Washington Nationals minor league report: 4/26/19

From staff and wire reports:

Fresno (AAA Pacific Coast League): For the second straight contest, it was an offensive showdown with the Reno Aces (7-14) topping the Fresno Grizzlies (11-10) 10-6 from Greater Nevada Field. Jose Marmolejos enjoyed his first four-hit and four-RBI game of the season. Two of his four hits were longballs, a two-run clout in the sixth and a solo shot in the eighth. He finished a triple shy of the cycle. Raudy Read laced three hits, including his first triple of the year and Brandon Snyder extended his team-high hit streak to six games with a double.

The Aces belted four dingers in the win. Kevin Cron destroyed his 10th tater of the 2019 campaign in the third.Travis Snider and Juniel Querecuto added back-to-back rockets in the fifth while former Fresno Grizzly Tyler Heineman launched his first homer of the season in the seventh.

Austin Voth (2-1) was dealt the loss while Taylor Clarke (2-1) secured the victory. Despite the defeat, Fresno remained tied with Sacramento for first place in the PCL Pacific Northern Division. The Grizzlies have been in first or tied for first at the end of each of their 21 games this season. Overall, Fresno has been in either first place or tied for first after 156 consecutive games and 384 days.

Top Performers: Fresno Grizzlies (Washington Nationals)

• 1B Jose Marmolejos (4-4, 2 HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 3 R)

• C Raudy Read (3-4, 3B, 2B, RBI, R)

• 2B Brandon Snyder (1-4, 2B, R)

Top Performers: Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks)

• 1B Kevin Cron (2-3, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, R, 2 BB)

• RF Travis Snider (3-5, HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R)

• SS Juniel Querecuto (2-4, HR, 3B, 2 RBI, R)

ON THAT FRES-NOTE: Both Jose Marmolejos and Raudy Read finished a leg shy of the cycle in the 10-6 loss to Reno Friday night. Marmolejos went 4-for-4 with two homers but did not add a triple to his line. He drove in four runs as well. Read notched three hits but did not record a home run. He did however enjoy his eighth career triple and his first of the 2019 season.

Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): OFF.

Potomac (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (9-13) snapped a three-game losing streak on Friday night, opening their weeklong road trip with a thrilling 12-10 victory over the Carolina Mudcats (12-10).

DH KJ Harrison, making his Carolina League debut after a call-up from the Hagerstown Suns earlier in the day, sparked several rallies with two doubles and two RBI in a four-hit night. CF Gage Canning had a four-hit performance of his own, plating four and scoring four with a pair of doubles and a triple.

Carolina struck first against RHP Malvin Pena, who struggled out of the gate for the second straight start. DHMario Feliciano laced an RBI single to left field, and RF Rob Henry followed with a bases-loaded walk to put the Mudcats up 2-0.

That lead would be short-lived, as the P-Nats answered back in the second off RHP Christian Taugner (L, 1-3). Harrison led off the frame with a single in his first at-bat, and came home on Canning’s first double to the gap in right-center. At the bottom of the order, SS Osvaldo Abreu hit the first of three doubles on the night to score a pair and put Potomac ahead 3-2.

The P-Nats added to their lead in the third, scoring four on a Harrison RBI double, Canning two-run two-bagger, and Abreu RBI fielder’s choice. Taugner was chased after three innings, but the Carolina bullpen had similar struggles against the Nationals offense.

Henry hit a two-run homer in the third off Peña to draw the Mudcats to within three runs, and the two teams went back and forth in the middle innings. Carolina scored another two in the fourth on singles from CF Ryan Aguilar and C Payton Henry, and Peña departed after 3.1 innings of six-run ball.

A.J. Bogucki worked out of a jam in the fourth to limit the damage, and Potomac scored three runs off LHPCody Beckman in the fifth on a Canning triple, Abreu double, and 2B Cole Freeman single to take a 10-6 lead. Bogucki gave two runs back in the bottom half, uncorking a wild pitch to score Henry from third and serving up an RBI single to LF Joantgel Segovia.

Carolina inched closer in the seventh off LHP Carson Teel (W, 1-0), as Segovia came through once more with a two-out RBI single. But with the lead down to 10-9, Potomac got another RBI double from Harrison in the eighth and a two-bagger from Abreu in the ninth to give Frankie Bartow (S, 1) some breathing room. Bartow allowed an unearned run in the ninth, but fanned Aguilar as the tying run to win the ballgame.

Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic League): With both offenses churning, the Suns bullpen survived a four-run eighth to beat the Greensboro Grasshoppers 9-8 at Municipal Stadium Friday night.

On a night where no pitcher had an answer to two potent offenses, Ryan Tapani  (W, 2-1) spun 3.1 hitless frames while wringing up three batters. Tapani came in for Joan Adon , who earned the start, but came into a jam in the fourth inning. Adon finished allowing four runs, all earned, while walking half a dozen batters. This was the second consecutive game a Suns (10-12) starter has walked six batters.

Aaron Fletcher closed out the game. He struggled in the eighth, walking a pair of batters and hitting two. Jamori Blash committed two errors en route to four runs scoring for the Grasshoppers (12-9).

The offense was on another level though. After Greensboro added one in the top of the first, Hagerstown struck back with a three spot of their own. After Justin Connell was hit by a pitch, Jacob Rhinesmith placed a single in front of Lolo Sanchez in left to plate the game-tying run. After a Gilbert Lara  single, the newest addition to the Suns roster, Omar Meregildohit a two-out double to score both Rhinesmith and Lara to push the Suns in front 3-1.

After that, Hagerstown never trailed.

Rhinesmith finished the night 3-4, scoring three runs and driving a run in. The night after ending his nine-game hitting streak, the right fielder bounced right back. Meanwhile, Lara increased his hitting streak to 12 games, which is tied for the longest hitting streak in the South Atlantic League this year. Justin Dean was the first to accomplish the streak for the Rome Braves, but his streak ended April 17. Currently, both Lara and West Virginia Power outfielder Jarred Kelenic are riding a 12-game streak. 

The Suns added a run in the second and third. Justin Connell doubled in Juan Pascal in the second to put the Suns in front 4-1. In the third, after Greensboro added a run, Meregildo grounded into a double play, but during that time, Rhinesmith was able to scamper home to increase the Suns lead to 5-2.

Hagerstown added three more runs in the fifth, doing all their damage with two outs. Five Suns batters reached base safely, with Pablo O’Connor pushing a two-run single up the middle to put the Suns in front 8-4.

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