Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-14-14

Good evening Keys fans!

The Keys take to Harry Grove tonight looking to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Potomac Nationals. The Keys lost last night after Potomac DH Tony Renda’s RBI in the 13th inning drove in RF Estarlin Martinez to give the Nationals the 2-1 victory. The Keys got six scoreless innings out of right-handed starter Mark Blackmar, who allowed only two hits and a walk. Frederick’s lone run came when Mike Yastrzemski hit a sac fly to left field, allowing Adrian Marin to score in the seventh inning.

Right-hander Brady Wager takes the mound for the Keys tonight. Potomac will start righty Brian Rauh.

This is the last home game for the Keys before they hit the road for a series against the Salem Red Sox. The Keys will return to Harry Grove Stadium on Saturday when they open a three-game set against Winston-Salem.

Come on out and shake your keys!

Beloware tonight’s game notes:

Monday, July 14, 2014 · Game #92 · Home Game #44

Frederick Keys (42-49/10-14) vs Potomac Nationals (50-40/12-9)

RHP Brady Wager (3-7, 5.89) vs. RHP Brian Rauh (1-1, 5.22)

ON THE WHEEL: The Frederick Keys left 10 on base, while Tony Renda provided the go-ahead RBI single for the Potomac Nationals in the top of the 13th, to hand the Keys a 2-1 extra-inning loss on Sunday night at Harry Grove Stadium. It was the club’s third straight loss, and their 10th in 11 games at home. Frederick thought it had grabbed a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded, Jason Esposito cleared the left field wall, but the ball was ruled foul by home plate umpire Mike Provine. Following a conference between both umpires, the call stood, and Esposito was retired on a flyout to left. He along with coach Shawn Roof were later ejected by base umpire Chase Eade. In the seventh, both sides exchanged single tallies. Following a single by Randolph Oduber, a sac-bunt by Stephen Perez and a fielder’s choice, Justin Miller stroked an RBI single to center. The Keys countered with a double by Adrian Marin, a single by Wynston Sawyer and a sac-fly by Mike Yastrzemski. That’s how things would stay until the 13th, when the Nationals pushed across the game-winning run. With one out Estarlin Martinez doubled, before Renda cranked a single up the middle off Lex Rutledge, Renda’s first hit of the game. Jake Walsh retired the Keys in the ninth to earn his first Carolina League win.     

WHERE’S THE HOME COOKIN?:Since the start of the second half, the orange and black have claimed only one win in 11 games at home. The Keys have not won back-to-back games at home since June 13-15, when the team took three straight from the Pelicans to close out the first-half. That has dropped the club to 17-26 in home games, the worst mark in the Carolina League. Additionally, Frederick’s 17 home wins is the fewest in the CL, with Wilmington’s 22 victories the next fewest. In contrast, the Keys road record is tied for the second-best in the league along with Potomac (23-21). Myrtle Beach holds the best road record at 31-16.

 EXTRA TIME:Sunday was Frederick’s 11th extra-inning game of the season, while the 13-inning affair was the longest game (in innings) that the team had played since July 26 of last season, when the Keys defeated the Salem Red Sox 3-2 in 16 innings at Salem Memorial Ballpark. In 2014, all five of Frederick’s extra-inning wins have come on the road, while the team is 0-3 in games stretching past regulation at home. In spite the team’s extra inning struggles at Harry Grove Stadium, the orange and black hold the third-best extra inning record in the Carolina League (5-6). Only Lynchburg (6-1) and Myrtle Beach (4-2) have fared better.

 BLACKJACK: Mark Blackmar turned in his fourth quality start on Sunday, while it was statistically his best outing of the season. Over six shutout innings, the right-hander gave up only two hits and one walk while he struck out three. Although he received a no-decision, Blackmar cut his ERA to 3.76, the second-lowest it has been all season. Coming off an outstanding June where he posted a 2.67 ERA (33.2 IP/10R), the Texan has posted a 2.00 ERA in his last three outings (18 IP/4R).

 NO RELATION TO TOM: Wynston Sawyer extended his on-base streak to 25 games on Sunday night thanks to a single in the seventh inning. That swing is tied for the longest active streak in the Carolina League along with Salem’s Carson Blair, who has also reached in 25 straight. The Californian’s streak kicked off on May 21. Over the 25 games, he is batting .265 with one homer and six RBIs, four doubles and 12 walks. Sawyer is also tied with Glynn Davis for the longest on-base streak by a Keys player this season. Davis reached in 25 straight from May 9-June 6. If Sawyer reaches base on Monday, he will tie the longest streak in the CL this year, set by Carolina’s Joe Sever. Currently on a six-game hitting streak, Sawyer is batting .348 (8-for-23) during that time with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored, while it has raised his average from .196 to .215 the highest it has been since May 5.   

BULL MARKET: Frederick’s offense carried the club during its seven-game roadtrip. Over the trip to Virginia, the club scored 56 runs on 87 hits.  The club finished with 10 or more hits in six of the seven contests, while the Keys finished with 19 knocks in last Saturday’s 17-3 dismantling of the Lynchburg Hillcats at Calvin Falwell Field. Thanks to that impressive display, Frederick is batting .299 as a team over 12 July games, the second-best mark in the Carolina League (Carolina is hitting .301). Mike Yastrzemski has led the way, hitting at .353, while he has driven in 13 runs and scored 13 times in 12 contests.

BURGESS NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: On Thursday, Michael Burgess received word that he had been named the Carolina League Player of the Month for June. The announcement was made on Thursday afternoon by Minor League Baseball. The award was voted on by all eight of the league’s managers. Burgess enjoyed a monster June, hitting .371 with nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and 22 RBIs. The nine longballs were the most by a CL player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer during that month. Burgess also led the CL in total bases (73), extra-base hits (19), and slugging percentage (.820). He placed second in the circuit in batting average and triples, while his 22 RBIs were third-most by a CL player during the season’s third month. Entering Monday’s action, the Tampa native is tops in the circuit in RBIs (67), extra-base hits (48), total bases (175), doubles (29), slugging percentage (.583) and home run to at-bat ratio (1/20.00). Additionally, he rates second in homers (15), and fourth in hits (92) and batting average (.315).

 TYSON FINALIST FOR HALL OF FAME: Keys hitting coach Torre Tyson has been named a finalist for the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday by the organization’s advisory committee. The winningest manager in Charleston Riverdogs history (Yankees Low-A), Tyson put together a 232-186 record during his tenure with the Riverdogs from 2007-09. Currently, Tyson is in his second year with the Keys as hitting coach, after serving as the Yankees minor league defensive coordinator from 2011-12. Three individuals will be selected for enshrinement, with two being voted on by the fans and one being voted on by the committee. The three individuals will be inducted on August 15, prior to Charleston Riverdogs’ game against the Rome Braves. Notable members of the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame include Roberto Alomar, David Cone and Willie Randolph.

 BUNDY BLURBS: Dylan Bundy made his second rehab start with the Keys on Thursday and fifth overall. Limited to 75 pitches, the righty last only three-plus innings and surrendered three runs on five hits. The second inning was problematic, as Bundy allowed a pair of runs and needed 32 pitches to escape. He received a no-decision. Bundy’s first outing came on July 4, when he gave up three runs on four hits in 4.2 stanzas. In two starts with the Keys, he has posted a 7.04 ERA (7.2 IP/6R). Prior to joining Frederick, the righty made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, Bundy went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

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 Brian Rauh makes his 10th appearance of the year as well as his sixth start. His last outing came on Thursday during the second game of a doubleheader. Over one inning, Rauh gave up one run on one hit, before the game was suspended after 5.5 innings. His last start came on the road at Myrtle Beach on June 27, when he gave up six runs on seven hits over three stanzas. Rauh made five appearances in April, but was on the disabled list from May 2-June 21 with an undisclosed injury. In nine games this year, opponents are batting .294 against Rauh, while he has struggled as a starter, tallying a 6.53 ERA over five games (compared to a 2.08 mark as a reliever. Rauh split 2013 between Low-A Hagerstown, Double-A Harrisburg and Potomac. In 31 games (12 starts) he went 7-4 with a 4.50 ERA over 106 frames. He went 4-2 with a 4.22 mark over 16 games with the Nationals. Selected by Washington in the 11th round of the 2012 Draft out of Chapman University, Rauh dominated Division III competition in his three years at the school. Going 30-1 with a 1.78 ERA. He throws a fastball (low-90s), a curveball, a slider and a change.

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