Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-4-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The Keys try and force a rubber game on Wednesday night, when the team plays its second game against the Salem Red Sox.

Although it’s in today’s game notes, GREAT NEWS for Glynn Davis and Matt Taylor who were selected to the Carolina League All-Star Team. Here is a look at the full release.

First pitch tonight is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from LewisGale Field, and the talented Doug Raftery has you covered on the radio. Pregame coverage kicks off at 6:50 p.m.

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

Geoff

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 · Game #57 · Road Game #31

Frederick Keys (24-32) vs Salem Red Sox (28-29)

RHP Parker Bridwell (2-6, 4.70) vs. RHP Simon Mercedes (2-5, 3.76)

ONE BAD INNING: The Frederick Keys scored the first three runs of the ballgame on Tuesday night, but the Salem Red Sox scored the final four, as the home team used a big seventh inning to secure a 6-4 win at LewisGale Field. It was Frederick’s second straight defeat, and pushed the team to eight games below .500. With 12 games left to play in the first-half, the Keys find themselves 5.5 games out of first place. Down 4-2 to begin the bottom of the seventh, Salem got its leadoff man, Matty Johnson, aboard to open the inning. He moved to second on a wild pitch by Matt Hauser and scored on an error in leftfield by Brenden Webb. Ryan Dent and Carson Blair each coaxed walks out of Hauser before a two-run double by Aneury Tavarez put the Red Sox on top to stay.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Frederick has struggled mightily in series openers this year. In 2014, the orange and black are just 4-13 in the first game of a series, while the Keys have lost 11 of their last 12 series openers. Frederick departed from this trend during its recent homestand, when the orange and black crushed Wilmington 8-1, and tallied 15 hits. Although openers have been problematic, the Keys have often fared well in the middle game, capturing game two in five of the last seven sets they have played.

STARTING STREAK SNAPPED: Frederick’s string of quality starts came to an end last night. After the rotation posted five straight quality starts, Brady Wager failed to make it through five innings on Tuesday night. Over 4.2 innings the righty gave up two runs on four hits, he walked five and struck out four. A streak which started last Thursday at Lynchburg,Wager got the ball rolling with six innings of two-run baseball. Parker Bridwell and Joe Van Meter followed with seven frames of one-run and two-run baseball respectively, while Mark Blackmar allowed just one run over six innings on Sunday. On Monday, Branden Kline closed out the streak, by giving up one run over 6.2 innings. One of the team’s strengths in the month of May, Frederick’s starting rotation posted a 3.58 over 30 games.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Glynn Davis and Matt Taylor had been named to the Carolina League All-Star team. It marks the first time in their professional careers that the duo had been named to an all-star team. On Tuesday, June 17, the Carolina League All Stars will play the California League All-Stars in the two leagues annual clash. The No. 29 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, Davis enters Wednesday’s action with the fourth-best batting average in the Carolina League (.313). He ranks second in hits (65), runs scored (46) and is third in doubles (16). The Baltimore native also paces the Keys with 19 multi-hit games. Although Taylor was named to the All-Star squad, he will not play in the game due to injury. Still, the Georgian has impressed this season, going 5-1 with a 1.94 ERA in eight games. He is second in the league in ERA and is tied for second in wins. This year’s Carolina League All-Star team will be managed by Blue Rocks skipper Darryl Kennedy, while Wilmington’s Steve Luebber will serve as pitching coach.

WELCOME BACK MIKE!: Michael Burgess returned to the Keys lineup on Tuesday night after being transferred from Aberdeen earlier in the day. Playing in his first game with the Keys since June 3, the Tampa native went 1-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two strikeouts. The team leader with 34 RBIs, Burgess is also tied for fifth in the Carolina League. Formerly a first round pick by Washington in 2007, Burgess is batting .280 over 43 games with the orange and black this season, his first with the Orioles organization. Tough to get out in the month of May, Burgess hit .289 over 21 games to go along with a home run, seven doubles, a triple and 19 RBIs.

HOIST THE HARDWARE:On Monday, Adrian Marin was named the Carolina League’s “Player of the Week” for May 26-June 2. It is the first time the Miami native has earned a player of the week honor in his pro career, while he becomes the second member of the Keys to receive a weekly award in 2014. In mid-May, Parker Bridwell was named the Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” after throwing a near no-hitter against Potomac. Owner of three mutli-RBI games in last six contests, Marin led all of Advanced-A in runs batted in last week, posted the second-most among Orioles farmhands (Delmarva’s Trey Mancini recorded 12), while his 11 RBIs were tied for the sixth-most in all of minor league baseball. Mark Minicozzi of Triple-A Fresno and Brad Snyder of Triple-A Round Rock also finished with 11, while Frank Schwindel of Low-A Lexington paced all the minors with 16. Thanks to the 11 RBIs output, Marin has more than doubled his season output. Over his past six games, he is batting .429 (9-for-21) while eight of his nine hits have gone for extra-bases (seven doubles and one homer).

FREDERICK V SALEM 2013: The Keys posted an 11-9 record against the Red Sox last season. One of only two head-to-head series Frederick won all season (the Keys went 12-8 against Carolina), Salem was also one of only two clubs that the orange and black swept in 2013. The two teams split the 20 game season-series in 2012, while the Keys manhandled the Sox in 2011, going 15-5. Despite being June 3, Tuesday goes down as the first time that the Keys and the Red Sox have met all year. The last head-to-head battle took place last August 30, when Salem took three of four at LewisGale Field.

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 Simon Mercedes makes his 11th appearance of the season his sixth start and his first appearance against the Keys. Rated the No. 24 prospect in the Red Sox system according to Baseball America, Mercedes was tagged with the loss in his most recent start at Myrtle Beach. Facing the Pelicans last Wednesday, the right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits over six frames. He walked two and struck out four, while it was his second straight quality start. A pitcher that has been tough to hit at times, Mercedes is holding opponents to a .228 batting average, and lefties are batting just .173 against him. He also averages nearly a strikeout per nine innings (40.2 IP/39 SO). Mercedes opened the year as a piggyback starter, before moving into the rotation on May 12 at Wilmington. Dominant in that outing, the righty allowed only one earned run in five innings and struck out a season-high seven. Like last night’s starter Corey Littrell, Mercedes jumps to Advanced-A from Short-Season Lowell. In 13 games with the Spinners last season (three starts), the Dominican went 2-2 with a 3.13 ERA. There he was also used as a piggyback starter, and led the club in innings pitched (63) and strikeouts (57). Signed by the Red Sox for a reported $800,000 bonus in March 2012, the 22-year-old had agreed to a $400,000 deal with the Giants in 2011, but a background investigation by Major League Baseball showed inconsistencies with Mercedes documentation. The deal was voided, and MLB declared Mercedes ineligible for one year. A pitcher that can reach the high 90s with his fastball, the righty throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

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