Keys look to clinch series with Wilmington

Last night the Keys came away with a much needed win in the opening of a three-game set with the Wilmington Blue Rocks by a score of 6-2 to get to a .500 record. They rallied four runs in the fifth inning to take the lead as Frederick’s pitching shut down Wilmington’s offense for the rest of the contest. Tonight, the orange and black look to clinch the series as they will send out southpaw Mitch Horacek (4-7, 3.96) who is making his second appearance against the Blue Rocks this season. He will be countered by fellow lefty Sean Manea (0-0, – -) making his season debut with Wilmington. Tonight will be Harry Potter Night at Nymeo Field as the game will start at 7:00 PM.

Today’s Lineup

Josh Hart CF

Adrian Marin SS

Jeff Kemp 2B

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Chance Sisco C

Conor Bierfeldt DH

Brenden Webb RF

Anthony Caronia 3B

Johnny Ruettiger LF

6/29 Game Notes

FIFTH INNING MAGIC: The Frederick Keys scored four times off in the fifth inning thanks to five straight two-out hits, while Luis Gonzalez turned in four frames of shutout relief to lead the orange and black to a 6-2 victory on Sunday night at Nymeo Field. It marked the first time the Keys had won back-to-back games since June 13-14. Anthony Caronia triggered the fifth inning rally, doubling to right-center after seeing seven pitches from Rocks starter Eric Skoglund. Josh Hart followed with an RBI single, before coming in on a two-bagger by Adrian Marin. A single by Jeff Kemp and a third double by Wynston Sawyer completed the scoring. On the mound, Gonzalez limited Wilmington to just two hits from the fifth through eighth innings.

THERE’S THE OFFENSE!: Coming into Sunday with losses in eight of their last 10 games, the Keys had also been limited to limited to three runs or less in five straight games (and eight of 10). However the club’s offense busted out for six runs and 12 in the series opener against the Blue Rocks. Half of those hits went for extra-bases (all doubles) equaling a season-high. The six runs were the most Frederick had scored since June 14 at Potomac, while 12 hits were the most the club had registered since June 15 against Carolina. Utilizing contributions from up-and-down the lineup, eight of the nine Keys starters had at least one hit. A radically different club when reaching the four-run barrier, the orange and black are 29-9 when tallying more than three runs, and 5-31 when posting three or less.   

READY FOR THE CALENDAR TO FLIP: In spite of earning back-to-back wins, the Keys are ready for the calendar to flip. Following a challenging May where the Keys were 12-17, Frederick is just 9-15 in June. Myrtle Beach is the only other CL team that is six games below .500 (10-16) this month. In June, the Keys have won only one series (1-3-2) while the club has endured a five-game losing streak and two four-game losing streaks.

YO ADRIAN!: Adrian Marin enjoyed a great day at the plate on Sunday, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base. The three hits tied a season-high for the Miami native, who last registered three knocks on June 15 against Carolina. A force against Wilmington this year, Marin is batting .290 (18-62) against Wilmington this year, while nine of his 16 doubles have come against the Blue Crew. In his first four second-half games, the shortstop is batting .357 (5-for-14) with two doubles, an RBI and four runs scored.

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK: On Monday, Keys starting pitcher, David Hess, was named the Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” for June 22-28. It marks the first time in his professional career that Hess had earned a weekly honor, while he becomes the second Keys player to garner a weekly award in 2015. Former Keys infielder, Drew Dosch, was named the CL “Player of the Week” for April 20-27. On Saturday, Hess turned in five shutout innings of three-hit baseball to pick up a win against Salem.

NO MAS ME CASA ES SU CASA: Although Frederick is four games above .500 at home (20-16) Nymeo Field has not been quite the home field advantage it was through the first month and a half of the season. After opening the year with a 13-4 mark in home tilts (which included five straight series wins) the Keys have gone just 7-12 since. Frederick has dropped back-to-back sets at the friendly confines and three of the last five (the other two were splits). The orange and black have not claimed a home series since May 17, when the team took two of three against Potomac.

BITTEN BY THE BIG FLY: Over the recent seven-game homestand, Keys pitching surrendered 12 home runs. That included four in Sunday’s quasi-doubleheader. In six of the seven games, Frederick arms allowed at least one deep fly, while in five of the seven contests the opposition homered twice or more. In total, the pitching staff has allowed 49 home runs, 10 more than the next-closest team.

THESE GUYS AGAIN?: For the second straight homestand, the Keys will face-off against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the first-half CL North champs. Winners of eight of the last 10 head-to-head meetings, the Blue Rocks hold a commanding 11-6 lead in the season-series. As a team Frederick is batting just .251 against Blue Rocks pitching, while the Keys staff has a collective 4.61 ERA. In contrast, Wilmington is batting .272 against Frederick and sports a 2.89 staff ERA. Individually, Adrian Marin leads the way with a .290 average. For the Blue Crew, Jack Lopez (.369), Frank Schwindel (.354) Cam Gallagher (.341), and Robert Pehl (.304) guide the offense.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last four weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 26 games, an opponent has batted around 10 times (with the latest instance coming in the fifth inning Friday). Meanwhile during that time, Keys opponents have posted 12 innings of four runs or more. That includes four six-run innings, three five-run innings and five four-run innings.

WALK THIS WAY: Keys pitching finished with 10 walks on Friday, one short of the club’s season-high. It was the most number of walks by Frederick arms since April 22 at Lynchburg when the staff walked 11. In 2015, Frederick arms have walked nine or more in a game on seven occasions. That includes three games of double-digit walks. Through 74 games this year, Keys pitching has walked 315, 56 more free rides than the next-closest team (Lynchburg has walked 259). In all three months, the pitching staff has at least a 4.2 BB/9IP ratio.

WELCOME NEWCOMERS!: On Thursday, a total of six different roster moves were made. Those changes brought about two newcomers: Connor Bierfeldt and Tanner Witt. Through his first four games, Bierfeldt is 3-for-14 with a home run, two doubles and five strikeouts. He joins the club from Low-A Delmarva, where he led the South Atlantic League in RBIs (56) in 62 games. Signed to a free agent contract, Witt joins Frederick from the Rockford Aviators of the Independent Frontier League. There he hit .355 in 29 games with a home run and 22 RBIs. He was the league’s “Rookie of the Year” in 2014. Making his first CL start at third on Saturday, Witt finished 2-for-3.

Keys return for first home series of the second half

The Frederick Keys return to Nymeo Field for the first home series in the second half of the season. Keys began their quest to clinch a playoff spot for the second half by playing a three game set down in Salem where they lost two out of three. The good news of coming back to Nymeo Field is that Frederick had a 19-16 record in the first half at home. Their first series back they will be taking on the Wilmington Blue Rocks who clinched the first half playoff spot. The Blue Rocks took three out of four against the Keys to close out to first half at Nymeo Field and are on a four game win streak. The orange and black will trot out lefty Ariel Miranda (0-0, – -) who is making his first appearance for Frederick. The Cuban prospect was recently signed by the Baltimore Orioles on May 23 where they expect him to be a contributor later in the season. He will be countered by Wilmington southpaw Eric Skoglund (6-2, 2.74) making his fifth appearance against the Keys this season where he has a 1-1 record. Tonight will also be Faith Night at Nymeo Field.

Today’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Adrian Marin SS

Jeff Kemp 2B

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Chance Sisco DH

Conor Bierfeldt LF

Brenden Webb RF

Austin Wynns C

Anthony Caronia 3B

 

6/28 Game Notes

NOT TO LEAVE EMPTY HANDED: The Frederick Keys salvaged the final game of their three-game set with the Salem Red Sox, utilizing strong pitching from David Hess, Donnie Hart and Cody Wheeler to exit with a 3-1 win on Saturday night at LewisGale Field. The win snaps a four-game slide for the orange and black. Frederick scored all three of its runs in the first two innings. Josh Hart opened the game with a bunt single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, before scoring after a steal of third and an errant throw by Jordan Procyshen. In the second, the club picked up both its runs with two outs. Following a double by Austin Wynns, Conor Bierfeldt slugged a two-run homer to make it 3-0. Hess and Hart combined on seven scoreless innings, before the Red Sox loaded the bases against Wheeler in the eighth. However, the Virginia native limited the damage to just a run, thanks to a double play and a strikeout of Forrest Allday. Wheeler retired all three in the ninth to close things out.

SLIDE SNAPPED: On Saturday, the Keys snapped their four-game losing streak, tied for the club’s second-longest slide of the season. Frederick dropped five in-a-row from June 4-9 against Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. Additionally, the team avoided being swept for the fourth time this season. In spite of the win, the Keys still have work to do to shake off their current funk. Currently, the Keys have lost eight of their last 10 games and have not posted back-to-back wins since June 13-14 at Potomac.

READY FOR THE CALENDAR TO FLIP: As June winds down, the Keys are ready for the calendar to flip. Following a challenging May where the Keys were 12-17, Frederick is just 8-15 in June. That is the worst mark the in the Carolina League, with no other squad sitting more than five games below sea-level this month. In June, the Keys have won only one series (1-3-2) while the club has endured a five-game losing streak and two four-game losing streaks. Not helping matters, the Keys last two series (and upcoming set) come against the two teams that have fared the best this month, Salem (14-9) and Wilmington (13-9).

NO MAS ME CASA ES SU CASA: Although Frederick is three games above .500 at home (19-16) Nymeo Field has not been quite the home field advantage it was through the first month and a half of the season. After opening the year with a 13-4 mark in home tilts (which included five straight series wins) the Keys have gone just 6-12 since. Frederick has dropped back-to-back sets at the friendly confines and three of the last five (the other two were splits). The orange and black have not claimed a home series since May 17, when the team took two of three against Potomac.

BITTEN BY THE BIG FLY: Over the recent seven-game homestand, Keys pitching surrendered 12 home runs. That included four in Sunday’s quasi-doubleheader. In six of the seven games, Frederick arms allowed at least one deep fly, while in five of the seven contests the opposition homered twice or more. In total, the pitching staff has allowed 48 home runs, 12 more than the next-closest team.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: Saturday marked the first time all season Frederick scored less than four runs in a road game and managed to win. Entering the finale at Salem, the Keys had gone 0-19 when posting three or fewer runs in a road tilt. Despite getting the win, offense has been at a premium of late. In their last five games, the team has been limited to three runs or less and in eight of their last 10 contests. This season, the Keys have been a radically different team when reaching the four-run barrier. When tallying four or more runs, the Keys are 28-9, as opposed to going 5-31 when posting three or fewer runs.

THESE GUYS AGAIN?: For the second straight homestand, the Keys will face-off against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the first-half CL North champs. Winners of eight of the last nine head-to-head meetings, the Blue Rocks hold a commanding 11-5 lead in the season-series. As a team Frederick is batting just .245 against Blue Rocks pitching, while the Keys staff has a collective 4.79 ERA. In contrast, Wilmington is batting .278 against Frederick and sports a 2.67 staff ERA. Individually, Austin Wynns leads the way with a .280 average. For the Blue Crew, Cam Gallagher (.368), Jack Lopez (.361), Frank Schwindel (.355) and Robert Pehl (.350) guide the offense.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last four weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 25 games, an opponent has batted around 10 times (with the latest instance coming in the fifth inning Friday). Meanwhile during that time, Keys opponents have posted 12 innings of four runs or more. That includes four six-run innings, three five-run innings and five four-run innings.

WALK THIS WAY: Keys pitching finished with 10 walks on Friday, one short of the club’s season-high. It was the most number of walks by Frederick arms since April 22 at Lynchburg when the staff walked 11. In 2015, Frederick arms have walked nine or more in a game on seven occasions. That includes three games of double-digit walks. Through 72 games this year, Keys pitching has walked 313, 59 more free rides than the next-closest team (Lynchburg has walked 254). In all three months, the pitching staff has at least a 4.2 BB/9IP ratio.

WELCOME NEWCOMERS!: On Thursday, a total of six different roster moves were made. Those changes brought about two newcomers: Connor Bierfeldt and Tanner Witt. Through his first three games, Bierfeldt is 2-for-10 with a home run, a double and four strikeouts. He joins the club from Low-A Delmarva, where he led the South Atlantic League in RBIs (56) in 62 games. Signed to a free agent contract, Witt joins Frederick from the Rockford Aviators of the Independent Frontier League. There he hit .355 in 29 games with a home run and 22 RBIs. He was the league’s “Rookie of the Year” in 2014. Making his first CL start at third on Saturday, Witt finished 2-for-3.

TODAY’S OPPOSING STARTER: Left-hander Eric Skoglund makes his 13th start of the season for the Blue Rocks on Sunday and his fourth against the Keys. Ranked the No. 14 prospect in the Kansas City Royals system according to Baseball America, Skoglund’s last first-half start came against Frederick. Only a one-inning outing (Wilmington clinched two days prior) Skoglund gave up one hit. Currently, Skoglund is fifth in the CL in ERA, one of four Blue Rocks pitchers who rank among the top 10. He is also second in WHIP (0.99), fifth in innings pitched (75.2). He is also tops among  starters in lowest BB/9IP ratio (0.95) and fewest baserunners/9IP (9.40). This year against Frederick, Skoglund is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA. The two toughest starts of his career have come against the Keys, as twice he has allowed five runs over six inning stints. In 10 of his other 11 starts Skoglund has given up three runs or less (that includes six quality starts). Last season, Skoglund went 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA over nine games (eight starts) at Rookie-Advanced Idaho Falls in 2014. In his first foray into pro baseball, the 22-year-old saw hitters bat .316 against him, with left-handers clubbing at .407. Coming off a college season, Skoglund never worked more than three innings. Selected by Kansas City in the third round of the 2014 draft out of UCF, the 6-7 lefty earned AAC “Pitcher of the Year” honors as a junior. In 15 starts he went 9-3 with a 2.54 ERA, while opponents hit only .217 against him. Skoglund’s junior campaign was a considerable turnaround from his sophomore season where he had a 5.08 ERA in 10 starts. Royals Director of Scouting, Lonnie Goldberg told MLB.com, “he [Skoglund] pitches off deception and fastball command.” A 16th round pick by the Pirates in 2011 out of Sarasota (FL) High School, Skoglund did not sign. He throws a 90-91 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Time to Turn the Page`

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The orange and black try and avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Salem Red Sox on Saturday, when the two sides meet up at 6:05 p.m from LewisGale Field. Last night Salem won 11-1, benefiting from three big innings and 10 walks by Frederick pitching.

This season, the Keys have been swept three times, that includes a pair of sweeps this month. The Red Sox have broomed an opponent twice this season, with the most recent instance coming on June 12-14 against Wilmington.

Keys right-hander David Hess gets the ball for Frederick tonight and will be opposed by Salem lefty Trey Ball, who tries for his seventh win on his 21st birthday.

Tonight’s broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. As a programming note, Keys Corner will resume next Saturday at 1:05 p.m.

We’ll have lineups later, but until then today’s game notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Saturday, June 27, 2015 · Game #73 · Road Game #38

Frederick Keys (32-40/0-2) vs Salem Red Sox (40-32/2-0)

RHP David Hess (2-4, 5.83) vs. LHP Trey Ball (6-5, 3.80)

HARD TO ESCAPE THE SPIRAL: The Salem Red Sox scored a combined 10 times in the middle three innings, while Frederick Keys pitching walked 10 in an 11-1 setback on Friday night at LewisGale Field. With the win, the Sox claim the three-game set, while the Keys have now lost four straight. After the game started off as a pitcher’s duel, Salem scored three times in the fourth. Following an error by Wynston Sawyer at first with one out, back-to-back singles loaded the bases. All three men eventually came home, with one scoring via a walk and the other two coming in on a single by Jordan Procyshen. Salem proceeded to bat around the next inning, sending 10 to bat and scoring four times. The big blow came on a two-run double by Wendell Rijo, while in the sixth the Red Sox added three more and sent 10 to bat. Frederick’s lone run came on an RBI single in the fifth by Sawyer. Ty Buttrey pitched six innings of one-run baseball for Salem to notch his sixth win in nine starts.

TAKING A TURN SOUTH: Friday’s 11-1 defeat was the Keys worst loss since May 7, when the Keys lost to Winston-Salem 14-2 in the back-end of a quasi-doubleheader. This season, the Keys have lost four games by 10 runs or more, with the most lopsided defeat coming on opening day, when the Dash earned a 13-0 shutout victory. On Saturday, Frederick tries to avoid being swept for the fourth time (two have come in June).

UNCHARTERED TERRITORY: The orange and black have lost eight of their last nine, with six of those setbacks coming by three runs or more. That has dropped the Keys to a season-worst eight games below .500 (32-40). On Saturday, Frederick tries to avoid its longest losing streak of the season (five games) something which occurred from June 4-9. Ready for the calendar to flip, the Keys are just 7-15 in June.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last four weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 24 games, an opponent has batted around 10 times (with the latest instance coming in the fifth inning Friday). Meanwhile during that time, Keys opponents have posted 12 innings of four runs or more. That includes four six-run innings, three five-run innings and five four-run innings.

WALK THIS WAY: Keys pitching finished with 10 walks on Friday, one short of the club’s season-high. It was the most number of walks by Frederick arms since April 22 at Lynchburg when the staff walked 11. In 2015, Frederick arms have walked nine or more in a game on seven occasions. That includes three games of double-digit walks. Through 72 games this year, Keys pitching has walked 309, 55 more free rides than the next-closest team (Lynchburg has walked 254). In all three months, the pitching staff has at least a 4.2 BB/9IP ratio.

WHERE HAVE THE BATS GONE?: Frederick scored only six runs during its four-game set with Wilmington, while the Keys have been limited to three runs or less in each of their last four games (all losses) and seven of their last nine contests. This season, the Keys have been a radically different team when reaching the four-run barrier. When tallying four or more runs, the Keys are 28-9, as opposed to going 4-31 when posting three or fewer runs. That trend is even more pronounced on the road, with the club going 13-5 when plating four or more and 0-19 when scoring three or less.

WELCOME NEWCOMERS!: On Thursday, a total of six different roster moves were made. Those changes brought about two newcomers: Connor Bierfeldt and Tanner Witt. Through his first two games, Bierfeldt is 1-for-7 with a double and four strikeouts. He joins the club from Low-A Delmarva, where he led the South Atlantic League in RBIs (56) in 62 games. Signed to a free agent contract, Witt joins Frederick from the Rockford Aviators of the Independent Frontier League. There he hit .355 in 29 games with a home run and 22 RBIs. He was the league’s “Rookie of the Year” in 2014. On Friday, Witt played the final two innings and struck out in his lone at-bat. In corresponding moves, CL All-Star Tucker Nathans was promoted to Double-A Bowie, and came up with a game-winning single in his Baysox debut on Thursday. Additionally, Logan Uxa was transferred to Delmarva.

AFTER 70 GAMES: After an outstanding start where the club ended April five games over .500 (13-8), the Keys went just 19-30 the rest of the way, to finish last in the CL North first-half standings. Swept in Sunday’s quasi-twinbill, Frederick dropped into the cellar for the first time all season, while the club lost six of its final seven first-half games.

POINTS OF IMPROVEMENT/PRIDE: Pitching proved to be the club’s biggest problem prior to the All-Star break. Over 70 games, Frederick pitching placed last in ERA (4.80), while finishing with league-highs in hits allowed (645), runs allowed (369), earned runs allowed (323), home runs (48), hit by pitches (42), walks (295) and wild pitches (68). Offensively, the orange and black ended second in hitting (.261) and placed among the top three in home runs (34, 3rd), RBIs (263, 3rd), stolen bases (74, 3rd) and runs scored (296, t-3rd).

BITTEN BY THE BIG FLY: Over the recent seven-game homestand, Keys pitching surrendered 12 home runs. That included four in Sunday’s quasi-doubleheader. In six of the seven games, Frederick arms allowed at least one deep fly, while in five of the seven contests the opposition homered twice or more. In total, the pitching staff has allowed 48 home runs, 12 more than the next-closest team.

AGAINST SALEM: The Red Sox have a 5-3 edge in the season series. Salem holds a 3-2 advantage in games at LewisGale Field, while the Red Sox took 2 of 3 at Nymeo Field back in late-May. Frederick is hitting .248 as a team off Salem pitching, while the orange and black have a 4.83 staff ERA. Salem pitching has a 3.68 ERA against the Keys, and the Red Sox offense is hitting .304 against Keys arms. Individually, Anthony Caronia (.389/7-18) and Josh Hart (.333/7-21) lead the way for Frederick, while Kevin Heller (.400/8-20) and Mario Martinez (.357/5-14) pace Salem offensively.

CONGRATS!: On Wednesday, former Keys pitcher, Mychal Givens made his MLB debut with the Orioles, tossing a clean eighth inning against the Red Sox. On Thursday, he was optioned back to Bowie to make roster space for Miguel Gonzalez. He became the 139th former Key to reach the big leagues and the sixth former Key to get there this year (Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Oliver Drake, Eduardo Rodriguez and Scott Copeland are the others). Zach Davies also received good news on Thursday, learning that he had been selected for the Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game. With Triple-A Norfolk this year he is 3-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 14 games. Davies pitched for Frederick in 2013.

TODAY’S OPPOSING STARTER: Left-hander Trey Ball makes his 14th start of the season and his third against the Keys. His most recent outing came last Friday at Winston-Salem. Picking up his sixth win, Ball tossed six innings of three-run baseball and scattered six hits. He walked two and struck out two. A winner in three of his last four starts, Ball has allowed three runs or less in each outing and has trimmed his ERA from 4.98 to 3.80. In June his ERA is 1.25 (21.2 IP/3ER). The lefty’s last tough outing came on May 29 in Frederick when he surrendered five runs (four earned) on nine hits in 5.1 stanzas. Against the Keys he is 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA (10.1 IP/8ER).  Rated the No. 15 prospect in the Red Sox system according to Baseball America, the Indiana native is tied for second in the CL in wins, but is second in homers allowed (eight) and fifth in walks (30). Ball spent all of 2014 with Low-A Greenville, going 5-10 with a 4.68 ERA over 100 innings (22 starts). He finished tied for fifth in losses. Following a rough first-half of the season where he went 1-6 with a 7.07 ERA, the lefty turned things around after the all-star break, going 4-4 with a 3.36 ERA in 13 starts. A 2013 first round selection (seventh overall) out of New Castle Chrysler (IN) High School (Boston’s highest draft pick since 1993), Ball was named the Gatorade Indiana Baseball Player of the Year as a senior, going 5-0 with a 0.76 ERA and was named the No. 1 draft eligible prospect according to Baseball America. He hails from the same hometown as former Indiana basketball great and current UCLA men’s basketball coach Steve Alford. He throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

Keys Try for Their First Second-Half Win Friday

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys try to snap a three-game slide and earn their first win of the second-half on Friday night in Salem. Last night the Red Sox scored five runs in the first two innings en route to a 6-3 win. Frederick hopes to even the series up though with Chris Lee on the hill. Lee is coming off his first Advanced-A quality start last Friday against Wilmington. He will be opposed by Ty Buttrey, who has been among Salem’s best starters since his promotion from Low-A.

If you’re in the Roanoke Valley, come on out and see the Keys! I know Friday entertainment options are plentiful out this way, but if you’re around pay a trip to LewisGale Field. If you’re not? Well that’s what I’m here for. We’ll have the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com starting at 6:50. Join us, promise it will be fun.

Today’s lineup and notes are below. Talk soon!

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. CF Hart

2. LF Ruettiger

3. 2B Kemp

4. RF Webb

5. C Sisco

6. SS Marin

7. DH Bierfeldt

8. 1B Sawyer

9. 3B Caronia

LHP Lee

Friday, June 26, 2015 · Game #72 · Road Game #37

Frederick Keys (32-39/0-1) vs Salem Red Sox (39-32/1-0)

LHP Chris Lee (2-2, 4.91) vs. RHP Ty Buttrey (5-1, 2.68)

SALEM STARTS QUICK, KEYS DROP SECOND-HALF OPENER: The Salem Red Sox benefited from two early Frederick Keys errors to score five times in the first two innings, as the orange and black suffered a 6-3 setback on Thursday night at LewisGale Field. It was the Keys third straight loss. Frederick grabbed a quick 1-0 lead after a leadoff triple by Josh Hart and an RBI groundout by Johnny Ruettiger, but the Red Sox countered with a pair in the home-first. Roanoke native, Mikey O’Brien loaded the bases to start things off and nearly escaped, but a two-run single by Yoilan Cerse made it 2-1 Salem. In the second, the Red Sox sent eight to bat, adding three more. After the first two men reached, Jose Vinicio laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw was off line from Anthony Caronia at third allowing Jordan Betts to score. Later in the frame, Tzu-Wei Lin (RBI bounce out) and Mario Martinez (double) added RBIs to make it 5-1. Red Sox starter Aaron Wilkerson turned in his fourth quality start with the Red Sox throwing six innings of three-run baseball, while the duo of Chandler Shepherd and Austin Maddox combined of three innings of hitless relief.

TRYING TO BUST OUT: With the loss in the second-half opener, the Keys are now seven games below .500 for the first time all season. The orange and black have lost seven of their last eight, with five of those setbacks coming by three runs or more. Frederick’s longest losing streak of the season is five games, something which occurred from June 4-9. The club has also endured two four-game losing streaks, with the most recent one taking place from June 15-18. Ready for the calendar to flip, the Keys are just 7-14 in June.

WHERE HAVE THE BATS GONE?: Frederick scored only six runs during its four-game set with Wilmington, while the Keys have been shutout in two of their last five games (that included a 15.2 inning scoreless stretch from June 18-19). In the recent seven-game homestand, the orange and black scored only 18 total runs (2.57). This season, the Keys have been a radically different team when reaching the four-run barrier. When tallying four or more runs, the Keys are 28-9, as opposed to going 4-30 when posting three or fewer runs. That trend is even more pronounced on the road, with the club going 13-5 when plating four or more and 0-18 when scoring three or less. In the last three games, the Keys have scored three runs or less, while in six of their last eight contests, the Keys have registered fewer than four runs.

DEFENSIVE DIFFICULTIES: The Keys made a pair of errors on Thursday, marking the 19th time this season Frederick has committed two or more errors in a game. As result of those mistakes, only two of the six runs were earned against Keys pitching. When making two or more errors in a game this year, Frederick is 6-13. For the season, the club has made 77 errors second-most in the CL.

WELCOME NEWCOMERS!: On Thursday, a total of six different roster moves were made. Those changes brought about two newcomers: Connor Bierfeldt and Tanner Witt. Making his Carolina League debut in rightfield, Bierfeldt went 1-for-4 with a double and three strikeouts. He joins the club from Low-A Delmarva, where he led the South Atlantic League in RBIs (56) in 62 games. Signed to a free agent contract, Witt joins Frederick from the Rockford Aviators of the Independent Frontier League. There he hit .355 in 29 games with a home run and 22 RBIs. He was the league’s “Rookie of the Year” in 2014. In corresponding moves, CL All-Star Tucker Nathans was promoted to Double-A Bowie, and came up with a game-winning single in his Baysox debut on Thursday. Additionally, Logan Uxa was transferred to Delmarva.

AFTER 70 GAMES: After an outstanding start where the club ended April five games over .500 (13-8), the Keys went just 19-30 the rest of the way, to finish last in the CL North first-half standings. Swept in Sunday’s quasi-twinbill, Frederick dropped into the cellar for the first time all season, while the club lost six of its final seven first-half games.

POINTS OF IMPROVEMENT/PRIDE: Pitching proved to be the club’s biggest problem prior to the All-Star break. Over 70 games, Frederick pitching placed last in ERA (4.80), while finishing with league-highs in hits allowed (645), runs allowed (369), earned runs allowed (323), home runs (48), hit by pitches (42), walks (295) and wild pitches (68). Offensively, the orange and black ended second in hitting (.261) and placed among the top three in home runs (34, 3rd), RBIs (263, 3rd), stolen bases (74, 3rd) and runs scored (296, t-3rd).

BITTEN BY THE BIG FLY: Over the recent seven-game homestand, Keys pitching surrendered 12 home runs. That included four in Sunday’s quasi-doubleheader. In six of the seven games, Frederick arms allowed at least one deep fly, while in five of the seven contests the opposition homered twice or more. In total, the pitching staff has allowed 48 home runs, 12 more than the next-closest team.

WRAPPING UP THE ALL-STAR GAME: Tucker Nathans, Jeff Kemp and Mitch Horacek all participated in the Carolina League-California League All-Star game on Tuesday night in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca. In the contest, Nathans went 1-for-3, Kemp finished 0-for-2 and Horacek allowed three runs in one inning of relief. The California League All-Stars won the game 9-2. Rancho Cucamonga’s Brandon Trinkwon won game MVP honors going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

AGAINST SALEM: The Red Sox have a 4-3 edge in the season series. Salem and Frederick are even at 2-2 in games at LewisGale Field, while Salem took 2 of 3 at Nymeo Field back in late-May. Frederick is hitting .256 as a team off Salem pitching, while the orange and black have a 4.28 staff ERA. Salem pitching has a 4.06 ERA against the Keys, but the Red Sox offense is hitting .302 against Keys arms. Individually, Anthony Caronia (.400/6-15), Jeff Kemp (.368/7-19) and Josh Hart (.353/6-17) lead the way, while Kevin Heller (.438/7-16), Mario Martinez (.385/5-13) and Jordan Betts (.304/7-23) pace Salem offensively.

CONGRATS!: On Wednesday, former Keys pitcher, Mychal Givens made his MLB debut with the Orioles, tossing a clean eighth inning against the Red Sox. On Thursday, he was optioned back to Bowie to make roster space for Miguel Gonzalez. He became the 139th former Key to reach the big leagues and the sixth former Key to get there this year (Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Oliver Drake, Eduardo Rodriguez and Scott Copeland are the others). Zach Davies also received good news on Thursday, learning that he had been selected for the Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game. With Triple-A Norfolk this year he is 3-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 14 games. Davies pitched for Frederick in 2013.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last three and a half weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 23 games, an opponent has batted around nine times. Meanwhile during that time, Keys opponents have posted 11 innings of four runs or more. That includes four six-run innings, three five-run innings and four four-run stanzas.

TODAY’S OPPOSING STARTER: Right-hander Ty Buttrey makes his ninth start with the Red Sox and his second against the Keys. His most recent outing came at Winston-Salem last Thursday. Tying his career-high with seven innings pitched, Buttrey allowed one run on four hits, walked two and struck out one. It was his first since May 28, when he tossed six innings of two-run baseball against the Keys and faced the minimum through five innings. Four of Buttrey’s eight starts have been quality outings. He is limiting right-handers to a .195 batting average against, while opponents are batting .255 against him. In his first month in the CL (May) he posted a 2.40 ERA over five games (he was 4-0) while he is 1-1 with a 3.29 mark in June. Promoted to Salem on May 1 from Low-A Greenville, the North Carolina native is a combined 6-1 with a 2.60 ERA over 12 starts between the two stops this year. In four starts with Greenville, he went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA. Buttrey split the 2014 campaign between Greenville, Short-Season Lowell and the GCL Red Sox. He went a combined 0-5 with a 5.78 ERA and struggled with command walking 32 in 62.1 innings (46 BB/9IP ratio). After making just four starts with the Drive to open the year, Buttrey landed on the DL from mid-May to early-July after breaking his hand. When he returned to Greenville in late-July he went 0-2 with a 5.19 ERA in his last seven starts. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of the 2012 draft out of Providence (NC) Senior High School, the righty averaged 13 SO/9IP as a senior and signed for a reported $1.3 million more than $1 million higher than the slot recommendation that year. According to Yahoo Sports, Buttrey was not allowed to walk at his high school graduation because he missed a walk-through (where cell phones were banned) which coincided with the MLB draft. Buttrey throws a fastball, a spike curveball and a changeup

Let’s Start the Second Half!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Well the All-Star Break is over and it’s time for second-half baseball! The fun kicks off tonight from the Roanoke Valley as the Keys take on the Salem Red Sox at 7:05 p.m. It should be an especially cool night for Keys starter Mikey O’Brien who grew up about 15 minutes away from Salem Memorial Ballpark. As always you can hear the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Pregame show starts at 6:50. Today’s game notes are below. Talk tonight!

Geoff

Thursday, June 25, 2015 · Game #71 · Road Game #36

Frederick Keys (32-38/0-0) vs Salem Red Sox (38-32/0-0)

RHP Mikey O’Brien (0-1, 3.00) vs. RHP Aaron Wilkerson (3-0, 1.55)

TOUGH FINISH: The Wilmington Blue Rocks earned a sweep of Sunday’s quasi-doubleheader at Nymeo Field to claim a four-game set over the Frederick Keys. With the pair of losses, the Keys finished the first-half with a 32-38 record. Suspended due to rain on Saturday, Wilmington earned a 6-0 win in the completed game, before topping the orange and black 6-1 in Sunday’s regularly scheduled contest. Ahead 1-0 entering the fifth inning on Sunday, the Blue Crew used one big swing and outstanding pitching to put the game away. Dexter Kjerstad reached on an error by Adrian Marin to open the frame, while Nik Nowottnick walked Logan Moon and plunked Dominique Taylor to load the bases. Two batters later, Jack Lopez socked a grand slam to make it 5-0. That would be all the support Matthew Strahm needed. Equaling his career-high of four innings pitched, the Wilmington southpaw allowed just one hit and struck out six, before Matt Alvarez closed things out in the ninth. Robert Pehl added a solo homer to complete the Wilmington scoring. In game two, both sides exchanged runs in the first, before the visitors broke the deadlock for good in the fourth, Mauricio Ramos hit a solo homer to open the inning, while three straight singles made it 3-1 Blue Rocks through four. Wilmington put things away in the seventh, scoring thrice more and sending eight to bat.

AFTER 70 GAMES: After an outstanding start where the club ended April five games over .500 (13-8), the Keys went just 19-30 the rest of the way, to finish last in the CL North first-half standings. Swept in Sunday’s quasi-twinbill, Frederick dropped into the cellar for the first time all season, while the club lost six of its final seven first-half games. The Keys enter Thursday’s action six games below .500 for the first time all season.

POINTS OF IMPROVEMENT/PRIDE: Pitching proved to be the club’s biggest problem prior to the All-Star break. Over 70 games, Frederick pitching placed last in ERA (4.80), while finishing with league-highs in hits allowed (645), runs allowed (369), earned runs allowed (323), home runs (48), hit by pitches (42), walks (295) and wild pitches (68). Offensively, the orange and black ended second in hitting (.261) and placed among the top three in home runs (34, 3rd), RBIs (263, 3rd), stolen bases (74, 3rd) and runs scored (296, t-3rd).

BITTEN BY THE BIG FLY: Over the recent seven-game homestand, Keys pitching surrendered 12 home runs. That included four in Sunday’s quasi-doubleheader. In six of the seven games, Frederick arms allowed at least one deep fly, while in five of the seven contests the opposition homered twice or more. In total, the pitching staff has allowed 48 home runs, 12 more than the next-closest team.

WHERE HAVE THE BATS GONE?: Frederick scored only six runs during its four-game set with Wilmington, while the Keys have been shutout in two of their last four games (that included a 15.2 inning scoreless stretch from June 18-19). For the seven-game homestand, the orange and black scored only 18 total runs (2.57). This season, the Keys have been a radically different team when reaching the four-run barrier. When tallying four or more runs, the Keys are 28-9, as opposed to going 4-29 when posting three or fewer runs. That trend is even more pronounced on the road, with the club going 13-5 when plating four or more and 0-17 when scoring three or less.

WRAPPING UP THE ALL-STAR GAME: Tucker Nathans, Jeff Kemp and Mitch Horacek all participated in the Carolina League-California League All-Star game on Tuesday night in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca. In the contest, Nathans went 1-for-3, Kemp finished 0-for-2 and Horacek allowed three runs in one inning of relief. The California League All-Stars won the game 9-2. Rancho Cucamonga’s Brandon Trinkwon won game MVP honors going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

MOVING ON UP: After playing in Tuesday’s Carolina League-California League All-Star game, Tucker Nathans was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The former Fairfield star becomes the eighth Frederick player to receive a promotion this year, joining: Drew Dosch, Trey Mancini, Austin Wynns, Dennis Torres, Jhonathan Ramos, Anthony Caronia and Jarett Miller. At the time of his call-up, Nathans was hitting .290 with seven homers, 30 RBIs, a triple and 11 doubles in 61 games. He currently sits eighth in the CL in batting average and fourth in on-base percentage (.374). In a corresponding move, Tanner Witt has joined the Keys from the Rockford Aviators of the Frontier League. There he hit .355 in 29 games with a home run and 22 RBIs.

SISCO SIZZLING: Chance Sisco finished 0-for-7 with two strikeouts in Sunday’s quasi-doubleheader, but has still enjoyed an excellent June. In 18 games, the 20-year-old is batting .339 (21-for-62) with a home run, 11 RBIs, a triple and three doubles. Since returning from the disabled list in late-May (oblique injury) Sisco is hitting .306 (22-for-72) in 21 games. That includes seven multi-hit efforts.

AGAINST SALEM: The season set between the Keys and Red Sox is even at 3-3. The Keys claimed two of three in the lone series at LewisGale Field while it was the same story for the Sox at Nymeo Field. Frederick is hitting .264 as a team off Salem pitching, while the orange and black has a 4.58 staff ERA. Salem pitching has a 4.25 ERA against the Keys, but the Red Sox offense is hitting .298 against Keys arms. Individually, Anthony Caronia (.462/6-13), Jeff Kemp (.400/6-15) Josh Hart (.308/4-13) and Brenden Webb (.294/5-17) lead the way, while Jake Romanski (.350/7-20) and Jordan Betts (.350/7-20) pace the Sox at the plate.

FORMER KEY GIVENS MAKES MLB DEBUT: On Wednesday, former Keys pitcher, Mychal Givens made his MLB debut with the Orioles, tossing a clean eighth inning against the Red Sox. Earlier today, he was optioned back to Double-A Bowie to make roster space for Miguel Gonzalez. Promoted from Frederick to Double-A Bowie nearly a year ago, the Floridian becomes the 139th former Key to reach the big leagues. Including Givens, six Keys have made their MLB debuts this year. That includes: Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Oliver Drake, Eduardo Rodriguez and Scott Copeland.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last three and a half weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 22 games, an opponent has batted around nine times. Meanwhile during that time, Keys opponents have posted 11 innings of four runs or more. That includes four six-run innings, three five-run innings and four four-run stanzas.

TODAY’S OPPOSING STARTER: Right-hander Aaron Wilkerson makes his 10th appearance with the Red Sox and his seventh start on Thursday. His most recent outing came at Wilmington last Wednesday, where the right-hander tossed six shutout innings of two-hit baseball to pick up his third win of the season. Splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen, Wilkerson has a 3-0 record and a 0,82 ERA (33 IP/3ER) as a starter compared to a 4.70 ERA (7.2 IP/4ER) as a reliever. Half of Wilkerson’s starts have been quality outings. Outstanding in May, the 26-year-old went 2-0 with a 0.71 ERA (25.1 IP/2ER) in May and was named SoxProspect.com’s Pitcher of the Month. Thursday marks the first time he has pitched against the Keys.  Wilkerson joined the Red Sox from Low-A Greenville on May 4  after going 0-0 with a 4.76 ERA in five games (one start). Entering just his second season of affiliated baseball, Wilkerson had his contract purchased by Boston from Grand Praire of the independent American Association last July 18. Assigned to Short-Season Lowell, he went 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA in eight games and paced the Spinners in wins, ERA, strikeouts and WHIP. In 2013, he pitched for three different independent league teams, going a combined 10-2 with a 2.96 ERA between Grand Prairie, Florence (Frontier League) and Fort Worth (United League). One member of the Fort Worth team that year was then-48-year-old Jose Canseco who hit .238 in six games. Wilkerson played his college baseball at Cumberland (TN) University (two seasons) and was twice an NAIA All-American. There, he won his final 26 decisions, setting an NAIA record, while he also set the record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched in a season (54). Originally from Hewitt, TX, Wilkerson’s hometown was referenced in the movie “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.”

Keys close out First Half with Doubleheader

Despite last night’s game being suspended, the Keys will play two games today as they will resume the June 20 contest and play a second seven-inning game thirty minutes after the first one ends. In game two, lefty Luis Gonzalez (4-6, 8.23) will go for Frederick as Wilmington has yet to announce their starter. This doubleheader will also mark the end of the first half as they will enter their All-Star break. The orange and black return to action on June 25 when they travel to Salem and come back to Nymeo Field June 28.

 

6/21 Game Notes

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: The Frederick Keys and the Wilmington Blue Rocks were suspended after four innings on Saturday night due to torrential rain. That game will be completed in its entirety starting at 1 p.m while a seven-inning game will follow. At the time the game was stopped, the Blue Rocks had a 1-0 lead. Wilmington scored its lone run in the fourth on a double by Frank Schwindel and two wild pitches by David Hess. Sunday will mark the Keys second quasi-doubleheader of the season. The other one took place on May 7 against Winston-Salem, with Frederick taking the completed game and the Dash claiming the regularly scheduled affair.

CHEN GETS WORK IN: Orioles left-hander Wei-Yen Chen started the game Saturday, and allowed just one hit (double) over three scoreless innings. He struck out two and did not walk a batter, throwing 35 pitches and 25 for strikes. It was his third career appearance with an Orioles affiliate, after he made two rehab starts with the Double-A Bowie Baysox in 2013. One of the top pitchers in the American League this season, Chen is 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts. His last MLB outing came on Monday night against the Phillies. Earning the win, the Taiwan native tossed eight shutout innings of four-hit baseball and struck out nine.

FORMER KEY GIVENS HAS CONTRACT SELECTED: On Saturday, former Keys pitcher, Mychal Givens had his contract selected by the Orioles from Double-A Bowie. When the right-hander makes his Major League debut, he will become the 139th former Key to reach the big leagues. This season, five Keys have made their MLB debuts. That list includes: Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Oliver Drake, Eduardo Rodriguez and Scott Copeland. In 23 games for the Baysox, Givens was 3-1 with a 1.60 ERA. He was fourth in the Eastern League with 12 saves at the time of his call-up and led all EL relievers in SO/9IP ratio (12.36).

SCORELESS STRING SNAPPED: Anthony Caronia’s RBI single in the seventh snapped a string of 15.2 scoreless innings. It was the club’s second-longest scoreless string of the season. The club’s longest stretch without a run came from April 21-23 when the orange and black went 17 innings without a marker. On Thursday, Frederick was shutout for the fourth time, as Alec Mills and Luis Rico combined on a three-hit shutout.

POWER SURGE: Josh Hart hit just his second professional home run on Friday, while it was his first Carolina League longball. His first longball in 308 days, Hart’s only other professional home run came on August 15, 2014 against Hickory when he was playing for Low-A Delmarva. As a team, Frederick has hit 34 deep flies this season, third-most in the Carolina League.

SLIDE SNAPPED: On Friday, the Keys avoided tying their longest losing streak of the season (four games). Previously the orange and black had lost five in-a-row from June 4-9. Meanwhile, the Keys snapped a six-game losing streak to the Blue Rocks dating back to April 26. Wilmington still holds a 9-5 advantage in the season-series.

TURNING THE CORNER: After giving up 27 runs, 34 hits and seven home runs in the recent series against Carolina (a Mudcats three-game sweep) Keys pitching has performed well in two games against Wilmington. During that time, Keys arms have given up just three runs in 18 frames (1.50 ERA) on 13 hits. That includes seven innings of shutout relief by the bullpen. Despite receiving a no-decision Friday, Chris Lee registered his first Advanced-A quality start and just the seventh by the Keys staff this year.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last three weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 20 games, an opponent has batted around nine times. During those bat-arounds, an opponent has posted four six-run innings, three five-run innings and two four-run innings. For the season, the Keys staff ERA is 4.78, 34 points higher than the next-closest team, while in the month of June, the team has a 4.77 staff ERA.

SISCO KEEPS SWINGING: Chance Sisco turned in another multi-hit game on Friday, his seventh in 27 games with the Keys this year. On Friday he went 2-for-4, while it bumped his batting average up to .302 the highest it has been this season. Since returning from the disabled list on May 28, Sisco is batting .338 (22-for-65) with one home run, 11 RBIs, one triple, four doubles and 10 runs scored. The 20-year-old is batting a team-best .382 in August.

MOVING ON UP:  Just before Tuesday’s game, Drew Dosch was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. It marked the first time that the Ohio native had received a Double-A promotion, while he became the seventh member of the team to receive a call-up. Recently named a Carolina League All-Star, Dosch hit .275 over 55 games with the Keys to go with two home runs, 34 RBIs, three triples and eight doubles. At the time of the promotion Dosch was tied for fifth in the league in RBIs. Besides receiving an all-star nod, the third baseman was also named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for April. Taking Dosch’s place is the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for May, Donnie Hart. In 19 games with Delmarva, the Texan went 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA with 10 saves, tied for second-most in the league.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Thursday, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s group will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

Keys look to take series lead against Blue Rocks

Last night the Keys tied the series at one game apiece after using a four-run rally in the seventh inning to win the game 5-1. Josh Hart hit a go-ahead three-run home run, which was only the second one of his professional career. Looking to take the series lead, Frederick will send out southpaw Wei-Yin Chen (0-0, – -) who is making his first appearance in the orange and black uniform. He will be countered by fellow lefty Eric Skoglund (6-2, 2.77) who is taking on the Keys for the third time this season. Tonight is also Monkey Cowboy Rodeo at Nymeo Field with the game starting at 6:00 PM

Today’s Lineup

Josh Hart CF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Chance Sisco DH

Brenden Webb RF

Austin Wynns C

Adrian Marin SS

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Anthony Caronia 3B

Gregory Lorenzo LF

6/20 Game Notes

HART POWERS KEYS PAST ROCKS: Held off the board for 15.2 innings, the Frederick Keys busted out, scoring four times in the bottom of the seventh en route to a 5-1 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Friday night at Nymeo Field. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak. Down 1-0 heading into the seventh, the Keys scored four times with two outs. Adrian Marin triggered the inning with a double and advanced to third on a groundout by Wynston Sawyer. Anthony Caronia then followed with a single up the middle to tie the game. That ended Yender Caramo’s night, as the Blue Rocks turned to right-hander Ashton Goudeau. He would allow a single to Gregory Lorenzo, to move Caronia to third, before Hart clubbed Goudeau’s 1-0 pitch over the billboards in right. Dylan Rheault and Cody Wheeler combined on three innings of shutout relief to close things out.

SCORELESS STRING SNAPPED: Anthony Caronia’s RBI single in the seventh snapped a string of 15.2 scoreless innings. It was the club’s second-longest scoreless string of the season. The club’s longest stretch without a run came from April 21-23 when the orange and black went 17 innings without a marker. On Thursday, Frederick was shutout for the fourth time, as Alec Mills and Luis Rico combined on a three-hit shutout.

POWER SURGE: Josh Hart hit just his second professional home run on Friday, while it was his first Carolina League longball. His first longball in 308 days, Hart’s only other professional home run came on August 15, 2014 against Hickory when he was playing for Low-A Delmarva. As a team, Frederick has hit 34 deep flies this season, third-most in the Carolina League.

SLIDE SNAPPED: On Friday, the Keys avoided tying their longest losing streak of the season (four games). Previously the orange and black had lost five in-a-row from June 4-9. Meanwhile, the Keys snapped a six-game losing streak to the Blue Rocks dating back to April 26. Wilmington still holds a 9-5 advantage in the season-series.

TURNING THE CORNER: After giving up 27 runs, 34 hits and seven home runs in the recent series against Carolina (a Mudcats three-game sweep) Keys pitching has performed well in two games against Wilmington. During that time, Keys arms have given up just three runs in 18 frames (1.50 ERA) on 13 hits. That includes seven innings of shutout relief by the bullpen. Despite receiving a no-decision Friday, Chris Lee registered his first Advanced-A quality start and just the seventh by the Keys staff this year.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last three weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 20 games, an opponent has batted around nine times. During those bat-arounds, an opponent has posted four six-run innings, three five-run innings and two four-run innings. For the season, the Keys staff ERA is 4.78, 34 points higher than the next-closest team, while in the month of June, the team has a 4.77 staff ERA.

CHEN TO MAKE SATURDAY START: Orioles left-hander Wei-Yen Chen was optioned to Frederick on Tuesday and is scheduled to start for the Keys on Saturday night against Wilmington. One of the top pitchers in the American League this season, Chen is 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts. His most recent outing came on Monday night against the Phillies. Earning the win, the Taiwan native tossed eight shutout innings of four-hit baseball and struck out nine.

SISCO KEEPS SWINGING: Chance Sisco turned in another multi-hit game on Friday, his seventh in 27 games with the Keys this year. On Friday he went 2-for-4, while it bumped his batting average up to .302 the highest it has been this season. Since returning from the disabled list on May 28, Sisco is batting .338 (22-for-65) with one home run, 11 RBIs, one triple, four doubles and 10 runs scored. The 20-year-old is batting a team-best .382 in August.

MOVING ON UP:  Just before Tuesday’s game, Drew Dosch was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. It marked the first time that the Ohio native had received a Double-A promotion, while he became the seventh member of the team to receive a call-up. Recently named a Carolina League All-Star, Dosch hit .275 over 55 games with the Keys to go with two home runs, 34 RBIs, three triples and eight doubles. At the time of the promotion Dosch was tied for fifth in the league in RBIs. Besides receiving an all-star nod, the third baseman was also named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for April. Taking Dosch’s place is the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for May, Donnie Hart. In 19 games with Delmarva, the Texan went 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA with 10 saves, tied for second-most in the league.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Thursday, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s group will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Left-hander Eric Skoglund makes his 13th start of the season and his fourth against the Keys. Ranked the No. 14 prospect in the Kansas City Royals system according to Baseball America, Skoglund’s most recent outing came on Monday against Salem. Earning the win, he tossed seven innings of four-hit baseball and gave up one unearned run. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter. A Carolina League All-Star selection, Skoglund is tied for sixth in ERA (2.77), tied for second in wins (six)  third in WHIP (0.99) tied for fourth in innings pitched (75.2) and fifth in batting average against (.236). This year against Frederick, Skoglund is 1-1 with a 5.71 ERA, while he has surrendered five runs (career-high) twice against the Keys. Last season, Skoglund went 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA over nine games (eight starts) at Rookie-Advanced Idaho Falls in 2014. In his first foray into pro baseball, the 22-year-old saw hitters bat .316 against him, with left-handers clubbing at .407. Coming off a college season, Skoglund never worked more than three innings. Selected by Kansas City in the third round of the 2014 draft out of UCF, the 6-7 lefty earned AAC “Pitcher of the Year” honors as a junior. In 15 starts he went 9-3 with a 2.54 ERA, while opponents hit only .217 against him. Skoglund’s junior campaign was a considerable turnaround from his sophomore season where he had a 5.08 ERA in 10 starts. Royals Director of Scouting, Lonnie Goldberg told MLB.com, “he [Skoglund] pitches off deception and fastball command.” A 16th round pick by the Pirates in 2011 out of Sarasota (FL) High School, Skoglund did not sign. He throws a 90-91 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Pat Sajak on hand as Keys look to play spoiler

The Keys are now officially eliminated from a postseason berth in the first half after losing last night’s contest 2-0 to the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The orange and black pitching looked phenomenal, but the only mistake that was made, by starter Mikey O’Brien, cost them the game as a two-run home run off the bat of Cody Stubbs in the first inning proved to be the difference in the game. Wynston Sawyer came within a few feet of hitting a game-tying two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but was ultimately caught. Tonight the Keys have a chance to play spoilers as they will trot out southpaw Chris Lee (2-2, 5.79) who will be making his first appearance against Wilmington this season. Lee will be countered by Blue Rocks righty Yender Caramo (3-5, 3.49) whom is making his third appearance against Frederick. Tonight is also Game Show Night with Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak coming to the game.

 

Todays lineup

Josh Hart CF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Chance Sisco C

Tucker Nathans LF

Austin Wynns

Adrian Marin SS

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Anthony Caronia 3B

Gregory Lorenzo RF

5/19 Game Notes

MILLS GEM ELIMINATES KEYS FROM PLAYOFF RACE: Wynston Sawyer came up just short of a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth, while Alec Mills turned in 8.1 innings of shutout baseball to give the Wilmington Blue Rocks a 2-0 win over Frederick Keys on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. The loss knocks the Keys out of playoff contention and trims the Blue Crew’s magic number to one. Mills allowed only three hits over a career-high 8.1 innings, extending his scoreless inning streak to 16.1 frames. Mills got a quick lift from his offense after Frederick starter Mikey O’Brien retired the first two batters he faced. Mauricio Ramos kept the inning alive with an infield single, to send up Cody Stubbs. An at-bat that lasted 10 pitches, Wilmington’s cleanup man capped it off with a two-run homer to right-center. Frederick’s two best opportunities came in the fourth and fifth, as the orange and black advanced runners to third in both innings, but Mills stranded both men. In the ninth, Mills retired Jeff Kemp, prompting Blue Rocks manager Brian Buchanan to go to his bullpen. Luis Rico retired Chance Sisco for the second out, but walked Tucker Nathans to send up Sawyer. Swinging first pitch, Sawyer hit a ball well to the warning track in left, but it came up several feet short to end the game.

A TOUGH FINISH:  The Keys suffered their fourth straight loss on Thursday, eliminating the team from CL North playoff contention. Since ending April a season-best five games over .500 (13-8) the Keys have gone 18-28 since. Frederick’s 31-36 record marks the most number of games the Keys have been below sea-level this year. In spite of Alec Mills’ performance, Wilmington was not able to clinch the division on Thursday, as Lynchburg was rained out in Myrtle Beach. Given that the scheduled doubleheader has been set for Saturday rather than Friday, Wilmington can wrap up the first-half title with a win or a Hillcats loss on Friday.

BLANKED: Thursday marked the fourth time this season that Frederick had been shutout and the first time it had occurred since May 1 at Carolina. On the season, the Keys shutout record is 3-4, a mark that is fourth in the Carolina League. Meanwhile the four shutout defeats are tied for the second-fewest in the Carolina League. This season, the orange and black have been blanked at home on only two occasions with the other instance taking place on opening night (13-0 loss to Winston-Salem).

THE BATS GO QUIET: In the series opener the Keys were limited to three hits, the third-fewest number of hits the Keys have recorded in a game this year. Previously, Frederick had been two-hit on April 22 at Lynchburg and on April 9 against Winston-Salem at Nymeo Field. Most of Frederick’s frustrations came against Alec Mills who tossed 8.1 shutout innings, the longest start by an opponent against the Keys this year. Entering Thursday Mills had gone 0-1 against the Keys with a 6.52 ERA over two starts. Friday also ended a string of six games for the Keys with nine hits or more. Frederick finished 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The team is 2-for-19 with men at second and third over the last two days.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last three weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 19 games, an opponent has batted around nine times. During those bat-arounds, an opponent has posted four six-run innings, three five-run innings and two four-run innings. For the season, the Keys staff ERA is 4.88, 45 points higher than the next-closest team, while in the month of June, the team has a 5.01 staff ERA.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Johnny Ruettiger saw his six-game hitting streak come to a close on Thursday, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. It was tied for his second-longest stretch of the season (his season-high is seven games from May 5-11). During the streak, Ruettiger hit .480 (12-for-25) with three doubles, two RBIs and five runs scored. That included four multi-hit games, while Ruettiger has seen his average climb from .243 to .277. Coming off a terrific May at the plate where he hit .309 in 24 games, the former Arizona State Sun Devil is still batting .350 over 12 June contests.

CHEN TO MAKE SATURDAY START: Orioles left-hander Wei-Yen Chen was optioned to Frederick on Tuesday and is scheduled to start for the Keys on Saturday night against Wilmington. One of the top pitchers in the American League this season, Chen is 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts. His most recent outing came on Monday night against the Phillies. Earning the win, the Taiwan native tossed eight shutout innings of four-hit baseball and struck out nine.

MOVING ON UP:  Just before Tuesday’s game, Drew Dosch was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. It marked the first time that the Ohio native had received a Double-A promotion, while he became the seventh member of the team to receive a call-up. Recently named a Carolina League All-Star, Dosch hit .275 over 55 games with the Keys to go with two home runs, 34 RBIs, three triples and eight doubles. At the time of the promotion Dosch was tied for fifth in the league in RBIs. Besides receiving an all-star nod, the third baseman was also named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for April. Taking Dosch’s place is the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for May, Donnie Hart. In 19 games with Delmarva, the Texan went 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA with 10 saves, tied for second-most in the league.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Thursday, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s group will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Yender Caramo makes his 14th appearance of the season and his ninth start on Friday. He is currently 10th in the Carolina League in ERA (3.49) and is one of four Wilmington pitchers in the CL’s top 10 in that category. Loser of back-to-back starts (and three of his last four) Caramo last pitched on Sunday Salem. Tossing four innings, the righty allowed two runs on six hits. He walked one, struck out one and threw two wild pitches (he had only one through his first 12 games). Caramo has split the season between starting and relieving, working mostly in a piggyback role with Luis Rico. As a starter he is 2-4 with a 3.43 ERA and 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA as a relief pitcher. In two games against the Keys this year, Caramo is 0-0 with a 2.79 ERA (9.2 IP/4R/3ER/12H). In his fifth professional season and second with the Blue Rocks, Caramo went 3-4 with a 3.42 ERA in 2014 logging 52.2 innings. A pitcher who relies on outstanding command, Caramo has a career BB/9IP ratio of 1.0, while in 2014 he had the lowest BB/9IP ratio (1.01) of any CL reliever. Originally from San Felix, Bolivar, Venezuela, Caramo notes that Josh Beckett was a big influence on him. He throws a fastball, curveball and changeup.

Keys open up a four game series with Wilmington

The Keys did not fare well in their last series against the Carolina Mudcats as they were swept in the three-game set. Despite losing them all, the orange and black are still in the playoff hunt as their elimination number is only at one. The team they are chasing in the standings, Wilmington Blue Rocks, is conveniently coming to Nymeo Field for a four game series which could determine the playoff fate for each team as they have a four game advantage over the Keys in the standings. If the Blue Rocks win just one game in the series, then Frederick is eliminated. With the daunting task of staying alive for the postseason, the Keys will trot out Mikey O’Brien (0-0, 2.25) who is only making his second appearance for the team. Wilmington will counter with Alec Mills (4-3, 2.62) making his third outing against Frederick this season.

Today’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Chance Sisco C

Tucker Nathans DH

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Adrian Marin SS

Brenden Webb RF

Anthony Caronia 3B

Johnny Ruettiger LF

 

6/18 Game Notes

BIG INNING BLUES, THE SEQUEL: Another big inning spelled doom for the Frederick Keys, as the Carolina Mudcats scored five times in the eighth inning to earn a 9-3 win on Wednesday night at Nymeo Field. The win allowed the Muddies to complete the three-game sweep, while it knocked the Keys elimination number to one. Ahead 4-2 after seven innings, the Mudcats batted around, scoring five times off Jimmy Yacabonis. Connor Lien opened the inning with a single and advanced to third on a steal and a wild pitch. A free pass put two aboard for Reed Harper who successfully laid down a bunt to advance the runner, but Logan Uxa could not handle the bunt, enabling Lien to score. Four batters later, Jacob Schrader landed the big blow with the bases loaded, clubbing a three-run triple to right, before an RBI double by Carlos Franco completed the scoring. Both Frederick runs came in the fourth, one on a homer by Tucker Nathans and the other on an RBI double by Austin Wynns.

HANGING ON BY A THREAD:  The Keys have now lost three straight, and are four games below .500 (31-35) for the first time this season. More importantly though, the club’s elimination number is at one, meaning the orange and black must sweep the four-game series against the Blue Rocks or be eliminated from playoff contention. Frederick stays alive following a 7-0 Blue Rocks loss to the Salem Red, where Wilmington did not record a hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning. The Blue Crew have lost eight of their last 10, but can wrap of the CL North on Thursday night with a win and a Lynchburg loss at Myrtle Beach.

SWEPT AWAY: On Thursday, the Keys were swept for the third time this year, while it marked the first time the club had been broomed in a four-game set since July 27, 2014 when Lynchburg won three straight on Stadium Drive. Two of the sweeps have come at the hands of the Carolina Mudcats, who also won four straight in Zebulon from May 1-4. This season, the orange and black have swept one series, taking three straight against Lynchburg from April 13-15. Four game sweeps though, have been tough to come by in recent years. Frederick has not swept a four-game home series since May 5-8, 2011, against…Wilmington.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last three weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 18 games, an opponent has batted around nine times. During those bat-arounds, an opponent has posted four six-run innings, three five-run innings and two four-run innings. For the season, the Keys staff ERA is 4.88, 49 points higher than the next-closest team, while in the month of June, the team has a 5.22 staff ERA (the bullpen’s ERA is 6.04).

GO JOHNNY GO!: Johnny Ruettiger has hit safely in six straight games, and is batting .480 (12-for-25) during that stretch with three doubles, two RBIs and five runs scored. That includes four multi-hit games, while Ruettiger has seen his average climb from .243 to .277, the second-highest his average has been this season. Coming off a terrific May at the plate where he hit .309 in 24 games, the former Arizona State Sun Devil is hitting .378 over 11 June contests.

CHEN TO MAKE SATURDAY START: Orioles left-hander Wei-Yen Chen was optioned to Frederick on Tuesday and is scheduled to start for the Keys on Saturday night against Wilmington. One of the top pitchers in the American League this season, Chen is 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts. His most recent outing came on Monday night against the Phillies. Earning the win, the Taiwan native tossed eight shutout innings of four-hit baseball and struck out nine.

MOVING ON UP:  Just before Tuesday’s game, Drew Dosch was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. It marked the first time that the Ohio native had received a Double-A promotion, while he became the seventh member of the team to receive a call-up. Recently named a Carolina League All-Star, Dosch hit .275 over 55 games with the Keys to go with two home runs, 34 RBIs, three triples and eight doubles. At the time of the promotion Dosch was tied for fifth in the league in RBIs. Besides receiving an all-star nod, the third baseman was also named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for April. Taking Dosch’s place is the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for May, Donnie Hart. In 19 games with Delmarva, the Texan went 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA with 10 saves, tied for second-most in the league.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Chance Sisco saw his nine-game hitting streak come to an end on Tuesday. The second-longest streak by a Keys player this year, Sisco hit .448 (13-for-29) with a triple, a double, 10 RBIs and six runs scored. Despite losing the streak, the 20-year-old has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games. During that time he has seen his average climb 152 points. A player who has seen the ball extremely well of late, Sisco has more walks (11) than strikeouts (six) in his first 25 games this year.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Thursday, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s group will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Alec Mills makes his 13th start on Thursday and his third against the Keys. His most recent outing came against the Salem Red Sox last Saturday. Tying his career-high with eight innings pitched (the second time he had done it in three starts) Mills did not allow any runs, and scattered only four hits but received a no-decision. The Red Sox earned a 1-0 win on a walk-off single in the ninth by Mario Martinez. In 11 of his 12 trips to the mound, he has allowed three runs or less, with the lone exception coming against Frederick on April 17 where he allowed five runs (four earned) on a season-high 10 hits. This season he has struggled against the Keys. In two starts, Mills is 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA (9.2 IP/7ER/15H). Strangely, Mills has a lower ERA in four road starts (1.59) than in six home starts (3.63). Mills spent 2014 between the Rookie-Advanced Pioneer League and Low-A Lexington. Making seven appearances at each stop (13 starts) he went a combined 4-3 with a 2.35 ERA over 57.1 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 47. He was a South-Atlantic League All-Star in 2013. Known for solid command, in his career he has only walked 2.1 batters per nine innings. Promoted to Low-A in late-July, he posted a 1.18 ERA in seven starts and did not allow any more than two runs in a start. Originally from Clarksville, TN, Mills was selected by Kansas City in the 22nd round of the 2012 draft out of Tennessee-Martin. He throws a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup.

Keys look to salvage a game against Carolina in series finale

Despite losing the series to the Mudcats, the Keys look to salvage a game and keep their playoff hopes alive in the series finale tonight. Last night Carolina controlled the entire contest winning the game 10-2, but the bright spot of the game was Kevin Gausman, the Baltimore Orioles pitcher who came down to Frederick on a rehab assignment, pitched two innings allowing a run one one hit while striking out two and of his 29 pitches thrown, he threw 20 strikes. Tonight the Keys will send out southpaw Mitch Horacek (4-6, 3.98) as he will be making his second appearance against the Mudcats this year as he is 0-1 against them. Brandon Barker (2-1, 2.86) will counter for Carolina and will be making his first appearance against Frederick on the season. Tonight is also Greek Heritage Night at Nymeo Field.

 

Today’s Lineup

Josh Hart CF

Adrian Marin SS

Tucker Nathans 3B

Brenden Webb RF

Chance Sisco DH

Austin Wynns C

Logan Uxa 1B

Anthony Caronia 2B

Johnny Ruettiger LF

6/17 Game Notes

KEYS DERAILED BY SIX-RUN FOURTH: Luis Gonzalez was tagged for seven runs (five earned) in 1.2 innings, while the Carolina Mudcats batted around in the fourth to earn a decisive 10-2 win over the Frederick Keys on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field. Although the Blue Rocks suffered a loss themselves, Tuesday’s setback now means Frederick’s elimination number is at two. Trailing 2-1 after three frames, the Keys saw their deficit grow to seven in the fourth. Sending 10 men to bat, Carolina would get three consecutive doubles to open the inning, while the fourth batter, Joe Odom, hit a two-run home run. Sean Godfrey completed the scoring with a two-run single. That would be more than enough offense for Seth Webster, who fired off seven innings of two-run baseball. Wynston Sawyer accounted for both Keys RBIs.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL: With the loss on Tuesday, the Keys missed a chance to gain ground on the Blue Rocks who suffered a 4-3 loss to Salem at Frawley Stadium. Jordan Betts provided the decisive blow, with a solo homer in the top of the ninth off Matt Alvarez. In spite of the loss, Wilmington benefits from the Keys defeat, as the Blue Rock’s magic number to clinch is now down to two. Should the Keys be swept by the Mudcats and the Blue Rocks earn a win, Frederick would be eliminated from playoff contention.

BROOMS ARE MEANT FOR WITCHES TO RIDE ON: Besides trying to stay in the mix for a playoff berth, the Keys hope to avoid being swept for the third time this year. The first time the Keys were broomed it came at the hands of the Carolina Mudcats, who claimed four straight from May 1-4 in Zebulon. Wilmington also earned a four-game sweep of the Keys from June 4-7. Frederick has not been swept at home since July 27, 2014, when Lynchburg took three in-a-row.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: While the Keys have performed well of late (last 4G: 27R, 49H) the club has also been hurt by the big inning over the last two weeks. In the last 17 days, an opponent has batted around eight times. In half of those cases, Frederick’s opponent has scored six runs.

PITCHING PROBLEMS: Although the Keys offense has kept pace with their opponent of late, Frederick pitching has struggled in the last three days, surrendering a total of 25 runs (21 earned) in 27 innings, or a 7.00 ERA. Carolina and Potomac have also combined on 32 hits during that time and have received 10 walks. In the month of June, Frederick’s pitching staff has a 5.39 ERA in 15 games.

GAUSMAN MAKES SECOND REHAB START: Kevin Gausman made his second rehab start with the Keys on Tuesday and his third as part of a Major League rehab assignment. Pitching two innings, the Colorado native allowed one run on a hit and struck out two. He threw 29 total pitches, 20 for strikes. The lone run Gausman allowed came on a home run by Sean Godfrey on the first pitch of the game. Tuesday marked Gausman’s first Frederick start since August 18, 2012.

MOVING ON UP:  Just before Tuesday’s game, Drew Dosch was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. It marked the first time that the Ohio native had received a Double-A promotion, while he became the seventh member of the team to receive a call-up. Recently named a Carolina League All-Star, Dosch hit .275 over 55 games with the Keys to go with two home runs, 34 RBIs, three triples and eight doubles. At the time of the promotion Dosch was tied for fifth in the league in RBIs. Besides receiving an all-star nod, the third baseman was also named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for April. Taking Dosch’s place is the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for May, Donnie Hart. In 19 games with Delmarva, the Texan went 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA with 10 saves, tied for second-most in the league.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Chance Sisco saw his nine-game hitting streak come to an end on Tuesday. The second-longest streak by a Keys player this year, Sisco hit .448 (13-for-29) with a triple, a double, 10 RBIs and six runs scored. Despite losing the streak, the 20-year-old has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games. During that time he has seen his average climb 141 points. A player who has seen the ball extremely well of late, Sisco has more walks (11) than strikeouts (five) in his first 24 games this year.

YOU’VE GOTTA HAVE HART: Josh Hart also saw his six-game hitting streak come to a close in the middle game of the series going 0-for-4 with a strikeout. During the six-gamer, he hit 481 (13-for-27) with three doubles, four RBIs and six runs, while he raised his batting average 56 points. It also snapped a string of multi-hit games for Hart, who was 8 for his previous 16 entering Tuesday. Still the Georgian has put together an outstanding June. This month he is batting .321 (18-for-56) with three doubles and four RBIs. He played only 11 games in May (.224) after missing more than a month due to a right shoulder sprain.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Thursday, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s group will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Brandon Barker makes his 13th overall appearance this season and his ninth as a member of the Mudcats. Winner of back-to-back outings, his most recent outing came last Friday against Winston-Salem. Tossing six innings, Barker allowed two runs on four to go along with four walks and three strikeouts. The right-hander has turned in back-to-back quality outings. Originally promoted to the Mudcats on May 14, Barker made one start before returning to Low-A Rome for two outings. His last three starts have come with the Mudcats. During his time at Low-A he went 3-4 with a 3.48 ERA in eight starts logging 41.1 innings. Three of those starts were quality outings while he held opponents to a .270 average. The right-hander split 2014 between Rome and Rookie-Danville. Barker was selected by the Braves out of Mercer in the 16th round of the 2014 draft. As a senior he went 4-4 with a 3.84 ERA to go along with 68 strikeouts in 68 innings.

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