Washington Nationals minor league report: May 9

From staff and wire reports:

Fresno (AAA Pacific Coast League):It took extras to do it, but the Fresno Grizzlies (18-16) continued their winning ways, outlasting the Sacramento River Cats (16-18) 7-4 in 10 innings. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Fresno is now 45-22 against Sacramento, and 28-7 on the road at Raley Field. The Grizzlies also won their fourth straight contest, tying a season-high. They look for their first sweep of the year tomorrow evening. 

Yadiel Hernandez and Carter Kieboom highlighted the Fresno offense as each player recorded home runs. Hernandez walloped a grand slam (his 11th) in the sixth inning, his first as a professional player. It was also his first four-RBI game of the season. While Kieboom tallied his in the top of the 10th, the eventual game-winner. He has four big flies in a Grizzlies’ uniform.

Despite trailing 4-0 in the sixth, the River Cats clawed away at the deficit. Mike Gerber raked a two-run double in the bottom half of the sixth. Then in the next frame, pinch-hitter Mike Yastrzemski nailed a tying-shot over the right-center wall. This would send the game to extras, but Sacramento couldn’t hold Fresno off. 

Dakota Bacus (3-0) received the decision after two innings of solid work. His strikeout of Gio Brusa with a runner at third in the ninth was beneficial in the Grizzlies’ victory. Fernando Abad (0-1) suffered the loss and Tanner Rainey converted his second save of the year.

Top Performers: Fresno Grizzlies (Washington Nationals)

• LF Yadiel Hernandez (2-4, HR, 4 RBI, R)

• SS Carter Kieboom (1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB)

• 2B Jacob Wilson (1-4, 2B, 2 R, BB)

Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): L 3-5

Potomac (High-A Carolina League):The Potomac Nationals (12-20) missed an opportunity to win their first road series of the season on Thursday afternoon, dropping the finale of their three-game series to the Frederick Keys (15-17) by a score of 3-0.

RHP Malvin Pena (L, 2-2) pitched deeper into the game than he had all year, earning a quality start with 6.0 innings. But he allowed a pair of home runs to the Keys in the middle innings, and his offense couldn’t crack a trio of effective Frederick starters.

Potomac had scored first in each of their previous eight games, and had a prime opportunity to do so again in the second inning against RHP Dean Kremer when they loaded the bases. But they came up empty when SS Osvaldo Abreu flew out to right, beginning a star-crossed 0-for-11 day with runners in scoring position for the P-Nats lineup.

Peña worked quickly and effectively through the first two innings, but left a pitch up to 2B Willy Yahn in the third that was sent out to left field for a solo home run. CF Jake Ring added a two-run homer an inning later in the fourth, putting Frederick ahead 3-0 and accounting for the entirety of the game’s scoring.

Kremer, making his 2019 debut after beginning the year on the injured list, departed after 3.2 innings but RHP Luis Pérez (W, 1-1) pitched 1.1 frames of solid relief to earn the win. LHP DL Hall pitched out of his typical starting role, fanning eight batters over the final four innings to earn his first professional save. RHP Jeremy McKinney pitched 2.0 scoreless innings out of the Potomac bullpen to wrap up the low-scoring game.

Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic League):Tim Cate continued on his roll of dominance in the Suns 5-1 victory over the Lakewood BlueClaws at Municipal Stadium Thursday night.

Cate (W, 3-2) tossed six sensational innings, allowing just one run on five hits and striking out seven Lakewood hitters, while not issuing a free pass. The UConn product has now recorded at least seven punch-outs in four consecutive starts and has put together his fifth straight quality start.

The Suns (15-18) trailed for the first four innings, but finally got on the board in the fifth. After a walk and an error, Juan Pascal executed a sacrifice bunt to put two in scoring position and chase BlueClaws starter Jhordany Mezquita (L, 1-4) out of the game.

Two batters later, with reliever Gilmael Troya on the hill, Justin Connell came through for the Suns with a two-RBI single to right field that put Hagerstown on top 2-1.

The BlueClaws (11-22) struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. After back-to-back one-out singles from Matt Kroon and Luis Garcia, the lefty let two wild pitches loose that eventually allowed a run to score.

But that was all that Lakewood would get off of Cate, who allowed only two more baserunners over his final five innings of work.

The Suns added another two more runs in the sixth as Hagerstown began to pull away. Back-to-back doubles from Jacob Rhinesmith and Israel Pineda to begin the inning put the Suns up 3-1, and then Pineda scored later in the frame when Nic Perkins bounced into a double play.

With Cate out of the game, the Suns went to the bullpen, calling on Angel Guillen (S, 1) to record the final nine outs. Guillen breezed through the Lakewood order, working three scoreless and hitless inning while striking out five batters. 

Hagerstown added one more run in the bottom of the eighth inning when a single off the bat of Trey Vickersscored Omar Meregildo

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