Frederick Keys Game Notes 8-29-14

Friday, August 29, 2014 · Game #133 · Home Game #63

Frederick Keys (63-69/31-34) vs Salem Red Sox (65-66/32-31)

RHP Mark Blackmar (9-1, 3.06) vs. RHP Jacob Dahlstrand (3-0, 2.08)

EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM: The Frederick Keys scored five times off Salem Red Sox starter Cody Kukuk in the first inning, while the Sox squandered multiple bases loaded opportunities to help the orange and black earn a 10-3 win on Thursday night at Harry Grove Stadium. It was the Keys fourth win in five games, and helped the club keep pace in the CL North wildcard race. Unfortunately, Frederick did not gain any ground on Thursday though, as Lynchburg used six shutout innings by Blair Walters and a three-RBI game by Kevin Ahrens to top the Carolina Mudcats 6-2. With five games remaining on the Keys schedule, they trail the Hillcats by one game. After Sebastian Vader stranded the bases loaded in the first, the orange and black batted around against Kukuk. In the inning, Frederick put the first five men on base and used RBI doubles by Adrian Marin, Trey Mancini, singles by Jason Esposito and Jerome Pena and a sac-fly by Austin Wynns to put the Keys ahead. Frederick would add two runs in the fourth, one in the sixth and two more in the seventh to complete the scoring. On the night, Salem went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.

QUICK-START KEYS: In three of their last four games Frederick has scored in the first inning. In addition to the club’s five-run first on Thursday, the Keys scored twice in the first inning on Tuesday, and three times in game one of the doubleheader on Wednesday. Those 10 runs account for just less than half of the club’s runs scored in this series (22 total). This season, the first inning has been Keys third-most productive inning, behind only the sixth (79 runs) and the third (78 runs).

NOT A BAD FIRST IMPRESSION: After a long day of travel from Greensboro to Frederick, Austin Wynns shined in his Keys debut. Taking the roster spot of Matt Price (who was placed on the DL Thursday), Wynns went 2-for-3 in his Advanced-A debut with a double and three RBIs. The three driven in equaled a season-high for Wynns, who served as a catcher at Low-A Delmarva. In 85 games in the South Atlantic League, the former Fresno State product hit .252 with a home run and 33 RBIs.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Chih-Hsien Chiang saw his 12-game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-3  with a run, two walks and two strikeouts last night. It was the first time he had failed to record a hit since August 8 against Wilmington. Over the 12-gamer, Chiang hit .325 (13-for-40) with a homer, two doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored. In the process, he saw his average jump 58 points (.175 to .233). This year, two members of the Keys have posted 12-game hitting streaks, as Jason Esposito hit in 12 in-a-row from April 14-May 2.

LORENZO JOINS KEYS: On Friday, outfielder Gregory Lorenzo was promoted from Low-A Delmarva. He takes the roster spot of Brenden Webb, who was placed on the disabled list after coming out of the game in the sixth inning on Thursday. Originally signed by the Orioles as an international free agent on July 4, 2009, Lorenzo hit .263 over 125 games with the Shorebirds to go along with a home run and 34 RBIs. At the time of his promotion he was third in the South Atlantic League in stolen bases (42). He was hitting .311 over 24 games in August.

BURGESS NAMED POSTSEASON CL ALL-STAR: On Thursday morning, Michael Burgess was named a Carolina League postseason All-Star. The only Frederick player selected for the squad, it marked the third time that the Floridian had been named to a CL mid-season or postseason All-Star squad. As a member of the Potomac Nationals, Burgess won midseason accolades in 2009 and 2010. One of the league’s top hitters this season, the 25-year-old hit .315 over 83 games-and still qualifies as the league’s leader in batting average. He was promoted to Double-A Bowie on July 22, but was limited to only seven games due to injury.

NATIONALS KILLER: Once again, Parker Bridwell shutdown the Nationals, working eight innings of shutout baseball on Monday night. Carrying a perfect game into the seventh, Tony Renda broke it up with a single to right. Still, it was a great night for Bridwell who ended with 13 strikeouts, one short of his career-high (which occurred last August 14 against Lakewood). Meanwhile, the eight innings was one out short of the 23-year-old’s personal-best, which he set in his first outing against Potomac. In that ballgame, Bridwell carried a no-hitter into the ninth, before Renda singled to center. This season, Renda is the only Potomac hitter to record a hit off of Bridwell. In 16.1 shutout innings, the righty is 2-0 with 21 strikeouts and two walks.   

CHALAS GETS THE CALL TO NORFOLK: Right before Monday’s game, Keys reliever Miguel Chalas was officially promoted to Triple-A Norfolk. He becomes the 10th Frederick player to receive a call-up to Double-A or Triple-A this season, while he is the third Keys pitcher to receive a promotion in the last six days. Last Wednesday, Branden Kline was moved up to Double-A Bowie, before Gene Escat was officially moved on Friday. In 28 games with the orange and black this season, Chalas was 2-3 with a 4.80 ERA. Taking his roster spot is Ivan Hernandez, who joins the team from Short-Season Aberdeen. In 18 games with the Ironbirds, he was 1-2 with four saves and a 3.47 ERA in 18 games. It is Hernandez’s first promotion to the Carolina League.

KEYS NAMED TO THE ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE: Late on Tuesday afternoon, two members of the Keys roster as well as four former Frederick players were named to the Arizona Fall League. Parker Bridwell and Jason Esposito were selected to the Glendale Desert Dogs preliminary roster, while past Keys Mychal Givens, Ashur Tolliver, Michael Ohlman, Zach Davies and Dariel Alvarez were also selected to the squad. Coming off eight shutout innings on Monday, Bridwell is 6-10 with a 4.51 ERA over 25 games this season. Rated the No. 19 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, the Hereford, TX native tallied seven straight quality home starts from May 13-June 27. Esposito also gets the call after a terrific second-half. Over 59 games since the All-Star break, he is batting .314 with six homers and 30 RBIs, while he is hitting .266 in 119 games.

BRAULT NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK: On Monday afternoon, Steven Brault was named the Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” for August 18-24. He becomes the fifth Keys player to take home a weekly honor this year, and the second pitcher to receive the award. Parker Bridwell (May 12-19) was the last pitcher to earn pitcher of the week honors, while Michael Burgess, Mike Yastrzemski and Adrian Marin were all named “Players of the Week.” It is the first weekly award of Brault’s professional career. Promoted from Low-A Delmarva on Thursday, Brault dazzled in his Advanced-A debut that same night, tossing six innings of shutout, one-hit baseball. Rated the No. 14 prospect in the Baltimore system according to Baseball America, Brault leads all Orioles farmhands in ERA (2.91) and is tied for second in wins (10).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Jacob Dahlstrand makes his sixth appearance with the Salem as well as his fifth start. His most recent start came last Sunday against Wilmington. Receiving a no-decision, the righty allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits over seven innings of work. He surrendered a homer and struck out two. Friday marks his first outing against the Keys after he was promoted from Low-A Greenville on July 27. Over 22 games with the Drive he went 5-5 with a 2.93 ERA, but made only one start. Dominant before his call-up, Dahlstrand posted a 1.61 ERA over eight games following the All-Star break. In his fifth professional season, Dahlstrand spent all of 2013 at Low-A Greenville, going 4-8 with a 4.65 ERA over 18 games (15 starts). Originally selected by Boston in the 10th round of the 2010 Draft out of Memorial (TX) High School, the Texan went 7-2 as a senior with a 3.83 ERA. Originally committed to the University of Houston, he was lured away by a reported $150,000 signing bonus. He throws a fastball, a curveball and a slider.

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