Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-12-14

Hello Keys fans!

Last night’s series finale against the Salem Red Sox was cancelled as a result of heavy rain before a pitch was even thrown. Tonight, the Keys are set to begins a three game set against the Carolina League-leading Myrtle Beach Pelicans, who come in with a record of 43-21. The Keys took two of three from the Pelicans last week.

Yesterday’s scheduled starter, Mark Blackmar, will take the mound for the Keys tonight against Myrtle Beach starter Luis Parra.

This is the final series for the Frederick before the All-Star break so we hope to see plenty of you out at Harry Grove Stadium this weekend cheering on your Keys!

Take a look below at some of tonight’s game notes:

 

Thursday, June 12, 2014 · Game #64 · Home Game #28

Frederick Keys (29-34) vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans (43-21)

RHP Mark Blackmar (4-1, 3.91) vs. LHP Luis Parra (5-4, 4.33)

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: Mother Nature did not cooperate on Wednesday night, as the Frederick Keys and the Salem Red Sox were cancelled due to rain. Since it was the final meeting between the two clubs in the first-half, the game will not be made up. By default, the Keys earned their second sweep of the season, and their first at home since April 7, 2013, when the club took three straight against Salem to open the year. In 2014, the Keys have had three games cancelled on account of rain. A morning doubleheader between Frederick and Carolina was cancelled on April 29.

 

WEIRD, WILD, STUFF:In a game that featured a plethora of twists and turns, the Frederick Keys found a way to win on Tuesday night against the Salem Red Sox at Harry Grove Stadium. Coming away with a 9-7 triumph, the orange and black were kept afloat by an eight-run second, where 11 men came to bat against Sox pitchers Cody Kukuk and Justin Haley. Despite ranking as the most productive inning of the year, the pesky Red Sox would not back down. Utilizing 14 hits, three home runs and solid relief pitching by Haley, Salem got within a run in the sixth, before an RBI single by Joel Hutter put the Keys on top 9-7. That is how things would remain, as the visitors stranded the tying run on base in each the last three innings.

JACKPOT: Tuesday’s eight-run second inning was Frederick’s most profitable of the season. Sending 11 men to bat, the Keys pounded out eight runs on six hits. The eight-run inning eclipses the seven-run frame the Keys put together against the Potomac Nationals on May 14. All seven runs came off MLB rehabber Ross Ohlendorf, while Frederick recorded a season-high 20 hits, and tied its season-high with 12 runs scored. On Tuesday, seven of the nine Keys starters tallied at least one hit, and three (Michael Burgess, Adrian Marin and Pedro Perez) ended with multi-hit games.

MIKE CHECK 1,2,3: Since returning from Aberdeen last Tuesday, Michael Burgess has hit safely in seven of his last nine games. During that time, he is batting .370 (13-for-31) with two home runs, two triples, two doubles, seven RBIs and eight runs scored. The hot stretch has bumped his batting average from .278 to .302, the highest it has been all season. The boost can be attributed to three multi-hit games, including a four-hit effort last Friday, where the outfielder went 4-for-5 with a homer, triple, three RBIs and three runs scored. It was his first four-hit effort since July 8, 2010, when he was a member of the Potomac Nationals, playing against the Frederick Keys. Meanwhile, it was the second time that Burgess had come one hit away from a cycle in a game this year. On May 18 at Winston-Salem, the Floridian came within a triple of the cycle. Burgess is tied for eighth in the Carolina League in hitting (.302), is second in slugging percentage (.513) and third in RBIs (40).

LIKE A ROCK:  After recording his first multi-RBI game on Sunday, Zane Chavez was back at work on Monday night. Finishing 1-for-2 with two RBIs, the Californian tied the series opener with a solo homer to right in the second, before giving Frederick the lead for good with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. In his second season of affiliated baseball, Chavez has five RBIs in his last three games and 11 over 25 games with the orange and black this season. Between the Keys and Double-A Bowie, he is batting .259 with three homers and 12 RBIs this season.

SCORELESS STREAK SNAPPED:An RBI single by Christopher Bostick in the bottom of the first on Sunday snapped a string of 20.2 innings where Keys pitching had not allowed a run. Beginning in the sixth inning of Thursday night’s regularly scheduled game at Salem, Frederick blanked Myrtle Beach 6-0 on Friday before earning a 1-0 win in 10 innings on Saturday. The 20.2 frames ranks as the longest scoreless innings streak by Frederick pitching this season. Additionally, the shutout wins on Friday and Saturday marked the first time all year that the orange and black had blanked an opponent on back-to-back days.

WALK THIS WAY: Keys third baseman Jason Esposito has walked just six times in 220 plate appearances this season, but two of them came on Sunday night. It was the first time Esposito had walked twice in a game since April 23, 2013. Four of Esposito’s six walks came during the recent six-game roadtrip, while two of them came at critical moments. Last Thursday, the former Vanderbilt Commodore earned a base on balls in the 12th inning in the suspended game continuation, and ended up scoring the go-ahead run. Then on Saturday, Esposito walked with one out against Jose Leclerc and was the only run of the game after he tagged up from third on a sacrifice fly from Pedro Perez.

NO MORE BULLPEN BLUES?: After two tough months, the Keys bullpen may have turned it around through the first week of June. Relievers recorded a 4.40 ERA in April and 4.95 ERA in 30 games in May, but have only allowed nine runs in 32.2 innings through June (2.48 ERA). In their last five games, Keys relievers have allowed three runs over 14.1 innings with 17 strikeouts and nine hits against.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Glynn Davis and Matt Taylor had been named to the Carolina League All-Star team. It marked the second professional all-star selection for Davis and the first for Taylor. 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.

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 Luis Parra makes his 14th appearance of the year and his 12th start of the season on Thursday. Stellar last Saturday night against the Keys at TicketReturn.com Field, Parra was saddled with a no-decision despite throwing eight shutout innings and allowing only three hits. Going toe-to-toe with Branden Kline, Parra and his Keys counterpart accounted for 16 strikeouts and only eight hits, as neither side scored until the 10th inning, when Pedro Perez recorded a sac-fly off Jose Leclerc. This season, Parra has worked into the seventh inning or later on five occasions. That includes a nine-inning complete game on May 12 against Winston-Salem, where the southpaw gave up only five hits and one run (one of only two nine-inning complete games in the CL this season). Parra ranks fifth in the circuit in innings pitched, but is also fourth in free passes (29). In his career, the 22-year-old average four walks per nine innings. Parra opened the season in a piggybacking role with fellow lefty Andrew Faulkner. As a starter, Para is 4-4 with a 4.46 ERA (66.2IP/33ER) and is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA as a reliever (6IP/2ER). The 22-year-old split 2013 between Myrtle Beach and Low-A Hickory. In 20 games (all starts) Parra went a combined 5-6 with a 2.68 ERA, while he went 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA as a member of the Pelicans and delivered a quality start in three of his five outings with the Birds. He received a promotion to Advanced-A on August 6. With Low-A Hickory, Parra collaborated with Ryan Bores, Keone Kella and Alex Claudio on a seven-inning no-hitter, the Crawdads first in four seasons. Parra was the starting pitcher, working three no-hit innings. The no-no came against Low-A Delmarva, and came on the heels of a C.J. Edwards complete game one-hitter. Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008, Para hails from Altamira, Dominican Republic, the same hometown as Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon.

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