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Keys look to even series with Carolina

The Keys tried to rally back after falling into an early hole against the Carolina Mudcats, but Carolina was able to fend off the Orange and Black offense as Frederick fell 8-7. They look to even the series at one game apiece tonight and force a rubber match on Wednesday. Kevin Gausman (0-0, 0.00), the Baltimore Orioles pitcher who is on rehab assignment with the Keys, will take the mound as he will be countered by Seth Webster (2-2, 3.00) of the Mudcats. This will be Webster’s first appearance against Frederick this season.

Today’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Brenden Webb DH

Jeff Kemp 2B

Tucker Nathans 3B

Chance Sisco C

Adrian Marin SS

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Johnny Ruettiger LF

Gregory Lorenzo RF

6/16 Game Notes

LATE RALLY COMES UP SHORT: The Frederick Keys scored runs in each of their final five innings, while the team put the tying run aboard at third in ninth, but the rally fell short as the Carolina Mudcats escaped with an 8-7 win on Monday night at Nymeo Field. Although the Keys tied their season-high with 16 hits, the club left 15 men on base, also a season-high. Carolina hit for the cycle in the fourth inning, scoring three times off David Hess, before a solo home run by Carlos Franco in the fifth made it 6-0 Mudcats. From there, the orange and black would battle back. In the home-fifth the Keys scored three times, utilizing a wild pitch, an RBI single by Chance Sisco and a run-scoring double by Brenden Webb to make it a three-run contest. Both sides would exchange runs over the next three innings, moving Frederick within striking distance in the ninth. Logan Uxa opened the stanza with a double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on an RBI single by Josh Hart. Drew Dosch followed with a single to send up Jeff Kemp who nearly hit into a game-ending double play, but the relay throw to first was dropped by Joey Meneses. One batter later, Tucker Nathans would bounce out to end the game.

TWO STEPS BACK: Making matters worse for the Keys, the Wilmington Blue Rocks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Salem Red Sox. The Blue Crew were paced by Eric Skoglund who delivered seven innings and allowed one unearned run as well as Ramon Torres who finished with three RBIs. With a loss and a Wilmington win, Frederick is now four games back in the CL North standings with six games left to play. Following Monday’s results, the club’s elimination number has been pared down to three, while it could drop to one if Tuesday’s results mirror those of the previous night.

EVERYBODY HITS: Offensively, the Keys have been outstanding over the last three games. During that time, the club has combined to score 25 runs and has pounded out 40 hits. On Monday, the Keys reached their high-water mark in hits (16) for the fourth time as all nine members of the starting lineup came up with at least one base knock. Josh Hart and Adrian Marin led the charge with three hits each while six different players registered an RBI. Currently, the Keys lead the CL in batting average (.265). A team that has used the big inning a lot lately, Frederick has batted around twice in the last three games and has registered six multi-run frames during that time.

PITCHING PROBLEMS: Although the Keys offense has been excellent over the last two days, pitching has been a bit of a problem. 7ER/9IP, 7ER, 9IP. During that time, Keys arms have given up a total of 15 runs (14 earned) in 18 innings, or a 7.00 ERA. Carolina and Potomac have also combined on 21 hits during that time and have received eight walks. In the month of June, Frederick’s pitching staff has a 5.26 ERA in 14 games.

GAUSMAN TO MAKE SECOND KEYS START: Kevin Gausman is scheduled to start for Keys on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field, as he works his way back from right shoulder tendinitis. He is expected to throw two-plus innings. This will be Gausman’s second rehab outing with Frederick this year. Pitching against Wilmington last Saturday at Frawley Stadium, Gausman threw three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and delivered a first pitch strike to all 11 batters he faced. His most recent rehab start did not go as well at Double-A Bowie, as the righty allowed four runs on four hits in 3.1 innings against Binghamton. Needing 61 pitches, Gausman allowed two home runs and was tagged with the loss.

YOU’VE GOTTA HAVE HART: Josh Hart has raised his batting average 56 points in his last six games. Hart has equaled his season-high for hits (three) in consecutive games, while he is the owner of a six-game hitting streak. During that time, he is hitting 481 (13-for-27) with three doubles, four RBIs and six runs scored during that time. Hart has multiple hits in five of those contests, while in 13 June games, Hart is batting .346 (18-for-52) with three doubles and four RBIs. He played only 11 games in May (.224) after missing more than a month due to a right shoulder sprain.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: Chance Sisco has been one of the Keys hottest hitters of late. Owner of a season-high nine-game hitting streak, the O’s former second rounder was 2-for-3 on Monday with an RBI, a run and two walks. Over the nine game streak, the 20-year-old is batting .448 (13-for-29) with a triple, a double, 10 RBIs and six runs scored. Sisco has also hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games. With a hit on Tuesday night, Sisco will equal the longest hitting streak by a Keys player in 2014 (10 games). Entering Tuesday, his batting average is at .300 for the first time, while he has seen his average jump 105 points. A player who has seen the ball extremely well of late, Sisco has more walks (11) than strikeouts (five) in his first 23 games this year.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Thursday afternoon, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s group will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Seth Webster makes his seventh start of the season and his fifth as a member of the Mudcats. His most recent start came last Thursday against Potomac. Tossing six innings, the right-hander allowed five runs on a season-high nine hits over six innings and was tagged with the loss. He walked one and struck out four. The setback snapped a two-game winning streak for Webster as well as a streak of three seven-inning starts. In each of those outings he allowed three runs or less. Signed by the Braves as a non-drafted free agent on May 18, Webster made one start at Low-A Rome before joining the Mudcats. Prior to joining the Atlanta farm system, Webster pitched for the Schaumberg Boomers of the Frontier League from 2013 through this season. This year, he made one start with Schaumburg going seven shutout innings, while in his career with the Boomers he went 14-6 with a 2.88 ERA in 300 games while logging 200 innings. Last season, Webster helped guide Schaumburg to the Frontier League championship, going 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA in postseason play. Originally from Alexandria, Louisiana, Webster played college baseball for the Louisiana College Wildcats, a Division III school.

 

Keys open seven game homestand with Carolina

The Keys are back at Nymeo Field tonight as they begin a a seven game homestand beginning with the first three contests against the Carolina Mudcats. Frederick’s spirits are riding high as they took two out of three from the Potomac Nationals over the weekend. The orange and black bats were booming in the last two games of the series against the Nationals by scoring a combined 18 runs (nine runs in both contests). The last time Frederick took on Carolina they were swept down in Zebulon, NC, but now they are home where they boast an 18-10 record and have the home-field advantage. David Hess (2-2, 5.37) gets the nod for the Keys as he will be taking on the Mudcats for the second time this season. In that outing he received a no-decision. Carolina will be countering with Andrew Waszak (3-4, 2.97) who is making his second appearance against Frederick.

Today’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Drew Dosch 3B

Jeff Kemp 2B

Tucker Nathans DH

Chance Sisco C

Adrian Marin SS

Brenden Webb RF

Logan Uxa 1B

Johnny Ruettiger LF

6/15 Game Notes

EARLY AMBUSH ENOUGH TO FEND OFF P-NATS: The Frederick Keys batted around in the first inning and finished with 14 hits, while the club held off a ninth inning Potomac rally to defeat the Nationals 9-7 on Sunday afternoon at Pfitzner Stadium. All nine of the Keys runs came in the first three innings, as the Keys earned their first road series win of the year against a CL North rival. Frederick is now within three games of Wilmington with seven to play in the first-half. Nationals starter Phillips Valdez threw 39 first inning pitches and allowed four runs (two unearned due to errors). Drew Dosch started the scoring with an RBI single three pitches into the game, while a bounce out by Chance Sisco, an RBI single by Adrian Marin and an error by Drew Ward made it 4-0. A two-run triple by Sisco stretched the lead in the second, before the P-Nats plated four in the home-half of the frame thanks to three walks by Chris Lee. With the lead paired down to two, the Keys stretched it back to five on a wild pitch and a two-run single by Jeff Kemp. Potomac chipped away, scoring twice in the seventh, before putting the tying run at second in the ninth thanks to two singles and two hit-by-pitches. However Cody Wheeler negotiated his way around trouble, getting Craig Manuel to groundout to end the game.

STILL ON THE RISE: The Keys gained additional ground in the CL North race thanks to a win over the P-Nats and a Blue Rocks loss at Salem. The Keys have now won back-to-back games (and three of the last four) while the Blue Rocks have lost four straight games and have been shutout in back-to-back days. With seven games remaining in the first-half, Frederick’s elimination number is at five, while any combination of Wilmington wins/Frederick losses will trim it. Trying to make their first playoff appearance since 2011, the Keys will play their final four first-half games against Wilmington.

ROAD WARRIORS:  On Sunday, the orange and black earned their third road series win of the season. However it was the club’s first against a CL North opponent since August 1-3, 2014 when the Keys claimed two of three at Wilmington. Frederick closes out the first-half with a 13-22 road record, but has made up for it with an 18-10 mark at Nymeo Field. Only the Blue Rocks (23-9) have fared better at their home ballpark. In spite of the Keys record on Stadium Drive though, the club has not won a home set in nearly a month (May 17) having lost or split each of its last three home series.

EVERYBODY HITS: Offensively, the Keys were outstanding on Sunday. The 14 hits were the third-most the club had registered in a game this year, and the most the team had posted since May 25 at Lynchburg, when Frederick tied its season-high with 16 hits, a feat that has occurred three times this year. In the season-finale at Potomac eight of the nine Frederick starters registered a hit and five finished with multi-hit games.

DO THE BAT AROUND: The Keys have batted around in back-to-back days and in four of their last five contests. On Sunday, the club sent nine to bat in the first inning scoring four times off Phillips Valdez after nine batted in the seventh inning on Saturday which yielded five runs. Frederick also batted around last Wednesday and Thursday against Myrtle Beach. Sunday’s first inning proved helpful, as the P-Nats batted around once themselves, scoring four in the second inning while sending 10 to bat. In the last 15 days, an opponent has batted around seven times.

YOU’VE GOTTA HAVE HART: Josh Hart has raised his batting average 45 points in his last five games. On Sunday he tied his season-high for hits, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a walk. He has hit safely in five straight and is batting .476 (10-for-21) with three doubles, three RBIs and four runs scored during that time. Hart has multiple hits in four of those contests, while in 12 June games, Hart is batting .326 (15-for-46) with three doubles and three RBIs. He played only 11 games in May (.224) after missing more than a month due to a right shoulder sprain.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: After missing more than a month with an oblique injury, Chance Sisco has started to come around over the last week. Owner of a season-high eight-game hitting streak, the O’s former second rounder went 1-for-3 on Sunday with a triple, and a season-high three RBIs. He also scored a run and walked twice. Sisco has also hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games. During that stretch he is batting .385 (15-for-39) with a home run, three doubles, a triple, 10 RBIs and six runs scored. A player who has seen the ball extremely well of late, Sisco has more walks (nine) than strikeouts (five) in his first 22 games this year.

GAUSMAN TO MAKE SECOND KEYS START: Kevin Gausman is scheduled to make a rehab start with the Keys on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field as he works his way back from right shoulder tendinitis. This will be Gausman’s second rehab outing with Frederick this year. Pitching against Wilmington last Saturday at Frawley Stadium, Gausman threw three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and delivered a first pitch strike to all 11 batters he faced. His most recent rehab start did not go as well at Double-A Bowie, as the righty allowed four runs on four hits in 3.1 innings against Binghamton. Needing 61 pitches, Gausman allowed two home runs and was tagged with the loss.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Thursday afternoon, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s quartet will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Andrew Waszak makes his 14th overall appearance of the season and his seventh start. Between Carolina, Double-A Mississippi and Low-A Rome he is 4-4 with a 3.60 ERA. With the Mudcats this season, Waszak is 3-4 with a 2.97 ERA. The righty will be making his seventh straight start and has turned in quality outings in two of his last three appearances. Pitching last Wednesday against Potomac, Waszak earned the win tossing six innings of two-run baseball while allowing two hits. The 24-year-old split 2014 between Rookie-Danville, Low-A Rome and Lynchburg, going 4-7 with a 5.52 ERA over 21 games (18 starts). With the Hillcats he went 0-0 with a 9.42 ERA in five games (four starts). Waszak’ s Carolina League debut came against the Keys on Opening Day 2014. In 1.1 innings, the Michigan native struck out one and did not allow any runs. A 22nd round selection by Atlanta in 2013, Waszak was a standout pitcher at Michigan State. The right-hander earned third team All-Big 10 honors as a senior, and ranked fifth in the conference in ERA (2.36). In his college career, he went 18-11 with a 3.82 ERA. As a member of the Spartans, he was teammates with former Keys outfielder Torsten Boss.

 

Last First Half Road Game In Potomac!

Good Morning Keys Fans!

The Keys will play their final first-half road game against the Nationals on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Chris Lee makes the start for the Keys and will faceoff against Nationals hard-thrower Phillips Valdez. We’ll have the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

Remember the Keys gained a full game last night thanks to a 9-3 win over the P-Nats and a Wilmington loss to Salem.

Today’s lineup and game notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. CF Hart

2. 3B Dosch

3. 2B Kemp

4. RF Nathans

5. DH Sisco

6. SS Marin

7. C Wynns

8. 1B Sawyer

9. LF Ruettiger

Sunday, June 14, 2015 · Game #63 · Road Game #35

Frederick Keys (30-32) vs Potomac Nationals (28-34)

LHP Chris Lee (1-2, 5.40) vs. RHP Phillips Valdez (0-1, 5.02)

OFFENSE LANDS SEVENTH INNING KNOCKOUT: The Frederick Keys offense pounded out three runs on six hits in their first two innings, before putting things away with a five-run seventh as the orange and black defeated the Potomac Nationals 9-3 on Saturday night at Pftizner Stadium. With the win, the Keys snap a six-game road losing and move within four games of the Wilmington Blue Rocks for first in the CL North. Holding a 4-1 advantage through five innings, Frederick blew things open in the seventh. Beneficiaries of command issues by Jake Johansen, the Keys sent all nine men to bat. Johnny Ruettiger opened the inning with a single, moved to second after a walk by Brenden Webb, and got to third on an error by Nats third baseman Drew Ward on a sac-bunt try. Both Ruettiger and Webb would then score on walks to Tucker Nathans and Chance Sisco. P-Nats manager, Tripp Keister, would go to the bullpen, but Derek Self allowed a bases loaded double to Adrian Marin before a double play by Anthony Caronia capped things off. On Sunday, the Keys try for just their third road series win this year.

MOVING ON UP WITH A CAVEAT: Besides avoiding a backslide on Saturday, Frederick gained a full game in the CL North standings thanks to a 1-0 Wilmington loss at Salem. It was the Blue Rocks third straight road loss, as Mario Martinez won the game for Salem with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth. Unfortunately the Keys remain one game behind Lynchburg in the standings, as the Hillcats came away with a 14-5 win at Myrtle Beach on Saturday night. The Hillcats have won four straight and are three games back of Wilmington. Entering Sunday, Frederick’s elimination number is at five, a number that will drop with any combination of Blue Rocks wins/Keys losses.

EVERYBODY HITS!: Frederick received balanced production from its entire order on Saturday, as eight of nine starters recorded a hit and six finished with an RBI. Besides Johnny Ruettiger (3-for-5) though, the other seven finished with one hit. Adrian Marin and Tucker Nathans each posted two RBIs apiece. In Frederick’s last five games, the team is averaging 5.6 runs. Normally a good barometer for success, the Keys are 26-8 when scoring four or more runs and 4-26 when posting three or less. On the road, those trends have been nearly ironclad, with Frederick going 0-17 in road games when it scores three or fewer runs and 12-5 when eclipsing the four-run barrier). For the year, the Keys are averaging 4.34 runs per game, second-best in the league next to Lynchburg (4.81)

ONE LAST ROAD GAME (IN THE FIRST HALF): On Saturday, the Keys earned their first road win since May 24 to snap a six-game road losing streak and just their eighth road victory against an intra-division rival. This season the Keys are just 8-16 in road tilts against CL North clubs and will be trying for their first road series win over a division rival on Sunday. On the year, the Keys are 10 games below .500 away from home (12-22) tied with Winston-Salem for the worst road record in the league. The Keys actually hit for a higher average on the road (.263/.261) but the club’s ERA is also higher (4.89/4.71). Fortunately for the Keys the club they are chasing, the Wilmington Blue Rocks, have also faltered away from home. Wilmington is 11-19 when playing outside of the First State compared to 23-9 at home. Five of Wilmington’s last eight games will come on the road.

DO THE BAT AROUND: In three of their last four games, the Keys have batted around. On Saturday, the club sent all nine men to bat in the seventh inning against Jake Johansen and Derek Self. During that time, the Keys got only two hits, but utilized three walks and a hit-by-pitch to score five times.  On Thursday, the Keys scored five times while sending 10 men to bat in the fifth inning, while on Wednesday, the Keys plated four in the ninth, sending 10 to bat against Tyler Ihrig and Jasvir Rakkar. It has been a nice reversal of fortunes for the Keys, who lately have been on the other side of a big inning. In the last 14 days, an opponent has batted around six times, racking up three six-run innings, two five-run innings, and two four-run innings.

A NATITUDINAL ADJUSTMENT: The Nationals have had no answer for Johnny Ruettiger this season who came up with his second straight three-hit game on Saturday (3-for-5, RBI, 2R). This year against Potomac, the Keys outfielder is batting a team-high .484 (15-for-31) with a triple, a double, five RBIs, six runs scored and two stolen bases. The 15 hits account for more than one-third of Ruettiger’s season-total, while his three best games at the plate have come at the Pfitz this year (two three-hit games and a four-hit game). Against the other CL North teams he is hitting .214 (7-for-26). A player who has fared well against the P-Nats before, Ruettiger recorded a career-high six hits (6-for-6) at Potomac on May 17, 2012.

YOU’VE GOTTA HAVE HART: Josh Hart has raised his batting average 30 points in his last four games. During that time he is batting .438 (7-for-16) with three doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored. On Friday, the Georgian went 2-for-5 with a double, his third multi-hit game in his last four contests. In 11 June games, Hart is batting .293 (12-for-41) with three doubles and three RBIs. He played only 11 games in May (.224) after missing more than a month due to a right shoulder sprain.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: After missing more than a month with an oblique injury, Chance Sisco has started to come around over the last week. Owner of a season-high seven-game hitting streak, the O’s former second rounder went 1-for-3 on Saturday with an RBI, a run and two walks. Sisco has also hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games. During that stretch he is batting .389 (14-for-36) with a home run, three doubles, seven RBIs and five runs scored. He has four two-hit games during that time, and has seen his average jump 138 points (.143-.281).

GAUSMAN TO MAKE SECOND KEYS START: Kevin Gausman is scheduled to make a rehab start with the Keys on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field as he works his way back from right shoulder tendinitis. This will be Gausman’s second rehab outing with Frederick this year. Pitching against Wilmington last Saturday at Frawley Stadium, Gausman threw three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and delivered a first pitch strike to all 11 batters he faced. His most recent rehab start did not go as well at Double-A Bowie, as the righty allowed four runs on four hits in 3.1 innings against Binghamton. Needing 61 pitches, Gausman allowed two home runs and was tagged with the loss.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Thursday afternoon, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s quartet will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Phillips Valdez makes his 12th start of the season and his fourth with Potomac. With the P-Nats this season he is 0-1 with a 5.02 ERA after going 5-2 with a 1.47 ERA in eight starts at Low-A Hagerstown. His most recent start came at Carolina on Tuesday. He received a no-decision, giving up four runs (two earned) over four innings on six hits. He walked three and struck out five. Promoted to the P-Nats from Hagerstown on May 28, Valdez allowed three runs or less in all eight Low-A starts before getting his first promotion to Advanced-A. His second-to-last outings was his best, as he threw seven shutout innings against Greensboro while the Suns came one strike away from a no-hitter. Currently with his third organization, Valdez opened his career with the Cleveland Indians, who signed him as an international free agent in 2009. From there, Valdez would be signed by Tampa Bay, but would not pitch in 2011, before the Nationals signed him in May 2012. In Valdez’s career walks have been his biggest issue, with the right-hander’s career BB/9IP ratio sitting at 4.5. This season though, he has shown some improvement walking a combined 2.2 through nine innings so far. Valdez hails from San Pedro de Macoris, a town which has been dubbed “the cradle of shortstops” more than 100 players from this town have gone on to play Major League Baseball since players from the Dominican began coming to play professional baseball in 1958. Among those from San Pedro who have gone on to the Major Leagues: Robinson Cano, Sammy Sosa, Alfonso Soriano, Tony Fernandez.

Mikey O’Brien Makes Keys Debut, Frederick Tries to Keep Pace with Wilmington

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The orange and black try and keep pace with the Blue Rocks and snap a six-game road losing streak on Saturday night at Pfitzner Stadium. Right-hander Mikey O’Brien makes his Keys debut after being signed by the Orioles in late May and making two appearances with Double-A Bowie. He will be opposed by John Simms (also a righty) who has turned in two quality starts against the Keys but has been a loser both times.

First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Pregame show starts at 6:20.

One exciting piece of news, Kevin Gausman is scheduled make a SECOND rehab start with the Keys. This time at Nymeo Field on Tuesday night! Gausman will throw somewhere around two innings. That Tuesday game will be at 7:05 p.m.

Today’s lineup and notes are below. Shake your Keys!

Geoff

1. CF Ruettiger

2. RF Webb

3. 2B Kemp

4. DH Nathans

5. C Sisco

6. SS Marin

7. 1B Sawyer

8. 3B Caronia

9. LF Lorenzo

RHP O’Brien

Saturday, June 13, 2015 · Game #62 · Road Game #34

Frederick Keys (29-32) vs Potomac Nationals (28-33)

RHP Mikey O’Brien (0-0, –) vs. RHP John Simms (3-4, 3.80)

ROAD WOES CONTINUE: The Potomac Nationals scored three times off Mitch Horacek in the fifth inning, while Lucas Giolito limited the Frederick Keys to one run in 6.1 innings, as the P-Nats earned a 4-1 victory on Friday night at Pfitzner Stadium. It was Frederick’s sixth straight loss and keeps the Keys five games out of first place with nine games remaining before the all-star break. After missing on scoring chances in the third and fourth, the P-Nats capitalized in the fifth, sending seven men to bat. Estarlin Martinez opened the inning with a double and moved to third on a bunt by Christopher Bostick. Narcisco Mesa then coaxed a walk to put men at the corners for John Wooten. Horacek would keep a close eye on Mesa, but after a number of pickoff throws, the Nationals speedster would steal second and Martinez would take home as the throw to second was high and off line. Wooten followed with an RBI single, before coming home on an RBI triple by Stephen Perez. Frederick’s lone run came in the third off three singles by Johnny Ruettiger, Josh Hart and Jeff Kemp.

A MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Making the loss tougher to take, Wilmington suffered a 4-2 setback at Salem, while Lynchburg earned a 1-0 win at Myrtle Beach, as Hillcats pitchers Michael Peoples, Justin Brantley, Casey Weathers and Ben Heller combined on a two-hit shutout. That win moves Lynchburg a game in front of the Keys and drops the orange and black into third place for the first time this season. Additionally, the defeat drops Frederick’s elimination number to five. That number will continue to drop with any combination of Blue Rocks wins/Keys losses.

BUS TRAVEL BLUES: Frederick is in the midst of their longest road losing streak of the season. The Keys have dropped each of their last six road games, dating back to May 25 at Lynchburg. For the year, the club is 11-22 away from Nymeo Field. That is tied for the worst road record in the Carolina League with Winston-Salem. The Keys have dropped each of their last three games at Pfitzner Stadium, while in general the team has struggled mightily against division opponents on the road. Frederick is 7-16 in away tilts against intra-division and has not won a first-half series against a CL North team.  Fortunately for the Keys, Wilmington has also struggled on the road, as the Blue Crew are just 11-18 away from the friendly confines of Frawley Stadium (where they are a Carolina League-best 23-9).

A NATITUDINAL ADJUSTMENT: Johnny Ruettiger has played very well against the Nationals this year and the success continued on Friday, as the former Arizona State Sun Devil went 3-for-4 with a run scored. This year against Potomac, the Keys outfielder is batting a team-high .462 (12-for-26) with a triple, four RBIs, four runs scored and two stolen bases. The 12 hits account for roughly one-third of Ruettiger’s season-total, while he is batting a combined .214 against the other six Carolina League teams. He recorded season-highs in hits (4-for-4) and RBIs (three) on May 9 at Pfitzner Stadium. A player who has fared well against the P-Nats before, Ruettiger recorded a career-high six hits (6-for-6) at Potomac on May 17, 2012.

YOU’VE GOTTA HAVE HART: Josh Hart has raised his batting average 30 points in his last four games. During that time he is batting .438 (7-for-16) with three doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored. On Friday, the Georgian went 2-for-5 with a double, his third multi-hit game in his last four contests. In 11 June games, Hart is batting .293 (12-for-41) with three doubles and three RBIs. He played only 11 games in May (.224) after missing more than a month due to a right shoulder sprain.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: After missing more than a month with an oblique injury, Chance Sisco has started to come around over the last week. Owner of a season-high six-game hitting streak, the O’s former second rounder went 1-for-4 on Friday. Sisco has also hit safely in nine of his last 10 games. During that stretch he is batting .394 (13-for-33) with a home run, three doubles, six RBIs and four runs scored. He has four two-hit games during that time, and has seen his average jump 136 points (.143-.279).

GAUSMAN TO MAKE SECOND KEYS START: Kevin Gausman is scheduled to make a rehab start with the Keys on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field as he works his way back from right shoulder tendinitis. This will be Gausman’s second rehab outing with Frederick this year. Pitching against Wilmington last Saturday at Frawley Stadium, Gausman threw three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and delivered a first pitch strike to all 11 batters he faced. His most recent rehab start did not go as well at Double-A Bowie, as the righty allowed four runs on four hits in 3.1 innings against Binghamton. Needing 61 pitches, Gausman allowed two home runs and was tagged with the loss.

DO THE BAT AROUND: In two of their last three games, the Keys have batted around. On Thursday, the Keys scored five times while sending 10 men to bat in the fifth inning, while on Wednesday, the Keys plated four in the ninth inning, sending 10 to bat against Tyler Ihrig and Jasvir Rakkar. It has been a nice reversal of fortunes for the Keys, who lately have been on the other side of a big inning. In the last 13 days, an opponent has batted around six times, racking up three six-run innings, two five-run innings, and two four-run innings. The most recent instance came in game one of Tuesday’s doubleheader where Myrtle Beach scored six times off Keys pitching in the sixth innings.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Thursday afternoon, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s quartet will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

THE DOUBLE PLAY DILEMA:  Drew Dosch grounded into a first inning double play on Friday, the Keys ninth in their last eight games. In seven of the team’s last eight games they have hit into a twin-killing. For the year the Keys have hit into 50 double plays, while only Wilmington (55) has been victimized more. Johnny Ruettiger, Adrian Marin and Brenden Webb have each bounced into five twin-killings to tie for the club lead.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander John Simms makes his ninth start on Sunday and his third against the Keys. His most recent outing came on Monday at Carolina. Picking up the win, Simms tossed a season-high seven innings, giving up a run on two hits. He struck out four. Since lasting just 3.2 innings and two innings respectively in his first two starts this year, Simms has fired off quality starts of five of his last six games. During that time he has a 2.43 ERA (37IP/10ER) while two of his quality starts have come against the Keys. In his last outing at Frederick on May 15, the righty allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings in a tough-luck loss. Against the orange and black this year he is 0-2 with a 2.25 ERA (12 IP/4R/3ER/10H) this year. Assigned to the P-Nats from extended spring training on April 24, Simms split 2014 between three different teams, going 4-10 with a 4.19 ERA over 26 games (21 starts). That included 10 starts with Potomac where he went 2-4 with a 4.36 ERA. His best performance came on June 7 against Wilmington, where he struck out 14, the most by any P-Nats pitcher last year. At Double-A Harrisburg he went 2-6 with a 5.03 ERA 11 starts, while at Low-A Hagerstown he was 0-0 with a 0.98 ERA in five relief outings (18.2 IP/2ER). An 11th round pick by Washington out of Rice University, Simms was also selected by Washington in the 39th round of the 2010 draft but he did not sign. Before enrolling at Rice, he spent the summer of 2010 pitching for USA U-18 National Team, going 4-0 with a 0.96 ERA against international competition. Originally from Woodlands, TX (a suburb of Houston) the city is the hometown of NFL stars Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster. A three-pitch pitcher, Simms throws a low-90s fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

Back on the Road One Last Time/Next Homestand Promotions

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

For one last time in the first-half, the Keys hit the road, as the club visits it’s closest geographic rival, the Potomac Nationals, this weekend, Entering Friday, the Keys are five games out of first with 10 left to play. Last night, the team gained a game on Wilmington thanks to a terrific pitching performance by Winston-Salem’s Matt Heidenreich, who tossed eight innings of two-run baseball.

Head-to-head, Frederick holds a 4-3 edge in the season-series, while the Keys split a four-game set at Pfitzner Stadium over Mother’s Day weekend.

Don’t forget that the Keys return home on Monday, and will play the final seven first-half games at Nymeo Field. The baseball should be fun to watch, and there are a ton of great appearances and promotions in store.

On Monday, world-renowned chef, Bryan Voltaggio visits the ballpark. The Frederick native will offer his own unique taste on ballpark cuisine and will be on hand to sign autographs of his new book HOME. If you enjoy a good meal you won’t want to miss Monday night’s game.

Friday also features a fantastic guest. Pat Sajak pays a visit and will be honored with his own bobblehead. Gametime is at 7 p.m. The first 1,000 fans can pick up courtesy of Randy Scritchfield Retirement Planning. A big baseball fan, Sajak was one of the original investors in the Golden Baseball League, and for a time hosted “The Pat Sajak Baseball Hour” on mlb.com radio. Really excited to talk some baseball with him, and I’m sure many of you are excited to meet the longtime Wheel of Fortune host.

On Saturday, the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo returns! Team Ghostriders returns to Frederick, when the Keys and Blue Rocks meet for a 6 p.m. first pitch. There will be two mini-teasers before the game, while there will be a postgame show before fireworks.

The first-half concludes on Sunday with Father’s Day presented by Verizon Wireless at 2 p.m. And as always it is a Sunday Funday at the ballpark presented by Heartfields Assisted Living at Frederick. That means that fans can participate in a pre-game catch on the outfield and get autographs from two Keys players beforehand.

Until we return home though, we hope you’ll follow along this weekend on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Tonight the Keys send midseason all-star Mitch Horacek to the mound against Nationals top prospect Lucas Giolito. Remember Frederick defeated Giolito in his Advanced-A debut.

We’ll have lineups a little bit later on, but for now some game notes are below.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

Friday, June 12, 2015 · Game #61 · Road Game #33

Frederick Keys (29-31) vs Potomac Nationals (27-33)

LHP Mitch Horacek (4-5, 3.86) vs. RHP Lucas Giolito (1-4, 4.59)

INCHING CLOSER: The Frederick Keys scored five times in the sixth thanks to three Myrtle Beach errors, while a strong outing by Luis Gonzalez gave the Keys a 7-4 victory on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. With the victory, Frederick earned a split of the four-game set, while a loss by Wilmington allowed the orange and black to move within five games of the Blue Crew with 10 games remaining in the first-half. After being retired nine in-a-row by Paul Blackburn to open the game, the Keys took the lead in the fourth on an RBI double by Jeff Kemp and a run-scoring single by Chance Sisco. In the sixth though, Frederick would break the game open, scoring five times while sending 10 to bat. Kemp opened the inning with a triple and came home on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error by Pelicans second baseman Daniel Lockhart. With men at the corners, Sisco then doubled in Tucker Nathans to make it 4-1, before a double-error by Jacob Rogers at first and a sac-fly by Josh Hart stretched Frederick’s lead to six. On the mound, Luis Gonzalez earned the win tossing 5.1 innings of one-run baseball. Myrtle Beach scored the final three runs of the game, including two in the ninth, but Cody Wheeler got a double-play and a strikeout to close things out.

THANKS FOR THE SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY: In addition to the Keys win, the Keys got an assist from a southern ally, as Winston-Salem topped Wilmington 3-2 on Thursday night. Thanks to eight innings of two-run baseball from CL All-Star Matt Heidenreich, the Dash were able to claim three of four against the Rocks, to move the Keys within five games of the CL North division leader. Additionally, Frederick’s elimination number stayed put at six, with 10 games remaining in the first-half. This weekend the Blue Rocks visit Salem, a team they have yet to see this year. Although road games have been problematic for Wilmington this year (11-17), Frederick is tied with the Dash for the worst road record in the CL (11-21). Frederick has lost five consecutive road games, and was swept by Wilmington in a four-game set last weekend.

DO THE BAT AROUND: In each of their last two games, the Keys have batted around. On Thursday, the Keys scored five times while sending 10 men to bat in the fifth inning, while on Wednesday, the Keys plated four in the ninth inning, sending 10 to bat against Tyler Ihrig and Jasvir Rakkar. It has been a nice reversal of fortunes for the Keys, who lately have been on the other side of a big inning. In the last 12 days, an opponent has batted around six times, racking up three six-run innings, two five-run innings, and two four-run innings. The most recent instance came in game one of Tuesday’s doubleheader where Myrtle Beach scored six times off Keys pitching in the sixth innings.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Thursday afternoon, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. This year’s quartet will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

THE DOUBLE PLAY DILEMA: After a pair of double-plays quashed run scoring chances in the seventh and eighth inning of Wednesday’s game against Myrtle Beach, Frederick did not hit into a double-play on Thursday. That snapped a string of six games where Keys bats had hit into at least one twin killing. Still, in the last seven games Keys bats have grounded into eight double play balls, to stretch their team total to 49. Only Wilmington (55) has been victimized more. Johnny Ruettiger, Adrian Marin and Brenden Webb have each bounced into five twin-killings to tie for the club lead.

STARTING THINGS OFF BETTER: The Keys have gotten three good starts in a row from Dariel Delgado, David Hess and Luis Gonzalez. On Thursday, Gonzalez picked up his fourth win, tossing five strong innings and allowing one run, despite a 30-pitch second inning. One day prior, Hess equaled his career-high for innings pitched and posted his first Carolina League quality start, while Delgado worked a season-best four innings and allowed one run in the second game of a doubleheader. Those three starts have dropped Frederick’s June starting ERA to 3.88, though for the year, Frederick starters have posted a 5.02 staff mark (283.1 IP/158ER). Much of that can be due to a tough May, where Keys starters had a 5.88 ERA. On Friday, CL All-Star and the club’s leader in quality starts (four) Mitch Horacek takes the hill.

FINDING THE GROOVE: After missing more than a month with an oblique injury, Chance Sisco has started to come around over the last week. Owner of a five-game hitting streak, the O’s former second rounder has also hit safely in eight of his last night games. During that stretch he is batting .414 (12-for-29) with a home run, three doubles, six RBIs and four runs scored. He has four two-hit games during that time, and has seen his average jump 138 points (.143-.281).

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Brenden Webb equaled his season-long seven-game hit streak on Wednesday, but saw it come to a close on Thursday, going 0-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Over the seven-game jaunt, the Californian hit .364 (8-for-22) with two home runs, six RBIs, and four runs scored. Webb previously hit in seven straight from April 15-20.

DAY TRIPPIN: On Friday, the Keys begin their final roadtrip of the first-half, a three-game series to Potomac. This year, the orange and black hold a 4-3 record against the P-Nats, while the Keys are 2-2 in games at Pfitzner Stadium. This season, the Keys are batting .264 and boast a 3.38 staff ERA (the best against any CL team). Offensively, Frederick has been led by Johnny Ruettiger (6G/.409/9-for-22, 4RBI, 3R) and Anthony Caronia (5G/.389/7-for-18, 2RBI). Brandon Miller (6G/.412/7-for-17, 3HR, 5RBI), Stephen Perez (6G/.333/6-for-18, 4RBI) and Christopher Bostick (7G/.321/9-for-28, 3RBI) have done the most damage for Potomac.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Lucas Giolito makes his seventh Carolina League start and his second against the Keys. His most recent outing came last Sunday at Salem. Although Giolito tied his season-high with six innings pitched, he allowed career-highs in runs (six/five earned) and hits (11). He struck out eight. Prior to Sunday he had never allowed more than eight hits or five runs in a start. Those previous high-water marks came in his Advanced-A debut against the orange and black on May 8. Working 4.1 innings, he surrendered five runs on eight hits to go along with two walks and five strikeouts. Currently, Giolito sits just outside the top five in the league with four defeats (1-4). In his first month at the Advanced-A level, the Californian went 1-3 with a 4.84 ERA in four starts (22.1 IP/12R/25H). Rated the No. 1 overall prospect in the Nationals system according to Baseball America, the Californian rates as the No. 7 prospect in minor league baseball according to the same publication and the No.6 prospect by MLB.com. Giolito opened the season at Extended Spring Training along with teammate Reynaldo Lopez as a precautionary measure, since both hit their innings limits in 2014. In his first year of full-season baseball, the right-hander was outstanding at Low-A Hagerstown, going 10-2 with a 2.20 ERA over 98 innings (20 starts) to go along with 110 strikeouts and just 28 walks. He never allowed any more than four runs in any given start, and won six straight outings to end the year. From last April-August his ERA monthly ERA was never higher than 2.95. Opponents hit .195 off Giolito, with righties struggling mightily at .175 and lefties not faring much better at .220. Named the Nationals Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2014, this season the 20-year-old is expected to log close to 100 innings again. Considered a potential No. 1 overall selection as a senior at Harvard-Westlake (CA) High School just outside of Los Angeles, Giolito sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow as a senior and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2012. Washington selected the righty with the 16th overall pick and signed him for a reported $2.925 million. The son of Hollywood actor/producer Rick Giolito, the younger Giolito throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

Series Finale with Myrtle Beach tonight

Last night the Keys made a valiant comeback in the ninth inning scoring four runs to tie the game at six a piece, but the Myrtle Beach Pelicans plated three in the 11th inning  handing Frederick a 9-6 defeat. In tonight’s series finale, the Orange and Black look to get into the win column and evening the series at two games apiece before heading on the road. The Keys will trot out Luis Gonzalez (3-5, 8.31) who is making his second appearance against the Pelicans this season. In his outing against Myrtle Beach on 5/19, Gonzalez led his team to victory and also earned a win. The Pelicans are countering with Paul Blackburn (4-2, 4.15) making this his first outing against Frederick this year.

Also in other news, Drew Dosch, Jeff Kemp, Mitch Horacek, and Tucker Nathans were named to the Carolina Legaue All-Star squad today. These are the most All-Star selections since 2009 for the Orange and Black. The game will be the Carolina League All-Stars versus the California League All-Stars in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Kemp, Horacek, and Nathans are each making their first All-Star teams while Dosch is making his second.

Today’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Tucker Nathans LF

Brenden Webb RF

Chance Sisco C

Drew Dosch 3B

Adrian Marin SS

Austin Wynns C

Logan Uxa 1B

6/11 Game Notes

SPLITTSVILLE: The Frederick Keys scored four times in the bottom of the ninth inning to erase a 6-2 deficit, but the Myrtle Beach Pelicans would have the final say in extra-innings, claiming a 9-6 victory in 11 frames on Wednesday night at Nymeo Field. In the game, the Birds racked up 18 hits, the most allowed by Keys pitching this season. Coupled with a Wilmington win, the loss drops the Keys six games back in the CL North standings. With the game tied at six, Myrtle Beach sent eight to bat in the 11th inning. Loading the bases against Jarett Miller, the Pelicans grabbed the lead on a sac-fly by Caritini before RBI singles by Jacob Rogers and Daniel Lockhart gave the visitors additional insurance. In the ninth, the Keys batted around against Tyler Ihrig and Jasvir Rakkar. Following an RBI single by Chance Sisco, Adrian Marin grounded a ball back to the mound with men at the corners and no outs. Appearing to be a double-play ball, Rakkar threw wild into the outfield to score one run, before a double by Josh Hart made it a one-run game. Rakkar retired the next two batters, but fell behind Tucker Nathans 3-0. Electing to issue an intentional walk, Rakkar threw his pitch over the catcher’s head to force in the tying run. In the game the Keys recorded 10 hits, but went 3-for-13 with men in scoring position.

A SOUR TASTE IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE: Trying to equal their largest comeback win of the season (the Keys came back from four-down at Salem on April 30) the Keys could not shut things down in extra-innings. With the loss and a win by the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the Keys are now six games out of first with 10 first-half games remaining. Additionally, the club’s elimination number was cut from eight to six. The Blue Rocks have caught fire at the right time, winning seven of their last 10, and earning a recent four-game sweep of the Keys at Frawley Stadium. In contrast, the Keys have gone ice cold, falling in seven of their last 10 contests.

THE EXTRA-INNING STREAK ENDS: Wednesday’s 11-inning loss also snapped the Keys five-game winning streak in extra-inning contests. It was Frederick’s first loss in a game stretching past regulation since August 22, 2014 at Potomac. In spite of the setback, Frederick’s 5-1 extra-inning record is tops in the Carolina League.

BUILDING EARLY HOLES: Lately, the Keys have been playing from behind early in home games. In eight of the last 10 contests at Nymeo Field, Frederick’s opponent has scored at least once in the first inning (that includes four multi-run innings). In those games, the Keys are just 2-6. On Wednesday, Myrtle Beach scored twice in the initial inning, the most laborious of the game for Keys starter David Hess (he needed 18 pitches to get through the initial frame).

THE DOUBLE PLAY DILEMA: After hitting into a pair of double-plays in the seventh and eighth innings which wiped away run scoring chances on Wednesday, the Keys have now hit into at least one twin-killing in each of their last six games. During that time, the Keys have grounded into eight double play balls, to stretch their team total to 49. Only Wilmington (54) has been victimized more. Johnny Ruettiger, Adrian Marin and Brenden Webb have each bounced into five twin-killings to tie for the club lead.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Thursday afternoon, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. This year’s quartet will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

SNAKE BIT BY THE BIG INNING: Dating back to a 12-8 loss against Lynchburg on May 30, Keys pitching has repeatedly been plagued by the big inning. In the last 10 days, an opponent has batted around six times, and has racked up three six-run innings, two five-run innings and two four-run innings. The most recent instance came in game one on Tuesday, when orange and black pitching allowed six runs to score in the top of the sixth. Currently, Frederick is last in the league in ERA (4.91) as well as runs (309), earned runs (278), home runs allowed (36), walks (256), hit-by-pitches (35) and wild pitches (58).

SAWYER AND WYNNS RETURN: The Baltimore Orioles have made several roster moves in the last two days affecting the Frederick Keys. Right before Tuesday’s doubleheader, Austin Wynns was received from Double-A Bowie, while Phil Llewellyn was transferred to Low-A Delmarva. On Wednesday, the Keys activated another catcher, Wynston Sawyer from the seven-day DL and transferred Anthony Hewitt (left knee) to the disabled list retroactive to June 8. Sawyer was substituted for Logan Uxa at first in the eighth inning on Wednesday, Sawyer’s first action at first base since August 27, 2013 for Low-A Delmarva.

FINDING THE GROOVE: Chance Sisco has found his groove lately, hitting safely in seven of his last eight games. During that stretch he is batting .400 (10-for-25) with a home run, two doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored. In the process, he has moved his batting average from .143 to .264, the highest it has been all season. In three of his last eight contests, Sisco has tallied multiple hits.

HEAT CHECK 2: Brenden Webb tied his longest hitting streak of the year on Wednesday night. The Californian has hit safely in seven straight twice this year, as he extended things in the bottom of the ninth with a single off Tyler Ihrig. Over his current seven-game streak, the Californian is batting .364 (8-for-22) with two home runs, six RBIs, and four runs scored. In the process, Webb has seen his average jump from .277 to .287. Webb previously hit in seven straight from April 15-20.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Paul Blackburn makes his 10th start of the season and his first against the Keys. His most recent outing came last Friday against Carolina. Pitching game two of a doubleheader, the right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits over 5.1 innings in a no-decision. He walked two, struck out two and threw a wild pitch. The no-decision snapped a two-game winning streak for Blackburn, who defeated Potomac in consecutive starts (May 23-30). In the month of May, the Californian went 3-1 with a 3.91 ERA in five games. This season, Blackburn has pitched into the sixth inning just once while six of his nine starts have last five innings. Currently in his first season at the Advanced-A level, Blackburn was named a Midwest League All-Star in 2014 for Low-A Kane County. The 21-year-old ended the year with a 9-4 record and a 3.23 ERA, second-best among Cubs farmhands. Selected by the Cubs with the 56th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Blackburn had a baseball scholarship to attend Arizona State, but elected to sign for a reported $911,700. He was a compensation sandwich pick that Chicago received for losing Carlos Pena to free agency. A three-pitch pitcher, Blackburn throws a fastball, curveball and changeup.

Keys look to take the lead in series with Myrtle Beach

In yesterday’s doubleheader, the Keys split the twin bill against Myrtle Beach and look to take the lead in the series as game three goes at 7:00 P.M. tonight. David Hess (2-2, 5.47) will be going for Frederick and Duane Underwood (5-2, 2.15) is scheduled to take the hill for the Pelicans. Last night, Keys infielder Anthony Caronia had one of the best games of his professional career in game two of the doubleheader as he went 3-for-3 with four RBIs and a home run. It was not his career high, but it was his season high.

 

Today’s lineup

Tucker Nathans LF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Drew Dosch 3B

Brenden Webb RF

Chance Sisco C

Adrian Marin SS

Josh Hart CF

Anthony Caronia DH

Logan Uxa 1B

6/10 Game Notes

SPLITTSVILLE: The Frederick Keys and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans split a doubleheader on Tuesday evening at Nymeo Field, with the visitors earning a 7-1 victory in game one, before the orange and black came away with a 5-1 triumph in the nightcap. With the initial contest tied at one, the Pelicans blew things open in the top of the sixth, sending 12 men to bat. In the frame, the trio of Chris Lee, Cody Wheeler and Dylan Rheault combined to walk five batters, while Trey Martin and Daniel Lockhart each recorded RBI singles. In game two, Myrtle Beach grabbed a first inning lead on an RBI base hit by Victor Caratini, but Frederick would score the final five runs. The big inning for the Keys was the third, as Brenden Webb hit a solo homer and Anthony Caronia drove in a pair on a single up the middle. For the game, Caronia finished 3-for-3 with four RBIs.

 

SKID SNAPPED BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!: After the Keys saw their losing streak extended to a season-high five games with a loss in game one, the earned its first win in more than a week, and handed the Birds just their ninth road loss of 2015 (by far the fewest in the Carolina League). Additionally, the Keys were able to gain a game in the CL North Division standings and regain sole possession of second place. Like Frederick, Wilmington and Lynchburg both played Tuesday night doubleheaders on account of rainouts. Both the Blue Rocks and the Hillcats were swept by Winston-Salem and Salem respectively. The pair of losses snapped Wilmington’s six-game winning streak, moving the Keys within five games of their First State rivals with 12 first-half games remaining. Frederick’s final four games before the All-Star break will come against the Blue Rocks at Nymeo Field.

 

BUILDING EARLY HOLES: Lately, the Keys have been playing from behind early in home games. In seven of the last nine contests at Nymeo Field, Frederick’s opponent has scored at least once in the first inning (that includes three multi-run innings). In those games, the Keys are just 2-5. On Tuesday night, the Pelicans scored once in the first inning of both games, as the two sides split a doubleheader.

 

WHERE’S THE LEATHER?: On Sunday, the Keys made six errors, eclipsing their previous season-high of five set on April 30 at Salem. Meanwhile, the six defensive miscues are the most the club had made since August 18, 2009. Coincidentally, that game came against the Blue Rocks, though was played in Frederick. Due to the defensive struggles in the series finale, the Keys are now sixth in the league in fielding percentage (.973) and have committed 57 errors on the season, third-most in the league. Frederick trails only Lynchburg (71) and Potomac (60) in that department.

 

HE WAS DUE: Anthony Caronia entered Tuesday’s game two with just one hit in his previous 19 at-bats, however the Floridian busted out in a big way, going 3-for-3 with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored. The three-hit effort equaled Caronia’s season-high set on May 30 against Lynchburg, while the four RBIs were one-short of a career-high. On July 17, the Keys infielder finished with five RBIs while playing for the Short-Season Aberdeen IronBirds.

 

SNAKE BIT BY THE BIG INNING: Dating back to a 12-8 loss against Lynchburg on May 30, Keys pitching has repeatedly been plagued by the big inning. In the last 10 days, an opponent has batted around six times, and has racked up three six-run innings, two five-run innings and two four-run innings. The most recent instance came in game one on Tuesday, when orange and black pitching allowed six runs to score in the top of the sixth. Currently, Frederick is last in the league in ERA (4.85) as well as runs (300), earned runs (269), home runs allowed (36), walks (254), hit-by-pitches (35) and wild pitches (56).

 

GAUSMAN SOLID IN REHAB START: Current Orioles pitcher and former Key, Kevin Gausman was sharp in his first MLB rehab start, tossing three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and did not walk a batter, delivering 32 of his 40 pitches for strikes (including 11 straight first pitch strikes). It was Gausman’s first appearance in a game since May 6 against the Mets, as he went on the disabled list on May 8 with right shoulder tendinitis.

 

FINDING THE GROOVE: Chance Sisco has found his groove lately, hitting safely in six of his last seven games. During that stretch he is batting .381 (8-for-21) with a home run, two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored. In the process, he has moved his batting average from .143 to .245, the highest it has been all season. One Sisco’s best moments offensively came on Saturday at Wilmington, when he hit his first Advanced-A home run.  Working a nine-pitch at-bat against Rocks lefty Nick Green in the seventh, the 20-year-old won the battle, exiting the yard in right. It was his first homer since August 30, 2014 at Hickory.

 

HEAT CHECK 2: Brenden Webb tries to equal his season-high seven-game hitting streak on Wednesday night. Over his current six-game streak, the Californian is batting .388 (7-for-18) with two home runs, six RBIs, and two runs scored. In the process, Webb has seen his average jump from .277 to .288 the highest it has been since May 10. Webb previously hit in seven straight from April 15-20, while during his current streak he has posted multiple hits in just one game.

 

MANCINI NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Thursday was an exciting day for Trey Mancini, who was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox, but things got even better for the Keys former first baseman on Friday. Named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for May, Mancini becomes the second Frederick player this season to receive a monthly honor, joining Drew Dosch, who received the award in April. In May, Mancini hit .362 with five homers and 19 RBIs. During that time he led the league in batting average, slugging percentage (.578) and OPS (.981). In three games with Double-A Bowie, Mancini is 4-for-12 with a home run, a double, am RBI and three runs scored. His first Eastern league hit came off Red Sox big league rehabber Justin Masterson.

 

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Duane Underwood Jr. makes his 10th start of the season on Wednesday and his first against the Keys. Rated the No. 10 prospect in the Cubs system according to Baseball America, Underwood is also regarded as having the “Best Fastball” in Chicago’s system. His most recent outing came last Friday against Carolina. Pitching in game one of a doubleheader, the right-hander allowed a season-high four runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings. He walked one and struck out four. The seven hits also ranked as a season-worst, while it raised Underwood’s ERA to 2.15, the first time it had been north of two all year. Still, the 20-year-old sits third in the CL in ERA, second in batting average against (.209), third in WHIP (1.03) and fourth among starters in fewest baserunners/9IP ratio (9.83). Selected by the Cubs in the second round of the 2012 MLB draft, Underwood went 6-4 at Low-A Kane County in 2014 over 22 games (21 starts). He logged a career-best 100.2 innings. Underwood throws a low-mid 90s fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

 

Lets Play Two!

In the words of Ernie Banks: “Lets play two!” Today the Keys will take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Single-A affiliate of the team from the North Side of Chicago whom Banks played for, in a doubleheader after yesterday’s contest was postponed. Chris Lee (1-1, 4.73) will go out in game one of the doubleheader as he will be countered by Jonathan Martinez (3-1, 2.86). The starter for game two for the Orange and Black has yet to be announced, but Myrtle Beach will send out Daury Torrez (4-3, 3.91). Game one starts at 5:00 PM as game two comes 30 minutes after the end of game two.

 

Today’s lineup (Game one)

Tucker Nathans DH

Adrian Marin SS

Drew Dosch 3B

Brenden Webb RF

Chance Sisco C

Jeff Kemp 2B

Josh Hart CF

Logan Uxa 1B

Gregory Lorenzo LF

6/9 Game Notes

GET ME A PADDLE AND A ROWBOAT: The Frederick Keys and Myrtle Beach Pelicans were washed away on Monday night and will play a Tuesday doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. This marks the second straight homestand where the Keys have been rained out, though in doubleheaders this season the orange and black are 4-0 (best in the CL). Frederick has played the fewest number of doubleheaders in the circuit. Both twinbill sweeps came against the Lynchburg Hillcats at Nymeo Field. Myrtle Beach’s doubleheader record is 8-6, tied for third-best in the league.

 

BROOMED AWAY: The Frederick Keys made a season-high six errors, while the Wilmington Blue Rocks scored in five of eight innings to defeat the Keys 6-4 on Sunday afternoon at Frawley Stadium. With the victory, the Blue Rocks completed the four game sweep to take a six-game lead in the CL North Division standings, the most games the Keys have been out of first this year. After the orange and black tied the game in the sixth on an RBI base knock by Brenden Webb and a sac-fly by Anthony Caronia, Wilmington grabbed the lead for good in the home half of the inning. A single by Jack Lopez started things off, while a Logan Moon sac-bunt, a steal and a wild pitch brought Lopez home. Later in the inning, Carlos Garcia doubled in Dominique Taylor after the later reached on a single, an error by Drew Dosch at third and a passed ball. The Keys had a chance to tie the game in the seventh, but a controversial call on a play at the plate saw Dosch get doubled up and ejected along with his manager Orlando Gomez. Wilmington added single markers in the seventh and eighth innings, while Estarlin Cordero tossed two scoreless frames to complete the sweep.

 

BROOMED: Entering the 2015 season, the Keys had not been swept in a four-game road series since May 26-29, 2008 at Kinston. In 2015 it has happened twice, as the Blue Rocks wrapped up a four-game sweep on Sunday. Earlier this season, the Carolina Mudcats swept the orange and black in four game at Five County Stadium from May 1-4. This year, the Keys have struggled mightily on the road going 11-21 away from Nymeo Field, and are one of only two CL teams (Winston-Salem is the other) that are 10 games below .500 on the road.

 

WHERE’S THE LEATHER?: On Sunday, the Keys made six errors, eclipsing their previous season-high of five set on April 30 at Salem. Meanwhile, the six defensive miscues are the most the club has made since August 18, 2009. Coincidentally, that game came against the Blue Rocks, though was played in Frederick. Due to the defensive struggles in the series finale, the Keys are now sixth in the league in fielding percentage (.973) and have committed 57 errors on the season, tied for second-most in the league. Frederick trails only Lynchburg (71) in that department.

 

DAMAGE CONTROL MODE: Losers of four in a row, the Keys have equaled their longest losing streak of the season (which coincides with the four-game sweep at Carolina in early May) and are now six games out for the first time this year. Frederick is also a season-worst two games below .500, and is now stuck in a tie for second with Lynchburg, after the Hillcats scored nine unanswered runs on Sunday against Winston-Salem to erase a 7-0 deficit.  On Tuesday, the Keys try and avoid tying their longest losing streak since last July (when the team dropped six straight from July 24-30) though it will not be easy against Myrtle Beach. The Pelicans enter with the top record in the Carolina League (33-22) and hold a league-best 20-8 road record (the only winning road mark in the CL this year).

 

TUCKER TERRIFIC: In spite of Sunday’s outcome, Tucker Nathans equaled his season-high for hits, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. It was his 15th multi-hit game of the year, the most by any active member of the Keys. With the RBI on Sunday, the former Fairfield start equals his RBI total from 2014 (in just over half the games it took him to reach 26 last year) while he has already hit five homers after finishing with three in 2014. A strong candidate for an all-star selection, Nathans is second in the CL in hitting (.318), trailing only Lynchburg’s Bradley Zimmer (.320). The 26-year-old is also third in on-base percentage (.398) and fifth in slugging percentage (.490).

 

SNAKE BIT BY THE BIG INNING: Dating back to a 12-8 loss against Lynchburg last Saturday, Keys pitching has repeatedly been plagued by the big inning. In the last eight days, an opponent has batted around five times, and has racked up two six-run innings, two five-run innings and two four-run innings. Over that week’s time, the Keys have a 7.05 ERA (60IP/47ER/69H). Frederick is last in the league in ERA (4.85) as well as runs (292), earned runs (261), home runs allowed (36), walks (244), hit-by-pitches (33) and wild pitches (55).

 

GAUSMAN SOLID IN REHAB START: Current Orioles pitcher and former Key, Kevin Gausman was sharp in his first MLB rehab start, tossing three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and did not walk a batter, delivering 32 of his 40 pitches for strikes (including 11 straight first pitch strikes). It was Gausman’s first appearance in a game since May 6 against the Mets, as he went on the disabled list on May 8 with right shoulder tendinitis.

 

FINDING THE GROOVE: Chance Sisco was one of the few bright spots for the Keys on Saturday, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored as well as his first Advanced-A home run. Working a nine-pitch at-bat against Rocks lefty Nick Green in the seventh, the 20-year-old won the battle, exiting the yard in right. It was his first homer since August 30, 2014 at Hickory. Sisco has multiple hits in two of his last three games, and has hit safely in five of his last six, batting .389 (7-for-18) during that time with a longball, two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored.

 

MANCINI NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Thursday was an exciting day for Trey Mancini, who was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox, but things got even better for the Keys former first baseman on Friday. Named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for May, Mancini becomes the second Frederick player this season to receive a monthly honor, joining Drew Dosch, who received the award in April. In May, Mancini hit .362 with five homers and 19 RBIs. During that time he led the league in batting average, slugging percentage (.578) and OPS (.981). In three games with Double-A Bowie, Mancini is 4-for-12 with a home run, a double, am RBI and three runs scored. His first Eastern league hit came off Red Sox big league rehabber Justin Masterson.

 

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHERS: Right-hander Jonathan Martinez makes his 10th appearance of the year and his ninth start. His most recent outing came last Tuesday at Potomac, where he allowed one run on five hits in a no-decision. He is seventh in the CL in ERA (2.86), second in WHIP (0.93) and third in batting average against (.213) In one game against the Keys Martinez is 1-0, after tossing six innings of three-run baseball on May 20. Just a 20-year-old (he turns 21 on June 27) Martinez was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 31, 2011, but was traded last year as the player to be named later when Darwin Barney was sent to LA in late July. With Great Lakes (LA) and Kane County (CHC) combined last year, he went 11-5 with a 3.26 ERA in 24 starts. In 129.2 innings, he gave up 132 hits, 47 earned runs, struck out 106 and walked just 21. In 2013, he was ranked as the seventh-best Dodgers right-handed starting pitching prospect. Last year, he was the 16th youngest pitcher in the Midwest League and is one of the 30 youngest players at Advanced-A this season. He throws a fastball (89-92, tops at 94), sinker (87-89), slider (82-84), and changeup (81-83). Righty Daury Torrez starts the nightcap, making his 11th appearance and his 10th start. In his most recent outing last Thursday at Carolina he allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits over six innings but suffered the loss. The righty has delivered a quality start in two of his last three games and has shown outstanding command this year, walking just eight in 53 innings (his season-high is three) while he has walked zero in half of his starts. His career BB/9IP ratio is an outstanding 1.1 (including 1.4 this year). Torrez is rated the No. 30 prospect in the Cubs system according to Baseball America, and will be seeing the Keys for the second time. On May 21, he tossed six innings of two-run baseball on six hits. He throws a fastball, slider and changeup.

Keys come back home to take on Myrtle Beach

After being swept on the road by Wilmington and falling to six games out of first place in the Carolina League North Division, the Frederick Keys come back to Nymeo Field for a four game series with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans hoping to get back in the win column. The orange and black have had some success with the the Pelicans this season as they have won two out of three back on May 19-21. Frederick will send out Chris Lee (1-1, 4.73) in game one of the series. This will be his first appearance against the Pelicans. Lee will be countered by Jonathan Martinez (3-1, 2.86) who won in his last appearance against the Keys back on May 20.

 

Today’s lineup

Tucker Nathans LF

Adrian Marin SS

Drew Dosch 3B

Brenden Webb RF

Chance Sisco C

Josh Hart DH

Anthony Caronia 2B

Logan Uxa 1B

Gregory Lorenzo CF

Game Notes 6/8

BROOMED AWAY: The Frederick Keys made a season-high six errors, while the Wilmington Blue Rocks scored in five of eight innings to defeat the Keys 6-4 on Sunday afternoon at Frawley Stadium. With the victory, the Blue Rocks complete the four game sweep and take a six-game lead in the CL North Division standings, the most games the Keys have been out of first this year. After the orange and black tied the game in the sixth on an RBI base knock by Brenden Webb and a sac-fly by Anthony Caronia, Wilmington grabbed the lead for good in the home half of the inning. A single by Jack Lopez started things off, while a Logan Moon sac-bunt, a steal and a wild pitch brought Lopez home. Later in the inning, Carlos Garcia doubled in Dominique Taylor after the later reached on a single, an error by Drew Dosch at third and a passed ball. The Keys had a chance to tie the game in the seventh, but a controversial call on a play at the plate saw Dosch get doubled up and ejected along with his manager Orlando Gomez. Wilmington added single markers in the seventh and eighth innings, while Estarlin Cordero tossed two scoreless frames to complete the sweep.

 

BROOMED: Entering the 2015 season, the Keys had not been swept in a four-game road series since May 26-29, 2008 at Kinston. In 2015 it has happened twice, as the Blue Rocks wrapped up a four-game sweep on Sunday. Earlier this season, the Carolina Mudcats swept the orange and black in four game at Five County Stadium from May 1-4. This year, the Keys have struggled mightily on the road going 11-21 away from Nymeo Field, and are one of only two CL teams (Winston-Salem is the other) that are 10 games below .500 on the road.

 

WHERE’S THE LEATHER?: On Sunday, the Keys made six errors, eclipsing their previous season-high of five set on April 30 at Salem. Meanwhile, the six defensive miscues are the most the club has made since August 18, 2009. Coincidentally, that game came against the Blue Rocks, though was played in Frederick. Due to the defensive struggles in the series finale, the Keys are now tied for fifth in the league in fielding percentage (.973) and have committed 57 errors on the season, third-most in the league. Frederick trails only Lynchburg (71) and Potomac (58) in that department.

 

DAMAGE CONTROL MODE: Losers of four in a row, the Keys have equaled their longest losing streak of the season (which coincides with the four-game sweep at Carolina in early May) and are now six games out for the first time this year. Frederick is also a season-worst two games below .500, and is now stuck in a tie for second with Lynchburg, after the Hillcats scored nine unanswered runs on Sunday against Winston-Salem to erase a 7-0 deficit.  On Monday, the Keys try and avoid their first five-game losing streak since last July (when the team dropped six straight from July 24-30) though it will not be easy against Myrtle Beach. The Pelicans enter with the top record in the Carolina League (33-22) and hold a league-best 20-8 road record (the only winning road mark in the CL this year).

 

TUCKER TERRIFIC: In spite of Sunday’s outcome, Tucker Nathans equaled his season-high for hits, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. It was his 15th multi-hit game of the year, the most by any active member of the Keys. With the RBI on Sunday, the former Fairfield start equals his RBI total from 2014 (in just over half the games it took him to reach 26 last year) while he has already hit five homers after finishing with three in 2014. A strong candidate for an all-star selection, Nathans is second in the CL in hitting (.318), trailing only Lynchburg’s Bradley Zimmer. The 26-year-old is also third in on-base percentage (.398) and fifth in slugging percentage (.490).

 

SNAKE BIT BY THE BIG INNING: Dating back to a 12-8 loss against Lynchburg last Saturday, Keys pitching has repeatedly been plagued by the big inning. In the last eight days, an opponent has batted around five times, and has racked up two six-run innings, two five-run innings and two four-run innings. Over that week’s time, the Keys have a 7.05 ERA (60IP/47ER/69H). Frederick is last in the league in ERA (4.85) as well as runs (292), earned runs (261), home runs allowed (36), walks (244), hit-by-pitches (33) and wild pitches (55).

 

GAUSMAN SOLID IN REHAB START: Current Orioles pitcher and former Key, Kevin Gausman was sharp in his first MLB rehab start, tossing three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and did not walk a batter, delivering 32 of his 40 pitches for strikes. It was Gausman’s first appearance in a game since May 6 against the Mets, as he went on the disabled list on May 8 with right shoulder tendinitis.

 

FINDING THE GROOVE: Chance Sisco was one of the few bright spots for the Keys on Saturday, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored as well as his first Advanced-A home run. Working a nine-pitch at-bat against Rocks lefty Nick Green in the seventh, the 20-year-old won the battle, exiting the yard in right. It was his first homer since August 30, 2014 at Hickory. Sisco has multiple hits in two of his last three games, and has hit safely in five of his last six, batting .389 (7-for-18) during that time with a longball, two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored.

 

MANCINI NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Thursday was an exciting day for Trey Mancini, who was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox, but things got even better for the Keys former first baseman on Friday. Named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for May, Mancini becomes the second Frederick player this season to receive a monthly honor, joining Drew Dosch, who received the award in April. In May, Mancini hit .362 with five homers and 19 RBIs. During that time he led the league in batting average, slugging percentage (.578) and OPS (.981). In three games with Double-A Bowie, Mancini is 4-for-12 with a home run, a double, am RBI and three runs scored. His first Eastern league hit came off Red Sox big league rehabber Justin Masterson.

 

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Jonathan Martinez makes his 10th appearance of the year and his ninth start. His most recent outing came last Tuesday at Potomac, where he allowed one run on five hits in a no-decision. He is seventh in the CL in ERA (2.86), second in WHIP (0.93) and third in batting average against (.213) In one game against the Keys Martinez is 1-0, after tossing six innings of three-run baseball on May 20. Just a 20-year-old (he turns 21 on June 27) Martinez was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 31, 2011, but was traded last year as the player to be named later when Darwin Barney was sent to LA in late July. With Great Lakes (LA) and Kane County (CHC) combined last year, he went 11-5 with a 3.26 ERA in 24 starts. In 129.2 innings, he gave up 132 hits, 47 earned runs, struck out 106 and walked just 21. In 2013, he was ranked as the seventh-best Dodgers right-handed starting pitching prospect. Last year, he was the 16th youngest pitcher in the Midwest League and is one of the 30 youngest players at Advanced-A this season. He throws a fastball (89-92, tops at 94), sinker (87-89), slider (82-84), and changeup (81-83).

Keys Try to Avoid Sweep in Wilmington

Good Morning Keys Fans!

The Keys try and avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Crew earned a 9-3 win on Saturday, after batting around in the fourth and fifth.

Mitch Horacek gets the ball for the Keys and will be opposed by Blue Rocks righty Alec Mills. We could see a lot of strikeouts in this game, as Horacek and Mills ranks are the top two in the league in punch outs.

First pitch is slated for 1:35 p.m from Frawley Stadium and you can catch the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

Today’s game notes and lineup are attached below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. CF Josh Hart

2. SS Adrian Marin

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. DH Tucker Nathans

5. RF Brenden Webb

6. 2B Anthony Caronia

7. LF Johnny Ruettiger

8. 1B Logan Uxa

9. C Phil Llewellyn

LHP Mitch Horacek

Sunday, June 7, 2015 · Game #56 · Road Game #32

Frederick Keys (27-28) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (32-23)

LHP Mitch Horacek (4-5, 3.73) vs. RHP Alec Mills (4-3, 2.75)

BAT AROUND BLUES: The Wilmington Blue Rocks batted around in the fourth and fifth innings scoring a total of nine times to top the Frederick Keys 9-3 on Saturday night at Frawley Stadium. It was the club’s third straight loss and seventh defeat in its last 10 games. With 15 games to play before the All-Star break, the orange and black are now five games out of first place. The Blue Rocks most productive inning was the fourth, as the home team scored four times off Dariel Delgado. After a one-out double by Frank Schwindel, Jack Lopez singled in the game’s first run, before consecutive walks made it 2-0. With the bases loaded, Logan Moon brought in Lopez on a sac-fly, while a two-run double by Carlos Garcia capped the scoring. Delgado would be tagged with four additional runs in the fifth, with half coming on a Schwindel double and the other two coming off three straight singles. Frederick scored the final three runs, with two coming off a longball by Chance Sisco in the seventh.

RUNNING OUT OF TIME: Saturday’s loss moved Frederick five games out of first in the CL North standings, the farthest the Keys have been out of the top spot this year. Prior to Saturday, the Keys had been no farther than four games out of first. Additionally, the loss drops the orange and black a game under .500 for just the second time in 2015. The only other instance where the team has been below .500 came on opening night, when Winston-Salem earned a 13-0 win.

NOT MY KINDA PLACE: Frawley Stadium has not been kind to the Keys this year. The orange and black have lost six of the seven games they have played on the Riverfront, giving the Blue Crew a 7-4 lead in the season-series. In spite of the results so far in the First State, five of the seven games between the two teams this year have been decided by two runs or less, with three hinging on one run. In general though, the Blue Rocks have been rude hosts to most of the Carolina League. Wilmington is a league-best 13 games over .500 in home games (22-9) and has claimed seven of its nine home sets this year (losing one and splitting the other). A big reason for the home success is pitching, as the Rocks staff has a 2.29 ERA at Frawley Stadium.

SNAKE BIT BY THE BIG INNING: Dating back to a 12-8 loss against Lynchburg last Saturday, Keys pitching has repeatedly been plagued by the big inning. In the last week, an opponent has batted around five times, and has racked up two six-run innings, two five-run innings and two four-run innings. Over that week’s time, the Keys have a 7.00 ERA (52IP/42R/61H). Frederick is last in the league in ERA (4.83) as well as runs (285), earned runs (256), home runs allowed (35), walks (242), hit-by-pitches (30) and wild pitches (54).

GAUSMAN SOLID IN REHAB START: Current Orioles pitcher and former Key, Kevin Gausman was sharp in his first MLB rehab start, tossing three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and did not walk a batter, delivering 32 of his 40 pitches for strikes. It was Gausman’s first appearance in a game since May 6 against the Mets, as he went on the disabled list on May 8 with right shoulder tendinitis.

FINDING THE GROOVE: Chance Sisco was one of the few bright spots for the Keys on Saturday, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored as well as his first Advanced-A home run. Working a nine-pitch at-bat against Rocks lefty Nick Green in the seventh, the 20-year-old won the battle, exiting the yard in right. It was his first homer since August 30, 2014 at Hickory. Sisco has multiple hits in two of his last three games, and has hit safely in four of his last five, batting .353 (6-for-17) during that time with a longball, two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored.

HORSES FOR COURSES: Dating back to 2014, Adrian Marin has crushed Wilmington Blue Rocks pitching. Owner of back-to-back multi-hit games against Wilmington, Marin is batting .317 (13-for-41) with six doubles, two RBIs and eight runs scored against the Rocks this year. Last season was the same story, as he hit .318 in 18 games with three homers, 16 RBIs, 12 doubles and six runs scored.

MANCINI NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Thursday was an exciting day for Trey Mancini, who was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox, but things got even better for the Keys former first baseman on Friday. Named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for May, Mancini becomes the second Frederick player this season to receive a monthly honor, joining Drew Dosch, who received the award in April. In May, Mancini hit .362 with five homers and 19 RBIs. During that time he led the league in batting average, slugging percentage (.578) and OPS (.981). In two games with Double-A Bowie, Mancini is 2-for-8 with a double. His first Eastern league hit came off Red Sox big league rehabber Justin Masterson.

FOUR-RUN RULE (ROAD VERSION): Even though there have been some deviations in the last few days, the four-run rule has held true throughout Keys road games this season. When Frederick does not score four or more runs in a road game, the club is 0-16, while the club has not won a road game when scoring fewer than four runs in A YEAR. Frederick’s last road win when scoring under three runs came last June 7 at Myrtle Beach, a game where Frederick topped the Pelicans 1-0 in 10 innings.

LOOKING AHEAD: Following Sunday’s finale, the Keys will play 11 of their final 14 first-half games at Nymeo Field. At home the Keys are 16-8, compared to 11-20 on the road (Winston-Salem is the only other team nine games below .500 at home). However starting on Monday, Frederick will begin a four-game set with the best road team in the Carolina League. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are 20-8 away from the Grand Strand, while no other CL team has a winning road record. From there, the Keys play three games at Potomac to wrap up their first-half road slate, before playing three against Carolina and four with Wilmington to end the first-half.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Alec Mills makes his 11th start on Sunday and his second against the Keys. In his most recent start on Monday at Carolina, the righty tossed a season-high eight innings, giving up a run on six hits, He walked one and struck out four. One of the Carolina League’s top pitchers this season, Mills is sixth in the league in ERA (2.75) and second in strikeouts (59) and SO/9IP ratio (9.54) among starters. The 23-year-old has won back-to-back games (both quality starts) and is coming off an excellent May where he went 3-2 with a 2.51 ERA in five games. In nine of his 10 trips to the mound he has allowed three runs or less, with the lone exception coming against Frederick on April 17 where he allowed five runs (four earned) on a season-high 10 hits. He walked one and struck out five. Strangely, Mills has a lower ERA in four road starts (2.08) than in six home starts (3.34). Mills spent 2014 between the Rookie-Advanced Pioneer League and Low-A Lexington. Making seven appearances at each stop (13 starts) he went a combined 4-3 with a 2.35 ERA over 57.1 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 47. He was a South-Atlantic League All-Star in 2013. Known for solid command, in his career he has only walked 2.1 batters per nine innings. Promoted to Low-A in late-July, he posted a 1.18 ERA in seven starts and did not allow any more than two runs in a start. Originally from Clarksville, TN, Mills was selected by Kansas City in the 22nd round of the 2012 draft out of Tennessee-Martin. He throws a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup.

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