Keys Game Notes 6-1-14

Happy June Keys Fans!

It’s hard to believe we are there already! On Sunday, Frederick will play for a series victory over the Blue Rocks. Last night the team won 5-4, as the team was eventually able to crack Luis Santos who threw 5.1 no-hit innings.

Sunday should be a ton of fun, with a meet the team event beforehand as well as a postgame candy drop afterwards! It is also Macy’s American Family Day, so come on out and take in some baseball!

Some game notes are below. Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

                                       Sunday, June 1, 2014 · Game #54 · Home Game #25

                                 Frederick Keys (23-30) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (27-27)

                                RHP Mark Blackmar (2-1, 4.97) vs. LHP Sean Manaea (2-3, 4.91)

IT’S CALLED A WINNING STREAK: No-hit through 5.1 innings by Wilmington righty Luis Santos, Frederick turned the tables in the sixth. With one out and the Keys down 2-0, Jerome Pena broke up the no-hit bid with an infield single, before Glynn Davis roped a double to right placing runners at second and third. Brenden Webb brought Pena home on a fielder’s choice, while a passed ball tied the game. In the seventh, Adrian Marin put the orange and black on top for good with a solo homer. Frederick added two more tallies in the eighth, but the Blue Rocks used an RBI double by Cam Gallagher and an RBI single by Daniel Rockett to make it a one-run game. Staying calm, Matt Hobgood got Raul Mondesi to pop up to shortstop to close out Frederick’s 5-4 win. It was the first time the Keys had won back-to-back games in two weeks. The team has not claimed three in a row since April 16-18, when the team took four straight at Winston-Salem and Carolina (Frederick’s longest winning streak of the year).

NO-HIT NOTES: In 2014, the Keys have been no-hit through five innings on three occasions. Carolina’s Dylan Baker was the first to accomplish the feat, firing six perfect innings on April 8 (opening night at Harry Grove Stadium). Baker exited after six stanzas due to pitch count, while Glynn Davis broke up the no-no in the seventh with a triple to the right-center gap. Myrtle Beach’s Chi Chi Gonzalez also posted six no-hit innings against the Keys on May 20, before Michael Burgess broke things up with a seventh inning single. Saturday’s win marks the first time all year where the orange and black have been held hitless through at least five frames, but still managed to win. On April 8, the Mudcats won 7-0, while the Pelicans claimed a 3-1 victory on May 20.

METER READER: Joe Van Meter tossed a career-high seven innings on Saturday night to earn back-to-back wins first time in his professional career. Over seven stanzas, the right-hander allowed two runs on four hits, he walked three and struck out four. Both of Van Meter’s victories have come against the Blue Rocks this year, while he has put together back-to-back quality starts against Wilmington. Pitching on Memorial Day at Frawley Stadium, the Virginian gave up only one run on six hits. Signed by the Orioles as a free agent in March, Van Meter is 2-0 with a 3.04 ERA in his first five games. Brutal against both lefties and righties, he is holding opponents to a .196 batting average.

ROTATION RULES: Frederick used several outstanding performances from its starters to close out May strong. The night before Joe Van Meter tossed seven innings of two-run baseball, Parker Bridwell went seven stanzas and allowed only one run. Brady Wager also kept the Keys close on Thursday afternoon at Lynchburg, going six innings and allowing only two runs (one earned). Thanks to Van Meter’s effort on Saturday, it marked the first time all season that Frederick had received three straight quality starts. Meanwhile, Frederick’s starter has gone six innings or more in four straight games (with three of the outings lasting seven innings). In the month of May, the Keys rotation tallied a 3.58 ERA.

LIKE A ROCK: Zane Chavez extended his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games on Saturday, thanks to a 1-for-4 effort. During his 10 game jaunt, the Californian is batting .405 (15-for-37) 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 Saturday, he gave the Keys the lead for good with a solo homer to rightfield off Wilmington reliever Kyle Bartsch. That performance comes on the heels of a monster Friday, where he drove in a career-high four runs, going 3-for-4. Over his last 10 contests, Marin is batting .378 (14-for-37) with a home run, seven doubles, 11 RBIs and four runs scored. That includes multiple hits in five of those games. During that stretch, he has moved his batting average from .221 to .256, the second-highest it has been all season.

NORTHERN EXPOSURE: Despite posting wins in back-to-back games against the Blue Rocks, Frederick has not fared well against their closest geographic rivals this season. The Keys are a combined 9-14 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 3-3 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:Left-hander Sean Manaea makes his 10 start of the season and his second against Frederick. He is the No. 6 prospect in the Royals system according to Baseball America, and is the top Royals left-handed pitching prospect. Manaea is one of three top 10 prospects in Kansas City system to make a start against the Keys this series, with righties Miguel Almonte (No. 5) and Christian Binford (No. 10) pitching a combined three times against the orange and black. Manaea’s most recent start came on Monday against the Keys at Frawley Stadium. Over five innings, the right-hander allowed six runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out five. Despite giving up six runs, only one was earned on account of a third inning error by Hunter Dozier. A pitcher who has been hittable thus far, Manaea has allowed 47 hits in 36.2 innings, while opponents are batting .305 against him. After a challenging April where he posted a 6.46 ERA, Manaea was better in May, recording a 3.80 ERA in five May starts. In his first professional season, the Indiana native was selected in the competitive balance round of the 2013 draft (34th overall) and received a 3.55 million dollar signing bonus, the second-highest bonus ever given to a player not selected in the first round. Considered a top-five pick after dominating in the Cape Cod League in 2012, Manaea hurt his hip while pitching in a game at the Metrodome for Indiana State. To compensate for the pain, he changed his delivery causing a drop in velocity. It also caused his draft stock to plummet, allowing the Royals to swoop in. Manaea missed all of last season as he recovered from labrum surgery on his hip. A three-pitch pitcher, the 22-year-old throws a low-mid 90s fastball, an above-average slider and a changeup.

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