Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-1-14

Good evening Keys fans!

The  boys are back in town opening a three game series against the Salem Red Sox, who the Keys have beat three times in five meetings this season (their scheduled sixth meeting was cancelled due to heavy rain on June 11). This will the first meeting of the second half between the teams.

Frederick hopes to bring the offensive firepower they found in Potomac back to Harry Grove Stadium. In this weekend’s series against the P-Nats, the Keys scored seven or more runs in two of the three games, including 10 in last night’s victory. Frederick put up eight runs in the first inning, including a bases-loaded double by Michael Burgess that drove in three runs. Burgess then hit a solo home run in the ninth inning, breaking a 9-9 tie.

Tonight, Frederick sends righty Brady Wager to the mound who will face off against Salem starter Joe Gunkel.

Be sure to get your tickets for Thursday night’s game where Orioles’ top prospect Dylan Bundy will make a rehab appearance in Frederick as the Keys close out their series against Salem.

Here are the game notes for tonight’s game:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 · Game #80 · Road Game #42

Frederick Keys (35-44/3-9) vs Salem Red Sox (39-41/6-6)

RHP Brady Wager (2-7, 6.01) vs. RHP Joe Gunkel (1-0, 2.38)

HOW TO HANG: The Frederick Keys equaled their most-productive inning of the year on Monday night, but the Potomac Nationals battled back from a nine-run deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Fortunately, Michael Burgess came through in the clutch, stroking a solo homer to right in the top of the ninth to lift the Keys to a 10-9 win at Pfitzner Stadium. With a win in the series finale, Frederick claimed its first series win of the second-half, to end June with a 12-14 mark. The orange and black scored nine of their 10 runs in the first two innings, with eight coming in the top of the first. Following a leadoff double by Mike Yastrzemski, a single by Tucker Nathans and a walk to Trey Mancini, Burgess connected on a bases-clearing triple. Brenden Webb then added a sac-fly to score Burgess, before Jerome Pena brought home a pair with a double to left. An RBI single by Yastrzemski and an RBI double by Nathans capped off the scoring, as 12 Keys came to bat. A pair of singles and an RBI groundout by Webb in the second made it 9-0, but the P-Nats refused to go away, scoring twice in the third, fourth and fifth, once in the sixth and then twice in the seventh to tie things up. In the ninth though, Burgess homered on the first pitch of the inning to put the Keys ahead for good. On the mound, Jesse Beal closed things out to earn his first win of the year.

 YOU CAN MAKE A SNOWMAN IN JUNE: Frederick’s eight-run first inning equaled the club’s most productive frame of the season. The Keys also scored eight runs in the second inning on June 10 against Salem, with the club sending 11 men to bat against Cody Kukuk and Justin Haley. Michael Burgess and Adrian Marin led the charge, as the two Sunshine State natives recorded a three-run homer and a two-run double respectively. Despite the quick outburst, Frederick nearly squandered a nine-run read, as Potomac scored nine unanswered from the third through the seventh. Had the Keys come up short, it would have been the team’s largest blown lead of the season. On June 19 at Carolina, the orange and black saw a 10-2 edge go by the wayside, with the Mudcats earning an 11-10 triumph, the biggest comeback in Mudcats history.

 BIG MIKE: Michael Burgess ended his month of June on a high-note racking up his 21st multi-hit game of the year. Ending the night 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, and three runs scored, the Tampa native also finished with four RBIs which tied his season-high. A player that is sad to see the calendar flip, Burgess hit .371 over 23 during the season’s third month. During that time, he hit nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and drove in 22. The nine longballs was the most by a Carolina League player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer in June. His 22 RBIs were also third-most by a CL player in the month of June. Currently, Burgess is third in the eight-team circuit in batting average (.313), tied for second in home runs (13), while he leads the league in extra-base hits (38) and total bases (146).

 IT’S BUNDY TIME!: On Thursday night, Dylan Bundy is scheduled is scheduled to make a rehab start with the Keys, his fourth since having “Tommy John” in June 2013. All three of Bundy’s prior rehab starts came at Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, the right-hander went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, Bundy allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him. Rated the top prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, Bundy will be making his 13th overall appearance as a member of the Keys. Promoted to Frederick in May 2012 from Low-A Delmarva, the righty went 6-3 with a 2.84 ERA over 57 innings and was named a Carolina League All-Star.

DAVIS DAZZLING AGAIN: Glynn Davis, who entered the last six-game homestand 2-for-30 with six strikeouts (brought avg. from .302 to .280), broke out of his first extended slump of the season with an 8-for-22 stretch at The Grove. He has hit safely in five of his last six games, and has earned seven free passes in his last five contests. On Saturday, he walked three times in a game for the third time this season. The Marylander’s average is now .284, while he is fifth in the league in hits (81) and third in runs scored (52).

LONELY ISLAND: Since the start of the second-half, the Keys pitching staff has taken its lumps. Over the first 12 games of the second-half, Keys arms have posted a 7.01 ERA (105.1 IP/82ER) and allowed 134 hits during that time as well as 17 home runs. That has pushed the staff’s home run total to 56, most longballs allowed by a CL pitching staff. In the second-half, Frederick starters have put together only three quality starts (Bridwell has two and Blackmar has one) and have not worked past the sixth inning in any start.

FINALLY, A LITTLE HELP!: On Saturday, Frederick was 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position last night, the most amount of hits they have had in that situation since June 10 against Cody Kukuk and Salem at Harry Grove Stadium (5-for-11). The Keys snapped an 0-for-24 skid last Wednesday against Winston-Salem with RISP. A point of emphasis all season, the Keys are batting a collective .241 with men closest to home this season and only .211 with men in scoring position and two outs.

NO RELATION TO DARTH: On Tuesday, right-hander Sebastian Vader was promoted to the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. In 13 games (all starts), the righty went 8-4 with a 3.04 ERA. In 83 innings, he gave up 79 hits, walked 15 and struck out 25. A native of San Marcos, CA, Vader spent all of 2013 at Short-Season Aberdeen where he went 7-3 with a 2.43 ERA in 14 games. Vader takes the roster spot of Joe Van Meter, who was released by the Orioles on Monday.

MOVING ON UP!: On Saturday June 21, 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.

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 Joe Gunkel makes his 20th appearance of the season on Tuesday, and his third start as a member of the Red Sox. In his second CL start last Thursday, Gunkel tossed six shutout innings against Carolina but received a no-decision. He scattered only four hits, walked two and struck out four. In his Carolina League debut, the Floridian earned a win over Winston-Salem, allowing three runs on three hits over 5.1 frames. Promoted after the all-star break, Gunkel began the year at Low-A Greenville. In 17 games (five starts), he went 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA. Named a South Atlantic League All-Star, Gunkel was dominant as a relief pitcher, tallying a 1.50 ERA over 12 games. The 23-year-old was also a New York-Penn League All-Star in 2013, after being selected by Boston in the 18th round of the 2013 draft. Tallying a 1.35 ERA, Gunkel held opponents off the board in 13 of the 14 games he pitched last year. Gunkel played his college baseball at West Chester University, a Division II school which is located just outside of Philadelphia. There, he helped lead the Rams to a Division II World Series title. Employing a low-three quarters arm slot, Gunkel throws a low 90s fastball, a slider, and a changeup.

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