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Keys Try for a Series Win at Home

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The orange and black try for their first home series win of the year tonight and to tell you a little more about it, I give you Ethan Felderstein! Ethan will be working in our media department this summer. He goes to Ohio University where he attends the prestigious Scripps School of Journalism.

Not his first go-round with an Orioles farmclub, Ethan has also worked for the Short-Season Aberdeen IronBirds. Ethan take it away!

There was rain in the forecast, but there will be baseball in Frederick tonight! The Keys will look to clinch the series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks after an outstanding performance by starting pitcher Lucas Long last night. Long tossed a career-high eight strikeouts, allowed just four hits, and no runs. Also, tonight’s we’ll be joined by the Maryland School for the Deaf as we host Deaf & Hard of Hearing Night where we’ll hope to learn some sign language during the game!

Tonight, John Means will take the bump for Frederick as he looks to remain undefeated. In his last outing, he struck out ten batters over five innings. He’ll be opposed by Blue Rocks southpaw Colin Rodgers.

We’ll hit the airwaves at 6:50 on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App as Geoff and Doug will keep you company all evening long.

 

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Ethan

 

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 · Game #32 · Home Game #15

Frederick Keys (13-18) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (9-21)

LHP John Means (3-0, 2.32) vs. LHP Colin Rodgers (1-3, 3.51)

 LONG BLANKS BLUE ROCKS: Lucas Long delivered eight shutout innings on Tuesday night as the Frederick Keys earned a 3-0 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks. It was the Keys second shutout win of the season and the club’s fourth straight victory over their First State rival. Mike Zouzalik wrapped up the shutout in the ninth, working a perfect inning. Offensively, the Keys plated all three of their markers in the first four innings. Jay Gonzalez opened the home-first with a double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch. Jonah Heim made it a 2-0 game with a solo homer in the second, before driving in Cam Kneeland via an RBI single in the fourth.

MOVING RIGHT A’LONG’: Lucas Long turned in one of his best performances as a professional on Tuesday. Firing off eight inning of four-hit baseball, the Minnesota native walked one and struck out eight. A sinkerball pitcher, the righty recorded 13 outs on the ground and faced only three over the minimum. The eight frames were a career-best for Long, who also came up one strikeout short of a personal-high. Additionally, the eight innings was the deepest a Keys starter had gone this year, while it was the first eight inning start by a Frederick pitcher since Mitch Horacek worked eight stanzas against Salem last July 10.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Thanks to Lucas Long’s effort on Tuesday, Keys starters have delivered five quality outings in their last 10 games. Meanwhile in their last 13 games, Keys arms have tallied a 3.00 ERA (78 IP/26ER) and allowed two runs or less 10 times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.76 ERA (153 IP/64ER). Additionally, Lucas Long (1.76) and Matthew Grimes (2.03) rank first and second among O’s minor leaguers in ERA.

BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: Since an eighth inning blow up on April 30, where Keys relief allowed seven runs, the bullpen has lights out. Dating back to the ninth inning of the April 30 game against Winston-Salem, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 1.07 ERA, giving up just three runs in 25.1 innings on 13 hits. That includes an active stretch of 17.2 innings without allowing a run.

OFFENSE TRIES TO PICK IT UP: In spite of going 2-2 in their last four games, the Keys have been held to six hits or less in each contest.  During the six-game roadtrip, the Keys batted only .208 (40-for-192) (in spite of going 4-2) while the orange and black has not registered double-digit hits in their last six contests. For the season, the Keys are hitting .229 as a club, placing them last in the eight-team loop.

CLOSE CALLS: The Keys have gotten used to close games, with 10 of the club’s last 11 contests coming down to three runs or less.  In games decided by three or fewer runs the team is 10-11. In two-run games, the Keys are 4-2 (second-best mark in the league) but in one-run affairs Frederick 1-4, the worst mark in the CL.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez has a stolen base in five of his last seven games to move his season-total up to 17. He has seven steals in seven games and ranks third in the league, trailing only Yoan Moncada (19) and Greg Allen (18). Among minor leaguers, Gonzalez is tied for fourth, while Moncada and Allen are second and third respectively (Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez paces the minors with 23).  This season, Gonzalez is 17-for-19 in steal attempts. He was finally caught for the first time on Saturday after stealing his first 14 successfully.

ROSTER MOVEMENT: Right before first pitch on Tuesday, the Baltimore Orioles made a host of roster moves affecting the Frederick Keys. Infielder Anthony Caronia was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox, becoming the second Keys player to receive a call-up this year (Garrett Cortright was the other). Josh Hart (left groin) and Tanner Chleborad (right shoulder) were reinstated from the seven-day DL, while David Richardson was transferred to Aberdeen. Before Wednesday’s game, Jimmy Bosco was received from Aberdeen while T.J. Olesczuk was transferred to the IronBirds.  

TIME FOR HOME COOKIN?: With a win on Wednesday, the Keys would claim their first home series of 2016 and first since last August 15, when the Keys took two of three against Carolina. Since that time, the Keys have lost seven straight road series. In home series this year, Frederick is 0-4, while the club’s home record is 4-10. Only Winston-Salem has recorded fewer home wins.

WALK THIS WAY: The Keys received a good chunk of walks over their six-game roadtrip, receiving 42 total free rides. A bulk of those came last Tuesday, when the Keys drew 16 free passes (one shy of a franchise record) against Wilmington. Currently, the Keys rank second in the circuit 142 walks, while only Lynchburg (149) has picked up more. The Keys and Hillcats also rank first and second in the Advanced-A Classification in free rides. Individually, the Keys have three players (Jonah Heim, Cam Kneeland and Wynston Sawyer) who either have as many walks as strikeouts or more walks than strikeouts, while Steve Wilkerson is tied for the CL lead in free passes (21).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Colin Rodgers makes his sixth appearance and his fifth start on Wednesday night. His most recent outing came last Wednesday against the Keys at Frawley Stadium. Pitching out of the bullpen for the first time this year, Rodgers took the loss allowing two runs on five hits in 5.1 innings. He walked one and struck out four. The lefty has lost his last three games, though has given up two runs or less in four of his five games. In his first Advanced-A season, Rodgers spent all of 2015 at Low-A Lexington. In 24 games (eight starts) he went 3-11 with a 5.02 ERA. He walked 43 and struck out 57 while opponents batted .312 against him. The 11 losses were fourth-most in the league. Rodgers posted similar ERAs as a starter (5.12 ERA) and as a reliever (4.97), though went 0-6 out of the starting rotation. A third round pick by the Royals in the 2012 draft, Rodgers received a reported $700,000 signing bonus. The 22-year-old suffered a serious elbow injury in 2013 that resulted in Tommy John surgery. He returned to the mound in 2014. Rodgers hails from Bossier City, Louisiana and throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

The Keys Are Back in Town

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The team is back home for seven games! The fun gets started tonight when the Blue Rocks come to town for three, while the Myrtle Beach Pelicans invade Nymeo Field on Friday night. For those who have not gotten a chance to look at all the fun promotional offerings take a minute and click here.

Among the highlightsPromo Preview May 10-16 (640) are former Redskins Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley, who will be signing autographs from 5-7 on Saturday as well as the Candy Drop on Sunday afternoon. We’ll be dumping over 200 lbs of candy onto the field after the game, while all youngsters are invited to stay for the “sugar rush.” I’ll be here all week.

The fun gets started tonight with Derby Day! Tonight Flying Dog Brewery will be hosting a special party from 6-8 which includes a release of their Mint Julep Ale. Fans who want to take part can visit the box office before the game and can upgrade their ticket for only 10 bucks!

On the field, the Keys will be trying for their fourth straight win over the Blue Rocks. after Frederick swept their CL North rivals last week in the First State.

Lucas Long gets the ball for the Keys and will be opposed by Blue Rocks righty Josh Staumont.

First pitch is slated for 7pm and gates open at 6. Doug and I will have the broadcast for you on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. You can also search for us on the TuneIn Radio App by typing in WTHU.

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 · Game #31 · Home Game #14

Frederick Keys (12-18) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (9-20)

RHP Lucas Long (0-1, 4.20) vs. RHP Josh Staumont (0-2, 3.66)

VALDEZ SHUTS DOWN KEYS: Phillips Valdez carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, while the Frederick Keys were limited to only one hit in a 2-1 P-Nats victory on Sunday afternoon at Pfitzner Stadium. The loss gave the Nationals the three-game series. No-hit through the first 6.2 frames, Aderlin Rodriguez gave Frederick its lone hit with a bloop single to center with two outs in the seventh. Despite recording just one hit, the orange and black put the tying run at third in the ninth. On to pinch hit, Wynston Sawyer walked to lead off the ninth against R.C. Orlan. Tad Gold came on to pinch run and moved to second on a sac-bunt by Jay Gonzalez, before a Steve Wilkerson flyout advanced the tying run to third. However Orlan struck out Cam Kneeland to end the game. Both of Potomac’s runs came on a two-run homer by David Masters.

LOOKING FOR THE LUMBER: The Frederick Keys were one-hit for the first time in 2016 on Sunday. It was the first time the team had been one-hit since last July 1 against Potomac, when the Nationals trio of Aaron Barrett, Lucas Giolito and Manny Rodriguez accomplished the feat. Prior to Sunday, the club’s previous season-low for hits was two when the orange and black were shutout 5-0 at Lynchburg on April 21. Over the last three games, the Keys have been held to six hits or less, while the team hit only .208 (40-for-192) over the six-game roadtrip.

HARD AND FAST RULES: This year there have been several ironclad or near-ironclad indicators of Keys success. In each of the Keys 12 wins, the club has eclipsed the four-run barrier, while the club has gone 0-9 when tallying three or less. Additionally, Frederick has recorded only one victory when being outhit (1-14). When the Keys equal their opponents hit total though, the Keys are 3-2.

CLOSE CALLS: The Keys have played consecutive one-run games, while nine of Frederick’s last 10 contests have come down to three runs or less. With losses in their last two one-run affairs, the Keys are a CL-worst 1-4 in games hinging on a single marker.  Meanwhile, the Keys are 9-11 in games hinging on three or less runs.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez has a stolen base in five of his last six games to move his season-total up to 17. Over the six games he has seven swipes and is now tied for second in the CL along with Lynchburg’s Greg Allen. Yoan Moncada leads the way with 19 steals. Additionally that trio is second and tied for third respectively in the minors in stolen bases. Only Yefri Perez (23) has more steals. This season, Gonzalez is 17-for-19 in steal attempts. He was finally caught for the first time on Saturday after stealing his first 14 successfully. Last year Gonzalez had 34 steals between Frederick and Delmarva to top all O’s minor leaguers.

TIME FOR HOME COOKIN?: On Tuesday, the Keys begin their fifth home series, when the Wilmington Blue Rocks come to town. In home series this year, Frederick is 0-4, while the club’s home record is 3-10, tying the club with Winston-Salem (3-14) for the fewest wins in the league. The Keys have not taken a series at Nymeo Field since last August 14-16, when the club took two of three against Carolina. Since that time, the Keys have lost seven straight home series.

 BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: Since last Saturday’s eighth inning blow up, where Keys relief allowed seven runs, the bullpen has picked it up. Dating back to the ninth inning of last Saturday against Winston-Salem, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 1.11 ERA, giving up just three runs in 24.1 innings on 13 hits. That includes an active stretch of 16.2 innings without allowing a run.

 A-ROD: Aderlin Rodriguez has been one of the Keys most consistent hitters this season, while he has been one of the top run producers in the Carolina League. On Thursday he wrapped up a team-high 10-game hit streak, while he recorded eight RBIs in six games last week. Currently, Rodriguez is fourth in home runs (six) and tied for fourth in RBIs (22). He is batting .345 (10-for-29) with two longballs and eight RBIs in seven games this month.  

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Keys starting pitching has also been a point of strength all season. Keys starters have delivered four quality outings in their last nine games, with the most recent coming from John Means on Thursday. Pitching six innings, he allowed two runs and struck out a career-high 10. Over the last 12 games, Keys arms have tallied a 3.34 ERA (70 IP/26ER) and allowed two runs or less nine times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.97 ERA (145 IP/64ER). Additionally, Matthew Grimes (2.03 ERA) and Lucas Long (2.18) rank first and second among O’s minor leaguers in ERA.

WALK THIS WAY: The Keys received a good chunk of walks over their six-game roadtrip, receiving 42 total free rides. A bulk of those came one week ago, when the Keys drew 16 free passes (one shy of a franchise record). Currently, the Keys rank second in the circuit 138 walks, while only Lynchburg (143) has picked up more. The Keys and Hillcats also rank first and second in the Advanced-A Classification in free rides. Individually, the Keys have three players (Jonah Heim, Cam Kneeland and Wynston Sawyer) who either have as many walks as strikeouts or more walks than strikeouts, while Steve Wilkerson ranks third in the league in free passes (21).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Josh Staumont starts for Wilmington on Wednesday and is the No. 15 prospect in the Royals system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Wednesday against the Keys. Lasting only 1.2 innings, he allowed four runs on four hits to go with five walks. Of his 65 pitches, 33 were balls. The five walks tied a career-high. Staumont is third in the league in strikeouts (35). Armed with a fastball that reaches triple digits, the right-hander’s heater is ranked as the best in the KC system. Last season, Staumont went a combined 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 18 games (four starts) between the AZL Royals and the Idaho Falls Chukars, two rookie league stops. In 40 innings he struck out 58 but walked 32. He was selected by the Royals in the second round of the 2015 Draft out of Azusa Pacific University.

 

The Keys Try For a Series Win at Potomac!

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Sunday, May 8, 2016 · Game #30 · Road Game #17

Frederick Keys (12-17) vs. Potomac Nationals (15-11)

RHP Cory Jones (1-1, 3.94) vs. RHP Phillips Valdez (3-1, 4.40)

KEYS BATS GO QUIET, NATS FORCE RUBBER GAME: The Potomac Nationals scored the final three runs of the game, while the Keys bats were held quiet in 3-2 P-Nats win on Saturday night at Pfitzner Stadium. With the loss, the Keys five-game winning streak also came to a close. Frederick grabbed the initial lead in the fourth, thanks to an RBI double by Jomar Reyes and a run-scoring groundout by T.J. Olesczuk. Matthew Grimes hit a road bump in the fourth, loading the bases with nobody out. Alex Keller made it a one-run affair with an RBI fielder’s choice, before an error helped Potomac tie the game one frame later. With two outs, Erick Salcedo misfired a throw to first which got out of play, before Dale Carey singled home Jose Marmolejos to even the contest at two. In the sixth, the Nats took the lead for good on a triple by Keller and an RBI double by Matt Reistetter. Mario Sanchez and Ryan Brinley worked four shutout innings of relief to wrap up the P-Nats win.

STREAK HALTED: Frederick’s season-high five-game win streak concluded on Saturday. It was the team’s best stretch since last April 10-15 when the team won six straight, while it was the Keys first loss since a 9-8 loss to Winston-Salem last Saturday. Prior to the streak, the Keys had not won more than two in-a-row (and had lost four consecutive games). Despite the outcome on Saturday, the Keys are still tied with Salem for the best May start (5-1) and are two wins short of their April win total (7-16).

BATS GO QUIET: Although the Keys scored at least five runs in all five games during the streak, the offense was hardly robust, tallying just six hits in three of the five contests. In five of Frederick’s last eight games, the team has mustered six hits or less (including a three-hit effort and a five-hit effort on Saturday). Meanwhile, in the last four games, the Keys are batting only .135 (7-for-52) with runners on scoring position (includes a 1-for-13 showing on Saturday). For the season, the orange and black are hitting only .211 with runners in scoring position, the second-worst mark in the league (only Carolina is worse at .202).

RUBBER GAMES: On Mother’s Day the Keys will play their fourth rubber game of the year. In rubber games this season, Frederick is 1-2, with losses in their last two deciding contests. The last came on April 28 against Salem, when the Keys fell 7-4. Frederick’s lone win in a rubber game has come on the road, when the orange and black topped the Red Sox 5-2 on April 13 at LewisGale Field.

FINALLY CAUGHT: After stealing 14 times successfully, Jay Gonzalez was finally caught for the first time on Saturday, when he was gunned down in the fourth inning. Nonetheless, Gonzalez still stole two bases after reaching in the seventh and eighth innings. The speedster paces all minor league farmhands in steals (no one else has more than seven) while he ranks third at the Advanced-A classification (trailing Yoan Moncada who has 19 and Greg Allen who has 17) and is tied for fourth-most in the minors. Last year Gonzalez had 34 steals between Frederick and Delmarva.

 BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: Since last Saturday’s eighth inning blow up, where Keys relief allowed seven runs, the bullpen has picked it up. Dating back to the ninth inning of last Saturday against Winston-Salem, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 1.27 ERA, giving up just three runs in 21.1 innings on 10 hits. That includes an active stretch of 13.2 innings without allowing a run.

 RODRIGUEZ THE RBI MAN: In spite of losing a 10-game hitting streak on Thursday, Aderlin Rodriguez has still been one of the most productive hitters at the Advanced-A level this week. Over five games, he has driven in eight, giving him the fourth-most RBIs at the classification (while trailing only Salem’s Yoan Moncada who has nine RBIs in six games). Over five games, this week, Rodriguez is batting .348 (8-for-23) with two homers, eight RBIs and three runs scored.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Keys starting pitching has also been a point of strength all season. Keys starters have delivered four quality outings in their last eight games, with the most recent coming from John Means on Thursday. Pitching six innings, he allowed two runs and struck out a career-high 10. Over the last 12 games, Keys arms have tallied a 3.32 ERA (65 IP/24ER) and allowed two runs or less eight times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.99 ERA (140 IP/62ER). Additionally, Matthew Grimes (2.03 ERA) and Lucas Long (2.18) rank first and second among O’s minor leaguers in ERA.

WALK THIS WAY: After walking only twice on Thursday, the Keys received seven free rides on Saturday. That gives them 38 walks over five games on the roadtrip. A bulk of those came on Tuesday when the Keys received 16 free passes (one shy of a franchise record). Currently, the Keys pace the Carolina League as well as all of Advanced-A in walks with 134. Individually, the Keys have three players (Jonah Heim, Cam Kneeland and Wynston Sawyer) who either have as many walks as strikeouts or more walks than strikeouts, while Steve Wilkerson ranks third in the league in free passes (21).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Phillips Valdez makes his sixth start of the year on Sunday and is the No. 26 prospect in the Nationals system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Saturday against Wilmington. Equaling his season-high of seven innings, Valdez allowed one run on five hits to go with four strikeouts in a no-decision. He has worked seven innings in back-to-back starts for the first time in his pro career (giving up just two runs in 14 innings in both games vs. Wilmington). Currently, Valdez is tied for third in the league in strikeouts (33) and has the lowest BB/9IP ratio for a CL starter (1.26). The later category is a major point of improvement for Valdez, who tallied a 3.8 BB/9IP ratio with the P-Nats last year (and has a 4.1 BB/9IP mark in his career). Promoted to the P-Nats from Low-A Hagerstown last May 28, Valdez went a combined 8-4 with a 2.81 ERA. With the Nationals the 24-year-old was 3-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 22 games (10 starts). He fared much better as a reliever (2.25 ERA) than as a starter (4.15 ERA). 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.

The Keys Gear Up for Game Two After Friday’s Rainout

Good Morning Keys Fans!

After an unscheduled off-day on Friday due to rain, the Keys and Nationals will be back at it on Saturday night at 6:35 p.m. Rather than play a doubleheader on Saturday, Friday’s game has been moved to Thursday, June 9 when the Keys return to Woodbridge. That night the two sides will play a pair of seven-inning games.

Matthew Grimes takes the mound for the Keys tonight after an extra day of rest and is the reigning Carolina League Pitcher of the Week after wins in his last two starts. He will be opposed by P-Nats righty Luis Reyes.

As always you can catch the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. You can also find us on the TuneIn Radio App by searching for WTHU.

Some notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Saturday, May 7, 2016 · Game #29 · Road Game #16

Frederick Keys (12-16) vs. Potomac Nationals (14-11)

RHP Matthew Grimes (3-0, 2.16) vs. RHP Luis Reyes (2-2, 4.22)

KEYS AND NATIONALS POSTPONED FRIDAY: Friday’s game between the Keys and Nationals was postponed on account of rain. Rather than make up the contest on Saturday, the game will be rescheduled for Thursday, June 9 when the Keys return to Pftizner Stadium for their second series. First pitch will be slated for 5:05 that night as the two sides will play a pair of seven-inning games. Friday marked the Keys first postponement of the season and provided the team with an unscheduled off-day after playing 28 games in 29 days.

P-NATS ERRORS HELP KEYS TAKE FIFTH STRAIGHT: The Frederick Keys capitalized off two ninth inning errors by the Potomac Nationals to earn a 5-2 victory on Thursday night at Pfitzner Stadium. It was the Keys season-high fifth win in a row. With the game tied at two, the Keys scored three times in their final at-bats against Greg Ross. Aderlin Rodriguez struck out to open the inning but reached first on a passed ball. One batter later, Rodriguez advanced to third as a sac-bunt by Cam Kneeland was thrown away by Ross. Jonah Heim walked to load the bases to bring up Tad Gold. The Keys eight-hole batter bounced a ball to first which appeared to be a double play ball, but the throw home was off target allowing two to score. Erick Salcedo then added an RBI single to make it a three-run affair. Out of the bullpen, Tanner Scott and Jimmy Yacabonis worked three scoreless innings to wrap things up.

DON’T STOP NOW BOYS!: Thursday’s win extended the Keys winning streak to a season-high five games. It is the club’s longest winning streak since last April 10-15 when the team won a season-best six in-a-row. A streak dating back to Sunday’s 5-2 triumph over Winston-Salem, the Keys posted three of their five wins at Wilmington from Monday-Wednesday when the team posted its first sweep of the year. The only CL team hotter than the Keys right now is Salem. The top team in the Southern Division, the Red Sox have won eight straight (a mark dating back to their 14-7 win over the Keys on April 27).

ANALYZING THE STREAK: During the current winning streak, the Keys have scored five runs or more in each game, a near ironclad barometer of the team’s success this year. All but one of the Keys wins have come when the team posts five runs or more, while Frederick has yet to win a game when scoring fewer than four runs (0-8). In spite of scoring five runs in each game during the streak, the Keys are only batting .242 and have tallied just six hits in three of the five contests. With runners in scoring position the Keys are hitting at an improved .262 clip, while the team has been helped by 36 walks. On the mound, pitching has delivered with Keys arms registering a 3.20 ERA in the last five (includes three quality starts).

 BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: Since Saturday’s eighth inning blow up, where Keys relief allowed seven runs, the bullpen has picked it up. Dating back to the ninth inning of Saturday’s contest, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 1.45 ERA, giving up just three runs in 18.2 innings on nine hits. That includes an active stretch of 11 innings without allowing a run.

 A-ROD’S STREAK COMES TO A CLOSE: Aderlin Rodriguez saw his 10-game hitting streak conclude on Thursday, as he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Over the 10-game run (which started on April 24), the 24-year-old hit .378 (17-for-45) with four home runs, 15 RBIs and eight runs scored. In the process, Rodriguez raised his batting average an eye-popping 70 points (.210-.270). It was his longest streak since 2014,when he hit in a career-best 16 straight from June 3-23 with the St. Lucie Mets.

RODRIGUEZ THE RBI MAN: In spite of losing the 10-game streak on Thursday, Rodriguez has still been one of the most productive hitters in Minor League Baseball this week. Dating back to Monday, Rodriguez has driven in eight, putting him in a tie for the third-most RBIs by a minor leaguer this week. Jarrett Parker of Sacramento (nine) and Chris Shaw of San Jose (11) are the only players who have recorded more.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Keys starting pitching has also been a point of strength all season. Keys starters have delivered four quality outings in their last seven games, with the most recent coming from John Means on Thursday. Pitching six innings, he allowed two runs and struck out a career-high 10. Over the last 11 games, Keys arms have tallied a 3.32 ERA (59.2 IP/22ER) and allowed two runs or less eight times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 4.01 ERA (134.2 IP/60ER). Additionally, the trio of Matthew Grimes (1.75 ERA), Lucas Long (2.18) and John Means (2.32) have the three lowest ERAs among O’s minor leaguers.

WALK THIS WAY: After walking 29 times over three games at Wilmington, the Keys received just two free passes on Thursday night. Still, with Lynchburg’s last two games getting postponed, the Keys moved into the team-lead for walks in the CL with 127 (Keys lead the Hillcats by one). A bulk of the Keys walks came on Tuesday night, as Wilmington pitchers walked a franchise worse 16 batters. Individually, a number of Keys players had “walk streaks” snapped on Thursday. Prior to Thursday, Jay Gonzalez had walked in eight straight contests, Steve Wilkerson had walked in six straight and Wynston Sawyer had walked in three straight. After going up against the two worst pitching staff in regards to walks (Winston-Salem and Wilmington) the Keys face a P-Nats stuff which has handed out the third-fewest (90) in the eight-team loop.

HOMER STREAK ENDS: Over the last two games the Keys have not hit a homer after going the previous five games with a longball. Nonetheless, Keys bats have hit 10 in their last 11 games. That has built the team’s season figure to 18 home runs, a mark that trails only Lynchburg’s 24. Aderlin Rodriguez is tied for third in the CL with six, while Austin Wynns and Jomar Reyes have three apiece.    

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Luis Reyes makes his fifth start on Friday. Winner of his last two outings, his most recent victory came last Friday against Wilmington. Working 5.2 innings, he allowed one run on five hits. He walked three and struck out a season-high eight. Opponents have hit just .225 (and righties are batting .190) off Reyes this year, but walks have been an occasional issue, as the 21-year-old has a 5.1 BB/9IP ratio (he has three or more walks in four of five games). That mark is 3.6 for his career. Reyes spent all of 2015 at Low-A Hagerstown, going 6-7 with a 4.82 ERA in 24 games (his first year of full-season ball). Pitching 117.2 innings he allowed 117 hits, walked 50 and struck out 72 while opponents hit .267 off him. Although Reyes’ first half (4.91 ERA) and second-half (4.72 ERA) numbers were comparable, opponents hit only .243 against him the second half as opposed to .288 in the first-half. Signed by the Nationals as an 18-year-old out of Sabana Grande de Palenque, DR, which is located near the coast of the Caribbean Sea.

Let’s Make it Six!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys try for their season-best sixth win in-a-row on Friday after scoring three times in the ninth inning last night. To accomplish that feat, the Keys will send CL Pitcher of the Week, Matthew Grimes to the mound. He will be opposed by P-Nats righty Luis Reyes. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m from the Pfitz and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

Also, for those of you who want to listen to some interviews with Keys players, you can visit our Soundcloud page by clicking here: https://soundcloud.com/frederick-keys-radio.

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Friday, May 6, 2016 · Game #29 · Road Game #16

Frederick Keys (12-16) vs. Potomac Nationals (14-11)

RHP Matthew Grimes (3-0, 2.16) vs. RHP Luis Reyes (2-2, 4.22)

 P-NATS ERRORS HELP KEYS TAKE FIFTH STRAIGHT: The Frederick Keys capitalized off two ninth inning errors by the Potomac Nationals to earn a 5-2 victory on Thursday night at Pfitzner Stadium. It was the Keys season-high fifth win in a row. With the game tied at two, the Keys scored three times in their final at-bats against Greg Ross. Aderlin Rodriguez struck out to open the inning but reached first on a passed ball. One batter later, Rodriguez advanced to third as a sac-bunt by Cam Kneeland was thrown away by Ross. Jonah Heim walked to load the bases to bring up Tad Gold. The Keys eight -hole batter bounced a ball to first which appeared to be a double play ball, but the throw home was off target allowing two to score. Erick Salcedo then added an RBI single to make it a three-run affair. Out of the bullpen, Tanner Scott and Jimmy Yacabonis worked three scoreless innings to wrap things up.

DON’T STOP NOW BOYS!: Thursday’s win extended the Keys winning streak to a season-high five games. It is the club’s longest winning streak since last April 10-15 when the team won a season-best six in-a-row. A streak dating back to Sunday’s 5-2 triumph over Winston-Salem, the Keys posted three of their five wins at Wilmington from Monday-Wednesday when the team posted its first sweep of the year. The only CL team hotter than the Keys right now is Salem. The top team in the Southern Division, the Red Sox have won seven straight (a mark dating back to their 14-7 win over the Keys on April 27).

ANALYZING THE STREAK: During the current winning streak, the Keys have scored five runs or more in each game, a near ironclad barometer of the team’s success this year. All but one of the Keys wins have come when the team posts five runs or more, while Frederick has yet to win a game when scoring fewer than four runs (0-8). In spite of scoring five runs in each game during the streak, the Keys are only batting .242 and have tallied just six hits in three of the five contests. With runners in scoring position the Keys are hitting at an improved .262 clip, while the team has been helped by 36 walks. On the mound, pitching has delivered with Keys arms registering a 3.20 ERA in the last five (includes three quality starts).

 BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: Since Saturday’s eighth inning blow up, where Keys relief allowed seven runs, the bullpen has picked it up. Dating back to the ninth inning of Saturday’s contest, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 1.45 ERA, giving up just three runs in 18.2 innings on nine hits. That includes an active stretch of 11 innings without allowing a run.

 A-ROD’S STREAK COMES TO A CLOSE: Aderlin Rodriguez saw his 10-game hitting streak conclude on Thursday, as he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Over the 10-game run (which started on April 24), the 24-year-old hit .378 (17-for-45) with four home runs, 15 RBIs and eight runs scored. In the process, Rodriguez raised his batting average an eye-popping 70 points (.210-.270). It was his longest streak since 2014,when he hit in a career-best 16 straight from June 3-23 with the St. Lucie Mets.

RODRIGUEZ THE RBI MAN: In spite of losing the 10-game streak on Thursday, Rodriguez has still been one of the most productive hitters in Minor League Baseball this week. Dating back to Monday, Rodriguez has driven in eight, putting him in a tie for the second-most RBIs by a minor leaguer this week. He is tied with Kelly Dugan of the Tennessee Smokies and Edgar Corcino of the Fort Myers Miracle. Chris Shaw leads all MiLB players with nine RBIs through four games this week.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Keys starting pitching has also been a point of strength all season. Keys starters have delivered four quality outings in their last seven games, with the most recent coming from John Means on Thursday. Pitching six innings, he allowed two runs and struck out a career-high 10. Over the last 11 games, Keys arms have tallied a 3.32 ERA (59.2 IP/22ER) and allowed two runs or less eight times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 4.01 ERA (134.2 IP/60ER). Additionally, the trio of Matthew Grimes (1.75 ERA), Lucas Long (2.18) and John Means (2.32) have the three lowest ERAs among O’s minor leaguers.

WALK THIS WAY: After walking 29 times over three games at Wilmington, the Keys received just two free passes on Thursday night. Still, with Lynchburg’s game getting postponed, the Keys moved into the team-lead for walks in the CL with 127 (Keys lead the Hillcats by one). A bulk of the Keys walks came on Tuesday night, as Wilmington pitchers walked a franchise worse 16 batters. Individually, a number of Keys players had “walk streaks” snapped on Thursday. Prior to Thursday, Jay Gonzalez had walked in eight straight contests, Steve Wilkerson had walked in six straight and Wynston Sawyer had walked in three straight. After going up against the two worst pitching staff in regards to walks (Winston-Salem and Wilmington) the Keys face a P-Nats stuff which has handed out the third-fewest (90) in the eight-team loop.

HOMER STREAK ENDS: Over the last two games the Keys have not hit a homer after going the previous five games with a longball. Nonetheless, Keys bats have hit 10 in their last 11 games. That has built the team’s season figure to 18 home runs, a mark that trails only Lynchburg’s 24. Aderlin Rodriguez is tied for third in the CL with six, while Austin Wynns and Jomar Reyes have three apiece.    

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Luis Reyes makes his fifth start on Friday. Winner of his last two outings, his most recent victory came last Friday against Wilmington. Working 5.2 innings, he allowed one run on five hits. He walked three and struck out a season-high eight. Opponents have hit just .225 off Reyes this year, but walks have been an occasional issue, as the 21-year-old has a 5.1 BB/9IP ratio (he has three or more walks in four of five games). That mark is 3.6 for his career. Reyes spent all of 2015 at Low-A Hagerstown, going 6-7 with a 4.82 ERA in 24 games (his first year of full-season ball). Pitching 117.2 innings he allowed 117 hits, walked 50 and struck out 72 while opponents hit .267 off him. Signed by the Nationals as an 18-year-old out of Sabana Grande de Palenque, DR, which is located near the coast of the Caribbean Sea.

The Keys Are in Potomac!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys come off their first sweep of the season on Wednesday at Wilmington and will continue their road swing in Potomac tonight.

Left-hander John Means makes the start against right-hander Boone Whiting. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m from Pfitzner Stadium and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

Some notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Thursday, May 5, 2016 · Game #28 · Road Game #15

Frederick Keys (11-16) vs. Potomac Nationals (14-10)

LHP John Means (3-0, 2.16) vs. RHP Boone Whiting (3-1, 4.91)

KEYS WALK WAY TO SERIES WIN: The Frederick Keys completed a three-game sweep of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, with a 6-4 win on Wednesday night at Frawley Stadium. After taking the lead for good in the fifth, the Keys got lockdown relief pitching from Ivan Hernandez, Max Schuh and Mike Zouzalik who combined on five shutout innings of two-hit baseball. Frederick and Wilmington rode the seesaw for the first four innings, as the Keys plated the first four before the Blue Crew responded with the next four. Three of those came in the second, as a single by T.J. Olesczuk and three straight walks made it 2-0, while Aderlin Rodriguez (RBI single) and Austin Wynns (groundout) tallied RBIs to make it a four-run affair. Back-to-back doubles by Corey Toups and Alfredo Escalera tied the game in the fourth, before the Keys broke the deadlock in the fifth. Three straight singles started things off, before Erick Salcedo and Jay Gonzalez brought in runs with a pair of groundouts.

SWEEP COMPLETE!: The orange and black posted their first sweep of the season on Wednesday night, brooming the Blue Rocks over three games. It was the team’s first sweep since last July 22-24, when the Keys took three in-a-row from Potomac at Pfitzner Stadium. On top of that, the Keys have won a season-high four games in a row. It is the team’s longest run since last August 12-15. In 2015, Frederick longest winning streak was six games. Currently, only Salem is on a longer win streak, with the Red Sox having taken seven straight (they lead the CL South with an 18-8 record)

BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: Since Saturday’s eighth inning blow up, where Keys relief allowed seven runs, the bullpen has picked it up. Dating back to the ninth inning of Saturday’s contest, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 1.72 ERA, giving up just three runs in 15.2 innings on nine hits. That includes an active stretch of eight innings without allowing a run.

A-ROD ROCKING: Aderlin Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to a team-high 10 games on Wednesday, going 2-for-5 with an RBI. Over the 10-game run (which started on April 24), the 24-year-old is hitting .378 (17-for-45) with four home runs, 15 RBIs and eight runs scored. In the process, Rodriguez has improved his average from .210 to .280 the highest it has been since April 11. The 10-game streak is six games short of his career-high. While playing for Advanced-A St. Lucie (Mets) in 2014, Rodriguez hit in 16 straight from June 3-23.

RODRIGUEZ THE RBI MAN: Aderlin Rodriguez also has eight RBIs in his last three games. The ties him for the minor league in RBIs this week along with Edgar Corcino of the Fort Myers Miracle. Additionally, Rodriguez’s 13 RBIs in his last seven games put him in a tie for third in the MiLB for runs driven in over the last week.

WALK THIS WAY: Opposing pitchers have struggled to throw strikes of late and the Keys have not been shy to take a walk. In the last five games, Keys hitters have walked a combined 43 times. That has vaulted the team into second in the league in free passes earned (125). Only Lynchburg has walked more (126). This is a departure from previous seasons, as the Keys finished with the third-fewest walks in 2015 and the second-fewest in 2014. A bulk of the Keys walks came on Tuesday night, as Wilmington pitchers walked a franchise worse 16 batters. That figure was one short of the most by a Keys team in a game (17 times on April 20, 1994 against Winston-Salem).

HOMER STREAK ENDS: On Wednesday, Frederick saw its string of games with a home run end at five. Nonetheless, Keys bats have hit 10 in their last 10 games. That has built the team’s season figure to 18 home runs, a mark that trails only Lynchburg’s 24. Aderlin Rodriguez is tied for third in the CL with six, while Austin Wynns and Jomar Reyes have three apiece.    

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Over the last 10 games, Keys starting pitching has also been a point of strength. Keys starters have delivered three quality outings in their last six games, with the most recent coming from Cory Jones on Monday. Over the 10 contests, Keys arms have tallied a 3.35 ERA (53.2 IP/20ER) and allowed two runs or less seven times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 4.05 ERA (128.2 IP/58ER).

ROSTER MOVEMENT: A number of roster moves were made right before the game Tuesday night. On the mound, left-hander Jeff Beliveau was received from Triple-A Norfolk and right-hander Austin Urban was transferred to Aberdeen. Elsewhere, Josh Hart was placed on the seven-day DL (retroactive to May 1) with a left groin injury and T.J Olesczuk was received from Aberdeen. Tuesday was Beliveau’s first appearance in a regular season game since last April 15 at Toronto when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays. He is working his way back to Baltimore after missing most of last year due to labrum surgery.    

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Boone Whiting makes his fifth start of the season and his first against the Keys. The righty’s most recent outing came last Wednesday at Myrtle Beach. Tossing six innings, Whiting received the loss allowing four runs (three earned) to go with two home runs a walk and five strikeouts. The Californian has delivered quality outings in each of his last two starts. A pitcher who has displayed good command so far, Whiting has only four walks in 22 innings and has the third-lowest BB/9IP ratio in the Carolina League. Signed by the Nationals as a free agent this January 12, Whiting played all of 2015 at Triple-A, first for the Memphis RedBirds (Cardinals) and then for the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado). Between the two stops he went 4-9 with a 6.44 ERA in 24 games (14 starts). In 95 innings, he allowed 123 hits, walked 61 and struck out 59. He was released by the Cardinals on May 22 but was signed by the Rockies four days later. Before this year, Whiting had played exclusively at the Triple-A level in 2014-15 and had not pitched below Double-A since 2012, when he was at Quad Cities (he had never played Advanced-A ball before this year). That year he led all of Minor League Baseball in WHIP. Originally drafted by St. Louis in the 18th round of the 2010 draft from Centenary College (LA), the 26-year-old is from Oakdale, CA which is known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.”

Let’s Break Out the Brooms!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys are in search of their first three-game sweep of the season on Wednesday night when they face the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Tuesday’s game was an ugly one for Blue Rocks pitching. In nine innings they walked 16 batters, a franchise-high. That enabled the Keys to come back and win.

Frederick is riding a season-high three game winning streak, and will send Lucas Long to the mound to keep it going. Currently the right-hander leads all Orioles minor leaguers in ERA. His opposition will be the hard throwing Josh Staumont, a right-handed pitcher and second round pick by the Royals last year.

The broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn radio App by searching WTHU. First pitch is at 6:35.

Some notes are below. Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 · Game #27 · Road Game #14

Frederick Keys (10-16) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (6-18)

RHP Lucas Long (0-1, 2.45) vs. RHP Josh Staumont (0-2, 2.00)

KEYS WALK WAY TO SERIES WIN: The Frederick Keys walked 16 times, a franchise worst for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, as the orange and black defeated their CL North rivals 8-7 on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium. The victory gives the Keys the series, and a chance for the sweep on Wednesday. Despite not recording a hit in their last three at-bats, the orange and black scored the final three runs of the night. With the bases loaded, Jonah Heim coaxed a free pass to make it a one-run game. That ended Ian Tompkins night, but things were no better for Mark McCoy, who plunked Cam Kneeland to tie the game. In the ninth, the Blue Rocks lefty loaded the bases (all on walks) while an RBI bounce out by Aderlin Rodriguez put the Keys ahead. Luis Gonzalez was outstanding in relief, posting 3.2 innings of scoreless, one-hit baseball to earn the win.

WALK THIS WAY: The Frederick Keys earned a come-from-behind victory thanks to an incredible bout of wildness by Blue Rocks pitching. The 16 walks the Keys received were one shy of a franchise record, as the orange and black walked 17 times on April 20, 1994 against Winston-Salem. On the night, Blue Rocks arms threw 231 pitches. Of that number, 111 were strikes and 120 were balls (48.1% strikes). Seven Keys batters received a walk, while Wynston Sawyer got aboard via free pass a franchise record five times. The previous high was four, a feat last accomplished by Manny Machado on July 7, 2011 against Potomac. Amazingly, it was not the first time Sawyer had walked five times in a game. He also did so on April 9, 2012 with Low-A Delmarva.

A LONG ONE: If you add the number of pitches by Keys staff, there were 386 total pitches thrown in Tuesday’s game. Not surprisingly, the game challenged both teams’ record books for longest nine-inning affair. Lasting three hours and 41 minutes, the contest came up 10 minutes short of the longest nine-inning game in Keys history (three hours and 51 minutes on June 30, 2013 against Winston-Salem). For the Blue Rocks, the game ended six minutes shy of the longest in team history.

 FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: The Keys checked off several firsts in Tuesday’s game. After opening the year 0-11 when trailing after seven, the team bucked the trend after seven walks helped the Keys earn a come-from behind victory. The victory also marked the first time this year the Frederick managed to win despite being outhit (0-11 prior), while the extra chances at the plate helped Keith Bodie’s team work around three errors. Before last night, the team had gone 0-5 when making three defensive miscues or more.

 LET’S GO SWEEPING!: The Keys have won three in-a-row for the first time all season and are in search of a three-game sweep on Wednesday. Frederick has not earned a three-game brooming since last July 22-24 at Potomac. 

 A-ROD ROCKING: Aderlin Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to a team-high nine games on Tuesday, thanks to a two-run homer in the first. He finished 2-for-6 with four RBIs and a run scored and has driven in seven in his last two games (as well as 12 in his last six). Over the nine-game run, the 24-year-old is hitting .375 (15-for-40) with four home runs, 14 RBIs and eight runs scored. In the process, Rodriguez has improved his average from .210 to .275 the highest it has been since April 11. The nine-game streak equals his longest from last season, when he hit in nine straight from May 6-19 with the Binghamton Mets.

 ROSTER MOVEMENT: A number of roster moves were made right before the game Tuesday night. On the mound, left-hander Jeff Beliveau was received from Triple-A Norfolk and right-hander Austin Urban was transferred to Aberdeen. Elsewhere, Josh Hart was placed on the seven-day DL (retroactive to May 1) with a left groin injury and T.J Olesczuk was received from Aberdeen. Tuesday was Beliveau’s first appearance in a regular season game since last April 15 at Toronto when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays. He is working his way back to Baltimore after missing most of last year due to labrum surgery.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Over the last nine games, Keys starting pitching has been a point of strength. Keys starters have delivered three quality outings in their the last five games, with the most recent coming from Cory Jones on Monday. Over the nine contests, Keys arms have tallied a 2.90 ERA (49.2 IP/16ER) and allowed two runs or less seven times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.90 ERA (124.2 IP/54ER).   

GRIMES NAMED CAROLINA LEAGUE PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Matthew Grimes was named the Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” on Monday for the week of April 25-May 1. It marks the first time a Keys player has received a weekly honor this year. In two starts, Grimes went 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA. Over 11.2 innings, he allowed three runs on 10 hits. He defeated Winston-Salem on Thursday by pitching 6.1 innings of two-run baseball, the longest outing by a Keys starter this year.  

GOING DEEP: Even at the pitcher-friendly Frawley Stadium, the Keys have continued their string of games with a longball. Thanks to a two-run homer by Aderlin Rodriguez on Tuesday, Frederick has hit home runs in five straight contests. If you go back slightly farther, the Keys have hit 10 in their last nine games. That has built the team’s season figure to 18 home runs, a mark that trails only Lynchburg’s 23. Rodriguez leads the team with six and is tied second in the CL with Bobby Bradley of Lynchburg. Austin Wynns and Jomar Reyes have three apiece.    

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Josh Staumont starts for Wilmington on Wednesday and is the No. 15 prospect in the Royals system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Wednesday at Carolina. His second start in the league, he went five innings and allowed one run on three hits in a no-decision. He walked four (tied season-high) and struck out nine (also tied season-high). He enters Wednesday, third in strikeouts. Selected by the Royals in the 2nd round of the 2015 draft out of Azusa Pacific University, Staumont’s velocity jumped from the low-high 90s at the end of his college career. His fastball is ranked as the best in the KC system.

Keys Aim For Series Win on Tuesday at Frawley

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys coming off their most complete game of the 2016 season, resulting in an 11-2 drubbing of the Blue Rocks on Monday night at Frawley Stadium. In the game the Keys set a new season-high for runs, while Cory Jones posted his first win since 2014 (he missed all of 2015 due to Tommy John surgery.

On Tuesday the team tries for its second series win of the year (it would also be the club’s second in a road venue). Lefty Mitch Horacek comes off a good outing against Salem where he received a no-decision, while southpaw Matt Tenuta throws goes for Wilmington.

First pitch is slated for 6:35 from the Wilmington Riverfront and you can catch the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source locally or on frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn radio app (search for WTHU) if you aren’t in the Frederick-Thurmont area.

Some notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 · Game #26 · Road Game #13

Frederick Keys (9-16) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (6-17)

LHP Mitch Horacek (1-3, 5.73) vs. LHP Matt Tenuta (2-1, 4.29)

KEYS AVOID SWEEP: The Frederick Keys dominated in all facets of the game on Monday night in an 11-2 rout of the Wilmington Blue Rocks at Frawley Stadium. In the game, the Keys posted two different multi-run innings and plated markers in five different stanzas. Wilmington scored the game’s initial run, but the visitors ripped off 11 of the last 12. After a Jay Gonzalez double tied the game in the third, the Keys took a three-run lead one inning later. Back-to-back triples by Jomar Reyes netted the first two, before a double steal brought in the third. In the sixth, the doors came off for Wilmington, as the Keys sent eight to bat and rattled off five runs. Anthony Caronia scored on a single and an error, while doubles by Steve Wilkerson and Wynston Sawyer and a two-run homer by Aderlin Rodriguez completed the inning. On the mound, Cory Jones picked up his first Carolina League win, firing off six frames of one-run baseball.

ATTACK OF THE BATS: Monday’s onslaught was a long time coming for the Keys. The team’s 11 runs equaled a season-high, while the five-run sixth and the five hits in said inning set new high-water marks for runs and hits in an inning. If that was not enough, the club set new benchmarks for extra-base hits (six), and tied a season-best in stolen bases (five). Just as impressive was the club’s production with two outs, as the orange and black registered nine of their 11 runs with two outs to go with seven two-out RBIs. Five starters had multiple hits and each of their first seven had an RBI.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Over the last eight games, Keys starting pitching has been outstanding. Making his third start with Frederick, Cory Jones posted his first win, firing off six stanzas of one-run baseball. It was his first win since April 26, 2014. The start by Jones was the third quality outing in the last four games. Over the last eight games, Keys starters have tallied a 2.42 ERA (44.2 IP/12ER) and allowed two runs or less seven times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.76 ERA (119.2 IP/50ER).

GRIMES NAMED CAROLINA LEAGUE PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Matthew Grimes was named the Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” on Monday for the week of April 25-May 1. It marks the first time a Keys player has received a weekly honor this year. In two starts, Grimes went 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA. Over 11.2 innings, he allowed three runs on 10 hits. He defeated Winston-Salem on Thursday by pitching 6.1 innings of two-run baseball, the longest outing by a Keys starter this year.  

 GOING DEEP: Even at the pitcher-friendly Frawley Stadium, the Keys were able to continue their string of games with a longball. Thanks to a solo homer by Aderlin Rodriguez on Monday, Frederick has hit home runs in four straight contests. If you go back slightly farther, the Keys have hits nine in their last eight games. That has built the team’s season figure to 17 home runs, a mark that trails only Lynchburg’s 23. Rodriguez leads the team with five and is tied for third in the CL. Austin Wynns and Jomar Reyes have three apiece.

A-ROD ROCKING: Aderlin Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to a team-high eight games on Monday, with an RBI single in the fifth. Over the eight-game run, the 24-year-old is hitting .382 (13-for-34) with three home runs, 10 RBIs and seven runs scored. In the process, Rodriguez has improved his average from .210 to .271 the highest it has been since April 11. The hot stretch comes on the heels of a 2-for-19 stretch in his six contests before the streak. With a hit in his next games, Rodriguez would equal his longest hit streak from 2015, when he hit in nine straight from May 6-19 with the Binghamton Mets.

GOING DEEP: Even at the pitcher-friendly Frawley Stadium, the Keys were able to continue their string of games with a longball. Thanks to a solo homer by Aderlin Rodriguez on Monday, Frederick has hit home runs in four straight contests. If you go back slightly farther, the Keys have hits nine in their last eight games. That has built the team’s season figure to 17 home runs, a mark that trails only Lynchburg’s 23. Rodriguez leads the team with five and is tied for third in the CL. Austin Wynns and Jomar Reyes have three apiece.    

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.    

 TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Matt Tenuta makes his fifth start of the year on Tuesday. His most recent outing came last Tuesday. Pitching at Carolina, he took the loss, giving up four runs on six hits in four innings. Home runs have been a problem at times, as Tenuta has allowed four (tied for second in the CL). His lone outing against Frederick was a win on April 20, a game where the southpaw tossed 5.1 frames of two-run ball. Last season, Tenuta spent time with Low-A Lexington, Rookie-Burlington and the AZL Royals. Between the three stops he went 3-7 with a 3.93 ERA, with 13 of his 21 appearances coming at Low-A (2-6, 4.25). Opening the season there, the 10th pitch of his fifth start cost him more than two months, as he took a line drive off his left leg which broke his fibula. Selected by the Royals out of high school in the 25th round of the 2012 draft, Tenuta received a reported $100,000 bonus. As a kid, Tenuta moved all around, living in locales such as Columbus, OH, South Bend IN, Atlanta, GA and Raleigh, NC. The reason is that his dad Jon is a highly decorated defensive coordinator, serving in that role at BCS stops such as Kansas State, Ohio State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and Virginia. Additionally his dad played football for the Wahoos and his mom starred on the basketball team. Happy to be in the Carolina League, Tenuta lives in Cary, NC, not far from CL stops in Carolina and Winston-Salem. He throws a fastball, a curveball, a slider and a changeup.

On the Road Again…

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys have completed their short trek to the First State and will begin a three-game series with the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Monday night at Frawley Stadium. On Sunday, the team salvaged a win against Winston-Salem to conclude the team’s three-game homestand. Matthew Grimes was outstanding, delivering 6.1 innings of two-run baseball. It was the longest outing by a Keys starter this year.

Tonight Cory Jones gets the ball for the Keys and will be opposed by Blue Rocks righty Pedro Fernandez. He will be making the start on eight days rest, after his Sunday start was rained out.

Will hit the airwaves at 6:2o on 1450 AM The Source as well as frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App. I’ll do my best to keep you company.

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Monday, May 2, 2016 · Game #25 · Road Game #12

Frederick Keys (8-16) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (6-16)

RHP Cory Jones (0-1, 5.40) vs. RHP Pedro Fernandez (2-0, 1.21)

KEYS AVOID SWEEP: The Frederick Keys utilized strong pitching and a big second inning to defeat the Winston-Salem Dash 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at Nymeo Field. The loss ended a four-game losing streak, while the Keys avoided being swept for the second time in 2016. Trailing 1-0, the Keys sent eight men to bat in the second. With the bases loaded, Erick Salcedo and Jay Gonzalez posted RBI singles to grab the lead, while Tad Gold scored on a passed ball. That would be enough for Matthew Grimes, who fired off 6.1 innings of two-run baseball. Coming off a disastrous outing on Wednesday where he allowed seven runs in 0.2 of an inning, Tanner Scott worked two clean stanzas to post his first Advanced-A save.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Although the six-game homestand was not without its struggles, Keys starting pitching was one of the highlights. That trend continued on Sunday, when Matthew Grimes posted the longest outing by a Keys pitcher. Working 6.1 innings, Grimes also turned in his second quality start. Meanwhile, Keys arms registered a 2.48 ERA over the six contests at Nymeo Field. During that time, Grimes and Lucas Long delivered quality starts, while John Means and Mitch Horacek both pitched five innings without allowing an earned run. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.88 ERA.   

CLOSING OUT THE HOMESTAND/APRIL: Over the six-game homestand, the Keys went 2-4, while the club dropped to a season-worst nine games below .500 after Saturday’s setback. The Keys dropped both series they played and have gone 0-4 in sets at Nymeo Field in 2016. Home struggles in played a role in the team’s 7-16 April, the club’s worst first month showing since 2004, when the Keys posted a 4-16 record. April included two separate four game slides and a five game slide. Offensively, the Keys batted .236 during the season’s initial month, while on the mound, the staff posted a 4.81 ERA.

EIGTH INNING PROBLEMS: During the homestand, the eighth inning was a massive source of frustration for the Keys. During that span, Frederick pitching surrendered 20 runs in the eighth stanza, with half of that coming last Wednesday night against Salem. Leading 7-4 in that contest, Keys relief gave up its first 10 spot since July 15, 2015 at Wilmington, in the continued portion of a quasi-doubleheader. This season, Frederick pitching has blown eighth inning leads on three occasions (all at home) while the Keys have been outscored 29-11 in the eighth inning this year (the club’s worst showing in any inning).

 GOING DEEP: Although the Keys are third-to-last in the league in batting average at .236, the club is second with 16 home runs (trailing only Lynchburg’s 23). This includes six over the six-game homestand (and eight in the team’s last seven games). Aderlin Rodriguez leads the team with four and is tied for fifth in the CL. Austin Wynns and Jomar Reyes have three apiece.  

 ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Keys gear up for their third roadtrip of the year, which takes the team through Wilmington (three games) and Potomac (four games). On the road, Frederick is 5-6 as opposed to going 3-10 at the friendly confines. Additionally, Frederick faces a beleaguered Blue Rocks team which has lost nine straight and is just 1-10 in games at Frawley Stadium. Wilmington has not won since defeating the Keys 13-4 on April 20. Last year on the Riverfront, the Keys went 5-10.

 A-ROD ROCKING: Aderlin Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to a team-high seven games on Sunday, with a single in the fifth Over the seven-game run, the 24-year-old is hitting .345 (10-for-29) with two home runs, seven RBIs and six runs scored. In the process, Rodriguez has improved his average from .210 to .253. The hot stretch comes on the heels of a 2-for-19 stretch in his six contests before the streak.

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.    

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Pedro Fernandez makes his fifth start of the season on Monday night and is the No. 18 prospect in the Kansas City farm system according to Baseball America. The righty is making the start on eight days rest, after the Blue Rocks series finale at Potomac was cancelled on Sunday. His most recent outing came last Sunday against the P-Nats. Firing off seven shutout innings, Fernandez received a no-decision. The longest outing of the right-hander’s career, he walked two and struck out seven. In all four of Fernandez’s starts, he has surrendered one run or less. Currently he is second in the CL in ERA (1.21), fourth in WHIP (1.03) and tied for fourth in lowest batting average against (.200). Fernandez split 205 between Wilmington and Low-A Lexington, posting much better numbers with the former. With the Legends, he was 6-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 78 innings. He gave up just 53 hits, walked 27 and struck out 89 while opponents hit only .191. After joining the Blue Rocks in August, he struggled mightily, going 0-6 with an 8.82 ERA in seven contests and made it through the fifth only once. Signed as a 16-year-old by Kansas City in 2011, Fernandez hails from the resort town of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, a city featuring 100,000 hotel beds.

 

The Keys Conclude Their Homestand on Sunday

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

It has been a little rainy this morning, but it looks like we’ll be able to have baseball! First pitch is scheduled for 2pm with gates opening at 1. The highlight of the day will be the first Meet the Team Event of the Year. It will start at 1pm.

Matthew Grimes gets the ball for the Keys and will be opposed by Dash righty Jordan Stephens. As always, the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App by clicking on WTHU.

Some game notes are below. Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Sunday, May 1, 2016 · Game #24 · Home Game #13

Frederick Keys (7-16) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (9-14)

RHP Matthew Grimes (2-1, 1.40) vs. RHP Jordan Stephens (0-2, 3.50)

EIGTH INNING WOES STRIKE AGAIN: The Winston-Salem Dash scored seven times in the top of the eighth to defeat the Frederick Keys 9-8 on Saturday afternoon at Nymeo Field. Going into the eighth the Keys led 7-2, making it the team’s largest blown lead of the season. In the eighth, the Dash sent 11 men to bat and recorded seven hits. The first three reached against Austin Urban, prompting a pitching change by Frederick manager, Keith Bodie. Entering with the bases loaded, Jimmy Yacabonis allowed a two-run double to Mason Robbins and a two-run single to Grant Massey to make it a one-run affair, before a sac-bunt, single and sac-fly by Gerson Montilla leveled the game at seven. An RBI double by Marcus Davis completed the scoring. The blown lead came on a day where the Keys scored a season-high eight runs, pounded out 12 hits and had seven different starters record an RBI.

EIGTH INNING PROBLEMS: Over the last four days, the eighth inning has been a massive source of frustration for the Keys. During that span, Keys pitching has surrendered 20 runs in the eighth stanza, with half of that coming on Wednesday night against Salem. Leading 7-4 in that contest, Keys relief gave up its first 10 spot since July 15, 2015 at Wilmington, in the continued portion of a quasi-doubleheader.  This season, Frederick pitching has blown eighth inning leads on three occasions (all at home) while the Keys have been outscored 29-10 in the eighth inning this year (the club’s worst showing in any inning).

 TRYING TIMES: With Saturday’s setback, the Keys dropped to nine games below .500 for the first time in 2016. Ending the opening month at 7-16, this concludes the club’s worst showing in April showing since 2004, when the team posted a 4-16 record. This month has included two separate four game slides (including the current one) and a five game slide. In spite of the struggles though, the Keys are still in third in the CL North, as Wilmington went 6-16 in April and has lost 9 straight games.

 AVOIDING THE SWEEP: The Keys are trying to avoid being swept for the second time this season. During the first homestand, the Keys suffered a four-game sweep at the hands of the Lynchburg Hillcats. A loss on Sunday would mark the first three game sweep by an opponent since last July 28-30 at Carolina and the first at home since last June 15-17, also at the hands of the Mudcats.

 A HOUSE BUT NOT A HOME: With the loss on Saturday, the Keys have dropped each of their first four home series at Nymeo Field. That disappointing fact is attached to a 2-10 home record. Although it is disappointing, the Keys are hardly alone when it comes to struggles at home. Entering Sunday, every team except Lynchburg (7-4) has a losing home record, while the Keys, Winston-Salem (2-8) and Wilmington (1-10) have two wins or less at the friendly confines.

IT’S A TRIPLE PLAY!!: On Saturday, the Frederick Keys turned a 6-3-2-5 triple play, the first by the team since August 6, 2009, when the club turned a 3-6-2-5-6-5 triple play against…the Winston-Salem Dash. In that contest (a 15-3 Keys win) Frederick’s catcher was Caleb Joseph, while the winning pitcher was Zach Britton, who earned his eighth win.

A-ROD ROCKING: Aderlin Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to six games on Saturday, with a single in the third. Over the six-game run, the 24-year-old is hitting .346 (9-for-26) with two home runs, seven RBIs and six runs scored. His streak equals the longest by a Keys player this season. In the process, Rodriguez has improved his average from .210 to .250. The hot stretch comes in the wake of a 2-for-19 stretch over his previous six contests.

STAR WATCH: Reyes headlines a quartet of Keys players ranked among the top of the 30 in the Orioles system by Baseball America’s rankings. Following the Keys third baseman are Tanner Scott (No. 11), Jonah Heim (No. 15) and Josh Hart (No. 28). All four players are also listed among the O’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline. Splitting 2015 between Short-Season Aberdeen and Delmarva, Scott went a combined 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 18 games (three starts) and struck out nearly 13 per nine innings (60 SO/42.1 IP). Baltimore’s No. 2 catching prospect, Heim played only 45 games last year due to a left foot injury, but managed to hit .258 with Delmarva in 36 first half games. During that time, 10 of his 32 hits went for extra bases. Hart returns to Frederick for the second straight year after hitting .255 with a home run and 28 RBIs in 104 games. The outfielder’s best asset was his speed, as he finished second among Orioles farmhands with 30 stolen bases.    

 BASEBALL WITH BODIE: Keith Bodie takes over as the manager of the Frederick Keys in 2016, replacing Orlando Gomez. The Brooklyn native is the 21st manager in franchise history and comes to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, where he served as the Baysox hitting coach last year. A decorated minor league manager, Bodie has 18 years of MiLB managerial experience and boasts a .525 winning percentage (1223-1108). He has claimed nine division titles while managing as high as the Triple-A level. Bodie last served as a manager for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks in 2014, guiding them to a 73-67 record. In three season as the Astros Double-A leader, Bodie posted a 237-183 record and earned Texas League Manager of the Year honors in 2013. Some of his past pupils include Craig Biggio, Omar Vizquel and Zach Greinke.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Jordan Stephens makes his fifth start of the season and is the No. 15 prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came on Tuesday against Lynchburg. Receiving a no-decision, Stephens allowed three runs on five hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out four. Stephens split 2015 between the AZL White Sox and Rookie Great Falls. Between the two stops, he finished with no record and a 0.51 ERA in 11 games (one start). Over 17.2 innings he allowed one run, walked three and struck out 21. A fifth round pick out of Rice University in 2015, Stephens was named All-Conference USA first team last year, posting a 3.17 ERA. His 2014 season was limited to just 14 innings after having Tommy John surgery. Originally from Alvin, Texas, the 23-year-old’s grew up in the same town as Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. There is a Nolan Ryan Museum on the Campus of Alvin Community College. Stephens throws a fastball, curve, cutter and changeup.

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