Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-18-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The Keys conclude the road portion of their season-series with the Salem Red Sox tonight, when the two clubs meet at LewisGale Field at 7:05 tonight. Parker Bridwell takes the mound for the Keys and will be countered by righty Joe Gunkel, who has been roughed up in each of his two starts against the orange and black.

Doug Raftery has the call tonight starting at 6:50 p.m. on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

Some notes are below. Shake your keys!

Geoff

Friday, July 18, 2014 · Game #94 · Road Game #51

Frederick Keys (43-50/11-15) vs Salem Red Sox (45-49/12-14)

RHP Parker Bridwell (4-7, 4.27) vs. RHP Joe Gunkel (1-2, 3.81)’

OFF THE SCHNEID: The Frederick Keys ended a four-game losing streak on Thursday night, defeating the Salem Red Sox 5-3 at LewisGale Field. The Keys scored all five of their runs over the first three innings, while the team used outstanding relief pitching from Dennis Torres to shut the door. Glynn Davis came home with the first run in the initial frame, after a single, a stolen base, a wild pitch, and an RBI base knock by Jason Esposito. Frederick stretched its lead to 3-0 one inning later. After Wynston Sawyer earned a one-out walk, Jerome Pena doubled his teammate to third, while a fielder’s choice by Davis brought Sawyer to the plate. Tucker Nathans followed with an RBI single, while a two-run double by Brenden Webb in the third completed the Keys scoring. The Red Sox plated individual runs in the second-fourth stanzas, but would not score in their final five trips to bat. Four of those innings would come against Torres, who scattered only three hits to earn the save.

MY KINDA GUYS!: Thursday’s win was the Keys ninth against the Red Sox this season. Six of those nine triumphs have come at LewisGale Field, a venue where the orange and black have gone 6-3 this season. Additionally, the team has claimed five of the last six it has played at Salem’s Ballpark. At Harry Grove Stadium, the Keys have also done well against their commonwealth foe, earning wins of three of the four games played at the Grove. In 2014, Frederick has fared better against Salem (9-4) than any other Carolina League club.

DENNIS THE MENACE: Dennis Torres turned in another strong performance on Thursday night. Tying his career-high with four innings pitched, the Massachusetts native scattered only three hits and struck out three. Despite a rough introduction to the Carolina League where Torres allowed five earned runs over his first 6.1 innings, the former UMass standout has hit his stride in July. In 11 innings, the righty has given up just one run on nine hits to trim his ERA from 7.11 to 3.12. A pitcher that has relied heavily on groundball outs since joining the club, Torres has posted a 2.67 groundout to airout ratio over his first 17.1 innings.   

NO RELATION TO TOM: Wynston Sawyer extended his on-base streak to 26 games on Thursday night thanks to a walk in the second inning. That is tied for the second-longest active swing in the Carolina League, and rates as the second-longest active streak. Salem’s Carson Blair has reached in 27 straight, which is the longest streak of its kind this year (it started on May 20). By reaching base last night, Sawyer also surpassed Glynn Davis’ 25-game jaunt which went from May 9-June 6. Over the 26 games, Sawyer is batting .256 with one homer, six RBIs, four doubles and 14 walks. Last night, Sawyer wrapped up a six-game hitting streak. During that time he hit.348 (8-for-23) with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored

KELLER JOINS THE KEYS: On Friday, Jon Keller was promoted to Frederick from Low-A Delmarva. He takes the roster spot of Matt Price, who was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday. In 24 relief appearances, Keller went 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA and tallied five saves in eight opportunities. Over 56.2 stanzas, he gave up just 39 hits, walked 14 and struck out 66. Rated the No. 17 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, the 21-year-old limited opponents to a .192 average, the fourth-lowest mark by a South Atlantic League reliever. Drafted by Baltimore in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of the University of Tampa, Keller helped lead the Spartans to the 2013 Division II College World Series.

BUNDY BLURBS: Dylan Bundy struggled in his third rehab start with the Keys on Wednesday. Working four-plus innings, the Oklahoma native allowed a career-high six runs on six hits. In the process, Bundy was tagged with his first loss as a member of the Keys. Limited to 75 pitches for the duration of the season, the former fourth-overall pick has struggled in three outings with the orange and black. In 11.2 innings he has given up 12 runs (9.26 ERA) and has surrendered 15 hits and walked six. Opponents are hitting .326 against Bundy, while he has not completed five innings in any of his Advanced-A outings.  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.

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 with Potomac (23-21). Only Myrtle Beach (32-17) has fared better in road tilts.

MOVING ON UP!: Mike Yastrzemski was promoted to Double-A Bowie on Wednesday after a sterling 23-game stretch with the Keys. During that time, he hit .312 with a home run, 19 RBIs, seven doubles, two triples and 21 runs scored. The grandson of Hall of Famer and former Red Sox great, Carl Yastrzemski, the former Vanderbilt Commodore becomes the second Frederick player to advance to Double-A for the first time this season. Mychal Givens was moved up to Bowie on June 21. At his best during the first week of July, Yastrzemski became the 12th minor leaguer to hit for the cycle in 2014, when he accomplished the feat on July 5 at Lynchburg. Going 5-for-6 with a homer, a triple, two doubles and five RBIs, the Massachusetts native became the first Keys player to hit for the cycle since May 2, 2005, when Jeff Fiorentino did it against Winston-Salem. In a corresponding move, Frederick received Lucas Herbst from Low-A Delmarva.

BURGESS NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Last 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 Friday’s action, the Tampa native is tops in the circuit in RBIs (67), extra-base hits (48), total bases (178), slugging percentage (.580) and home run to at-bat ratio (1/20.47), while he is tied for the lead in doubles (29). Additionally, Burgess rates second in homers (15), and fourth in hits (94) and batting average (.310).

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) and Branden Kline (20). Trey Mancini (25) joined the club following the All-Star break, while Mychal Givens (23) opened the season with the Keys, but was moved up to Double-A on June 21. 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 sixth start with the Red Sox on Friday and his 23rd overall appearance of the season. His last outing came last Saturday at Wilmington, where the righty tossed 5.2 innings of two-hit baseball and allowed only one unearned run. It was his second-longest outing as a member of the Sox, but he received a no-decision. After tonight’s outing, half of Gunkel’s starts will have come against Frederick. A team that has not treated him kindly, Gunkel is 0-2 with an 8.00 ERA (9 IP/12R/17H) against the orange and black. Promoted after the All-Star break, the righty 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. The ace of the club’s pitching staff, he went 9-0 with a 2.07 ERA over 81 innings and helped lead the Rams to a Division II World Series title. Gunkel was expected to be drafted somewhere between rounds seven-ten, but fell to the 18th round, where Boston scooped him up. Employing a low-three quarters arm slot, he throws a low 90s fastball, a slider, and a changeup.

 

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