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Gametime in Lynchburg!

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 · Game #82 · Away Game #40

Frederick Keys (42-39/6-5) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (51-30/6-5)

LHP Mitch Horacek (3-9, 4.97) vs. LHP Luis Lugo (4-3, 3.94)

                                                                                                                                                               RODRIGUEZ’S PERFORMANCE LEADS KEYS PAST HILLCATS: Aderlin Rodriguez hit two home runs and drove in four while the Frederick Keys scored the final three runs of the game to defeat the Lynchburg Hillcats 9-6 on Monday night at City Stadium. Ryan Meisinger picked up his first Advanced-A win tossing 2.2 scoreless innings. Even at six going into the eighth, Rodriguez gave the Keys the lead for good, with a solo homer to left. Three batters later, Conor Bierfeldt would score on a Cam Kneeland sacrifice fly, before the Keys would add one more run in the ninth. Frederick grabbed the lead back after Lynchburg tied the game with a four-run fifth. The big blow in the inning was a Luigi Rodriguez three-run homer. Tanner Scott pitched the final two innings to record his fourth save.

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: Since the Keys tied their season-high with three home runs on Friday, the team has hit five over the three subsequent games. Frederick has hit home runs in eight consecutive games (starting with the first game of the last homestand) and has 13 deep flies over that eight-game stretch. Half of those have been multi-homer games, while it extended the team’s total to 60 this year. Frederick ranks second in the CL in longballs (trailing only Lynchburg who has 72) while the orange and black have already eclipsed their 2015 total (56).

A-BOMBS FOR A-ROD: Aderlin Rodriguez became the second Keys player to record a multi-homer going this season, with big flies in the third and eighth innings on Monday. Previously, Wynston Sawyer hit a pair of home runs on June 6 against Carolina. No stranger to multi-home run games, Monday’s effort was the eighth of Rodriguez’s career, and the first since last May 31, 2015 at Altoona, when he was playing for the Binghamton Mets. Currently, the Dominican is second in the circuit in home runs (13) in spite of finishing with just two total home runs in all of June (24 games).  

BIERFELDT NAMED CAROLINA LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Conor Bierfeldt was named the Carolina League Player of the Week for June 27-July 3. The Connecticut native becomes the third Keys player to win a weekly award this season, while it is the second time in his pro career Bierfeldt has received Player of the Week Recognition (he was the New York-Penn League Player of the Week for August 26-September 3 in 2013). In seven games  last week he hit .379 (11-for-29) with five homers, three doubles, 13 RBIs and eight runs scored. The five homers were tied for the most in MiLB during the week and the 13 RBIs were tied for third-most in MiLB.

ROAD WARRIORS: Following a winning homestand, the Keys racked up their 24th road win on Monday. Coming off just their third loss in a road series on June 26, the 24 road victories are the third-most in the circuit (trailing only Lynchburg and Salem who are 25-15 and 25-16 respectively on the road). The Keys lost three of four to Lynchburg when the orange and black visited the Hill City from April 21-24. This is Frederick’s last regular season visit to Lynchburg in 2016.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END:  Steve Wilkerson saw his eight-game hitting streak conclude on Monday, as he finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Beginning on June 26, it goes down as the longest hitting streak of his pro career. Over the eight-gamer, the former Clemson Tiger hit .370 (10-for-27) with a home run, a triple, three RBIs and two runs scored. Wilkerson comes off a strong June at the plate, where he batted .372 in 14 games (exactly 200 points higher than he hit in May).

 BODIE ELECTED TO TEXAS LEAGUE HALL OF FAME: On Thursday afternoon, Keys manager Keith Bodie was one of 11 new members named to the Texas League Hall of Fame. Originally a player with the Jackson Mets from 1977-79, Bodie returned to the Texas League 21 years later where he became one of the most successful managers in Texas League history. From 2000-2003 he skippered the Wichita Wranglers (Royals) before moving to Double-A Corpus Christi (Astros) from 2012-14. In seven seasons, he led his clubs to Texas League postseason play every year but his last one, while he became the first manager in league history to guide a team to postseason play in his first six year managing in the loop. He amassed a 537-436 overall record, and a .552 winning percentage. He ranks eighth all-time in winning percentage and ninth in wins. Other members of the TL Hall of Fame include: Brooks Robinson, Roberto Alomar, Dennis Eckersley, Dizzy Dean, Tony Gwynn and Whitey Herzog (who did not manage, but played part of one season with the Beaumont Roughnecks).

ODDS AND ENDS: After posting 23 quality starts in the first half, the Keys have gone nine straight games without one.  Matthew Grimes made his Double-A debut on Monday and took the loss while facing the Trenton Thunder. He allowed three runs on six hits in 4.2 innings. He walked two and struck out seven. Jeff Beliveau’s one-third of an inning stint equaled the shortest of his career, while the four runs allowed were a season-high. After Ariel Miranda made his Orioles debut on Sunday, former Keys starter Steven Brault is scheduled to start for the Pirates on Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Brault would be the 148th former Key to reach the Majors (joining Miranda, Ty Kelly and Ashur Tolliver this year).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Luis Lugo makes his 16th start of the season on Tuesday and is the No. 25 prospect in the Indians system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Thursday at Carolina. Tossing 6.2 shutout innings, he scattered four scattered while striking out two. It was Lugo’s fourth straight quality start, while it has trimmed his ERA to 3.94, the second-lowest it has been all year. In three games against the Keys in 2016, Lugo is 1-1 with a 5.74 ERA.  The left-hander spent all of 2015 in Lynchburg, going 8-10 with a 4.15 ERA in 25 starts. He finished third in the league in strikeouts and second in highest SO/9IP ratio among starters (8.52). In three starts against the Keys last season, the Venezuelan went 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA. Two of those outings were particularly memorable. Facing the orange and black nearly one year ago (April 13, 2015), Lugo was the starting pitcher in a 16-inning marathon between the two sides (it ended with the Keys winning 5-4). It was one inning short of the longest in franchise history. One other on August 20, came at Lynchburg and featured a seven-inning no-hitter by Keys pitcher Mikey O’Brien. Signed by the Indians as a 16-year-old on February 28, 2011, Lugo made his debut with Cleveland in the Dominican Summer League at 17 years old. To learn English, Lugo taught himself by using an online program called “Ingles Para Todos.”

Happy Fourth!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

After a seven-game home stand, the Keys look to finish with a split of a four-game set against the Red Sox. The Keys have been hitting the ball really well as of late, especially Conor Bierfeldt, who has homered in five of his six last games. The Connecticut native now leads the team with 12 home runs.

You’ll have a chance to meet Conor and the rest of the team before the game as they’ll be signing autographs when the gates open at 5 pm. The team will also be wearing special patriotic hats during the game in honor of Independence Day that fans can bid on during the game. We’ll also have yet another fireworks show after the game as well!

Tonight’s notes are below.

Happy 4th of July!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Sunday, July 3, 2016 · Game #80 · Home Game #42

Frederick Keys (41-38/5-4) vs. Salem Red Sox (49-29/6-3)

RHP David Richardson (2-1, 3.63) vs. LHP Matt Kent (6-3, 3.24)

                                                                                                                                                              

DEVERS FINISHES SINGLE SHORT OF CYCLE IN SOX WIN: Rafael Devers finished a single shy of the cycle for the Salem Red Sox, who also received great pitching to defeat the Frederick Keys 5-2 on Saturday night at Nymeo Field. The Keys were limited to six hits all game and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Devers got off to a fast start, doubling in the first inning off Lucas Long to put runners at second and third. Mike Meyers cashed in with a sac-fly to right, before Devers stretched Salem’s lead to 3-0 in the third with a two-run homer. The 19-year-old added a triple in the fifth and scored on an RBI base hit by Myers. Frederick got its only two runs in the sixth on solo homers by Wynston Sawyer and Conor Bierfeldt. In the eighth, the orange and black brought the tying run to the plate after the first two reached against Yankory Pimentel, but the Salem reliever retired the next three to halt the threat.

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: A night after the Keys tied their season-high with three home runs, the Keys added two more on Saturday. The team has now hit home runs in six consecutive games (every day of the homestand so far) and has 10 home runs over that six-game stretch. It was Frederick’s third multi-home run game in its last six contests, while it extended the team’s total to 57 this year. Frederick ranks second in the CL in deep flies (trailing only Lynchburg who has 71) while with the two homers last night the orange and black have eclipsed their 2015 total (56).

BASHING BIERFELDT: Conor Bierfeldt extended his streak of games with an extra-base hit to six on Saturday thanks to a sixth inning solo homer. It was his fifth home run in six games. Ending the night 1-for-4, the Connecticut native has put together an other-worldly homestand. In six games he is hitting .440 (11-for-25) with five homers, three doubles, 13 RBIs and eight runs scored. The five homers and 13 RBIs are the most in the MiLB this week. An offensive force in June, he batted .279 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 25 games. The eight homers were tied for the second-most at Class A (only Rome’s Carlos Castro had more with nine) while the 25 RBIs placed him second (Franmil Reyes of Lake Elsinore had 27).

TROUBLE WITH THE LEATHER: For the second time in less than a week, the Keys committed four errors in a game on Saturday. The orange and black also made four on Sunday. In both instances, two players were responsible for three of the four miscues, as Anthony Caronia committed three of the four mistakes Saturday while Jomar Reyes made three at third last Sunday. As a team this year, Frederick has made 77 errors (third-most in the CL) with 15 (in 12 games) coming against Salem.   

HEATING UP AT HOME: Strong offensive numbers have been a major key to Frederick’s recent success at home. Entering the penultimate day of the first half, the orange and black were 12-21 at Nymeo Field. Since that time, Frederick has gone 5-2 (Thursday night’s loss ended a five-game winning streak, Frederick’s longest home winning streak of 2016). At the plate over the last eight home games, the orange and black averaged 6.13 runs per game (8G/49R). During that stretch, the Keys are batting .278 (75-270) while pounding out 25 extra-base hits.

SALCEDO CONCLUDES HITTING STREAK: Erick Salcedo saw his hitting streak come to an end on Saturday, after he struck out as a pinch-hitter against Jamie Callahan in the ninth. Over the streak, the Venezuelan is hit .361 (13-for-36) with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and six runs scored. It goes down as his second-longest streak of the year, following a career-best 14-gamer from May 15-29. That mark is the seventh-longest in the CL this year.

WILKERSON TURNS IT ON:  With Erick Salcedo’s hitting streak ending, Steve Wilkerson now has the longest active streak on the team, with a seven-gamer (started on June 26). The longest streak of his career, Wilkerson is hitting .391 (9-for-23) with a home run, a triple, three RBIs and two runs scored. In the process, he has raised his average from .228 to .245, the highest it has been since May 4. On Saturday, Wilkerson made his first start at shortstop since last August 1, as a member of the Delmarva Shorebirds.  

 BODIE ELECTED TO TEXAS LEAGUE HALL OF FAME: On Thursday afternoon, Keys manager Keith Bodie was one of 11 new members named to the Texas League Hall of Fame. Originally a player with the Jackson Mets from 1977-79, Bodie returned to the Texas League 21 years later where he became one of the most successful managers in Texas League history. From 2000-2003 he skippered the Wichita Wranglers (Royals) before moving to Double-A Corpus Christi (Astros) from 2012-14. In seven seasons, he led his clubs to Texas League postseason play every year but his last one, while he became the first manager in league history to guide a team to postseason play in his first six year managing in the loop. He amassed a 537-436 overall record, and a .552 winning percentage. He ranks eighth all-time in winning percentage and ninth in wins. Other members of the TL Hall of Fame include: Brooks Robinson, Roberto Alomar, Dennis Eckersley, Dizzy Dean, Tony Gwynn and Whitey Herzog (who did not manage, but played part of one season with the Beaumont Roughnecks).

ROLAIDS RELIEF: Keys relief wrapped up a 12-inning scoreless streak on Wednesday, after the Mudcats scored three times. It marked the first runs allowed by the bullpen since Sunday’s six-run sixth at Salem. Despite the small blip, Keys relievers have allowed only eight earned runs in their last 53.2 innings (1.34 ERA) (spanning 13 games). In June, Frederick relievers posted a 1.90 ERA (99.2 IP/21ER). That was the best showing by the relief corps in any month this season.

ODDS AND ENDS: After posting 23 quality starts in the first half, the Keys have gone seven games without one. Although the starters ERA is 3.66 (39.1 IP/16ER) during that time, Frederick arms have also not completed six innings in their last seven. Tanner Scott saw his scoreless inning streak end at 13 on Friday. Nearly half (24 of 50) of Cam Kneeland’s hits have gone for extra-bases this year. On Saturday the Keys played in front of 8,541, the second-largest crowd at Nymeo Field this year.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Matt Kent makes his 16th overall start on Sunday and his 14th with Salem. He currently ranks seventh in the CL in ERA (3.24) and is second among starters in lowest BB/9IP ratio (1.68). Kent’s most recent outing came on Tuesday night in game one of a doubleheader against Myrtle Beach tossing 4.2 innings, the southpaw received a no-decision allowing three runs on eight hits to go with two walks and four strikeouts. Prior to that, the lefty had given up just three earned runs in his previous 24 innings (spanning four starts with three going as quality outings). Promoted to Salem from Low-A Greenville following two starts, Kent was Boston’s 13th round selection in 2015 out of Texas A&M. As a junior last season he went 9-1 with a 2.76 ERA. During fall games, he served as the team’s PA announcer. From Hewitt, TX, Kent attended Midway High School and threw three no-hitters as a senior.

It’s American Family Vacation Night!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

There was no shortage of excitement last night at Nymeo Field! A seesaw game was decided in the 8th inning when Conor Bierfeldt delivered the decisive blow, a grand slam that put the Keys up 11-5.

We’re hoping for more of the same tonight as the Keys and Red Sox meet again for game three of the four-game set. Left-hander Lucas Long makes the start for the Frederick Keys, his 16th of the year. Anyelo Leclerc will make the start for Salem, just his second start of the year in the Carolina League.
Keep an eye on Jomar Reyes, who is in search of his third home run in as many days. His three-run blast yesterday was crucial in helping the Keys gain the victory.

Also, one lucky fan will receive a free trip courtesy of Cruise Holidays. Oh, and more fireworks tonight!

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!
Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Saturday, July 2, 2016 · Game #79 · Home Game #41

Frederick Keys (41-37/5-3) vs. Salem Red Sox (48-29/5-3)

RHP Lucas Long (4-4, 4.66) vs. RHP Anyelo Leclerc (0-0, 12.00)

                                                                                                                                                              

KEYS TAKE CONTROL IN WILD EIGHTH: The Frederick Keys relinquished a two-run lead in the top of the eighth inning before scoring six times in the bottom of the eighth to win 11-5 on Friday night at Nymeo Field. Conor Bierfeldt punctuated the scoring with a grand slam home run, as the orange and black returned to a season-best four games over .500. Salem leveled the game in the eighth inning against Tanner Scott. After getting the first out, the Keys lefty walked Wendell Rijo and allowed a single to Rafael Devers to send up Nick Longhi. Scott jumped ahead 0-2, but Longhi just snuck a double inside the first base line to score both men. The game would not stay tied for long, as Steve Wilkerson tripled home Jonah Heim then scored on an Erick Salcedo single. Four batters later, Bierfeldt exited the yard to put the game out of reach.  

OFFENSE KEEPS ON COMING: The 11 runs scored by the Keys on Friday ties for the club’s third-largest output of the year and ranks as the most the Keys have scored in the second half. On top of that, the six-run eighth marked the Keys most productive inning of the year. Frederick’s previous high-water mark for runs in an inning was five (done four times previously). Additionally, the Keys tied their season-high for home runs in a game (three) accomplished on one other occasion. Currently, the Keys have hit a home run in five straight games (they have eight during that time). Meanwhile, as a club, the orange and black have hit 55 this season, placing them second in the CL (Lynchburg leads the way with 70). The 55 home runs in one short of the club’s 2015 total.

 HEATING UP AT HOME: Strong offensive numbers have been a major key to Frederick’s recent success at home. Entering the penultimate day of the first half, the orange and black were 12-21 at Nymeo Field. Since that time, Frederick has gone 6-1 (Thursday night’s loss ended a five-game winning streak, Frederick’s longest home winning streak of 2016). At the plate over the last seven home games, the orange and black averaged 6.71 runs per game (7G/47R). During that stretch, the Keys are batting .291 (69-237) while pounding out 23 extra-base hits.

BASHING BIERFELDT: Conor Bierfeldt extended his streak of games with an extra-base hit to five on Friday thanks to an eighth inning grand slam. Going 3-for-5 with a grand slam and four RBIs, the Connecticut native continued his other-worldly homestand. In five games he is hitting .476 (10-for-21) with four homers, three doubles, 12 RBIs and seven runs scored. The 12 RBIs lead all of Minor League Baseball this week, while the four home runs are tied for the MiLB lead (El Paso’s Austin Hedges also has four). An offensive force in June, he batted .279 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 25 games. The eight homers were tied for the second-most at Class A (only Rome’s Carlos Castro had more with nine) while the 25 RBIs placed him second (Franmil Reyes of Lake Elsinore had 27).

SALCEDO EXTENDS HITTING STREAK: Erick Salcedo waited till the eighth inning, but extended his hitting streak to nine games on Friday, with an RBI base hit to right. Over the streak, the Venezuelan is hitting .361 (13-for-36) with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and six runs scored. In the process he has raised his average from .261 to .276. In spite of this current run, Salcedo has a ways to go to equal his longest streak of the season. From May 15-29, he hit in 14 straight, the seventh-longest streak in the CL this year.

WRAPPING UP JUNE: Although the Keys came three wins short of their May total, June was still a very successful month for the Keys who went 15-12. Only Salem (15-10) and Lynchburg (15-11) fared better. Keys pitching fared well once again, finishing with the second-lowest ERA in the loop (3.28) (bested only by Winston-Salem at 2.71) Offensively, the Keys finished with the second-best hitting mark as well (.264) (trailing only Lynchburg at .277). The .264 monthly average was Frederick’s best finish in any month this year (.236 April/.242 May). Individually, the Keys were led by Steve Wilkerson (.372/14G) at the plate and Tanner Scott (0.57 ERA) and Cory Jones (0.47 ERA) on the mound.

BODIE ELECTED TO TEXAS LEAGUE HALL OF FAME: On Thursday afternoon, Keys manager Keith Bodie was one of 11 new members named to the Texas League Hall of Fame. Originally a player with the Jackson Mets from 1977-79, Bodie returned to the Texas League 21 years later where he became one of the most successful managers in Texas League history. From 2000-2003 he skippered the Wichita Wranglers (Royals) before moving to Double-A Corpus Christi (Astros) from 2012-14. In seven seasons, he led his clubs to Texas League postseason play every year but his last one, while he became the first manager in league history to guide a team to postseason play in his first six year managing in the loop. He amassed a 537-436 overall record, and a .552 winning percentage. He ranks eighth all-time in winning percentage and ninth in wins. Other members of the TL Hall of Fame include: Brooks Robinson, Roberto Alomar, Dennis Eckersley, Dizzy Dean, Tony Gwynn and Whitey Herzog (who did not manage, but played part of one season with the Beaumont Roughnecks).

ROLAIDS RELIEF: Keys relief wrapped up a 12-inning scoreless streak on Wednesday, after the Mudcats scored three times. It marked the first runs allowed by the bullpen since Sunday’s six-run sixth at Salem. Despite the small blip, Keys relievers have allowed only seven earned runs in their last 49.2 innings (1.27 ERA) (spanning 12 games). In June, Frederick relievers posted a 1.90 ERA (99.2 IP/21ER). That was the best showing by the relief corps in any month this season.

ODDS AND ENDS: After posting 23 quality starts in the first half, the Keys have gone six games without one. Steve Wilkerson has a six-game hitting streak during which time he is batting .421 (8-for-19). Tanner Scott saw his scoreless inning streak end at 13 on Friday. Nearly half (24 of 50) of Cam Kneeland’s hits have gone for extra-bases this year. On Friday, Jay Gonzalez stole his first base since June 7. His 34 are tied for fifth-most in the MiLB.    

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Anyelo Leclerc makes his second appearance with Salem and his second start. Starting on Wednesday in game two of a doubleheader against Myrtle Beach, he received a no-decision, surrendering four runs on five hits in three innings. The righty was promoted to the Sox last Thursday from Low-A Greenville. A South Atlantic League all-star, he was used exclusively in relief, going 3-1 with eight saves (eight tries) and a 1.77 ERA in 21 games. No stranger to Advanced-A, Leclerc spent most of 2015 with Advanced-A High Desert (Rangers). In 29 relief outings, he was 3-3 with a 5.52 ERA, he also made one relief appearance at Double-A Frisco. Originally signed by the Rangers in July 2010, Leclerc was selected by Boston in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft on December 10. He is the brother of Jose Leclerc, who pitched for Myrtle Beach in 2014 (then a Rangers affiliate).

Mick Foley is In the House!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

OK, let’s skip to the part you’re waiting for… Mick Foley is here! The WWE Hall of Famer is in attendance tonight at Nymeo Field and will be meeting with fans during the game. No word on if Mr. Socko will be here as well.

On the baseball front, the Keys will look to return to the win column after dropping game one of the series last night to the Salem Red Sox. Right-hander Franderlin Romero will take bump for the Keys. The Venezuelan native is making his 6th start of the year for Frederick after being acquired from the Reds organization in May.

Opposing Romero will be left-hander Trey Ball, a first-round selection by Boston in the 2013 MLB Draft. The southpaw is 5-3 with a 2.29 ERA.

Oh, did I mention post-game fireworks too?

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Friday, July 1, 2016 · Game #78 · Home Game #40

Frederick Keys (40-37/4-3) vs. Salem Red Sox (48-28/5-2)

RHP Franderlin Romero (4-1, 2.96) vs. LHP Trey Ball (5-3, 2.29)

                                                                                                                                                              

MONGE LEADS SOX PAST KEYS: Joseph Monge tallied a season-high four RBIs and came up with a keys eighth inning hit as the Salem Red Sox defeated the Frederick Keys 5-1 on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. The loss snapped Frederick’s three-game winning streak. Jomar Reyes gave the Keys a 1-0 lead in the fourth thanks to a solo homer, but the visitors would score the final five runs. In the top of the fifth, the Sox took the lead thanks to a Monge fielder’s choice and a sac-fly by Wendell Rijo. In the eighth, Salem added three more following an error by Aderlin Rodriguez. After the Keys first baseman could not handle a pop up in foul ground, Deiner Lopez coaxed a walk to send up Monge, who cleared the bases with a double to right-center. That was Salem’s only hit all game with runners in scoring position (1-for-14, 11 left on base).

 HEATING UP AT HOME: Although the Keys came up short on Thursday, the team has been playing good baseball at home of late. Entering the penultimate day of the first half, the orange and black were 12-21 at Nymeo Field. Since that time, Frederick has gone 5-1. Last night’s loss ended a five-game winning streak, Frederick’s longest home winning streak of 2016. A big key during the five game run was a potent offense, as the orange and black averaged seven runs per game (5G/35R). During that stretch, the Keys batted .302 as a club (52-172) while pounding out 17 extra-base hits.   

WRAPPING UP JUNE: Although the Keys came three wins short of their May total, June was still a very successful month for the Keys who went 15-12. Only Salem (15-10) and Lynchburg (15-11) fared better. Keys pitching fared well once again, finishing with the second-lowest ERA in the loop (3.28) (bested only by Winston-Salem at 2.71) Offensively, the Keys finished with the second-best hitting mark as well (.264) (trailing only Lynchburg at .277). The .264 monthly average was Frederick’s best finish in any month this year (.236 April/.242 May). Individually, the Keys were led by Steve Wilkerson (.372/14G) at the plate and Tanner Scott (0.57 ERA) and Cory Jones (0.47 ERA) on the mound.

 BASHING BIERFELDT: Conor Bierfeldt extended his streak of games with an extra-base hit to four on Thursday thanks to a ninth inning double. The hero on Wednesday night with a three-run walk-off homer, Bierfeldt has enjoyed a great homestand, In four games he is hitting .438 (7-for-16) with three homers, three doubles, eight RBIs and five runs score.   In three games, he batted .462 (6-for-13) with three homers, two doubles, eight RBIs and five runs scored. This four day showing comes on the heels of a 2-for-21 stretch for Bierfeldt over his seven games before. An offensive force in June, he batted .279 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 25 games. The eight homers were tied for the second-most at Class A (only Rome’s Carlos Castro had more with nine) while the 25 RBIs placed him second (Franmil Reyes of Lake Elsinore had 27).

 BODIE ELECTED TO TEXAS LEAGUE HALL OF FAME: On Thursday afternoon, Keys manager Keith Bodie was one of 11 new members named to the Texas League Hall of Fame. Originally a player with the Jackson Mets from 1977-79, Bodie returned to the Texas League 21 years later where he became one of the most successful managers in Texas League history. From 2000-2003 he skippered the Wichita Wranglers (Royals) before moving to Double-A Corpus Christi (Astros) from 2012-14. In seven seasons, he led his clubs to Texas League postseason play every year but his last one, while he became the first manager in league history to guide a team to postseason play in his first six year managing in the loop. He amassed a 537-436 overall record, and a .552 winning percentage. He ranks eighth all-time in winning percentage and ninth in wins. Other members of the TL Hall of Fame include: Brooks Robinson, Roberto Alomar, Dennis Eckersley, Dizzy Dean, Tony Gwynn and Whitey Herzog (who did not manage, but played part of one season with the Beaumont Roughnecks).

ROLAIDS RELIEF: Keys relief wrapped up a 12-inning scoreless streak on Wednesday, after the Mudcats scored three times. It marked the first runs allowed by the bullpen since Sunday’s six-run sixth at Salem. Despite the small blip, Keys relievers have allowed only five earned runs in their last 44.2 innings (1.01 ERA) (spanning 11 games). In June, Frederick relievers posted a 1.90 ERA (99.2 IP/21ER). That was the best showing by the relief corps in any month this season.

GREAT SCOTT!: Tanner Scott has been outstanding for the Keys of late. Since posting a 12.19 ERA in April (10.1 IP/14ER/15BB) Scott has given up only three earned runs in 29.2 innings. By pitching a scoreless inning on Tuesday, he extended his scoreless inning streak to 12.1 stanzas. During that time his ERA has dropped from 5.53 to 3.83.

ODDS AND ENDS: After posting 23 quality starts in the first half, the Keys have gone five games without one. In six games on an MLB rehab with the Keys, Caleb Joseph hit .294. Joseph and Vance Worley were added back to the Orioles last night. DJ Stewart scored a run on Wednesday but saw his five-game hitting streak come to an end he batted .316 over the five game jaunt (6-for-19). Garrett Cleavinger set career-highs for innings pitched (3.2) and strikeouts (eight) on Wednesday. It was his Nymeo Field debut. Today is Bobby Bonilla Day. Even though Bonilla last played 5,381 days ago, he will receive $1,193,248.20 on every July 1 through 2035. This season the Orioles picked Brandon Bonilla, the son of Bobby, in the 13th round out of a Hawaii Pacific University. A left-handed pitcher who is the godson of Bobby Bonds, the younger Bonilla remains unsigned by Baltimore.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Trey Ball makes his 12th start of the season on Friday and his third against the Keys. He is rated the No. 17 prospect in the Red Sox system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came on Sunday against the Keys at LewisGale Field. Tossing seven shutout inning he allowed only two hits. It was his third straight win. Walks have been an issue for Ball during his career, as he has a 4.4 BB/9IP ratio this season (a mark that is 4.1 for his career). Spending all off 2015 with the Red Sox, the southpaw went 9-13 with a 4.73 ERA in 25 games. He ended third in the league in walks and second in home runs allowed (16) and losses (13). Last year Ball made five starts against Frederick, more than any Red Sox pitcher. He went 0-5 with a 5.40 ERA. A 2013 first round selection (seventh overall) out of New Castle Chrysler (IN) High School (Boston’s highest draft pick since 1993), Ball was named the Gatorade Indiana Baseball Player of the Year as a senior. His hometown of New Castle is home to the New Castle Correctional Facility, the largest prison in Indiana which can hold up to 3,500 inmates.

 

Can the Keys Make it 5 over .500?

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The black and orange are off to a red-hot start to the second half of the season. Fresh off a sweep of the Carolina Mudcats, the Keys are due to battle the Salem Red Sox tonight as we kick off a four-game series at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium!

Mitch Horacek will take the bump for Frederick tonight as he’ll be opposed by Australian native and Salem starter Daniel McGrath. Horacek and McGrath last dueled on June 25 when McGrath threw seven innings while allowing just one earned run and Horacek allowed two earned runs over six innings.

Grab your tickets to tonight’s game here!

Tonight’s notes are below

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Thursday, June 30, 2016 · Game #77 · Home Game #39

Frederick Keys (40-36/4-2) vs. Salem Red Sox (47-28/4-2)

LHP Mitch Horacek (3-8, 5.07) vs. LHP Daniel McGrath (2-3, 4.75)

                                                                                                                                                               BIERFELDT’S BLAST LIFTS KEYS TO SWEEP OF MUDCATS: A three-run walk-off home run from Conor Bierfeldt in the 10th inning lifted the Frederick Keys to a 6-3 victory over the Carolina Mudcats on Wednesday night at Nymeo Field. With the win, the orange and black completed a three-game sweep of the Carolina Mudcats. Ahead 3-0 through five innings, the orange and black saw Carolina level the game in the sixth against Trevor Belicek. A single by Keith Curcio, sacrifice fly by Tanner Murphy and an RBI single by Jordan Edgerton tied the game, while neither side would score again until the 10th. With two outs, Wynston Sawyer singled, while Cam Kneeland reached on a throwing error by Edgerton at third. That sent up Bierfeldt who crushed the second pitch he saw over the leftfield wall.

 WALK IT OFF, WALK IT OFF: Wednesday marked the Keys second walk-off win in three days, while it was the club’s fourth win of the year via walk-off. All four walk-offs have come by different players, while Wednesday marked the third time in the last two seasons where Frederick has posted two walk-off victories in a three-day span. In addition to walk-off hits by Bierfeldt and Kneeland (Monday night) in this series, the Keys posted walk-off wins on April 12 and 13 of last year (with the later ending a 16-inning, 4 hour 57 minute marathon) as well as last April 24-25. Since last April 12, the Keys have racked up 12 walk-off wins.

HOW SWEEP IT IS: Thanks to a walk-off win in the series finale, the orange and black completed their fourth sweep of the year. It was Frederick’s first sweep of the Mudcats this year, as previously the team had broomed Wilmington twice and Winston-Salem once. All four Keys sweeps have come in three game sets, with two coming at home and two on the road. Additionally, the sweep moves Frederick to four games over .500 for the first time for the first time in 2016. The last time Frederick was four games above sea-level was last May 24.

 BASHING BIERFELDT: The walk-off homer by Conor Bierfeldt was his third in as many games and capped off an outstanding series for the Connecticut native. In three games, he batted .462 (6-for-13) with three homers, two doubles, eight RBIs and five runs scored. This three day showing comes on the heels of a 2-for-21 stretch for Bierfeldt over his seven games before. An offensive force in June, Bierfeldt is hitting .277 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 24 games. The eight longballs are tied for the most at Class-A with Charleston’s Chris Gittens, while the 25 RBIs place him second behind Lake Elsinore’s Franmil Reyes.  

 BODIE ELECTED TO TEXAS LEAGUE HALL OF FAME: On Thursday afternoon, Keys manager Keith Bodie was one of 11 new members named to the Texas League Hall of Fame. Originally a player with the Jackson Mets from 1977-80, Bodie returned to the Texas League 21 years later where he became one of the most successful managers in Texas League history. From 2000-2003 he skippered the Wichita Wranglers (Royals) before moving to0 Double-A Corpus Christi (Astros) from 2012-14. In seven seasons, he led his clubs to Texas League postseason play every year but his last one, while he became the first manager in league history to guide a team to postseason play in his first six year managing in the loop. He amassed a 537-436 overall record, and a .552 winning percentage. He ranks eighth all-time in winning percentage and ninth in wins. Other members of the TL Hall of Fame include: Brooks Robinson, Roberto Alomar, Dennis Eckersley, Dizzy Dean, Tony Gwynn and Whitey Herzog (who did not manage, but played part of one season with the Beaumont Roughnecks).

ROLAIDS RELIEF: Keys relief wrapped up a 12-inning scoreless streak on Wednesday, after the Mudcats scored three times. It marked the first runs allowed by the bullpen since Sunday’s six-run sixth at Salem. Despite the small blip, Keys relievers have allowed only five earned runs in their last 41.2 innings (1.08 ERA) (spanning 10 games). This month, Frederick relievers have a 1.98 ERA (95.2 IP/21ER). The bullpen’s lowest ERA in any month came in May, when they finished with a 2.65 ERA. Among active relievers, Tanner Scott has fared best in June, tallying a 0.57 ERA (15.2 IP/1ER).

BULLPEN BULLIES: Tanner Scott and Jeff Beliveau have been outstanding for the Keys of late. Since posting a 12.19 ERA in April (10.1 IP/14ER/15BB) Scott has given up only three earned runs in 29.2 innings. By pitching a scoreless inning on Tuesday, he extended his scoreless inning streak to 12.1 stanzas. During that time his ERA has dropped from 5.53 to 3.83. Beliveau last pitched on Friday and fired off 3.1 scoreless innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out seven in his longest outing since August 29, 2009 (when he was pitching for Low-A Peoria as a member of the Cubs). Signed by Baltimore as a minor league free agent this past December, Beliveau has pitched 9.1 scoreless innings. A pitcher with 58 total Major League appearances, Beliveau pitched five games for Tampa Bay last year before undergoing shoulder surgery.   

ODDS AND ENDS: Frederick leads the CL in wins this month (15) a month after the Keys tied with Salem for most wins in May (18). Frederick and Salem are the only two teams in the league who are four above .500 going into the last day in June. In six games on an MLB rehab with the Keys, Caleb Joseph hit .294. DJ Stewart scored a run on Wednesday but saw his five-game hitting streak come to an end he batted .316 over the five game jaunt (6-for-19). Garrett Cleavinger set career-highs for innings pitched (3.2) and strikeouts (eight) on Wednesday. It was his Nymeo Field debut.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Daniel McGrath makes his eighth start and third against the Keys. Facing Frederick on Saturday in game two of a twinbill, he tossed a seven-inning complete game and allowed one run. In his first outing against the Keys, he pitched 1.2 of an inning before exiting due to a subluxation of his right knee. He was out from April 14-May 28. A member of the Red Sox rotation last year, McGrath was limited to 17 starts due to nearly two months on the disabled list (May 14-July 10). At the time he got hurt, McGrath had a 1.80 ERA and was limiting opponents to a .119 average. With Salem, he went 4-6 with a 3.84 ERA. Originally from Australia, McGrath was signed by Boston as a minor league free agent in February 2012. Signed as a 17-year-old, McGrath received offers from 15 MLB teams, but chose the Red Sox since he used to watch games at Fenway Park with his American-born mother, Dale. Despite signing in 2012, the lefty did not debut until the following season so he could finish high school.

Keys Try for the Sweep!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

S W _ _ P

 Can we buy a vowel? Hopefully, tonight we can! It’s Game Show Night at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium as the Frederick Keys look for a three-game sweep over the Carolina Mudcats.

The Keys earned their eighth shutout of the season last night, getting strong pitching performances from Vance Worley, Matthew Grimes, and Tanner Scott. Conor Bierfeldt led the offensive charge, going 3-4 and falling just a triple short of the cycle.

As we go for the three-game sweep, Caleb Joseph will be making his third consecutive start at catcher for the black and orange. Right-hander Cory Jones will be making his eighth start of the year. He’ll be opposed right-hander Matt Withrow.

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 · Game #76 · Home Game #38

Frederick Keys (39-36/3-2) vs. Carolina Mudcats (31-44/2-4)

                            RHP Cory Jones (2-3, 2.55) vs. RHP Matt Withrow (5-4, 3.50)                                                                                                                                                              

WORLEY, GRIMES AND EARLY OFFENSE LED KEYS TO SHUTOUT: The Frederick Keys scored six times over the first two innings and got strong pitching from Vance Worley, Matthew Grimes and Tanner Scott to cruise to a 7-0 win over the Carolina Mudcats on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field. With the win, the orange and black return to three games above .500 for the year (39-36) equaling the team’s high water mark for 2016. In the first, the Keys batted around, while scoring four times with two outs. After Michael O’Neal quickly got two outs, the Keys had six consecutive batters reach. Conor Bierfeldt drove in the first run with a double before Cam Kneeland and Jomar Reyes singled to make it 2-0. Steve Wilkerson also added an RBI single, while a wild pitch scored Reyes to make it 4-0. Bierfeldt added a two-run homer in the second, but Frederick pitching would need little support. As the Keys mound trio scattered allowed only five hits all game.

 FIRING BLANKS: The Frederick Keys recorded their eighth shutout win of the season on Tuesday and their first of the second half. The 7-0 shutout also marked the team’s most decisive shutout victory of the campaign. The eight shutout wins is tied for the most in the CL (Lynchburg also has eight). The Keys are also owners of the third-best shutout mark in the CL, trailing Lynchburg (8-0) and Myrtle Beach (7-4).

 TWO BASES OR MORE: After recording just nine on Saturday and Sunday, the Keys have 20 in their last two games. Half of those have gone for extra bases, as the Keys tied their season-high with seven extra-base hits on Monday. Conor Bierfeldt has figured prominently into both games, going a combined 5-for-8 with two homers, two doubles, five RBIs and four runs scored. That burst comes on the heels of a seven-game stretch where the Connecticut native was 2-for-21. An offensive force in June, Bierfeldt is hitting .282 with seven homers and 22 RBIs in 23 games this month. He is tied for the most homers at the Advanced-A level this month, while the 22 RBIs put him in a tie for second-most.

 REHABBERS: For the second time this year, the Keys had two MLB rehabbers play on the same day with the Keys (Kevin Gausman and Brian Matusz were here on April 15). Coming back from a right groin strain, Vance Worley made the start and retired all nine batters he faced in three innings. He struck out two while needing only 31 pitches. Orioles catcher, Caleb Joseph was also back behind the plate, going 1-for-2 with a double, a sac fly and a run scored. No runners attempted to steal against Joseph. On the mend from a testicular injury, Joseph is batting a combined .306 (11-for-36) between Frederick and Bowie. The 30-year-old originally play for Frederick in 2009 and was a Carolina League all-star

 ROLAIDS RELIEF: With an MLB rehabber in attendance, the Keys needed six innings of relief on Tuesday. That unit performed extremely well, as relievers extended their scoreless inning streak to 12 innings (they have not given up a run since a six-run Salem sixth on Sunday). Meanwhile, over the last nine games, Frederick bullpen hands have given up only two earned runs in 36.2 innings (0.49 ERA) while this month, Frederick relievers have a 1.79 ERA (90.2 IP/18ER). The bullpen’s lowest ERA in any month came in May, when they finished with a 2.65 ERA. Among active relievers, Tanner Scott has fared best in June, tallying a 0.57 ERA (15.2 IP/1ER).

BULLPEN BULLIES: Tanner Scott and Jeff Beliveau have been outstanding for the Keys of late. Since posting a 12.19 ERA in April (10.1 IP/14ER/15BB) Scott has given up only three earned runs in 29.2 innings. By pitching a scoreless inning on Tuesday, he extended his scoreless inning streak to 12.1 stanzas. During that time his ERA has dropped from 5.53 to 3.83. Beliveau last pitched on Friday and fired off 3.1 scoreless innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out seven in his longest outing since August 29, 2009 (when he was pitching for Low-A Peoria as a member of the Cubs). Signed by Baltimore as a minor league free agent this past December, Beliveau has pitched 9.1 scoreless innings. A pitcher with 58 total Major League appearances, Beliveau pitched five games for Tampa Bay last year before undergoing shoulder surgery.   

 NEW HALF, NEW FACES: With the start of the second half, the Keys have three new faces on their roster. Outfielder DJ Stewart as well as relievers Ryan Meisinger and Garrett Cleavinger join the team from Low-A Delmarva. Baltimore’s first overall pick in the 2015 draft out of Florida State, Stewart was hitting .230 in 62 games to go with four homers and 25 RBIs. He did walk 42 times though (tied for third) and was batting .266 in his first 17 June games. Meisinger and Cleavinger were both SAL midseason all-stars. In 16 games, Meisinger went 3-2 with a 0.78 ERA and held opponents to a .189 average. A southpaw, Cleavinger was 5-0 with four saves and a 1.38 ERA in 17 games. Both pitchers were in the top five in the SAL in SO/9IP while Cleavinger was fifth in fewest baserunners/9IP (8.54).

ODDS AND ENDS: Tuesday’s win marked Frederick’s first victory in a home series since May 23. Before, the the team has gone 0-1-2 in home sets. A win on Wednesday would give Frederick its fourth series sweep of the year (two versus Wilmington and one against Wilmington). DJ Stewart has hit safely in his first five CL games (6-for-19). The Keys have one home sweep this year (May 10-12 v Wilmington) Aderlin Rodriguez had a six-game hitting streak snapped Monday (he was 0-for-4) while he batted .500 (11-for-22) during the streak to raise his average 20 points.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Matt Withrow makes his 14th start of the year on Wednesday and his second against the Keys. His most recent outing came last Friday at Myrtle Beach. Tossing 4.1 innings in a no-decision, he gave up two runs on eight hits to go with two walks and two strikes. Withrow is holding opponents to a .226 average, the third-lowest mark in the CL, while among starters he is fourth in SO/9IP (9.05). He has walked 34 though, fifth-most in the league. Selected by Atlanta in the sixth round of the 2015 draft out of Texas Tech, Withrow was the third of seven consecutive college pitchers drafted by the Braves in 2015 between rounds four and 10. He debuted at Rookie-Danville last season, going 0-4 with a 3.56 ERA in 13 games. Opponents hit .257 against him. Not the only Braves player in his family, Withrow’s brother, Chris, is a member of the Atlanta bullpen. Additionally, Withrow’s dad, Mike was drafted in the seventh round of the 1981 draft by the White Six and spent parts of three years in the Chicago farm system. Withrow throws a fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Vance Worley and Caleb Joseph With the Keys Tonight!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

We’re still out of breath from our largest come-from-behind victory of the season last night! Trailing 5-1, the black and orange clawed their way back to a 6-5 victory.

Jomar Reyes tied the game in the 9th with a RBI double last night and Cam Kneeland won it with a RBI double of his own. Also appearing in the game was Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph, who made his second appearance with the Keys via a MLB rehab assignment. Joseph went 0-3, including a sacrifice fly in the 1st inning.

Tonight, it’s game two of the three-game set against the Carolina Mudcats. We have high-profile battery mates on the diamond as a pair of Baltimore Orioles rehab assignments will be on the diamond. Joseph will make his second consecutive appearance behind the backstop and pitcher Vance Worley making the start. The right-handed pitcher is making his first rehab appearance after being placed on the disabled list on June 14 due to a strained right groin.

Get your tickets to see a pair of big league O’s here!

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 · Game #75 · Home Game #37

Frederick Keys (38-36/2-2) vs. Carolina Mudcats (31-44/2-3)

RHP Vance Worley (0-0, –) vs. LHP Michael O’Neal (1-1, 2.41)

                                                                                                                                                              

KNEELAND HELPS KEYS EARN THIRD WALK-OFF WIN: A Cam Kneeland double in the ninth gave the Frederick Keys their third walk-off win of the season, as the club battled back to defeat the Carolina Mudcats 6-5 on Monday night at Nymeo Field. Scoring the final five runs of the game, the orange and black battled back from a four-run deficit. Facing Chase Johnson-Mullins in the ninth, the Keys tied the game on back-to-back doubles. After the Mudcats lefty retired DJ Stewart,  Conor Bierfeldt and Jomar Reyes doubled on consecutive pitches to tie the ballgame. Carolina elected to walk Steve Wilkerson to get to Cam Kneeland. Working the count full, the Keys nine-hole batter lined a pitch down the third baseline to bring in the winning run.

 DOWN BUT NOT OUT: Monday night marked the Keys largest come-from-behind win of the season. Down 5-1 after 2.5 innings, Frederick’s largest come-from-behind win before last night was when being two runs down (last occurred on May 3 at Wilmington). Moreover, the Keys had only one other come-from-behind win when trailing by two before that. The series opener was also the team’s third walk-off win of the season. Two of those have come against Carolina, as a Jay Gonzalez single off Carlos Salazar on June 4, gave the team a 5-4 walk-off win in 11 innings. Coincidentally, that win also came during the first game of the series.

 TWO BASES OR MORE: After recording just nine total hits in their previous two games, the Keys finished with 10 on Monday, while seven went for extra-bases. That equals Frederick’s largest total in a game this year (the team also had seven extra-base hits on June 3 against Potomac). Cam Kneeland (3-for-4, 2-2B, RBI) and Conor Bierfeldt (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2RBI) accounted for four of those knocks. The three hits for Kneeland tied a season-high and gives him 19 two-baggers on the season, placing him in a tie for fourth in the league. Meanwhile, Bierfeldt’s home run was his sixth this month, while he has 19 RBIs in 22 games. The six home runs are tied for second-most at the Advanced-A level this month, while both figures are the most by a Carolina Leaguer in June.

 WORLEY JOINS KEYS ON REHAB: After Caleb Joseph rejoined the orange and black on an MLB rehab assignment Monday, the Keys will receive another Orioles player on Tuesday. Vance Worley is scheduled to make a start for the team tonight, as he recovers from a right groin strain. Placed on the 15-day DL on June 14 (retroactive to June 13), the Sacramento native pitched for Double-A Bowie on Saturday. Pitching 1.2 innings of relief, he surrendered a run on five hits. In 17 games with the Orioles this year he is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA, while opponents hit .266 against him. Tuesday will be Worley’s third start of the year and his first since April 15, when he defeated Texas.    

 JOSEPH RETURNS TO THE KEYS: Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph caught his first game since May 30 on Monday night. Behind the plate he threw out one-of-two baserunners trying to steal, while at bat he was 0-for-3 with an RBI.  In four games with Frederick he is batting .308 (4-for-13) with a homer and four RBIs. He recorded multi-hit games in both contests he played in last weekend. Between Frederick and Double-A Bowie, Joseph is batting .294 (10-for-34) on his rehab. The 30-year-old originally play for Frederick in 2009 and was a Carolina League all-star.

 ROLAIDS RELIEF: Due to a heavy dose of rain on Thursday, the Keys were forced to utilize their bullpen for most of game one of the second half. Responding quite well, Keys relievers fired off 7.2 innings of one-run, five-hit baseball. Meanwhile, over the last eight games, Frederick bullpen hands have given up only two earned runs in 30.2 innings (0.59 ERA) while this month, Frederick relievers have a 1.91 ERA (84.2 IP/18ER). The bullpen’s lowest ERA in any month came in May, when they finished with a 2.65 ERA. Among active relievers, Tanner Scott has fared best in June, tallying a 0.61 ERA (14.2 IP/1ER).

 NEW HALF, NEW FACES: With the start of the second half, the Keys have three new faces on their roster. Outfielder DJ Stewart as well as relievers Ryan Meisinger and Garrett Cleavinger join the team from Low-A Delmarva. Baltimore’s first overall pick in the 2015 draft out of Florida State, Stewart was hitting .230 in 62 games to go with four homers and 25 RBIs. He did walk 42 times though (tied for third) and was batting .266 in his first 17 June games. Meisinger and Cleavinger were both SAL midseason all-stars. In 16 games, Meisinger went 3-2 with a 0.78 ERA and held opponents to a .189 average. A southpaw, Cleavinger was 5-0 with four saves and a 1.38 ERA in 17 games. Both pitchers were in the top five in the SAL in SO/9IP while Cleavinger was fifth in fewest baserunners/9IP (8.54).

ODDS AND ENDS: Tuesday marks the second time this year where the Keys have had two MLB rehabbers on the roster at one point (Kevin Gausman and Brian Matusz where here on April 15). A win on Tuesday would give Frederick its first victory in a home series since May 23. Since then the team has gone 0-1-2 in home sets. Aderlin Rodriguez had a six-game hitting streak snapped Monday (he was 0-for-4) while he batted .500 (11-for-22) during the streak to raise his average 20 points. He was ejected in the bottom of the eighth. Jeff Beliveau’ s 3.1 inning stint on Saturday marked his longest outing since August 28, 2009 when he was pitching for Low-A Peoria as a member of the Cubs.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Michael O’Neal makes his 16th overall appearance on Monday and his second start. Between Carolina and Double-A Mississippi, the southpaw is 1-1 with a 2.41 ERA (23.2 IP.6ER/10BB/18 SO). His most recent outing came on Friday at Myrtle Beach. Tagged with the loss, he surrendered one run on two hits in 1.2 innings. He walked two and struck out two. Tonight will be O’Neal’s second start of the year. His Double-A debut (he has had 2 Double-A stints) was a start, as he tossed four shutout innings of one-hit baseball at Mobile. He walked two and struck out one. Signed as a free agent by Atlanta on November 27, 2015, O’Neal played two years of independent baseball with the Florence Freedom (2014) and Gateway Grizzlies (2015). In 12 total games (11 starts) he was 2-8 with an 8.52 ERA. Originally from Columbus, GA, O’Neal played his college baseball at Auburn, where as a junior he led Auburn with an 8-4 record and a 2.73 ERA. He also attended Chattahoochee Valley CC.

The Boys are Back in Town!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

For the first time in the second half, the Keys are back in Frederick! The black and orange begin a seven-game home stand at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium as they kick things off with a three-game set against the Carolina Mudcats.

The Keys are 1-2 since the second half began, winning one and dropping two in a rain-shortened series against Salem.

As we arrive home, we anticipate tons of great promotions here at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium. Check out our schedule for the full list. Some of the highlights include an appearance by WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley on Friday and fireworks throughout the weekend.

Guarantee your seats and get your tickets here!

Right-hander Lucas Long will be the starting pitcher for the Keys with Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph behind the backstop, making his second appearance with Frederick on a MLB rehab assignment.

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Monday, June 27, 2016 · Game #74 · Home Game #36

Frederick Keys (37-36/1-2) vs. Carolina Mudcats (31-43/2-2)

RHP Lucas Long (4-4, 4.30) vs. RHP Max Povse (5-4, 3.51)

KEYS AND SOX SPLIT QUASI-DOUBLEHEADER: The Frederick Keys committed four errors while three in the sixth helped opened the door to a big Salem inning, as the Red Sox defeated the orange and black 6-1 on Sunday night at LewisGale Field. With the setback, the Keys are now just one game above .500 for the year. Franderlin Romero worked around a bases loaded jam in the fifth, but could not get an out in the sixth. An error by Erick Salcedo allowed Wendell Rijo to reach, while one batter later, Rijo scored on a throwing error by Jomar Reyes at third. Nick Longhi then singled to knock Romero out of the game. Jose Sermo made it 2-0 with a sac-fly, while an error and two walks plated the third run of the inning. Joseph Monge completed the scoring with a bases clearing double. Frederick’s lone run came in the ninth on a double by D.J. Stewart.

 TROUBLE WITH THE LEATHER: The four errors by the Keys on Sunday tied a season-high. Previously, the club committed four errors on April 19 against Wilmington (a 6-1 loss). Three of the four errors were charged to Jomar Reyes. The three errors marks the most he has made in a game this year and ties a career-high (he also committed three on June 21, 2014 while playing for the GCL Orioles. Over the final two games of the series, Reyes committed four errors, equaling one-third of his total this season (12). Due to the three errors in the sixth inning on Sunday, all six Red Sox runs were unearned.

 MOUND WOES SORT OF?: Although Keys pitching was hurt by some sixth inning defensive woes, Frederick arms issued nine walks on Sunday, a new season-high (the previous high was eight on April 14). In spite of those issues though, Keys pitching allowed only two hits all game, equaling the fewest the club had given out in a contest this year (most recently Frederick pitching two-hit Carolina on May 29 in Zebulon). Four of the walks were on Romero’s line, a new season-high for the right-hander.    

 ROLAIDS RELIEF: Due to a heavy dose of rain on Thursday, the Keys were forced to utilize their bullpen for most of game one of the second half. Responding quite well, Keys relievers fired off 7.2 innings of one-run, five-hit baseball. Meanwhile, over the last seven games, Frederick bullpen hands have given up only two earned runs in 26.2 innings (0.68 ERA) while this month, Frederick relievers have a 2.01 ERA (80.2 IP/18ER). The bullpen’s lowest ERA in any month came in May, when they finished with a 2.65 ERA. Among active relievers, Tanner Scott has fared best in June, tallying a 0.61 ERA (14.2 IP/1ER).

 RARE ROAD SETBACK: With a loss in Sunday’s game, the Keys saw their string of back-to-back road series wins come to an end. Additionally, it was the club’s first loss in a road set since May 8, when the club fell in two of three to Potomac. In spite of the loss, the Keys are still eight games over .500 away from home (23-15) while Salem is the only other team in the circuit that is eight above .500 (22-14). Tonight, the Keys embark on a seven-game homestand. At Nymeo Field, things have been a little more challenging for the orange and black who are 14-21 (third-worst mark in the CL). Frederick has not won a home series since May 23 (took two of three against Potomac). They are 0-1-2 in their last three home sets.

JOSEPH RETURNS TO THE KEYS: Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph is scheduled to return to the Keys on a Major League rehab assignment on Monday night. Joseph is slated to catch and hit second as he continues his recovery from a testicular injury suffered on May 30 against Boston. The Tennessee native suited up for the Keys during the team’s final first half homestand and went 4-for-10 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored. He recorded multi-hit games in both contests he played in last weekend. Between Frederick and Double-A Bowie, Joseph is batting .323 (10-for-31) on his rehab. The 30-year-old originally play for Frederick in 2009 and was a Carolina League all-star.

NEW HALF, NEW FACES: With the start of the second half, the Keys have three new faces on their roster. Outfielder DJ Stewart as well as relievers Ryan Meisinger and Garrett Cleavinger join the team from Low-A Delmarva. Baltimore’s first overall pick in the 2015 draft out of Florida State, Stewart was hitting .230 in 62 games to go with four homers and 25 RBIs. He did walk 42 times though (tied for third) and was batting .266 in his first 17 June games. Meisinger and Cleavinger were both SAL midseason all-stars. In 16 games, Meisinger went 3-2 with a 0.78 ERA and held opponents to a .189 average. A southpaw, Cleavinger was 5-0 with four saves and a 1.38 ERA in 17 games. Both pitchers were in the top five in the SAL in SO/9IP while Cleavinger was fifth in fewest baserunners/9IP (8.54).

ODDS AND ENDS: Sunday marked just the sixth time this year where the Keys had out-hit their opposition and lost (28-6). Mitch Horacek posted his third straight quality start and his third complete game in four contests on Saturday. He leads the lead in complete games (three). Jonah Heim saw his seven-game hitting streak end in game two of Saturday’s twinbill. His longest of the year, he hit .385. Today, he celebrates his 21st birthday. In the process he got his average up to a season-best .246. Jeff Beliveau’s 3.1 inning stint on Saturday marked his longest outing since August 28, 2009 when he was pitching for Low-A Peoria as a member of the Cubs. Jay Gonzalez is still tied for fourth in the MiLB in steals despite going 14 games without a swipe (his longest drought of the year). 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Max Povse makes his 14th start and his third against the Keys. His most recent outing came on June 18 against Wilmington. Picking up the win, he allowed two unearned runs on four hits in six innings. He struck out six. A Carolina League all-star, the righty is third in the league in strikeouts (76) while among starters he is fourth in highest SO/9IP ratio (9.20) and fifth in lowest BB/9IP ratio (1.82). Povse split 2015 between Low-A Rome and Carolina, combining to go 5-5 with a 4.15 ERA. He was promoted to the Mudcats on June 25. In five starts with Carolina he struggled, going 1-3 with a 9.33 ERA before going on the DL with a right shoulder strain on July 21. He missed the rest of the year. A third round pick by Atlanta in 2014 out of UNC-Greensboro, Povse is from Cary, NC (40 minutes from outside Zebulon). He was also selected by the Dodgers in the 42nd round of the 2011 draft but did not sign.

One More in Salem

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The orange and black conclude their series with the Salem Red Sox on Sunday at LewisGale Field. First pitch is slated for 4:00 p.m. After several rain delays, the two teams were FINALLY able to finish the first game of the second half, with the Keys prevailing 5-1. In game two, Daniel McGrath defeated Mitch Horacek in a pitcher’s duel which saw both starters rack up complete games.

Today, Franderlin Romero gets the ball for the Keys and will be opposed by Sox southpaw Trey Ball. The broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com, or by accessing the TuneIn Radio App (and searching WTHU).

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Sunday, June 26, 2016 · Game #73 · Road Game #38

Frederick Keys (37-35/1-1) vs. Salem Red Sox (44-27/1-1)

RHP Franderlin Romero (4-0, 3.63) vs. LHP Trey Ball (4-3, 2.60)

KEYS AND SOX SPLIT QUASI-DOUBLEHEADER: After game one of the second half started on Thursday, it ended on Saturday, as the Frederick Keys and Salem Red Sox completed a quasi-doubleheader with no interruptions. In game one, the Keys closed things out, winning by a 5-1 score, before the club suffered a 2-1 defeat in a pitcher’s duel in game two. Holding a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth, the Keys added an additional run in the ninth on a wild pitch, while Salem scored just once in the seventh on a solo homer by Deiner Lopez. Jeff Beliveau got the win in relief, tossing 3.1 shutout innings while striking out seven. In the nightcap, Daniel McGrath and Mitch Horacek matched each other pitch-for-pitch for most of the night. Salem acted first, getting an RBI double from Jose Sermo in the second, before the Keys evened the game at one in the fifth. After Jomar Reyes opened the inning with a double, Erick Salcedo followed three batters later with a second two-bagger. The Red Sox took the lead for good in the home fifth via an RBI single by Rafael Devers, as McGrath went the distance for his second pro complete game.

CLOSE CALLS: The Keys have become very accustomed to close games of late. The back-end of Saturday’s quasi-doubleheader marked the team’s sixth one-run game in its last eight contests. That includes a string of five straight one-run games from June 14-18 (season-high). Over the six games, the Keys are 2-4, while for the season, Frederick is 7-10 in one-run affairs. That is the second-worst mark in the circuit (Carolina is 10-16).  

ROLAIDS RELIEF: Due to a heavy dose of rain on Thursday, the Keys were forced to utilize their bullpen for most of game one of the second half. Responding quite well, Keys relievers fired off 7.2 innings of one-run, five-hit baseball. Over the last six games, Frederick bullpen hands have given up only two runs in 23.2 innings (0.76 ERA) while this month, Frederick relievers have a 2.09 ERA (77.2 IP/18ER). The bullpen’s lowest ERA in any month came in May, when they finished with a 2.65 ERA. Among active relievers, Tanner Scott has fared best in June, tallying a 0.61 ERA (14.2 IP/1ER).

SALCEDO SIZZLES IN TWINBILL: Erick Salcedo had a tremendous quasi-doubleheader at the plate, going 5-for-6 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored. In game one, he was 3-for-3 and tied his season-high for hits in a game (it was his first three-hit game since May 20 against Potomac). Additionally, the strong day bumped his average up to .276, the highest it has been in 2016. In 22 June games, he is batting .297 (22-for-74).  

WRAPPING UP THE FIRST HALF: Thanks to last Sunday’s win, the Keys snapped a string of six consecutive losing halves. A pretty solid accomplishment considering the team was a season-worst nine games below .500 (7-16) at the end of April. Pitching has been a big reason for the club’s success. Through 70 games, the team has a 3.69 ERA, the third-best mark in the league (behind only Myrtle Beach and Lynchburg). Starting (3.68) and relief (3.71) pitching have been on par with each other but the later has been better in June (2.19/4.93). Still, Keys starters enjoyed a strong May (2.71 ERA) and delivered 23 first half quality starts (the team had only seven in the first-half last year). At the plate, Frederick tied for fourth in hitting (.247) a number which has improved thanks to a strong June at the plate (.268) (third-best in the CL this month).

ROAD SWEET HOME: The Keys are trying for their fifth series win in their last six road sets on Sunday. The Keys have not had a losing roadtrip since late-April at Lynchburg and have tallied four straight winning road trips. Currently, the Keys have the best road mark in the circuit (23-14). In road games, the pitching has been superb (2.70 ERA) giving the Keys the top road ERA in the league (and the only sub-3.00 mark). On the offensive side though, the orange and black are tied for the second-lowest road mark in the circuit, as only Aderlin Rodriguez is above .300 (.321).

NEW HALF, NEW FACES: With the start of the second half, the Keys have three new faces on their roster. Outfielder DJ Stewart as well as relievers Ryan Meisinger and Garrett Cleavinger join the team from Low-A Delmarva. Baltimore’s first overall pick in the 2015 draft out of Florida State, Stewart was hitting .230 in 62 games to go with four homers and 25 RBIs. He did walk 42 times though (tied for third) and was batting .266 in his first 17 June games. Meisinger and Cleavinger were both SAL midseason all-stars. In 16 games, Meisinger went 3-2 with a 0.78 ERA and held opponents to a .189 average. A southpaw, Cleavinger was 5-0 with four saves and a 1.38 ERA in 17 games. Both pitchers were in the top five in the SAL in SO/9IP while Cleavinger was fifth in fewest baserunners/9IP (8.54).

 WRAPPING UP THE ALL STAR GAME: Matthew Grimes, Jonah Heim and Aderlin Rodriguez all participated in Tuesday’s Carolina v California League All-Star game in Lake Elsinore, CA. Heim started at catcher, going 1-for-3, while Rodriguez was the DH, ending 1-for-4 while batting in the five-hole. Grimes pitched a 1-2-3 second inning on just seven pitches (six strikes). The Carolina League won 6-4 as Potomac’s Andrew Stevenson and Salem’s Mauricio Duban each had two RBIs apiece. The day before the all-star game, Rodriguez competed in the home run derby on the USS Midway. Making it to the final round, the Keys first baseman was outdone by Bakersfield’s Kyle Petty, who homered seven times in 10 swings (as opposed to Rodriguez’s four homers in the last round).

ODDS AND ENDS: Mitch Horacek posted his third straight quality start and his third complete game in four contests on Sunday. He leads the lead in complete games (three). Jonah Heim saw his seven-game hitting streak end in game two of the twinbill. His longest of the year, he hit .385 (10-for-26 to go with four doubles, three RBIs and a run scored). In the process he got his average up to a season-best .246. Jeff Beliveau’s 3.1 inning stint on Sunday marked his longest outing since August 28, 2009 when he was pitching for Low-A Peoria as a member of the Cubs. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Trey Ball makes his 11th start of the season on Sunday and his second against the Keys. He is rated the No. 17 prospect in the Red Sox system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came on June 18 at Winston-Salem. Earning the win, he pitched seven innings and allowed two runs on eight hits. Walks have been an issue for Ball during his career, as he has a 4.7 BB/9IP ratio this season (a mark that is 4.1 for his career). Spending all off 2015 with the Red Sox, the southpaw went 9-13 with a 4.73 ERA in 25 games. He ended third in the league in walks and second in home runs allowed (16) and losses (13). Last year Ball made five starts against Frederick, more than any Red Sox pitcher. He went 0-5 with a 5.40 ERA. A 2013 first round selection (seventh overall) out of New Castle Chrysler (IN) High School (Boston’s highest draft pick since 1993), Ball was named the Gatorade Indiana Baseball Player of the Year as a senior. His hometown of New Castle is home to the New Castle Correctional Facility, the largest prison in Indiana which can hold up to 3,500 inmates.

Quasi-Doubleheader Take 2

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

So for the second day in-a-row, the Keys will try and play a quasi-doubleheader against the Salem Red Sox. Technically, we are still on game one of the second half, as after the ballgame was stopped on Thursday in the second, the contest was halted in the bottom of the fifth on Friday with two outs and a man at first. At the time of interruption, the orange and black had a 4-0 lead.

First pitch today is scheduled for 4 p.m, with a seven inning game to follow. In the nightcap lefty Mitch Horacek goes for the Keys against Red Sox southpaw Daniel McGrath.

Both games can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn radio app (search WTHU).

Today’s notes are below. Talk soon!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Saturday, June 25, 2016 · Game #71/#72 · Road Game #36/#37

Frederick Keys (36-34/0-0) vs. Salem Red Sox (43-26/0-0)

G2: LHP Mitch Horacek (3-7, 5.26) vs. LHP Daniel McGrath (1-3, 5.59)

TAKE THREE: For the second straight day, the Frederick Keys and Salem Red Sox were stopped on account of rain, as the two teams were suspended in the bottom of the fifth inning in game one of Friday’s quasi-doubleheader. After a delay of more than two hours the field was deemed unplayable, resulting in a second pseudo-twinbill on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. At the time the game was stopped the Keys were ahead 4-0. Following Thursday’s stoppage, Jeff Beliveau picked things up with men at first and second and two outs in the bottom of the second. The lefty struck out both men he faced, while the orange and black extended their lead in the third. RBI singles by D.J. Stewart and Aderlin Rodriguez plated a pair, while in the fourth, Jomar Reyes scored on a single by Jonah Heim and an error by Danny Mars in right. Beliveau pitched 3.1 innings of one-hit baseball and struck out seven before the rains came.

ALMOST A DOUBLEHEADER: Saturday will mark the continuation of the Keys first quasi-twinbill of the season. No stranger to these contests last year, Frederick went 3-5 in these types of set-ups (one loss, three splits). The last time the Keys played one, it was capped off by a Mikey O’Brien no-hitter (8/20/15 at LYN) while the first half of last year concluded with a pseudo-twinbill against Wilmington (6/20/15 Blue Rocks swept both games).

KEYS OVERPOWER HILLCATS IN FIRST HALF FINALE: The Frederick Keys scored in six of their eight trips to bat and turned in four multi-run innings as the club doubled up the Lynchburg Hillcats 12-6 on Sunday afternoon at Nymeo Field. With the victory, the Keys finished the first half with a 36-34 record, the first time the Keys have finished above .500 in a half since 2012 (they went 35-34 in the second half). Frederick scored four of the first six runs, thanks in part to a Caleb Joseph solo homer and a Cam Kneeland two-run double. In the fourth, Lynchburg grabbed a 5-4 lead on a Mark Mathias three-run homer, but Frederick responded with three in the home fourth. Wynston Sawyer drove in two with a single, while the base knock by Conor Bierfeldt made it 7-4 Keys. In their last two at bats, the Keys pounded out eight hits and added five more runs. Trevor Belicek got the win delivering four shutout innings of two-hit baseball.

ATTACK OF THE BATS: Frederick’s offense turned in one of its best offensive showings of the season in the first half finale, posting 12 runs and 15 hits. The 15 hits equaled a season-high (set previously on April 16 against Lynchburg) while the 12 runs were the second-most the club had scored in a game this year. The 12 runs also equaled the Keys output in the previous five games combined.

WRAPPING UP THE FIRST HALF: Thanks to Sunday’s win, the Keys snapped a string of six consecutive losing halves. A pretty solid accomplishment considering the team was a season-worst nine games below .500 (7-16) at the end of April. Pitching has been a big reason for the club’s success. Through 70 games, the team has a 3.69 ERA, the third-best mark in the league (behind only Myrtle Beach and Lynchburg). Starting (3.68) and relief (3.71) pitching have been on par with each other but the later has been better in June (2.19/4.93). Still, Keys starters enjoyed a strong May (2.71 ERA) and delivered 23 first half quality starts (the team had only seven in the first-half last year). At the plate, Frederick tied for fourth in hitting (.247) a number which has improved thanks to a strong June at the plate (.268) (third-best in the CL this month).

ROAD SWEET HOME: The Keys posted the best first-half road record in the Carolina League (22-13). That includes wins in six of their 10 road sets (6-2-2) and four of their last five series. In their last 10 road games, Frederick is 7-3, while the club has not had a losing roadtrip since late April at Lynchburg (four straight winning trips). In road games, the pitching has been superb (2.74 ERA) giving the Keys the top road ERA in the league (and the only sub-3.00 mark). Additionally, only two current Keys have ERAs above 3.00. On the offensive side though, the orange and black have the worst road hitting mark in the circuit (.234) as only Conor Bierfeldt (.308) and Aderlin Rodriguez (.307) are above .300.

NEW HALF, NEW FACES: With the start of the second half, the Keys receive three new faces. Outfielder DJ Stewart as well as relievers Ryan Meisinger and Garrett Cleavinger join the team from Low-A Delmarva. Baltimore’s first overall pick in the 2015 draft out of Florida State, Stewart was hitting .230 in 62 games to go with four homers and 25 RBIs. He did walk 42 times though (tied for third) and was batting .266 in his first 17 June games. Meisinger and Cleavinger were both SAL midseason all-stars. In 16 games, Meisinger went 3-2 with a 0.78 ERA and held opponents to a .189 average. A southpaw, Cleavinger was 5-0 with four saves and a 1.38 ERA in 17 games. Both pitchers were in the top five in the SAL in SO/9IP while Cleavinger was fifth in fewest baserunners/9IP (8.54).

WRAPPING UP THE ALL STAR GAME: Matthew Grimes, Jonah Heim and Aderlin Rodriguez all participated in Tuesday’s Carolina v California League All-Star game in Lake Elsinore, CA. Heim started at catcher, going 1-for-3, while Rodriguez was the DH, ending 1-for-4 while batting in the five-hole. Grimes pitched a 1-2-3 second inning on just seven pitches (six strikes). The Carolina League won 6-4 as Potomac’s Andrew Stevenson and Salem’s Mauricio Duban each had two RBIs apiece. The day before the all-star game, Rodriguez competed in the home run derby on the USS Midway. Making it to the final round, the Keys first baseman was outdone by Bakersfield’s Kyle Petty, who homered seven times in 10 swings (as opposed to Rodriguez’s four homers in the last round).

ODDS AND ENDS: Sunday’s 12-6 win ended a streak of five straight one-run games (season-high) played by the Keys. Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph was transferred on his MLB rehab to Double-A Bowie on Tuesday in three games with the Keys he went 4-for-10 with a homer and three RBIs. Jonah Heim owns a season-best six-game hitting streak (he is 9-for-22 during that stretch with four doubles, three RBIs and a run scored). That has moved his average to a season-best .246. Aderlin Rodriguez played outfield for the first time in 665 pro games Sunday. Jay Gonzalez is still tied for fourth in the MiLB in steals despite going 11 games without a swipe (his longest drought of the year). Cam Kneeland celebrated his 26th birthday on Thursday.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Daniel McGrath gets the ball in game two. His most recent outing came last Thursday at Salem. Tagged with the loss, he gave up six runs (five earned) in five inning. In his only start against the Keys, he pitched 1.2 of an inning before exiting due to a subluxation of his right knee while covering home plate. He was out from April 14-May 28. A member of the Red Sox rotation last year, McGrath was limited to 17 starts due to nearly two months on the disabled list (May 14-July 10). At the time he got hurt, McGrath had a 1.80 ERA and was limiting opponents to a .119 average. With Salem, he went 4-6 with a 3.84 ERA and pitched 84.1 innings. Originally from Austrailia, McGrath was signed by Boston as a minor league free agent in February 2012. Signed as a 17-year-old, McGrath received offers from 15 MLB teams, but chose the Red Sox since he used to watch games at Fenway Park with his American-born mother, Dale. Despite signing in 2012, the lefty did not debut until the following season so he could finish high school. He received a reported signing bonus of $400,000.

 

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