Keys Game Notes 5-31-2014

Good evening Keys fans!

The team takes to Harry Grove Stadium again tonight against the Wilmington Blue Rocks at 6:00. Joe Van Meter takes the mound for the Keys tonight. Van Meter won his last start, going six innings and allowing only one earned run in a win in Wilmington. Righty Luis Santos, who gets the start for the Blue Rocks, is making his Advanced-A debut. Santos was promoted from Low-A Lexington on Monday.

Below are some more game notes for tonight’s game.

 

Saturday, May 31, 2014 · Game #53 · Home Game #24

Frederick Keys (22-30) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (27-26)

RHP Joe Van Meter (1-0, 3.20) vs. RHP Luis Santos (0-0, –)

R-O-C-K IN THE GROVE: The Frederick Keys pounded out 15 hits and received outstanding starting pitching from Parker Bridwell, as the orange and black cruised past the Wilmington Blue Rocks 8-1 on Friday night at Harry Grove Stadium. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Frederick, who had dropped six of seven on its recent roadtrip. Five Keys players finished with multiple hits, while the Keys used three multi-run innings to pull away. Adrian Marin led the way with three hits and four RBIs. Zane Chavez also tallied his first three-hit effort of the year.

HIT PARADE: The 15 hits recorded by the Keys on Friday, go down as the team’s third-largest hit output of the season. The team’s best offensive showing came on May 14 against Potomac, when Frederick posted a season-high 20 hits and equaled its season-high with 12 runs scored in a 12-5 triumph over the P-Nats. April 13 was also an excellent day for the Keys offense. Taking on Lynchburg, the orange and black ended with 12 runs on 16 hits. Frederick’s three most productive games offensively have all come at home, and all three have come at the expense of Northern Division rivals. As an additional feather in the Keys cap, the 15 hits on Friday were the most allowed by Blue Rocks pitching all season, which entered Friday with the top ERA in the Carolina League, saw a 25.1 inning scoreless streak on Thursday.

MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Frederick’s win on Friday night snapped a string of 10 straight losses in series openers. Prior to the game, the Keys had not claimed the first game of a series since April 18, when the team defeated Carolina 3-1 in 11 innings. Still a problem area, Frederick is now 4-12 in series openers this year. Lately, the orange and black have fared well in the middle game, capturing game two in four of the last six sets they have played.

TEXAS THREE-STEP: Parker Bridwell continued his dominance in the month of May on Friday night. Tossing seven innings of one-run baseball, the right-hander picked up his second win of the season. He scattered four hits, struck out a season-high nine, and did not walk a batter for the second time all season. In six May starts, Bridwell is 2-3 with a 2.72 ERA. Over 36.1 frames, he has allowed 11 runs on 25 hits, struck out 38 and walked 14. In the process, he has seen has ERA sliced from 7.56 to 4.70, the lowest it has been all season.

LIKE A ROCK: Zane Chavez extended his hitting streak to a season-high nine games on Friday, thanks to a 3-for-4 effort. One of two players to finish with three knocks, the California native drove in a run and scored three times as well. During his nine-game jaunt, the Californian is batting .424 (14-for-33) with three doubles, four RBIs, and five runs scored. Chavez’s streak extends back to May 6, as the catcher was promoted to Double-A Bowie on May 8 and later returned to the club on May 22. The longest streak of Chavez’s affiliated career came last August 14-26, when he hit in 11 straight with the Keys.

ADRIAN: Adrian Marin has been on a tear of late. On Friday, he drove in a career-high four runs, going 3-for-4. Two of the three hits were two-baggers, giving the Miami native six in his last four games  Over his last nine contests, Marin is batting .382 (13-for-34) with seven doubles, 10 RBIs and three runs scored, and has multiple hits in five of those games. During that stretch, he has moved his batting average from .221 to .255, the second-highest it has been all season.

NORTHERN EXPOSURE: QUICK HITS:   Frederick has not fared well against their closest geographic rivals this season. The Keys are a combined 8-14 against Wilmington, Potomac and Lynchburg this season, while the orange black are even or below .500 against all three clubs. The team’s recent roadtrip did not help matters. Over a seven game swing, the Keys lost six of the seven contests they played. That includes being swept in a three-game series against Lynchburg. This season, the Keys are 2-3 against Wilmington. The Blue Rocks took last year’s season-set, winning 12 of the 20 games played between the two teams.

 NAME THAT PUJOLS!: Luis Pujols becomes the 20th manager in Keys history, after spending 2013 as the skipper at Low-A Delmarva. He takes the reins from Ryan Minor, who went 61-78 in his lone season as Frederick’s head man. The cousin of Angels star, Albert Pujols, the 58-year-old has considerable experience as a player, manager and coach in the majors and minors. Since spending nine years as a big league catcher with Houston, Kansas City and Texas, Pujols has worked as a bench/first base coach for Montreal (1993-00) and San Francisco (2003-06), while he served as interim manager for the Detroit Tigers in 2002, after Phil Garner was fired six games into the season. He has also managed for Double-A affiliates in the Detroit and Houston systems.

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.

 TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Luis Santos makes his Advanced-A debut on Saturday night, after being promoted from Low-A Lexington on Memorial Day. Santos takes the roster spot of Blue Rocks reliever Ali Williams who was sent to Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Santos pitched in nine games with the Legends prior to his promotion, including six starts. During that time, he went 4-1 with two saves and a 1.76 ERA. That mark was good for sixth-best in the South Atlantic League, while he paced the circuit with a 0.83 WHIP. In 46 innings, Santos walked only five batters, and surrendered just nine earned runs (11 total). He scattered 33 hits, struck out 34, and held opponents to a .198 batting average putting him just outside the top five in the league. Delmarva’s Hunter Harvey currently leads the way, limiting opponents to a .170 mark. Last season, Santos was named the Burlington Royals “Pitcher of the Year” after going 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in seven starts in the Appalachian League. He also went 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA in three games with Rookie Idaho Falls. Originally signed by Pittsburgh as an international free agent in April 2011, Santos was acquired by Kansas City in 2012 as part of the deal that sent Vin Mazzaro and Clint Robinson to the Pirates. The Royals also received Luis Rico in the deal. A three-pitch pitcher, the Bonao, Dominican Republic native throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

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