Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-25-14

Good evening Keys fans!

The Keys lost 5-1 to the Wilmington Blue Rocks last night in the last outing of their three-game series. Glynn Davis went 2-4 for on the night and represented the Keys’ only run when first baseman Trey Mancini drove him in with one out in the sixth inning. Matt Hobgood pitched three innings of scoreless relief, striking out three and allowing only one hit.

Mychal Givens, who pitched the first half with the Keys made his first appearance for the Double-A Bowie Baysox on Monday. Givens pitched a perfect ninth inning in a non-save situation to close out the Baysox 9-3 win over the Trenton Thunder.

Frederick opens up a three game series against the Winston-Salem Dash, who are 3-3 in the second half and sit in third place in the Southern Division. Tonight’s starter for the Keys is right-hander Mark Blackmar, who comes in with  a 4-1 record and a 4.23 ERA. Winston-Salem sends righty Terance Marin to the mound. Marin made his first start for the Dash last Friday, pitching seven innings and allowing only one earn run, enough to earn the win.

Come on out and shake your keys as we celebrate Greek Night here at the Grove!

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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 · Game #74 · Home Game #36

Frederick Keys (33-40/1-5) vs Winston-Salem Dash (33-42/3-3)

RHP Mark Blackmar (4-1, 4.23) vs. RHP Terance Marin (1-0, 5.63)

SWEPT AWAY: The Wilmington Blue Rocks used four home runs as well as five innings of shutout baseball from Miguel Almonte to complete a three-game sweep of the Frederick Keys on Tuesday night by a 5-1 count. The four longballs equaled a season-high allowed by Keys pitching, while half came from Cody Stubbs, who recorded the first multi-homer game of his career. Unable to counter, Frederick finished without a hit with runners in scoring position for the third straight game. The Keys have now fallen in four straight, which is tied for the team’s second-longest slide of the season. Previously, the Keys dropped four in-a-row from May 22-25 against Myrtle Beach and Wilmington. The club’s longest losing streak of 2014 is five straight (occurring between April 8-12).

 A LITTLE HELP!:During the club’s three-game series against Wilmington, Frederick did not record a hit with runners in scoring position. Finishing a combined 0-for-20 with men closest to home, the Keys went 0-for-7 on Tuesday, after going 0-for-2 on Monday and 0-for-11 on Sunday. The orange and black also left a combined 20 on base during the series. Going back to the series finale at Carolina, Frederick is just 1-for-27 with men in scoring position over their last four games. A point of emphasis all season, the Keys are batting a collective .236 with men closest to home this season and only .195 with men in scoring position and two outs. Joel Hutter (.344), Michael Burgess (.323) and Glynn Davis (.317) have fared the best with runners in scoring position this year.

 ON A SLIDE:Tuesday marked the third time that the Keys had been swept this season, while it was the first time that the Keys had been broomed since May 29. Visiting Calvin Falwell Field, the orange and black lost three straight to the Lynchburg, after losses in three of four games to Wilmington. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s loss was the second time this season that Frederick had been swept at home. Besides struggling with runners in scoring position, the Keys pitching staff has also taken its lumps. Since the start of the second-half, Frederick arms have posted a 7.12 ERA (54.1 IP/43ER) and allowed 69 hits.

LONGBALL BLUES: Wilmington’s four home runs were tied for the most given up by Frederick’s pitching staff this year. On April 23, Keys pitchers gave up four home runs to Myrtle Beach, as the Pelicans won in a 21-6 rout. Three of the home runs were hit by Joey Gallo, the ex-Birds slugger who is currently tied for the MiLB home run lead (27). All four Blue Rocks homers came off Joe Van Meter. Prior to Tuesday, the Virginia native had never allowed more than three home runs in a game.

 MOVING ON UP!: On Saturday night after the Keys game at Carolina, Mychal Givens received word that he had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The right-hander becomes the first member of the Keys to be promoted in 2014, and the first to climb the ladder since Johnny Ruettiger was called up to the Baysox last August 31. One of the league’s most dominant relief pitchers, Givens was 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA over 18 games with the orange and black. Utilizing a hard sinker and sweeping changeup, the Floridian held opponents to a paltry .147 batting average. The lowest batting average against for either a starter or reliever in the eight-team loop. In a corresponding move, the Keys received right-hander Dennis Torres from Low-A Delmarva. In 17 games with the Shorebirds he went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA. He made his CL debut on Saturday, giving up two runs on five hits over two stanzas.

ALMANZAR JOINS KEYS ON MLB REHAB:On Sunday, the Orioles transferred infielder Michael Almanzar to the Frederick Keys as part of an MLB rehab assignment. In his first two games with the Keys, the 23-year-old is 1-for-7 with a double and two strikeouts. He served as the DH on Monday after playing six innings at third base on Sunday. Almanzar is the second MLB rehabber Frederick has housed this year, joining Manny Machado, who hit .667 with a triple, four doubles and two RBIs over three games with the Keys from April 25-27. Selected by Baltimore in the MLB phase of the Rule 5 draft last year from Boston, Almanzar has been rehabbing from a left knee injury.

 UP, UP AND AWAY!: Although the Keys did not homer on Tuesday, Frederick has favored the longball lately. Frederick has hit a home run in six of their last eight games after Jason Esposito slugged a solo shot in the seventh on Monday. Frederick is tied for second in the Carolina League in homers with 46, along with Winston-Salem and Potomac. Only Myrtle Beach (64) has hit more this season. Over their last eight games, the Keys have hit 13 home runs, with eight coming over the final two games of the first-half. Currently, Michael Burgess paces the Keys with 11 deep flies, and is fourth in the CL in that department. The Floridian has homered in five of his last seven contests, and is one longball away from equaling his 2013 total at Double-A Corpus Christi.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: Last Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles made a series of roster moves affecting the Keys. Frederick received outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, infielder Trey Mancini, and relief pitcher Jimmy Yacabonis from Low-A Delmarva. Meanwhile, the Keys transferred infielder Creede Simpson and outfielder Lucas Herbst to the Shorebirds. On Monday, the Orioles released right-handed reliever Matt Hauser. Yastrzemski, Mancini and Yacabonis were all members of the South Atlantic Northern Division All-Star squad. At the midway break, Yastrzemski was first in the league in total bases (143), second in runs (52), tied for second in slugging (.554) and extra-base hits (34) and third in hits (79), while he sported a .306 batting average to go along with 12 steals in 16 tries over 63 games. Mancini led the Shorebirds in hitting in the first half, batting .317 in 68 games (tied for 2nd-most in the SAL). The .317 mark was good for seventh-best overall, while he finished second in hits (85). Out of the bullpen, Yacabonis was 14 of 15 in save opportunities and registered a 1-1 mark to go along with a 1.07 ERA over 21games (25.1 IP). He did not allow a run over his first 19 outings (spanning 24 innings). On Saturday, Dennis Torres joined the club from Delmarva. A relief pitcher, the righty went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA over 17 games to go along with three saves in three attempts.

ALL-STAR NOTES: Glynn Davis and Branden Kline each participated in the Carolina League-California League All-Star game on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington Delaware. Batting sixth and making the start in centerfield, Davis went 0-for-2 with an RBI. He drove in the Carolina League’s first run with a groundout to short, after Jorge Alfaro tripled to begin the fifth. Kline tossed a scoreless eighth, needing just 16 pitches (10 strikes) to dispose of Chris Jacobs, Roberto Pena and Trevor Story in order. The California League earned a 3-2 win. Bakersfield’s Kyle Waldrop led the charge for the westcoasters, with an RBI single in the second and then a two-run blast off Wilmington’s Christian Binford in the fourth. Waldrop was named the Cal League’s MVP, while Kyle Wren took home Carolina League MVP honors going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of steals.

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 Terance Marin makes his fourth appearance of the season as well as his second start as a member of the Dash. His most recent outing came last Friday against Salem, and was arguably the best of his career. Tallying seven innings, the Californian gave up only one run on five hits and struck out 10 to pick up his first win of the season. Both the 10 strikeouts and the seven innings went down as career-highs. Opening the season with Winston-Salem, Marin endured a disastrous start, where he surrendered 10 runs (four earned) over his first inning-plus on 10 hits. On April 11, he was released by the White Sox organization. Moving on to the Evansville Otters of the Independent Frontier League, Marin got things back on track, going 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA over six starts, to go along with 39 strikeouts in 39.1 innings pitched (the 39 strikeouts was one off the league lead at the time his contract was purchased). Dominant as a member of the Otters, Marin carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning in three of his six outings. A member of the Dash the previous two seasons, the righty went 5-5 with a 4.76 ERA over 33 games (seven starts) last year. He placed sixth on the Dash with 92.2 innings worked. A pitcher was much better in the second-half, Marin went 1-0 with a 3.12 ERA in his final 18 games (one start) after going 4-5 with a 6.20 ERA in his first 15 contests. August was particularly good, as he allowed only two earned runs in 18.1 stanzas (0.98). He went 5-6 with a 2.42 ERA in 33 games with Winston-Salem in 2012. Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2010, Marin played two seasons at Modest Junior College (18 games/17 starts).

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