Washington Nationals Minor League Report: May 1

From staff and wire reports:

Fresno (AAA Pacific Coast League): The El Paso Chihuahuas (19-7) expanded their franchise-record win streak to 12 games Wednesday night, beating the Fresno Grizzlies (11-15) 4-2 from Chukchansi Park. A three-run top of the second was all El Paso needed to stay ahead of Fresno. Peter Van Gansen highlighted the inning with a two-run blast to right-center field. It was his second dinger of the year. While former Fresno Grizzly Chris Stewart recorded the other two RBI for the Chihuahuas.

Trailing 4-0 in the third, the Grizzlies notched a pair of runs. After a double by Taylor Gushue (7-game hit streak), Collin Cowgill knocked him in with a single to center. Then, Cowgill raced home following a wild pitch. Fresno wouldn’t score again despite loading the bases with no outs in the eighth. Reliever Robert Stock would strike out three straight Grizzlies to get out of the frame.

El Paso starter Logan Allen (2-1, win) cruised through six innings. He allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits while punching out seven. Grizzlies’ righty Austin Voth (2-2) was tallied with the loss despite fanning four in five frames.Tyler Higgins reeled off his first save with a perfect ninth for the Chihuahuas.

Top Performers: Fresno Grizzlies (Washington Nationals)

• CF Collin Cowgill (1-3, RBI, R, BB)

• C Taylor Gushue (1-4, 2B, R)

• SS Matt Reynolds (2-4, 2B)

• 3B Jake Noll (2-4, 2B)

Top Performers: El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego Padres)

• 2B Peter Van Gansen (2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R)

• 1B Jason Vosler (2-4, 3B, R)

• CF Boog Powell (2-4, R, SB)

ON THAT FRES-NOTE: It was a day for Grizzlies’ catchers. Taylor Gushue extended the current team-high hit streak to seven games. He doubled and scored in the loss to El Paso on Wednesday night. Prior to the contest, Matt Reistetter was activated off the injured list while fellow catcher Raudy Read was placed on the injured list.

Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): L 7-4

Potomac (High-A Carolina League): The Potomac Nationals (10-17) snapped their four-game losing streak in a big way on Wednesday afternoon, defeating the Winston-Salem Dash (15-12) by a score of 18-4. A seven-run eighth and five-run ninth gave the P-Nats their biggest offensive game of the season, establishing highs in hits and runs scored.

Potomac scored first for the fourth consecutive game, plating three runs in the first off starter LHP Cristian Castillo (L, 0-4). After a defensive miscue from 3B Tate Blackman scored the first run, SS David Mastersgot his career day started with a fly ball double to right-center that drove in two. It marked the first of five hits for Masters, securing the first five-hit game for Potomac this season.

RHP Malvin Pena (W, 2-1) excelled on the mound, taking the early lead and protecting it with a 5.0-inning start. The righty fanned six and allowed only two runs at the end of his afternoon.

Potomac’s lead was augmented in the third when 3B Anderson Franco lined a two-out, two-run single to left field. Franco had a two-hit game with a pair of singles and a walk.

Winston-Salem chipped away at the deficit with runs in the fourth and fifth off Peña, thanks to a 2B JJ Muno sacrifice fly and CF Steele Walker RBI double. But they would give a run back in the sixth, when 1BJameson Fisher made a throwing error on an LF Aldrem Corredor grounder to score a run from third base. Peña left with a 6-2 lead, but the game would soon be well in hand.

RHP Steven Fuentes worked around trouble in the sixth and seventh innings to keep the Dash off the board, and Potomac broke the game open with a seven-run eighth. 1B KJ Harrison lined a two-run single to chase RHP Wyatt Burns from the game, and Alex Dunlap‘s RBI single off RHP Will Kincanon was followed by another Fisher error at first to plate two more. 2B Osvaldo Abreu capped off the wild inning with a two-run single of his own to put Potomac up 13-2.

Muno, the starting second baseman for the Dash, was called upon to finish the eighth inning on the mound, but he didn’t fare as well in the ninth. He allowed a two-run homer to Harrison, his first in a P-Nats uniform, followed by Masters’ team-leading sixth long ball of the year. By the time DH Cole Freeman dropped a two-run pop fly single into left, Potomac led by 16 with a five-run inning.

RHP Jhon Romero got the final six outs of the game for the P-Nats, allowing two harmless runs in the ninth aided by defensive indifference. By the time the rout had concluded, Potomac had established season records with 21 hits and 18 runs. Seven different players had multi-hit games, with three hits from Freeman, four hits from Harrison, and five from Masters.

Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic League): L 7-5

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