To Zebulon We Go!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys are fresh off a sweep of the Winston-Salem Dash on Thursday and try and keep the momentum going as the team faces the Carolina Mudcats for the first time on Friday. The two sides will play a four-game set, while a Keys win will get the team over the .500 mark for the first time since April 13!

Right-hander Lucas Long gets the ball for the Keys and will be opposed by Muddies righty Max Povse. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m and today’s notes are below.

To catch the broadcast, you can tune in on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com or the TuneIn Radio App (which can be accessed by clicking the link below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Friday, May 27, 2016 · Game #47 · Road Game #24

Frederick Keys (23-23) vs. Carolina Mudcats (18-27)

RHP Lucas Long (2-2, 3.41) vs. RHP Max Povse (3-2, 2.66)

                                                                                                                                                               LONGBALLS LIFT KEYS TO SWEEP: The Frederick Keys hit three home runs and utilized two four-run innings to defeat the Winston-Salem Dash 9-4 on Thursday night at BB&T Ballpark. It was the Keys third sweep of the season. Winston-Salem grabbed the initial lead thanks to a two-run homer by Michael Suiter. That lead did not last for long, as the Keys responded with a four-run fourth against Brandon Brennan. Wynston Sawyer acted first, hitting a solo homer, while five of the next six reached base. Singles by Jomar Reyes and Erick Salcedo gave the Keys the lead, while an RBI fielder’s choice by Jay Gonzalez closed out the scoring. The Dash tied the game in the home-half of the inning, before the Keys took the lead for good in the seventh. An RBI single by Rodriguez plated the go-ahead run, before Conor Bierfeldt blasted a three-run homer to give the Keys a four-run cushion. David Richardson earned the win for the Keys tossing four frames of two-run relief.

ON EVEN TERMS: Thanks to Thursday’s win, the Keys have moved back to .500 on the season for the first time since April 14, when the team was 4-4. The Keys climb to .500 is due to a fantastic May. After closing out April with a 7-16 record (the club’s low-water mark for the season) Frederick has flipped April’s record around, going 16-7, the top May mark in the Carolina League (the 16 wins are also the most since August 2014). A lot of the credit goes to the Keys pitching staff, which has posted a 2.87 ERA in 23 games. Frederick’s team ERA is also the league’s best mark in May.

HOMER HAPPY: The Keys have been one of the top home run hitting teams in the Carolina League this season. That was certainly the case in the Winston-Salem series, Frederick hit six home runs in three days. Half of that came on Thursday, when the Keys set a new game-high for home runs in 2016 (three). Frederick has hit eight in its last seven games, while the orange and black are tied for second in home runs with Myrtle Beach (32). Only Lynchburg (42) has more.

ATTACK OF THE BATS: Thanks in part to the home run, the Keys have scored seven or more runs in three straight games for the first time all year. Over that stretch, the team has tallied 23 runs, the team’s second-largest output over a three-game span this year (24 from May 2-4).  In the Dash series, Frederick posted 33 hits, with 14 going for extra-bases.  

MOVING ON UP: Before Thursday’s game, John Means and Jimmy Yacabonis were promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The duo becomes the fourth and fifth members of the Keys to get promotions this season. Coming off a seven-inning complete game shutout against Potomac on Monday, Means went 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA in nine starts. He leaves the Carolina League ranking third in ERA, second in strikeouts (54) and fifth in innings pitched. Yacabonis went 0-2 with five saves (six chances) and a 3.98 ERA in 16 games. Over 8.1 innings in May he did not allow a run. He heads to Double-A as the CL leader in games pitched (16) and tied for third in games finished.   

ROCKIN’ RODRIGUEZ: Aderlin Rodriguez is scorching lately, as he has multiple hits in five of his last seven ballgames. During that time, Rodriguez is batting .500 (14-for-28) with two home runs, four doubles, a triple, and six RBIs. In May, Rodriguez is batting .369 with five long balls and 17 RBIs. His batting average is the highest in the Carolina League this month, while his five homers are tied for the most in the circuit.  

 STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: In May, Keys starters have a 2.72 ERA (125.2 IP/38ER), while in 11 of Frederick’s 16 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less). Until a loss last Wednesday, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance this month. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in six of the last 10 contests.  

SALCEDO KEEPS HIT STREAK ALIVE: Erick Salcedo went 1-for-4 with an RBI on Thursday to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games. That mark is also the longest by a Keys player in 2016, and the longest active run in the Carolina League. Over his current streak, Salcedo is batting .417 (15-for-36) with a homer, four RBIs and four runs scored. The highlight of the streak came last Friday, when Salcedo hit his first professional homer (he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one).

 NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez stole a career-high three bases on Thursday to move his season total to 27. He currently ranks third in minor league baseball, with only Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (31) and Salem’s Yoan Moncada (30) posting more. This season, Gonzalez is 27-for-30 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: In the last six games, the Keys have turned 10 double plays, but have also hit into 10 twin killings. Wynston Sawyer has a 16-game on-base streak this month, which is also the second-longest by a Keys player this year (Steve Wilkerson reached in 22 straight from April 11-May 4, the third-longest by a CL player in 2016). Sawyer’s current streak is the third-longest active mark in the league, while he has a .500 on-base percentage in May. Luis Gonzalez saw his scoreless inning streak this month end at 11.2 frames after an eighth inning homer by Hunter Jones on Tuesday.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Max Povse makes his ninth start of the year on Friday and his first against Frederick. His most recent start came last Sunday at Wilmington. Earning the win, the right-hander pitched five innings of five-hit baseball and allowed one unearned run. He struck out six and did not walk a batter. Currently, Povse leads the CL in WHIP (0.99), is fifth in ERA (2.66), tied for third in strikeouts (47) and is first among starters in fewest baserunners per nine (9.13) and second in BB/9IP ratio (1.71). Opponents are hitting just .216 against him, while he has allowed three runs or less in every start but one. Povse split 2015 between Low-A Rome and Carolina, combining to go 5-5 with a 4.15 ERA. He was promoted to the Mudcats on June 25. In five starts with Carolina he struggled, going 1-3 with a 9.33 ERA before going on the DL with a right shoulder strain on July 21. He missed the rest of the year. A third round pick by Atlanta in 2014 out of UNC-Greensboro, Povse is from Cary, NC (40 min from Zebulon).

Let’s Go for the Sweep!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The Keys try for a three-game sweep of the Winston-Salem Dash on Thursday night from BB&T Ballpark. Additionally, if the Keys win they’ll hit the .500 mark for the first time since April 15. This month the club has gone 15-7, while another win would also give Frederick its mos wins in a month since August 2014.

Big kudos to John Means and Jimmy Yacabonis who have been promoted to Double-A Bowie. Means was outstanding over nine starts, surrendering two runs or less in all of them (pretty remarkable feat) while Yacabonis did not allow a run in May while coming out of the bullpen. This year five Keys have received call-ups to the Baysox (Garrett Cortright, Anthony Caronia and Mike Zouzalik are the others).

After being acquired in the Brian Matusz trade, left-hander Trevor Belicek makes his Keys debut while he will be opposed by Dash righty Brandon Brennan. First pitch comes your way at 7:00 p.m, while the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com or the TuneIn radio App. OR…you can click on the link below:

Doug will keep you comfortable on the radio. Also, be on the lookout for our next Keys Corner tomorrow! We talk about Erick Salcedo’s first pro home run, discuss upcoming promotions and provide details about the team’s next bobblehead giveaway!

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Thursday, May 26, 2016 · Game #46 · Road Game #23

Frederick Keys (22-23) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (17-30)

LHP Trevor Belicek (0-0, –) vs. RHP Brandon Brennan (0-3, 7.90)

KEYS USE FOUR-RUN SECOND IN 7-5 WIN: The Keys scored four times on five hits in the second inning and never trailed en route to a 7-5 win against Winston-Salem on Wednesday night at BB&T Ballpark. In the second, Jonah Heim, Cam Kneeland, and Erick Salcedo all slashed RBI singles with the bases loaded, while another came home on a Jay Gonzalez double play. The Dash would close to within one run in the sixth inning thanks to a two-run single by Hunter Jones to make it 6-5, but a bases loaded walk in the ninth provided the final cushion as the Keys guaranteed themselves a series win. Mitch Horacek tossed five innings of three-run baseball, while Jimmy Yacabonis pitched the last 2.1 innings to earn his fifth save of the season.

BATS COME TO LIFE: The Keys have scored seven runs in back-to-back games for the first time since May 2 and 3 at Wilmington. The 14 combined runs in the first two games of this series is also the most since that stretch at Frawley Stadium (18). The team has a total of 23 hits in this series, with 12 hit coming Tuesday, the most by the Keys since May 2 (when they recorded 13 at Wilmington). Additionally, those 12 hits tied for the third-most Frederick had posted in a game this season. The Keys also have five extra-base hits each of the last two days, one-shy of their high-water mark for 2016.

 LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: The Keys have been one of the top home run hitting teams in the Carolina League this season. On Tuesday, the Keys hit two home runs in a game (equals a season-high) for the fourth time this year, and on Wednesday, Cam Kneeland blasted his second of the season. Frederick has hit five in its last six games, while the orange and black rank third in the CL with 29 (trailing only Lynchburg-41-and Myrtle Beach-32). Aderlin Rodriguez leads the way with eight (ranking second in the circuit) while Jonah Heim has hit five, including four this month. Heim and Rodriguez are tied for second in the league in May home runs. Only Myrtle Beach’s Yasiel Balaguert (five) has more.

EXTRA, EXTRA!: The orange and black bats have broken out for 10 extra-base hits the last two nights. On Tuesday, Wynston Sawyer doubled, tripled and hit a home run, Steve Wilkerson gained a two-bagger, and Conor Bierfeldt launched a home run. Last night, Aderlin Rodriguez gathered three of the knocks with two doubles and a triple. It was the first time a Keys batter has doubled twice in a game.

MOVING ON UP: Before Thursday’s game, John Means and Jimmy Yacabonis were promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The duo becomes the fourth and fifth members of the Keys to get promotions this season. This is the first call-up to the Eastern League for Means and Yacabonis. Coming off a seven-inning complete game shutout against Potomac on Monday, Means went 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA in nine starts. He leaves the Carolina League ranking third in ERA, second in strikeouts (54) and fifth in innings pitched. Yacabonis went 0-2 with five saves (six chances) and a 3.98 ERA in 16 games. Over 8.1 innings in May he did not allow a run. He heads to Double-A as the CL leader in games pitched (16) and tied for third in games finished.   

ROCKIN’ RODRIGUEZ: Aderlin Rodriguez is scorching lately, as he has multiple hits in four of his last six ballgames. During that time, Rodriguez is batting .478 (11-for-23) with a home run, three doubles, a triple, and four RBIs. Rodriguez has the top average on the club in the month of May at .354 with four long balls and 15 RBIs. His May batting average is the second-highest in the Carolina League to Hunter Jones of Winston-Salem (.359).

STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: In May, Keys starters have posted a 2.64 ERA (122.2 IP/36ER), while in 11 of Frederick’s 15 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less). Until a loss last Wednesday, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance this month. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in six of the last nine contests.  

 SALCEDO KEEPS HIT STREAK ALIVE: Erick Salcedo went 1-for-4 on Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to a season and career-high 10 games. He has tied Aderlin Rodriguez for the longest streak by a Keys player this season (Rodriguez hit in 10 straight from April 24-May 4). Additionally, the Venezuelan eclipsed his nine-gamer from June 12-24 in 2014 with Low-A Burlington (Angels). That was also the beginning of a 17-game stretch where Salcedo recorded hits in 16 of 17 contests.  Over his current streak, Salcedo is batting .438 (14-for-32) with a homer, three RBIs and four runs scored. The highlight of the streak came last Friday, when Salcedo hit his first professional homer (he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one).

 NEED FOR SPEED: After a week-long draught (in part due to rain) Jay Gonzalez picked up his 24th steal on Monday. At the moment, he is fourth in the minors with 24.  Only Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (31), Salem’s Yoan Moncada (30), and Lynchburg’s Greg Allen (25) have stolen more. This season, Gonzalez is 24-for-27 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: A win tonight would move the Keys to .500 for the first time since April 14. The Keys have gone 15-7 in May, while a victory on Thursday would also give the Keys their most wins in a month since August of 2014 (when the Keys went 16-14).  Wynston Sawyer has a 15-game on-base streak this month, which is also the second-longest by a Keys player this year (Steve Wilkerson reached in 22 straight from April 11-May 4, the third-longest by a CL player in 2016). Sawyer has a .494 on-base percentage in May and is third with a .317 average. Luis Gonzalez saw his scoreless inning streak this month end at 11.2 frames after an eighth inning homer by Hunter Jones on Tuesday.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Brandon Brennan makes his ninth start of the season and fifth with Winston-Salem on Thursday. Starting the year at Double-A Birmingham, Brennan posted a 1-3 record and 14.11 ERA with the Barons before his demotion on May 3. With the Dash, he has gone 0-3 with a 7.90 ERA in 13.2 innings. He’s allowed 22 hits, 12 runs, walked six and struck out five. With the Dash in 12 starts in 2015, Brennan was 3-4 with a 3.55 ERA. He missed two and a half weeks in August due to a finger blister, and missed the first two and a half months of the year due to a pectoral injury he suffered late in spring training. In 2014, he spent time with Great Falls, Kannapolis, and Winston-Salem while working his way back from Tommy John surgery, which he had on his 22nd birthday (July 23, 2013). A fourth round selection in 2012 by the Chicago White Sox, Brennan was taken out of Orange Coast College in California, the same school where San Francisco Giants pitcher Sergio Romo and Baltimore Orioles Minor League Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator Scott Beerer spent part of their collegiate careers. Out of high school, Brennan had a scholarship offer to play for the University of Oregon. There he redshirted, before transferring to Orange Coast. He was also selected in the 40th round in 2010 by the Colorado Rockies out of Capistrano Valley HS, but elected not to sign.

Keys Try and Move Within a Game of .500!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Frederick Keys will try and move within one game of .500 for the first time since April! Additionally, a victory would hand the Keys their third series win in-a-row. The team received another outstanding start from Matthew Grimes to go with a solid offensive showing in a 7-1 triumph on Tuesday.

Left-hander Mitch Horacek gets the ball for the Keys while his opposition will be right-hander Spencer Adams. Just 20 years old, Adams has thrown seven and eight innings respectively in his last two starts and paces the league in innings pitched.

Today’s game notes are below, while Doug Raftery has the call on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App (click below). Pregame show gets underway at 6:45.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 · Game #45 · Road Game #22

Frederick Keys (21-23) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (17-29)

LHP Mitch Horacek (1-4, 5.21) vs. RHP Spencer Adams (3-0, 2.15)

GRIMES AND LONGBALL HELP KEYS TAKE SERIES OPENER: Seven shutout inning from Matthew Grimes and home runs by Jonah Heim and Conor Bierfeldt guided the Frederick Keys to a 7-1 victory over the Winston-Salem Dash on Tuesday night at BB&T Ballpark. It was Frederick’s fourth win in its last five games and moved the team within two games of .500 for the season. Grimes and Jordan Stephens matched each other on the mound through four innings, but the orange and black would score in each of the next three innings. Wynston Sawyer drove in the first run with a double in the fifth, while a two-run homer by Heim was the end of the line for Stephens. In the seventh, the Keys wrapped up their scoring with an RBI triple by Sawyer and a two-run blast by Bierfeldt.

BATS COME TO LIFE: After three of Frederick’s previous four wins came while scoring three or fewer runs, the offense flexed its muscles on Tuesday. The seven runs by the Keys were the most the team had posted since May 11 (in a 7-2 win over Wilmington), while the team finished with 12 hits, the most by the Keys since May 2 (when they recorded 13 at Wilmington). Additionally, the 12 hits tied for the third-most Frederick had posted in a game this season. Of the 12 knocks, five went for extra-bases, one-shy of the Keys high-water mark for 2016.

 LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: The Keys have been one of the top home run hitting teams in the Carolina League this season. On Tuesday, the Keys hit two home runs in a game (equals a season-high) for the fourth time this year. Frederick has hit four in its last five games, while the orange and black rank third in the CL with 28 (trailing only Lynchburg-39-and Myrtle Beach-30). Aderlin Rodriguez leads the way with and eight (ranking second in the circuit) while Jonah Heim has hit five, including four this month. Heim and Rodriguez are tied for second in the league in May home runs. Only Myrtle Beach’s Yasiel Balaguert (five) has more this month.

GRIMES MATCHES MEANS: The day after his teammate John Means threw a complete game shutout, Matthew Grimes turned in another sterling performance on Tuesday. Delivering seven shutout innings of five-hit baseball, the former Georgia Tech product picked up his third straight win. It is the first time that has occurred in his career, while the righty has allowed just one run in his last 20.2 innings. During that time his ERA has dipped to 1.39, the second-lowest in the league. Means is right behind with a 1.80 ERA.

 STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: If you exclude the second game on Monday’s doubleheader where the Keys employed the bullpen for seven innings, (regular) Keys starting pitchers have gone 16 innings without allowing a run. In May, Keys starters have posted a 2.52 ERA (117.2 IP/33ER), while in 11 of Frederick’s 14 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less). Until a loss last Wednesday, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance this month. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in six of the last eight contests.  

 SALCEDO KEEPS HIT STREAK ALIVE: Erick Salcedo went 1-for-4 on Tuesday to extend his hitting streak to a season-high nine games. With one more hit, he will pull even with Aderlin Rodriguez for the longest streak by a Keys player this season (Rodriguez hit in 10 straight from April 24-May 4). Additionally, the nine-gamer ties a career-best for the Venezuelan who also did it from June 12-24 in 2014 with Low-A Burlington (Angels). That was also the beginning of a 17-game stretch where Salcedo recorded hits in 16 of 17 contests.  Over his current streak, Salcedo is batting .464 (13-for-28) with a homer, two RBIs and four runs scored. The highlight of the streak came last Friday, when Salcedo hit his first professional homer (he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one).

 NEED FOR SPEED: After a week-long draught (in part due to rain) Jay Gonzalez picked up his 24th steal on Monday. At the moment, he is third in the minors with 24.  Only Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (31) and Salem’s Yoan Moncada (30) have stolen more. This season, Gonzalez is 24-for-27 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: A win tonight would move the Keys within a game of .500 for the first time since April 15 (the Keys have not been at .500 since April 14). The Keys have gone 14-7 in May, while a victory on Wednesday would also give the Keys their most wins in a month since last July (when the Keys went 15-15).  Wynston Sawyer has a 14-game on-base streak this month, which is also the second-longest by a Keys player this year (Steve Wilkerson reached in 22 straight from April 11-May 4, the third-longest by a CL player in 2016). Sawyer has a has a .500 on-base percentage in May and is tied for the team lead this month with a .333 average. Luis Gonzalez saw his scoreless inning streak this month end at 11.2 frames after an eighth inning homer by Hunter Jones on Tuesday.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Spencer Adams makes his 10th start of the season on Wednesday and his first outing against the Keys. He is the No. 4 prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America. He leads the Carolina League in innings pitched (52). The right-hander’s most recent outing came at Salem last Friday. Working seven inning, Adams received a no-decision though allowed only two runs (one earned) on six hits. The start before (May 14), he defeated Potomac by working a career-high eight inning of two-run, three-hit baseball. The 20-year-old split 2015 between Low-A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem going 12-5 with a 2.99 ERA in 24 games. Promoted to Winston-Salem on July 19, Adams went 9-5 with a 3.24 ERA at Kannapolis and was 12th in the SAL in ERA at the time he was moved up. Adams was selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2014 draft out of White County High School. Just 19 years old, the right-hander went 3-3 with a 3.67 ERA with the AZL White Sox after signing. He posted a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 14.8 and struck out nearly 13 batters per nine innings. Adams was committed to the University of Georgia out of White County (GA) High School but elected to go pro. He throws a fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Visiting Winston-Salem for the First Time

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The orange and black begin a seven-game roadtrip tonight when they take on the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark. Afterwards the team will trek on to Zebulon, NC to get their first look at the Carolina Mudcats.

On Monday the Keys and Nationals traded shutouts in a doubleheader. Earning a 1-0 victory in game one, the team posted its first walk-off win and got it’s first complete game shutout. Jonah Heim delivered the walk-off hit, while John Means was brilliant on the mound. After the doubleheader, Means was interviewed by MiLB.com about the start and you can read the article here.

Johjn Means delivered the first complete game shutout by a Keys pitcher on Monday.

Johjn Means delivered the first complete game shutout by a Keys pitcher on Monday.

It was the second complete game shutout of his career (the first was a no-hitter while he was pitching for the Delmarva Shorebirds last year).

Additionally, it marked the NINTH STRAIGHT START THIS YEAR where Means had allowed two earned runs or less. The amazing part, is that Matthew Grimes will try and equal his teammate tonight in the Triad.

In other news, HUGE congratulations to former Keys Ty Kelly and Ashur Tolliver. Kelly was promoted to the New York Mets on Monday, while Tolliver is expected to be added to the O’s roster after Brian Matusz was traded to the Atlanta Braves last night.

Although I didn’t work with Ty, Ashur is easily one of the best guys I’ve gotten to know in my three seasons with the Keys. Just a fantastic guy, who has worked incredibly hard to get this chance. Hope he stays up with the big league club for awhile.

We’ll have a piece about Tolliver and Kelly later today on frederickkeys.com, so be sure to check it out.

One final note (and I’ll keep the self promotion short) but on Sunday, June 5, Doug Raftery and I will be broadcasting the Keys and Mudcats game FROM EXERCISE BIKES on the first base concourse. It ought to be a blast and we are biking for a great cause. All the money Doug and I raise will go towards the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County. So if you’ve got a couple of bucks lying around, consider helping us out as we try and reach our combined goal of $1,000. You can visit our pages here and here. Every little bit helps!

Tonight, Matthew Grimes takes the mound for the Keys and will be opposed by Dash righty Jordan Stephens. The broadcast starts at 6:45 on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com! Doug will keep you company.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 · Game #44 · Road Game #21

Frederick Keys (20-23) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (17-28)

RHP Matthew Grimes (5-2, 1.61) vs. RHP Jordan Stephens (0-5, 5.35)

KEYS AND NATIONALS TRADE SHUTOUTS IN TWINBILL: The Frederick Keys and Potomac Nationals split a Monday night twinbill at Nymeo Field. In game one, the orange and black recorded a 1-0 walk-off win, while Boone Whiting led a strong effort by Nationals pitching in game two to force a stalemate. Game one was a pitcher’s duel, with both sides firing blanks through the first sixth inning. In the seventh though, the Keys got to Greg Ross. Aderlin Rodriguez opened the inning with a single and moved up to second after a walk to Wynston Sawyer. Jomar Reyes then slapped a single through the righty side to load the bases for Jonah Heim, who blooped a single down the leftfield line to scoring the winning run. On the mound, John Means went the distance, firing off a complete game shutout. In the second, the P-Nats scored the only two runs of the game thanks to a wild pitch and a Grant DeBruin double, while the trio of Whiting, R.C Orlan and Ryan Brinley held the Keys to just five hits.

 WALK IT OFF, WALK IT OFF: Jonah Heim’s single gave the Keys their first walk-off win of the 2016 season and the club’s first since last September 2 against Carolina. Led to just four hits through their first six trips to bat, the Keys added three hits off Ross in the seventh. In 2015, the Keys won via walk-off eight times, including on five occasions in the first-half. Additionally, the win was the Keys fourth shutout of the year. The four shutouts are tied for second-most in the CL (the team’s overall shutout record is 4-4).

MEANS MAGICAL IN GAME ONE SHUTOUT: John Means turned in his finest performance of the year in game one on Monday. Going the distance in game one, the lefty allowed only three hits across seven brilliant innings. He struck out eight and walked one. It was the first complete game shutout by a Frederick pitcher since last August 25, when David Hess threw a seven-inning one-hitter in the front end of a doubleheader at Potomac. The seven stanzas also tied a career-high for Means, who had not worked seven innings, since he threw a seven-inning no-hitter against Charleston last July 31.

 STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: Means continued the string of great work by Keys starting pitchers this month. In May, Keys starters have posted a 2.68 ERA (110.2 IP/33ER). In 10 of Frederick’s 13 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) while until a loss last Wednesday, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance this month. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in five of the last seven contests.

SALCEDO KEEPS HIT STREAK ALIVE:  In spite of the doubleheader on Monday, Erick Salcedo was able to keep his hitting streak alive. Going 1-for-2 in both contests, Salcedo has now hit safely in eight straight. Over the streak he is batting .500 (12-for-24) with a homer, two RBIs and four runs scored. The highlight of the streak came on Friday, when Salcedo hit his first professional homer (he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one prior to Friday).

CLOSE CALLS: The orange and black have gotten very accustomed to playing close games of late. Each of the Keys last eight games have been decided by three runs or less, while each of the last six contests have been decided by two runs or less (the Keys have won four of those). This season, 29 of the Keys 43 games have come down to three runs or less. In those contests, the Keys are 15-14.

BREAKING THE MOLD: After winning just one of their first 37 games when scoring less than four runs, the Keys have taken three of their last five when tallying three or less markers. Besides winning 1-0 in game one on Monday, the orange and black scored 3-1 victories last Tuesday and Thursday at Wilmington.  In 2016, the orange and black are 4-13 when scoring three or less runs and 16-10 when hitting the four-run barrier.

 NEED FOR SPEED: After a week-long draught (in part due to rain) Jay Gonzalez picked up his 24th steal on Monday. At the moment, he is third in the minors with 24.  Only Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (31) and Salem’s Yoan Moncada (30) have stolen more. This season, Gonzalez is 24-for-27 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: Frederick’s doubleheader on Monday was the team’s first twinbill of the season. The club will play at least two more before the first-half concludes and both will come against Potomac (on June 2 and June 11). Matthew Grimes will try and become the second Keys starter on Tuesday to make nine starts while allowing two earned runs or less (John Means did it first last night). The Keys have gone 13-7 in May despite batting only .239 as a team. Erick Salcedo leads the Keys offensively this month with a .333 average. Aderlin Rodriguez leads all run producers with four homers and 14 RBIs this month (13 of which have come against Wilmington). Wynston Sawyer has a .493 on-base percentage in May. Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings in May, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Jordan Stephens makes his eighth start of the season and is the No. 15 prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came at Myrtle Beach last Thursday. Tagged with the loss, he allowed four runs on nine hits in five stanzas. He walked one and struck out three. Against the Keys on May 1, he lasted just three innings, surrendering three runs (two earned) while walking four and striking out three. Stephens split 2015 between the AZL White Sox and Rookie Great Falls. Between the two stops, he finished with no record and a 0.51 ERA in 11 games (one start). Over 17.2 innings he allowed one run, walked three and struck out 21. A fifth round pick out of Rice University in 2015, Stephens was named All-Conference USA first team last year, posting a 3.17 ERA. His 2014 season was limited to just 14 innings after having Tommy John surgery. Originally from Alvin, Texas, the 23-year-old’s grew up in the same town as Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. There is a Nolan Ryan Museum on the Campus of Alvin Community College. Stephens throws a fastball, curve, cutter and changeup.

Let’s Try 2 Again

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The third time is a charm! We’ll try for the third time this afternoon to get game two in against the Potomac Nationals. Keys and Nationals will play a doubleheader today, with game one starting at 5 pm and game two starting 30 minutes following the conclusion of game one.

John Means will be making his ninth start of the year and is looking to keep his perfect 4-0 record intact. The WVU product holds a 2.09 ERA, allowing just 10 earned runs over 43 innings pitched. He’ll be opposed by Potomac starter Erick Fedde, a 1st-round pick by the Nationals organization in 2014.

At the ballpark, kids will eat free! All kids 12 and under will be given a voucher for a free hot dog, chips and soda.

Geoff and Doug will have 14 innings of baseball on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App as they’ll join you 1:45 pm.

 

Today’s notes are below.

 

Shake Your Keys!

 

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Monday, May 23, 2016 · Game #42/#43 · Home Game #22/#23

Frederick Keys (19-22) vs. Potomac Nationals (21-18)

G1: LHP John Means (4-0, 2.09) vs. RHP Erick Fedde (2-3, 6.62)

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: The Frederick Keys and Potomac Nationals were washed away for the second straight day on Sunday. With rainouts the last two days, the two teams will play a doubleheader on Monday starting at 5 p.m. Additionally, Frederick and Potomac will play a twinbill on Thursday, June 2. The Keys are now scheduled to play three different doubleheaders before the first-half concludes and all three will come against Potomac. On Friday, May 6 the Keys were rained out at Pftizner Stadium prompting a pair of games to be played on Saturday, June 11, when the orange and black return to Woodbridge, VA. In 2015, the Keys finished with the top doubleheader record in the CL (6-2) (two sweeps and two splits).  

KNEELAND’S CLUTCH PLAY HELPS KEYS HOLD ON: A clutch play in rightfield in the top of the eighth inning by Cam Kneeland and a big day at the plate by Erick Salcedo helped the Keys hang on for a 4-3 win on Friday night at Nymeo Field. It was the Keys fourth win in their last five games. In the eighth inning, the P-Nats threatened to tie the game. Jose Marmolejos opened the inning with a walk before advancing to third on a double by Raudy Read. A bounce out by Alec Keller then made it a one-run game to send up Bryan Mejia. First pitch swinging, he hit a flyball to right which Kneeland caught, and then threw a strike home to gun down Read. The Keys scored single markers in four of the game’s first five innings, while Lucas Long threw seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) to pick up the win. Jimmy Yacabonis earned the save.

SALCEDO GETTING LOCKED IN:  Erick Salcedo turned in his best offensive game of the year on Friday. Going 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, Salcedo also hit the first home run of his professional career. Before Saturday, he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one. Thanks to the homer, the Venezuelan has a season-high six-game hitting streak going. During that time, he is batting .500 (10-for-20) with a homer, two RBIs and four runs scored. Additionally, he has hits in nine of his last 10 contests. During that stretch he is batting .406 (13-for-32). In the process, his average has jumped almost 60 points (from .193 to .252) the highest it is has been this season.

CLOSE CALLS: On Friday, the Keys played another close game. Each of the Keys last six games have been decided by three runs or less, while each of the last four contests have been decided by two runs or less (the Keys have won three of those). Prior to this stretch, the orange and black had played four straight contests which were decided by four or more runs. This season, 27 of the Keys 41 games have come down to three runs or less. In those contests, the Keys are 14-13. Meanwhile, Friday was just the Keys second win all year in a one-run game (2-5).

BREAKING THE MOLD: After winning just one of their first 37 games when scoring less than four runs, the Keys have taken two of their last three when tallying three or less markers. In addition to winning 3-1 on Thursday, the Keys topped the Blue Rocks by the same score on Tuesday night.  In 2016, the orange and black are 3-12 when scoring three or less runs and 16-10 when hitting the four-run barrier. All three of Frederick’s wins when scoring fewer than four runs have come against Wilmington.

STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: Lucas Long continued the trend of strong starting pitching this month on Friday. In May, Keys starters have posted a 2.77 ERA (100.2 IP/31ER). In nine of Frederick’s 12 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) while until Wednesday’s defeat, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance in May. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in seven of the last 10 contests.

SCOUTING POTOMAC: So far the Keys and P-Nats have split the first four games of the season series, while Potomac took the first set between the two clubs at Pfitzner Stadium from May 5-8. Offensively, Frederick is batting just .178 (21-118) against Nationals arms, but Keys pitching has registered a 2.12 ERA (34IP/8ER). It has been the same story for the Nats, as Tripp Keister’s team has hit just .222 off Keys pitching, but has pitched to a 2.06 ERA (35IP/8ER). In the early going, Erick Salcedo (.385/5-for-13) has fared best at the plate for the Keys, while Dale Carey (.636/7-11) and Bryan Mejia (.364/4-11) have led the Nationals. In 2015, Frederick won the season-set, taking 13 of the 22 meetings, ending a string of three straight seasons where Potomac held the upper hand.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez does not have a steal since last Monday (spanning four games) but is still among the leaders in Minor League Baseball. At the moment, he is tied for third in the minors with 23 along with Lynchburg’s Greg Allen and Hickory’s Eric Jenkins.  Only Salem’s Yoan Moncada and Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (30) have stolen more. This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-26 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: A pair of wins on Monday would move the Keys within one game of .500 for the first time since April 15. The Keys have gone 12-6 in May despite batting only .238 as a team. Erick Salcedo leads the Keys offensively this month with a .321 average. Aderlin Rodriguez leads all run producers with four homers and 14 RBIs this month (13 of which have come against Wilmington). Rodriguez has started the last three games at third base and made two errors on Friday, after making only two his first 31 contests in the field. Wynston Sawyer has a .493 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in seven of his last 11 games and at least one walk in nine of 12 (21 walks this season as opposed to 13 strikeouts). Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings in May, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Erick Fedde makes his eighth start of the season on Monday and is the No. 4 prospect in the Nationals system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Sunday at Winston-Salem. Pitching five innings, Fedde earned the win, allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked one struck out two and hit a batter. In each of his seven starts this year the 23-year-old has allowed three runs or more. Fedde is fifth among starters in SO/9IP ratio (9.26). The righty split the 2015 season between Short-Season Auburn and Low-A Hagerstown, his first as a professional. In 14 combined starts between the two levels he went 5-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 64 innings. He walked 16 and struck out 59. He was promoted to Low-A on August 4 and pitched in six games in the South Atlantic League to close out the year. The 2014 Mountain West Pitcher of the Year at UNLV, Fedde went 6-1 with a 1.60 ERA as a junior. However after the season, he underwent Tommy John surgery on June 3, 2014 and underwent a 10-month recovery process. He slipped to the No. 18 overall pick and signed for just over $2.5 million. Fedde got on the Nationals radar after assistant general manager and vice president of scouting, Kris Kline, saw Fedde throw 7.1 scoreless innings against Central Michigan to go with 11 strikeouts. From Las Vegas, Fedde was a high school teammate of 2015 NL MVP and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.

The Keys and Nationals Set to Play 2!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

As the saying goes: Let’s Play Two!

After a rainout yesterday, the Keys and the Nationals will play a doubleheader this afternoon. The first game will be played at 2 pm and tickets can be purchased at the box office or through FrederickKeys.com

A slight change in plans from yesterday, as Matthew Grimes will get the start in game one for Frederick. Grimes is currently tied for second in the Carolina League with five wins and is also second in the league with a 1.61 ERA. He got a shout-out in today’s Baltimore Sun for his stellar performance so far this season.

Also, be sure to arrive at the ballpark early for Touch A Truck and Sunday Funday. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with all sorts of trucks and will be also  be able to play catch for 30 minutes after the game opens.

Geoff and Doug will have 14 innings of baseball on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App as they’ll join you 1:45 pm.

Today’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

Sunday, May 22, 2016 · Game #42/#43 · Home Game #22/#23

Frederick Keys (19-22) vs. Potomac Nationals (21-18)

G1: RHP Matthew Grimes (5-2, 1.61) vs. RHP Erick Fedde (2-3, 6.62)

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: The Frederick Keys and Potomac Nationals were postponed on account of rain on Saturday night. Both sides will make up the postponed game as part of a Sunday doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. In spite of frequent rain over the first two months of the season in Frederick, Saturday marked the first time the Keys had been postponed at home this year. Meanwhile, it marked just the second time all year the Keys had been postponed. The other occurrence came on Friday, May 6 at Potomac.  

KNEELAND’S CLUTCH PLAY HELPS KEYS HOLD ON: A clutch play in rightfield in the top of the eighth inning by Cam Kneeland and a big day at the plate by Erick Salcedo helped the Keys hang on for a 4-3 win on Friday night at Nymeo Field. It was the Keys fourth win in their last five games. In the eighth inning, the P-Nats threatened to tie the game. Jose Marmolejos opened the inning with a walk before advancing to third on a double by Raudy Read. A bounce out by Alec Keller then made it a one-run game to send up Bryan Mejia. First pitch swinging, he hit a flyball to right which Kneeland caught, and then threw a strike home to gun down Read. The Keys scored single markers in four of the game’s first five innings, while Lucas Long threw seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) to pick up the win. Jimmy Yacabonis earned the save.

SALCEDO GETTING LOCKED IN:  Erick Salcedo turned in his best offensive game of the year on Friday. Going 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, Salcedo also hit the first home run of his professional career. Before Saturday, he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one. Thanks to the homer, the Venezuelan has a season-high six-game hitting streak going. During that time, he is batting .500 (10-for-20) with a homer, two RBIs and four runs scored. Additionally, he has hits in nine of his last 10 contests. During that stretch he is batting .406 (13-for-32). In the process, his average has jumped almost 60 points (from .193 to .252) the highest it is has been this season.

CLOSE CALLS: On Friday, the Keys played another close game. Each of the Keys last six games have been decided by three runs or less, while each of the last four contests have been decided by two runs or less (the Keys have won three of those). Prior to this stretch, the orange and black had played four straight contests which were decided by four or more runs. This season, 27 of the Keys 41 games have come down to three runs or less. In those contests, the Keys are 14-13. Meanwhile, Friday was just the Keys second win all year in a one-run game (2-5).

BREAKING THE MOLD: After winning just one of their first 37 games when scoring less than four runs, the Keys have taken two of their last three when tallying three or less markers. In addition to winning 3-1 on Thursday, the Keys topped the Blue Rocks by the same score on Tuesday night.  In 2016, the orange and black are 3-12 when scoring three or less runs and 16-10 when hitting the four-run barrier. All three of Frederick’s wins when scoring fewer than four runs have come against Wilmington.

 STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: Lucas Long continued the trend of strong starting pitching this month on Friday. In May, Keys starters have posted a 2.77 ERA (100.2 IP/31ER). In nine of Frederick’s 12 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) while until Wednesday’s defeat, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance in May. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in seven of the last 10 contests.

 SCOUTING POTOMAC: So far the Keys and P-Nats have split the first four games of the season series, while Potomac took the first set between the two clubs at Pfitzner Stadium from May 5-8. Offensively, Frederick is batting just .178 (21-118) against Nationals arms, but Keys pitching has registered a 2.12 ERA (34IP/8ER). It has been the same story for the Nats, as Tripp Keister’s team has hit just .222 off Keys pitching, but has pitched to a 2.06 ERA (35IP/8ER). In the early going, Erick Salcedo (.385/5-for-13) has fared best at the plate for the Keys, while Dale Carey (.636/7-11) and Bryan Mejia (.364/4-11) have led the Nationals. In 2015, Frederick won the season-set, taking 13 of the 22 meetings, ending a string of three straight seasons where Potomac held the upper hand.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez does not have a steal since Monday (spanning four games) but is still among the leaders in Minor League Baseball. At the moment, he is tied for third in the minors with Lynchburg’s Greg Allen and Hickory’s Eric Jenkins.  Only Salem’s Yoan Moncada and Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (30) have stolen more. This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-26 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: A pair of wins on Sunday would move the Keys within one game of .500 for the first time since April 15. The Keys have gone 12-6 in May despite batting only .238 as a team. Erick Salcedo leads the Keys offensively this month with a .321 average. Aderlin Rodriguez leads all run producers with four homers and 14 RBIs this month (13 of which have come against Wilmington). Rodriguez has started the last three games at third base and made two errors on Friday, after making only two his first 31 contests in the field. Wynston Sawyer has a .493 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in seven of his last 11 games and at least one walk in nine of 12 (21 walks this season as opposed to 13 strikeouts). Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings in May, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Erick Fedde makes his eighth start of the season on Sunday and is the No. 4 prospect in the Nationals system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Sunday at Winston-Salem. Pitching five innings, Fedde earned the win, allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked one struck out two and hit a batter. In each of his seven starts this year the 23-year-old has allowed three runs or more. Fedde is fifth among starters in SO/9IP ratio (9.26). The righty split the 2015 season between Short-Season Auburn and Low-A Hagerstown, his first as a professional. In 14 combined starts between the two levels he went 5-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 64 innings. He walked 16 and struck out 59. He was promoted to Low-A on August 4 and pitched in six games in the South Atlantic League to close out the year. The 2014 Mountain West Pitcher of the Year at UNLV, Fedde went 6-1 with a 1.60 ERA as a junior. However after the season, he underwent Tommy John surgery on June 3, 2014 and underwent a 10-month recovery process. He slipped to the No. 18 overall pick and signed for just over $2.5 million. Fedde got on the Nationals radar after assistant general manager and vice president of scouting, Kris Kline, saw Fedde throw 7.1 scoreless innings against Central Michigan to go with 11 strikeouts. From Las Vegas, Fedde was a high school teammate of 2015 NL MVP and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.

 

It’s Superhero Night and WE’VE GOT BOBBLEHEADS!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys were victorious last night after a 4-3 thriller against the Potomac Nationals. Erick Salcedo was locked in at the plate, going 3-for-3, including his first professional home run. The highlight of the night came from Cam Kneeland, who threw out Raudy Read at home to deny the Nationals the tying run in the eighth inning.

The Nationals and the Keys are back at it again for game two at 6 pm. After a season-high in attendance last night, we’re expecting an even larger crowd tonight! Why? Two words: IronManny bobblehead. This exclusive bobblehead of the Orioles third baseman, presented by Flying Dog, will be given to the first 1,000 fans when the gates open at 5 pm.

In honor of tonight’s Superhero Night, I tried to match your favorite Frederick Keys and Baltimore Orioles to their appropriate superhero. How did I do? Let me know in the comments!

Frederick Keys OF Jay Gonzalez: Flash

 Baltimore Orioles 1B Chris Davis: Hulk

 Frederick Keys 3B Jomar Reyes: Thor

 Baltimore Orioles OF Adam Jones: Captain America

 Frederick Keys RHP Tanner Scott: Human Torch

 Baltimore Orioles 3B Manny Machado: Iron Man

Can’t make it tonight? Geoff and Doug will be on the airwaves on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App at 5:45 pm.

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

 

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Saturday, May 21, 2016 · Game #42 · Home Game #22

Frederick Keys (19-22) vs. Potomac Nationals (21-18)

LHP John Means (4-0, 2.09) vs. RHP Erick Fedde (2-3, 6.62)

                                                                                                                                                               KNEELAND’S CLUTCH PLAY HELPS KEYS HOLD ON: A clutch play in rightfield in the top of the eighth inning by Cam Kneeland and a big day at the plate by Erick Salcedo helped the Keys hang on for a 4-3 win on Friday night at Nymeo Field. It was the Keys fourth win in their last five games. In the eighth inning, the P-Nats threatened to tie the game. Jose Marmolejos opened the inning with a walk before advancing to third on a double by Raudy Read. A bounce out by Alec Keller then made it a one-run game to send up Bryan Mejia. First pitch swinging, he hit a flyball to right which Kneeland caught, and then threw a strike home to gun down Read. The Keys scored single markers in four of the game’s first five innings, while Lucas Long threw seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) to pick up the win. Jimmy Yacabonis earned the save.

SALCEDO GETTING LOCKED IN:  Erick Salcedo turned in his best offensive game of the year on Friday. Going 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, Salcedo also hit the first home run of his professional career. Before Saturday, he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one. Thanks to the homer, the Venezuelan has a season-high six-game hitting streak going. During that time, he is batting .500 (10-for-20) with a homer, two RBIs and four runs scored. Additionally, he has hits in nine of his last 10 contests. During that stretch he is batting .406 (13-for-32). In the process, his average has jumped almost 60 points (from .193 to .252) the highest it is has been this season.

CLOSE CALLS: On Friday, the Keys played another close game. Each of the Keys last six games have been decided by three runs or less, while each of the last four contests have been decided by two runs or less (the Keys have won three of those). Prior to this stretch, the orange and black had played four straight contests which were decided by four or more runs. This season, 27 of the Keys 41 games have come down to three runs or less. In those contests, the Keys are 14-13. Meanwhile, Friday was just the Keys second win all year in a one-run game (2-5).

BREAKING THE MOLD: After winning just one of their first 37 games when scoring less than four runs, the Keys have taken two of their last three when tallying three or less markers. In addition to winning 3-1 on Thursday, the Keys topped the Blue Rocks by the same score on Tuesday night.  In 2016, the orange and black are 3-12 when scoring three or less runs and 16-10 when hitting the four-run barrier. All three of Frederick’s wins when scoring fewer than four runs have come against Wilmington.

 STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: Lucas Long continued the trend of strong starting pitching this month on Friday. In May, Keys starters have posted a 2.77 ERA (100.2 IP/31ER). In nine of Frederick’s 12 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) while until Wednesday’s defeat, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance in May. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in seven of the last 10 contests.

 SCOUTING POTOMAC: So far the Keys and P-Nats have split the first four games of the season series, while Potomac took the first set between the two clubs at Pfitzner Stadium from May 5-8. Offensively, Frederick is batting just .178 (21-118) against Nationals arms, but Keys pitching has registered a 2.12 ERA (34IP/8ER). It has been the same story for the Nats, as Tripp Keister’s team has hit just .222 off Keys pitching, but has pitched to a 2.06 ERA (35IP/8ER). In the early going, Erick Salcedo (.385/5-for-13) has fared best at the plate for the Keys, while Dale Carey (.636/7-11) and Bryan Mejia (.364/4-11) have led the Nationals. In 2015, Frederick won the season-set, taking 13 of the 22 meetings, ending a string of three straight seasons where Potomac held the upper hand.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez does not have a steal since Monday (spanning four games) but is still among the leaders in Minor League Baseball. At the moment, he is tied for third in the minors with Hickory’s Eric Jenkins.  Only Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (30) and Salem’s Yoan Moncada (28) have stolen more. This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-26 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: A win on Saturday would move the Keys within two games of .500 for the first time since April 18 (a game that tonight’s starter John Means pitched in and won). He Keys have gone 12-6 in May despite batting only .238 as a team. Erick Salcedo leads the Keys offensively this month with a .321 average. Aderlin Rodriguez leads all run producers with four homers and 14 RBIs this month (13 of which have come against Wilmington). Rodriguez has started the last three games at third base and made two errors on Friday, after making only two his first 31 contests in the field. Wynston Sawyer has a .493 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in seven of his last 11 games and at least one walk in nine of 12 (21 walks this season as opposed to 13 strikeouts). Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings in May, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Erick Fedde makes his eighth start of the season on Saturday and is the No. 4 prospect in the Nationals system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came on Sunday at Winston-Salem. Pitching five innings, Fedde earned the win, allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked one struck out two and hit a batter. In each of his seven starts this year the 23-year-old has allowed three runs or more. Fedde is fifth among starters in SO/9IP ratio (9.26). The righty split the 2015 season between Short-Season Auburn and Low-A Hagerstown, his first as a professional. In 14 combined starts between the two levels he went 5-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 64 innings. He walked 16 and struck out 59. He was promoted to Low-A on August 4 and pitched in six games in the South Atlantic League to close out the year. The 2014 Mountain West Pitcher of the Year at UNLV, Fedde went 6-1 with a 1.60 ERA as a junior. However after the season, he underwent Tommy John surgery on June 3, 2014 and underwent a 10-month recovery process. He slipped to the No. 18 overall pick and signed for just over $2.5 million. Fedde got on the Nationals radar after assistant general manager and vice president of scouting, Kris Kline, saw Fedde throw 7.1 scoreless innings against Central Michigan to go with 11 strikeouts. From Las Vegas, Fedde was a high school teammate of 2015 NL MVP and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.

 

The Boys Are Back in Town to Face the P-Nats!

Good Evening Keys fans!

The boys are back in Frederick! The Keys have returned home to Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium for a four-game series against the local rival Potomac Nationals. Not only are we ready for some great baseball this weekend, but some of the best promotions are in store as well!

Tonight, we have Maryland State Pride Night at the ballpark! Every self-respecting Marylander has more than a few pieces of gear that represents the best state (and flag) in the country, so show us yours! The first 1,000 fans will also receive a pizza cutter courtesy of Pretzel & Pizza Creations.

Tomorrow night, we reveal one of the most anticipated bobbleheads in all of minor league baseball. It’s IronManny! The first 1,000 fans will get the exclusive bobblehead of the Baltimore Orioles third baseman presented by Flying Dog. Also as part of Superhero Night, all of your favorite superheroes will be at the ballpark.

Did you forget to give your mom a Mother’s Day gift two weeks ago? No worries! Sunday is Mother/Son day at the ballpark. Grab your mom and enjoy an afternoon with the Frederick Keys. You’ll also be able to play catch in the outfield for a half-hour after the gates open.

For the finale on Monday, all kids under 12 will eat free! All eligible participants will receive a free voucher for a hot dog, soda and chips upon entering the gates.

Family fun, bobbleheads, superheroes and the best state flag in the country… What more could you ask for?

Not able to make it to all four games?  We’ll be on the airwaves at on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App as Geoff and Doug will keep you up to date.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Friday, May 20, 2016 · Game #41 · Home Game #21

Frederick Keys (18-22) vs. Potomac Nationals (21-17)

RHP Lucas Long (1-2, 3.95) vs. RHP Wirkin Estevez (0-2, 3.94)

                                                                                                                                                              

BLUE ROCKS RALLY IN NINTH TO TOP KEYS: The Frederick Keys trio of David Richardson, Tanner Scott and Tanner Chleborad allowed only two hits over nine innings as the Frederick Keys defeated the Wilmington Blue Rocks 3-1 on Thursday night at Frawley Stadium. Thanks to the victory, the Keys claimed the rubber game and finished their first-half slate against Wilmington with a 9-3 record. All three Keys runs came in the first inning against Blue Rocks lefty Matt Tenuta on one swing. With two aboard, Aderlin Rodriguez hit a three-run homer over the leftfield wall give his team the lead for good. Wilmington’s marker came in the fourth after a leadoff double to Alfredo Escalera and an RBI single by Humberto Arteaga. After that single though, only one Blue Rocks hitter would reach the rest of the game.

BULLPEN BULLIES: The two hits allowed by David Richardson, Tanner Scott and Tanner Chleborad on Thursday marked the fewest Keys pitching had surrendered in a game this year. Richardson started the contest, working a season-high four innings and allowing the only run of the game. After allowing an RBI single to Humberto Arteaga though, Richardson, Scott and Chleborad combined to set down 17 of the final 18 batters. The group struck out 12, while Scott earned the win pitching a season-best three frames. The two-hitter marked the fewest hits allowed by Keys pitching since last August 25 against Potomac, when David Hess pitched a seven-inning one-hit complete game. Prior to Thursday, the Keys had gone 0-3 in bullpen games with a collective 8.65 ERA (26IP/25ER).

BREAKING THE MOLD: After winning just one of their first 37 games when scoring less than four runs, the Keys have taken two of their last three when tallying three or less markers. In addition to winning 3-1 on Thursday, the Keys topped the Blue Rocks by the same score on Tuesday night.  In 2016, the orange and black are 3-12 when scoring three or less runs and 15-10 when hitting the four-run barrier. All three of Frederick’s wins when scoring fewer than four runs have come against Wilmington.

CLOSE CALLS: Each of the Keys last five games have been decided by three runs or less, while three of those have hinged on either one or two runs. Prior to this stretch, the orange and black had played four straight contests which were decided by four or more runs. This season, 26 of the Keys 40 games have come down to three runs or less. In those contests, the Keys are 13-13, but the team has taken four out of the last five decided by three or less.   

SAD TO SEE THEM GO: Frederick earned its third straight series win over the Blue Rocks on Thursday. During that time, the Keys won eight of nine games. This season exactly half (9-3) of the Keys wins have come against Wilmington, while the club is 9-19 against the rest of the Carolina League. Aside from the Blue Rocks, the Keys have a record of either .500 or below against every other CL team.

STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: A major part of this month’s success has been the starting pitching. In May, Keys starters have posted a 2.88 ERA (93.2 IP/30ER). In eight of Frederick’s 11 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) while until Wednesday’s defeat, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance in May. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in six of the last 10 contests.

SALCEDO GETTING LOCKED IN:  Following a rough April at the plate where he hit .194 in 19 games, Erick Salcedo has begun to have more success at the plate in May. Going 2-for-4 with on Thursday, the switch-hitter has a season-high five-game hitting streak going and has hits in eight of his last nine contests. During that stretch he is batting .345 (10-for-29). In the process, his average has jumped from .193 to .232, the highest it is has been this season.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez collected another steal on Monday to run his season-total up to 23. He has 13 steals in his last 16 games and ranks second in the Carolina League. Gonzalez trails only Salem’s Yoan Moncada (28). Among minor leaguers, Moncada and Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez are tied for the lead, while Gonzalez is tied for third overall (with Hickory’s Eric Jenkins). This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-26 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: In addition to sitting second in the CL in stolen bases, Jay Gonzalez has more walks (12) and stolen bases (13) this month than strikeouts (10). Aderlin Rodriguez leads all Keys with a .333 average this month (17-for-56) in 15 games to go with four homers and 14 RBIs (13 of which have come against Wilmington). Wynston Sawyer has a .492 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in six of his last 10 games and at least one walk in nine of 11 (21 walks this season as opposed to 13 strikeouts). Matthew Grimes (1.61), John Means (2.09) and Lucas Long (2.58) rank first, third and sixth among O’s minor leaguers in ERA this year. Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings in May, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Wirkin Estevez makes his eighth start of the season on Friday and his first against the Keys. The right-hander’s most recent outing came at Winston-Salem last Saturday. Receiving a no-decision, he worked five scoreless innings of four-hit baseball to go with one walk and two strikeouts. This season Estevez has not worked more than five innings and thrown no more than 79 pitches. The right-hander did not pitch for a regular season team in 2015 due to Tommy John surgery but made four appearances for Salt River in the Arizona Fall League. There he allowed six runs on five hits in four innings (13.50 ERA). It marked the second time that the righty had undergone Tommy John surgery, as he also missed the 2013 season for the same reason. Prior to this year, Estevez’s previous full season came in 2014 with Low-A Hagerstown when he was 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA in just five games. Estevez was signed by the Nationals as an international free agent in 2010.

 

Keys Gear Up For Last First-Half Meeting with Blue Rocks

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Frederick Keys gear up for their final first-half meeting with the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Thursday night at Frawley Stadium. Following a three-run Rocks rally in the ninth inning on Wednesday, the Keys will be looking for a win in the rubber game and their third overall series win against their First State nemesis.

Right-hander David Richardson makes the start for the Keys and will be opposed by Wilmington lefty Matt Tenuta. Home run prone, Tenuta leads the CL in home runs allowed despite pitching in the most pitcher-friendly park in the league (three of the homers have come at Frawley Stadium).

Two final notes, one baseball related, one not. On the field, Keys starting pitching has been a big key to Frederick’s success this month (check the note below) and MASN’s Steve Melewski took a closer look at the great starts of John Means and Matthew Grimes in an article here.

Additionally check out more info on the Keys 90s Nickelodeon night here! Both the Keys and the Hillcats will be wearing special Hey Arnold! themed jerseys while here is a picture of both designs:

Jersey Release (640)

It’s gonna be a fun night so may sure to call 301-815-9939 to get your tickets!

Tonight’s broadcast will get underway at 6:20 on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App (visit WTHU) so make sure to tune in! First pitch will be at 6:35.

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Thursday, May 19, 2016 · Game #40 · Road Game #20

Frederick Keys (17-22) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (11-27)

RHP David Richardson (1-1, 4.91) vs. LHP Matt Tenuta (2-1, 5.66)

BLUE ROCKS RALLY IN NINTH TO TOP KEYS: An RBI single by Alfredo Escalera capped off a three-run Wilmington bottom of the ninth as the Blue Rocks defeated the Frederick Keys 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon at Frawley Stadium. Trailing 2-0, the Blue Rocks recorded three consecutive one-out hits against Mike Zouzalik to tie the game. Elier Hernandez got things started with a single and then scored on a double to left-center by Robert Pehl. The next batter Luis Villegas followed with a triple to even things up. Jimmy Yacabonis was called in from the bullpen and struck out Josh Banuelos, but Escalera brought home the game-winning run one batter later with a base hit through the right side. For the game, the Keys went 0-for-6 with runners and scoring position and left eight on base.

A TOUGH PILL TO SWALLOW: Entering the bottom of the ninth with a one-run lead on Wednesday, the Keys lost for the first time all season when leading after eight innings (15-0 prior). Making matters worse, the Blue Rocks had scored just four runs in their previous 44 innings against the Keys before scoring three times in the ninth. Additionally the middle game marked the club’s fifth one-run loss of the season. Currently the Keys have the worst overall record and fewest wins in the CL in one-run contests (1-5).

RUBBER GAMES: Thursday marks the fifth rubber game the Keys will play this season. In deciding contests, the Keys are 1-3. The team’s most recent rubber game came on May 8 against Potomac, a game the P-Nats won 2-1 and the Keys were one-hit. Frederick and Wilmington have squared off in one rubber game this year, a game the Blue Rocks took 13-4 back on April 20 (following that game the Blue Rocks went on a season-worst 12-game losing streak). Frederick’s only win in a rubber match came on April 13 against Salem (5-3 win).

STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: Mitch Horacek kept the trend of good starts by Keys starters alive on Wednesday, firing off six shutout innings of three-hit baseball. A major part of this month’s success, Frederick starters have posted a 2.91 ERA (89.2 IP/29ER). In eight of Frederick’s 10 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) while until yesterday’s defeat, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance in May. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in six of the last nine contests.

 SALCEDO GETTING LOCKED IN:  Following a rough April at the plate where he hit .194 in 19 games, Erick Salcedo has begun to have more success at the plate in May. The switch-hitter has hits in seven of his last eight games and is batting .320 during that time (8-for-25). During that time he has jumped his average from .193 to .222, the highest it is has been this season.

BIERFELDT JOINS KEYS: Right before the game on Tuesday, Conor Bierfeldt was activated from the seven-day DL (right hand injury) while Tad Gold was transferred to Aberdeen. Promoted to the Keys at the All-Star Break last year, he hit .202 with five home runs and 29 RBIs in 56 games. Between Low-A and Advanced-A he batted .227 with 12 home runs and 85 RBIs, placing fifth among O’s minor leaguers in homers and second in RBIs (only Trey Mancini-89-had more).

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez collected another steal on Monday to run his season-total up to 23. He has 13 steals in his last 15 games and ranks second in the Carolina League. Gonzalez trails only Salem’s Yoan Moncada (26). Among minor leaguers, Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez leads everyone with 28, while Gonzalez is third overall. Lynchburg’s Greg Allen is fifth with 21. This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-25 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: In addition to sitting second in the CL in stolen bases, Jay Gonzalez has more walks (12) and stolen bases (13) this month than strikeouts (10). Aderlin Rodriguez leads all Keys with a .304 average this month (17-for-56) in 15 games to go with three homers and 11 RBIs (10 of which have come against Wilmington). Wynston Sawyer has a .508 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in six of his last nine games and at least one walk in eight of 10 (20 walks this season as opposed to 12 strikeouts). Jonah Heim has 13 hits this month (he is hitting .283 overall) and has three home runs and six extra-base hits. Like Sawyer, he also has walked more (18) than he has struck out (17). Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings in May, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Matt Tenuta makes his eighth start of the year on Thursday. His most recent outing last Saturday at Salem. Lasting only four innings, Tenuta allowed six runs on nine hits in a no-decision. He walked two and struck out five. In two starts against Frederick this year he is 1-0 with a 6.52 ERA (9.2 IP/7ER/7BB/4 SO). Home runs have been a problem for Tenuta, as the lefty leads the CL with seven allowed (he has given up two homers in a game three times). Last season, Tenuta spent time with Low-A Lexington, Rookie-Burlington and the AZL Royals. Between the three stops he went 3-7 with a 3.93 ERA, with 13 of his 21 appearances coming at Low-A (2-6, 4.25). Opening the season there, the 10th pitch of his fifth start cost him more than two months, as he took a line drive off his left leg which broke his fibula. Selected by the Royals out of high school in the 25th round of the 2012 draft, Tenuta received a reported $100,000 bonus. As a kid, Tenuta moved all around, living in locales such as Columbus, OH, South Bend IN, Atlanta, GA and Raleigh, NC. The reason is that his dad Jon is a highly decorated defensive coordinator with stops at Notre Dame, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and most recently at Virginia.

 

Morning Baseball From the First State!

Good Morning Keys Fans!

The Keys and Blue Rocks square off in a morning game from the First State as the Keys try for their third straight series win over Wilmington.

Mitch Horacek gets the ball for the Keys and the lefty will be counter by right-hander Zach Lovvorn. First pitch is at 10:35 am and we’ll have a pregame chat with Erick Salcedo beginning just after 10:20. The game can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 · Game #39 · Road Game #19

Frederick Keys (17-21) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (10-27)

LHP Mitch Horacek (1-4, 6.19) vs. RHP Zach Lovvorn (0-5, 4.24)

                                                                                                                                                               GRIMES HURLS GEM, KEYS TAKE ANOTHER FROM ROCKS: Matthew Grimes tossed seven outstanding innings while the Frederick Keys recorded three two-out RBIs in a 3-1 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium. Starting 45 minutes late due to rain, Grimes was not affected by the wait, giving up just one run while scattering seven hits. The lone run he gave up came in the first on a sac-fly by Austin Bailey with the bases loaded. That run matched the Keys first inning marker, thanks to an Aderlin Rodriguez RBI double. In the sixth the Keys took control for good. Facing Foster Griffin, Jonah Heim doubled home Jomar Reyes with two outs and scored himself on a base knock by Conor Bierfeldt. In his Advanced-A debut Griffin took the loss, allowing three runs in 6.1 innings. Jeff Beliveau earned the save for the Keys, working two scoreless innings to close out the game.

KEYS PITCHING REGAINS ITS FORM: After giving up 27 runs from Friday-Sunday (the most allowed by Frederick arms in a three-day stretch this year) the pitching staff has bounced back the last two nights. After allowing two runs and striking out 14 total on Monday, Matthew Grimes and Jeff Beliveau combined on nine innings of seven-hit, one-run baseball. They gave up only two hits in their last six innings. Grimes tied his career-high with seven innings pitched (third time) and delivered his fourth quality start of the year. Grimes and John Means have also allowed two earned runs or less in all eight of their starts. With that trend, it is no surprise that Grimes (1.61) and Means (2.09) rank second and fourth respectively in the CL in ERA.

 STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: So far the Keys are 10-5 in May and starting pitching has played a big role in the team’s success. Starters have posted a 3.12 ERA (83.2 IP/29ER) In eight of Frederick’s 10 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start, delivering six innings or more and allowing three earned runs or less. Moreover, in each game this month where a Keys starter has turned in a quality start FREDERICK HAS NOT LOST. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in five of the last eight contests.

 IT’S CALLED OWNAGE: The Frederick Keys are excited to be seeing the Blue Rocks again. Entering Wednesday the orange and black have won seven straight games against their First State rival and have earned back-to-back three-game sweeps. In the most recent three-gamer at Nymeo Field from last Tuesday-Thursday, Frederick outscored the Blue Crew 14-2 and got quality starts from Lucas Long, John Means and Matthew Grimes. In three days, Wilmington mustered only 13 hits and went a combined 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

MORE KEYS V BLUE ROCKS NOTES: Overall, Frederick is 8-2 against the Blue Rocks this season and is the only team the Keys have a winning record against in the Carolina League. Keys pitching has turned in a 3.00 ERA, while the Keys are hitting .233 off Blue Rocks arms. Although the second figure is hardly impressive, Frederick is batting .286 (28-for-98) with runners in scoring position against Wilmington and has benefited from 59 walks in 86 innings.

BIERFELDT JOINS KEYS: Right before the game on Tuesday, Conor Bierfeldt was activated from the seven-day DL (right hand injury) while Tad Gold was transferred to Aberdeen. In his season debut, Bierfeldt went 1-for-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts. Promoted to the Keys at the All-Star Break last year, he hit .202 with five home runs and 29 RBIs in 56 games. Between Low-A and Advanced-A he batted .227 with 12 home runs and 85 RBIs, placing fifth among O’s minor leaguers in homers and second in RBIs (only Trey Mancini-89-had more).

THE BIG INNING PROBLEM: Although Keys pitching has performed well of late, the big inning has proven to be a major problem at times. The eight-run fifth inning for Myrtle Beach on Saturday marked the seventh time this year that Keys arms had given up five runs or more in an inning. That includes three five-run frames, two seven-run frames, an eight-run frame and a 10-run inning. Of those seven innings, six have occurred at Nymeo Field, giving the Keys a much higher home ERA (4.87) than road ERA (3.27).

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez collected another steal on Monday to run his season-total up to 23. He has 13 steals in 14 games and ranks second in the Carolina League. Gonzalez trails only Salem’s Yoan Moncada (25). Among minor leaguers, Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez leads everyone with 28, while Gonzalez is third overall. Lynchburg’s Greg Allen is tied for fifth with 20. This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-25 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: On Tuesday, the Keys won just their second game all year when scoring less than four runs (both have come against Wilmington) In addition to sitting second in the CL in stolen bases, Jay Gonzalez is fourth in on-base percentage and has more walks (12) and stolen bases (13) this month than strikeouts. Wynston Sawyer has a .508 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in six of his last nine games and at least one walk in eight of 10 (20 walks this season as opposed to 12 strikeouts). Jonah Heim has 12 hits this month including three home runs and six extra-base hits. Like Sawyer, he also has walked more (18) than he has struck out (15) and has as many RBIs as strikeouts. Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings this month, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Righty Zach Lovvorn makes his eighth appearance and sixth start on Wednesday. His last outing came at Frederick last Thursday. In relief, he allowed three runs on four hits in 4.1 innings. Last year with Wilmington Lovvorn went 4-5 with a 3.93 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) and registered quality outings in seven of his 11 contests. Lovvorn was selected by Kansas City in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of Oxford (AL) High School. The third pitcher in his high school rotation (the first two signed with Florida and Alabama) the righty rose up draft boards thanks to a good showing in the National High School Invitational. He received a $275,000 bonus, $80,000 over the recommended slot value. Before signing with the Royals, Lovvorn was committed to Stamford.

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