five of whom scored. Borne allowed six runs, five earned, over two frames.

Over the final third of the game, both bullpens were nearly flawless, as RHP Eduard Bazardo (SV, 1) issued a walk to the first man that he faced, but then retired the next nine batters that he faced, as he secured Salem’s 11-5 win.

For Potomac, RHP Justin Miller worked one inning out of the bullpen on rehab assignment from the Washington Nationals. Miller surrendered a solo home run to 3B Garrett Benge in the fourth inning and struck out two in his first ever appearance for the P-Nats.

In need of a win on Thursday night to avoid a sweep, Potomac will send RHP Luis Reyes (0-2, 12.00) to the mound. Reyes has allowed at least five runs in each of his first three starts, none of which went longer than 4.1 innings. For the Red Sox, RHP Daniel Gonzalez (1-2, 3.78) is scheduled for his fourth start of 2019. Last time out, Gonzalez didn’t allow a run over six innings in a victory over Frederick.

First pitch at Northwest Federal Field on Thursday night is set for 7:05pm. 

Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic League):

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