Keys Try and Even Things Up on the Grand Strand

Good Evening Keys Fans!

Coming off a one-run loss last night, the Keys try and get back on track tonight with David Richardson on the mound. For those that missed it last Friday, the Floridian tossed a career-high seven shutout innings against Winston-Salem. It was the longest start of his career, while Richardson needed just 73 pitches to do it.

Trevor Clifton gets the ball for the Pelicans. Game coverage gets started at 6:50 on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn radio app (simply search WTHU) while first pitch is slated for 7 o’clock.

Doug will keep you comfortable on the broadcast. Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Thursday, July 14, 2016 · Game #90 · Road Game #44

Frederick Keys (46-43/10-9) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (47-43/11-9)

RHP David Richardson (3-2, 2.70) vs. RHP Trevor Clifton (4-6, 3.12)

                                                                                                                                                              

BURKS SINGLE JUST ENOUGH FOR PELICANS: A Charcer Burks two-out, two-run single in the seventh proved to be the difference on Wednesday as the Pelicans held on for a 5-4 win at TicketReturn.com Field. The loss snapped the Keys mini two-game win streak. The RBI single capped off a strong day at the plate for Burks who finished with three of his team’s five RBIs. Yasiel Balaguert singled to begin the seventh, while Austin Urban walked Jeffrey Baez to put the first two on base. Both advanced into scoring position on a sac-bunt, but neither could move up after Andrew Ely was retired. That brought up Burks, who singled the 2-1 pitch into left to score both runs. Myrtle Beach scored the final four runs of the game, after the Keys scored four times on six hits in the second. Back-to-back homers by Cam Kneeland and Jomar Reyes gave Frederick its first lead, while a double play and a DJ Stewart double accounted for the team’s fourth run.

ROAD SLIDE: Although the Keys have been one of the top road teams in the Carolina League this year, the orange and black have dropped three consecutive road games. It equals the team’s longest road slide of the year (Frederick previously lost three straight road games from April 21-23 at Lynchburg). A big reason for the Keys success this year, the Keys are 25-18 away from Nymeo Field this year, giving them the second-best road mark in the league (only Lynchburg is better at 26-16). Oddly enough, a good chunk of the CL has preferred playing on the road this year, with five of the circuit’s eight teams owning road marks better than .500 (including three of four in the CL North).    

 HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU: Right before first pitch on Wednesday, Keys outfielder, Conor Bierfeldt was officially promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. It is the first time the Connecticut native has been called up to the Eastern League while he becomes the 11th member of the orange and black to jump a level. In 47 games, Bierfeldt batted .273 with 14 home runs, 41 RBIs, 34 runs scored, 11 doubles and a .540 on-base percentage. At the time of his promotion, he was third in the league in home runs. In a corresponding move, TJ Olesczuk was reinstated from the seven-day DL.

A-ROD EQUALS SEASON-LONG HIT STREAK: By going 1-for-4 on Wednesday, Aderlin Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to 10 games (equaling his longest streak of the year from April 24-May 4). During that time he is batting .409 (18-for-44) with five home runs, 15 RBIs, two triples, two doubles and 10 runs scored. Rodriguez is still six games short of the longest hitting streak in his career (a 16-gamer from June 3-23, 2014 with the St. Lucie Mets). Looking farther back than this current streak, the Dominican has hits in 19 of his last 22 games and is batting .379 with six home runs and 18 RBIs during that time. In the process, he has raised his average from .270 to .301.

 RODRIGUEZ NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: On Monday afternoon, Aderlin Rodriguez was named the Carolina League Player of the Week for July 4-10. It marks the second straight week where a Keys player has taken home a weekly honor (Conor Bierfeldt claimed the award last week) while Rodriguez is the fourth member of the orange and black to receive a weekly accolade in 2016.  Over seven games last week, Rodriguez batted .452 (14-for-31) with five homers, 15 RBIs, eight extra-base hits, 10 runs scored, a 1.097 slugging percentage and a 1.582 OPS. Rodriguez paced all MiLB players in RBIs, tied for the lead in home runs, and tied for third in runs scored.

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: Cam Kneeland and Jomar Reyes hit back-to-back homers on Wednesday, marking the second time the Keys had hit two straight in less than a week. Additionally, it gave the team its fifth consecutive multi-homer game. Frederick has hit home runs in 16 consecutive games (starting on June 27) and has 28 deep flies over that 16-game stretch. Nine of those have been multi-homer games, while it has extended the team’s total to 75 this year. Frederick ranks second in the CL in longballs (trailing only Lynchburg who has 76) while the orange and black have already eclipsed their 2015 total (56).

LIGHTS, CAM, ACTION: After tallying a career-high five RBIs on Monday, Cam Kneeland was back at work Wednesday. Going 2-for-4 with a homer, it gave the Keys utility man his fifth consecutive multi-hit game and his sixth in seven contests. During that time, he is batting .481 (13-for-27) with four home runs, a triple, two doubles, 13 RBIs and eight runs scored. He has home runs in three of his last four games, an RBI in four straight (nine total) and a run scored in five straight (six total). In the process, the Massachusetts native has raised his average from .229 to .257, the highest it has been since May 7. In his first 12 July games, Kneeland is hitting .341.

BIG INNINGS THANKS TO OFFENSE FIRING: Although the Keys mustered only four runs on Wednesday, the offense has still been firing on all cylinders of late. The orange and black have plated six or more in six of their last nine ballgames (and in 10 of the last 16 contests). Over the last 10 games where the Keys have plated six or more, the team is 8-2. In the last 16 contests, Frederick is batting .280 as a team and has scored 104 runs (6.5 RPG). If that is not enough, 38.6% of the Keys hits during that time have gone for extra-bases (158H/61XBH).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Trevor Clifton makes his 16th start on Thursday and his second against the Keys. In the midst of a three-game losing streak, the righty’s most recent outing came last Thursday at Winston-Salem. Tagged for the loss, he gave up five runs (four earned) on five hits in four innings. He tied his season-high with four walks, something that took place in his CL debut (against the Keys) on April 9. In that game he allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits in three innings.  Only 21 years old, the right-hander is ranked at the No. 18 prospect in the Cubs system according to Baseball America. Clifton pitched all of last season at Low-A South Bend, going 8-10 with a 3.98 ERA in 23 games (22 starts). Across 108. 2 innings, Clifton walked 47, struck out 103 and help opponents to a .230 average. After going 2-6 with a 4.88 ERA in his first 12 Midwest League games, the Tennessee native went 6-4 with a 3.26 ERA after the all-star break. He pitched 2014 at Short-Season Boise, going 4-2 with a 3.69 ERA. Drafted by Chicago in the 12th round of the 2013 draft out of Heritage High School (TN). Before signing with the Cubs, Clifton was committed to pitch at Kentucky, in spite of growing up in Maryville, TN, 30 miles south of Knoxville (home of the Tennessee Vols). He throws a fastball, curveball and changeup.

Back to the Beach

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

After taking three of four against Winston-Salem (and following a Tuesday off-day) the Keys head back to the Grand Strand to begin a three game series with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The season-set has been close, with the Pelicans leading 6-5. That being said, Frederick did win two of three on their last trip to TicketReturn.com Field.

The Keys averaged more than eight runs during their series with the Dash, one that featured ridiculous offensive numbers (just check out the second note below) and plenty of extra base hits.

Although there has been no official word from the Orioles, various media reports are saying that former Keys reliever Donnie Hart will be called up to the Majors. When that takes place, the Texan will be the 149th former Key to the big leagues and the fifth this year, joining Steven Brault, Ariel Miranda, Ty Kelly and Ashur Tolliver.

Earlier today, former Keys voice Adam Pohl spoke to Keys manager Keith Bodie on this week’s Baltimore Baseball Podcast. The two chatted about DJ Stewart, Jomar Reyes and Tanner Scott. A link to the Podcast is available by visiting BaltimoreBaseball.com.

Tonight’s broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com or by clicking on the TuneIn Radio App (and searching for WTHU).

Shake your Keys,

Geoff

 

 

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 · Game #89 · Road Game #43

Frederick Keys (46-42/10-8) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (46-43/10-9)

RHP Lucas Long (4-5, 4.89) vs. RHP Jeremy Null (2-4, 4.73)

                                                                                                                                                              

DASH WIN OFFENSIVE TRACK MEET: A DJ Stewart home run proved to be the difference maker in a five-run Frederick Keys sixth inning as the orange and black defeated the Winston-Salem Dash 11-7 on Monday afternoon at Nymeo Field. The win gives the Keys the series and moves the team back to a season-best four games over .500. Trailing 7-5 going to the sixth, Frederick got two of the first three on base against Dash starter Zach Thompson, prompting the Dash to bring in Danny Dopico. Jay Gonzalez singled in Conor Bierfeldt from second, while Erick Salcedo tied the game with another base hit. That sent up Stewart who obliterated a 2-1 pitch over the rightfield wall. Cam Kneeland gave the Keys an insurance run in the eighth via an RBI double, to cap off a five-RBI game for the Massachusetts native. Jeff Beliveau and Ryan Meisinger collaborated on four scoreless innings of two-hit baseball to wrap things up.

 ARE WE PLAYING IN WILLIAMSPORT?:  Nymeo Field was a virtual launching pad this past weekend. Over the four game series, the Keys and Dash combined to score 60 runs on 92 hits, while the two sides had 38 combined extra-base hits and 16 home runs. Frederick outscored Winston-Salem 35-25. The 35 runs were the most the Keys had posted in a four-game series this year, eclipsing the team’s previous high of 31, a mark which the orange and black set in the series prior at Lynchburg.

 RODRIGUEZ NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: On Monday afternoon, Aderlin Rodriguez was named the Carolina League Player of the Week for July 4-10. It marks the second straight week where a Keys player has taken home a weekly honor (Conor Bierfeldt claimed the award last week) while Rodriguez is the fourth member of the orange and black to receive a weekly accolade in 2016.  Over seven games last week, Rodriguez batted .452 (14-for-31) with five homers, 15 RBIs, eight extra-base hits, 10 runs scored, a 1.097 slugging percentage and a 1.582 OPS. Rodriguez paced all MiLB players in RBIs, tied for the lead in home runs, and tied for third in runs scored.

MORE ON A-ROD’S HOT HITING: Thanks to a 2-for-5 day on Monday, Aderlin Rodriguez also extended his hitting streak to nine games on Monday. During that time he is batting .425 (17-for-40) with five home runs, 15 RBIs, two triples, two doubles and 10 runs scored. If Rodriguez records a hit on Wednesday, he would equal his longest hitting streak of the year, a 10-gamer (from April 24-May 4). Going back farther, the Dominican has hits in 18 of his last 21 games and is batting .386 with six home runs and 18 RBIs during that time. In the process, he has raised his average from .270 to .302.

 LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: Home runs by Cam Kneeland and DJ Stewart allowed the Keys to post their fourth straight multi-homer game, giving the team 10 home runs in the Winston-Salem series.  Frederick has hit home runs in 15 consecutive games (starting on June 27) and has 26 deep flies over that 15-game stretch. Eight of those have been multi-homer games, while it has extended the team’s total to 73 this year. Frederick ranks second in the CL in longballs (trailing only Lynchburg who has 76) while the orange and black have already eclipsed their 2015 total (56).

LIGHTS, CAM, ACTION: Cam Kneeland tallied a career-high five RBIs on Monday. Ending the day 3-for-4 with a grand slam and a double, it was also the utility man’s fourth consecutive multi-hit game and his fifth in six contests. During that time, he is batting .421 (11-for-23) with three home runs, a triple, two doubles, 12 RBIs and seven runs scored. In the process, the Massachusetts native has raised his average from .229 to .253, the highest it has been since May 8. In his first 11 July games, Kneeland is hitting .324.

 BIG INNINGS THANKS TO OFFENSE FIRING: Monday was another great day for an offense that has been firing on all cylinders of late. The orange and black have plated six or more in six of their last eight ballgames (and in 10 of the last 15 contests). Over the last 10 games where the Keys have plated six or more, the team is 8-2. In the last 15 contests, Frederick is batting .280 as a team and has scored 100 runs (6.7 RPG). If that is not enough, roughly 39% of the Keys hits during that time have gone for extra-bases (148H/58XBH).

SCOUTING THE PELICANS: The Keys make their final regular season trip to the Grand Strand on Wednesday. The Pelicans lead the season-set 6-5, though the orange and black won the last head-to-head battle between the two clubs from June 13-15 at TicketReturn.com Field, by taking two of three. Frederick is hitting .262 against the Birds this year, while the Keys pitching staff has a 4.22 ERA. Myrtle Beach is batting .259 against the Keys with 10 home runs in 11 games to go along with 21 doubles. Pelicans pitching has posted a 3.40 ERA against their Maryland rivals this year. Individually, the Keys have been led by Wynston Sawyer (.360/7G) and Anthony Caronia (.421/5G) at the plate, while Yasiel Balaguert has led the charge for the Pelicans (.326/11G/8RBI).

ODDS AND ENDS: The Keys lead the CL with 21 home runs this month (in 11 games-Dash are next-closest with 13). DJ Stewart tallied a season-high four RBIs on Monday and has hit safely in six straight games. He is batting .320 (8-for-25) with two homers, two doubles, seven RBIs and five runs scored during that time. According to media reports, former Keys pitcher, Donnie Hart will have his contract selected by the Orioles.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Jeremy Null makes his 12th appearance on Wednesday and his 11th start. His most recent outing came on June 6 at Winston-Salem. Receiving a no-decision, the righty gave up three runs on seven hits in five innings. Null has seen the Keys twice, and is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA (10 IP/12H/5R). The North Carolina native joined the Birds on May 10 from Extended Spring Training. A command specialist, Null has a career BB/9IP ratio of 1.1 (this year it is at 1.7). He split last year between Low-A South Bend and Myrtle Beach going a combined 8-5 with a 3.38 ERA in 117.1 innings pitched. A Midwest League all-star last year, Null was called up to the Pelicans last June 28, after going 6-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 12 starts. With the Pelicans he went 2-3 4.70 ERA. Last season with South Bend, he did not issue a walk until the sixth inning of his fourth start (28.1 IP). He is from Conover, NC the same hometown as former NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett.

The Keys Conclude Their Series With Winston-Salem

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Is everyone’s heart still racing from last night’s win? After trailing 3-0, the Keys came back to win the game in the 9th inning, 5-4, courtesy of a walk off single from Aderlin Rodriguez. Rodriguez also had two home runs in the game!

Franderlin Romero will take the bump this afternoon for the series finale as the Keys look for the series victory. The Venezuela native is 4-2 with the black and orange this season, as he was acquired from the Reds organization earlier this season.

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

 

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Monday, July 11, 2016 · Game #88 · Home Game #46

Frederick Keys (45-42/9-8) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (36-51/8-9)

RHP Franderlin Romero (4-2, 5.09) vs. RHP Zach Thompson (0-0, –)

                                                                                                                                                              

DASH WIN OFFENSIVE TRACK MEET: Aderlin Rodriguez singled home DJ Stewart in the bottom of the ninth to give the Frederick Keys a 5-4 walk-off win against the Winston-Salem Dash on Sunday night at Nymeo Field. It was the team’s fifth walk-off victory of the season. Dash reliever Manny Martinez came on for the ninth and retired the first two he faced to send up Stewart. The Keys two-hole batter hit a flyball to left which appeared to be the final out of the inning, but Michael Suiter could not find the ball and it dropped for a double. A wild pitch and a walk to Wynston Sawyer put runners at the corners for Rodriguez, who singled in the winning run. Frederick earned the walk-off after Telvin Nash hit his second homer in the eighth off Austin Urban to tie the game. The Dash slugger also hit a three-run shot in the first.

 WALK IT OFF, WALK IT OFF: The Keys have recorded three walk-off wins over the course of the last two homestands. Cam Kneeland acted first on June 27, followed by Conor Bierfeldt on June 29 before Aderlin Rodriguez did the trick on Sunday. All five Keys walk-offs this year have courtesy of five different players. If you add in 2015, Frederick has 13 walk-off wins in the last two years and all 13 have been courtesy of a different player each time.

 A-ROD EN FUEGO: Aderlin Rodriguez closed out an impressive week on Sunday, going 3-for-5 with two home runs, three RBIs and two runs scored. It was his second multi-homer game of the week and the ninth multi-homer game of his career. Over seven games last week, Rodriguez batted .452 (14-for-31) with five homers, 15 RBIs, eight extra-base hits, 10 runs scored, a 1.097 slugging percentage and a 1.582 OPS. Rodriguez paced all MiLB players in RBIs, tied for the lead in home runs, and tied for third in the minors in runs scored. Additionally, the Dominican extended his hitting streak to eight games on Sunday. Rodriguez has hits in 17 of his last 19 during which time he has raised his average from .270-.300.  

 LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: Thanks to Aderlin Rodriguez, the Keys posted their third straight multi-homer game, giving the club eight deep flies in this series.  Frederick has hit home runs in 14 consecutive games (starting with the first game of the last homestand) and has 24 deep flies over that 14-game stretch. Seven of those have been multi-homer games, while it has extended the team’s total to 71 this year. Frederick ranks second in the CL in longballs (trailing only Lynchburg who has 75) while the orange and black have already eclipsed their 2015 total (56).

LIGHTS, CAM, ACTION: Cam Kneeland has recorded three consecutive multi-hit games and has registered two knocks in four of his last five contests. During that time, he is batting .421 (8-for-19) with two home runs, a triple, a double, seven RBIs and six runs scored. In the process, the Massachusetts native has raised his average from .229 to .245, the highest it has been since June 5. In his first 10 July games, Kneeland is hitting .273.

 BIG INNINGS THANKS TO OFFENSE FIRING: Although the Keys failed to reach the six run mark on Sunday, the Keys offense has been firing on all cylinders of late. The orange and black have plated six or more in five of the last seven ballgames (and in nine of the last 14 contests). Over the last nine games where the Keys have plated six or more, the team is 7-2. In the last 14 contests, Frederick is batting .276 as a team and has scored 84 runs (6.4 RPG). If that is not enough, roughly 39% of the Keys hits during that time have gone for extra-bases (136H/53XBH).

PLAYER OF THE MONTH (TAKE 2): Matthew Grimes was named the Carolina League Player of the Month for May and last Wednesday, Conor Bierfeldt secured the same award for June. In 25 games, the 25-year-old hit .279 with eight homers, 25 RBIs, six doubles and 19 runs scored. He finished with a .628 slugging percentage, .351 on-base percentage and a .978 OPS. Bierfeldt led the Carolina League in homers, RBIs, total bases, extra-base hits (14) and slugging. His 25 RBIs were second-most at the entire Class-A level while his eight deep flies were tied for second-best. Not the only award he has won this week, Bierfeldt was named Carolina League Player of the Week on Tuesday for his efforts from June 27-July 3.

 AGAINST WINSTON-SALEM: Monday marks the fourth of 14 games the Keys will play against the Dash in the second-half. Frederick leads the season series 6-3, claiming six of the last seven. Offensively, the Keys are hitting .286 against the Dash this year, the highest mark against any Carolina League team. Frederick is averaging 6.9 runs per game and has hit 17 home runs in nine meetings. A lot of the Keys damage came in the last series in Winston-Salem, where the Keys racked up 23 total runs on 33 hits (including 14 for extra-bases). Not surprisingly, Winston-Salem’s ERA against Frederick is 6.41. Individually, five Keys players are hitting better than .300 against Dash pitching,

ODDS AND ENDS: The Keys lead the CL with 19 home runs this month (in 10 games-Dash are next-closest with 13). Aderlin Rodriguez is tied for second in the MiLB in homers this month, while Conor Bierfeldt has hit homers in 7 of his last 14 games. DJ Stewart has hit safely in five straight and is batting .286 (6-for-21) with a homer, two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored during that time. The former ACC Player of the Year has hits in 11 of his 15 games with the orange and black. After today’s game, the Keys will play 14 of their next 18 games on the road to end the month.     

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Zach Thompson makes his Carolina League debut on Monday. He joins the Dash from Low-A Kannapolis. With the Intimidators, the righty went 6-3 with a 2.62 ERA in 16 starts while logging 86 innings. At the time of his promotion, he was first in the South Atlantic League in batting average against (.193) and fourth in ERA. His most recent outing came last Wednesday against Hagerstown. Pitching seven shutout innings, he surrendered two hits, walked three and struck out six. Thompson began last year at Extended Spring Training before being promoted to Kannapolis. Spending the duration of the year there, he went 3-8 with a 4.44 ERA in 16 starts. Selected by Chicago in the fifth round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Texas at Arlington, Thompson went 5-4 with a 4.64 ERA as a junior and was the first player from the Sun Belt Conference to be taken that year. Originally taken by Pittsburgh in the 48th round of the 2011 draft out of Arlington Grace Prep (TX) Thompson did not sign. He hails from Burleson, TX, a Fort Worth suburb and the same hometown as Grammy Award Winning vocalist Kelly Clarkson.

It’s Faith Night at the Ballpark!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

There was absolutely no shortage of offense last night. The Keys held a 6-0 lead in the third inning, but the Dash offense exploded last night, leading the way to a Winston-Salem victory. The Keys did hit three home runs for the second consecutive night, with Wynston Sawyer, Cam Kneeland, and Conor Bierfeldt all going yard.

Tonight, Mitch Horacek look to put the orange and black back on track as he takes the bump. In his last outing against Lynchburg, he struck out six batters in five innings while allowing just two earned runs. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Jordan Stephens, the Chicago White Sox #14 prospect.

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

 

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Sunday, July 10, 2016 · Game #87 · Home Game #45

Frederick Keys (44-42/8-8) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (36-50/8-8)

LHP Mitch Horacek (4-9, 4.89) vs. RHP Jordan Stephens (4-7, 3.42)

                                                                                                                                                              

DASH WIN OFFENSIVE TRACK MEET: The Frederick Keys saw an early 6-0 lead disappear while the Winston-Salem Dash hit four home runs to take a 13-11 slugfest on Saturday night at Nymeo Field. It marked Frederick’s largest blown lead of the season. Despite trailing by as many as five runs, the orange and black brought the tying run to bat in the ninth. With two outs, Conor Bierfeldt worked the count full against Robinson Leyer before clubbing a two-run homer to left. One batter later, Jomar Reyes singled prompting a Dash pitching change. Turning to Colin Kleven, the Dash righty struck out Cam Kneeland to end the game. A seesaw battle, the Keys saw their 6-0 lead vanish in the fourth. An RBI single by Nick Basto brought in the first run, while a single and an error by Jay Gonzalez in left made it a four-run contest. From there, two-run homers by Telvin Nash and Brett Austin evened the game. A two-run double by Bierfeldt briefly gave Frederick the lead back, before Winston-Salem tacked on four more in the fifth to go on top for good.

A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING: Saturday’s game was a high-scoring adventure that yielded a variety of twists and turns. In the game the two sides combined for 24 runs on 30 hits and four errors. It was the highest aggregate amount of runs and hits in a game involving the Keys this year, while it marked the first time Frederick had scored 10 or more runs and lost (5-0 prior). Meanwhile, the 14 hits accrued by the orange and black were one shy of a season-best. Winston-Salem countered the Keys offensive barrage by recording a season-high eight hits in the fourth inning (also the most given up by Keys pitching in a stanza). Four of those hits came over the span of five pitches to four batters and brought the Dash within two, before Brett Austin tied the game. If that was not bizarre enough, the Dash scored two runs on a passed ball and an error in the eighth, while Winston-Salem starter, Kelvis Valerio, got the win despite tying his career-high for runs (eight) and earned runs (six) allowed.

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: For the second day in-a-row the Keys tied a season-high with three home runs.  It was the club’s fourth three-homer game of the year. Frederick has hit home runs in 13 consecutive games (starting with the first game of the last homestand) and has 22 deep flies over that 13-game stretch. Six of those have been multi-homer games, while it has extended the team’s total to 69 this year. Frederick ranks second in the CL in longballs (trailing only Lynchburg who has 74) while the orange and black have already eclipsed their 2015 total (56).

BIG INNINGS THANKS TO OFFENSE FIRING: Saturday marked the fifth time in six games (and the ninth time in the last 13 contests) where the Keys had scored six or more runs. Over the nine games where the Keys have plated six or more, the team is 7-2. In the last 13 contests, Frederick is batting .276 as a team and has scored 84 runs (6.5 RPG). If that is not enough, nearly 40% of the Keys hits during that time have gone for extra-bases (126H/47XBH).

A-ROD EN FUEGO: Aderlin Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to seven games on Saturday going 1-for-5 with two runs. Although he did drive in any runs, three different multi-RBI games have given Rodriguez 12 this week, the most by any MiLB player. The 12 RBIs the Dominican has this week eclipse his June monthly total, when he had 10 in 24 games (his three homers this week are also more than he had last month). Last week, Conor Bierfeldt finished tied for the MiLB lead in homers and tied for third in RBIs.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH (TAKE 2): Matthew Grimes was named the Carolina League Player of the Month for May and on Wednesday, Conor Bierfeldt secured the same award for June. In 25 games, the 25-year-old hit .279 with eight homers, 25 RBIs, six doubles and 19 runs scored. He finished with a .628 slugging percentage, .351 on-base percentage and a .978 OPS. Bierfeldt led the Carolina League in homers, RBIs, total bases, extra-base hits (14) and slugging. His 25 RBIs were second-most at the entire Class-A level while his eight deep flies were tied for second-best. Not the only award he has won this week, Bierfeldt was named Carolina League Player of the Week on Tuesday for his efforts from June 27-July 3.

AGAINST WINSTON-SALEM: Sunday marks the third of 14 games the Keys will play against the Dash in the second-half. Frederick leads the season series 5-3, claiming five straight until Saturday’s setback. Offensively, the Keys are hitting .287 against the Dash this year, the highest mark against any Carolina League team. Frederick is averaging 7.1 runs per game and has hit 15 home runs in eight meetings. A lot of the Keys damage came in the last series in Winston-Salem, where the Keys racked up 23 total runs on 33 hits (including 14 for extra-bases). Not surprisingly, Winston-Salem’s ERA against Frederick is 6.56. Individually, five Keys players are hitting better than .300 against Dash pitching,

ODDS AND ENDS: Frederick’s two largest blown leads of the year (five and six runs) have come to the Dash (last night and on April 30 (thanks to a seven-run Winston seventh). The Keys lead the CL with 17 home runs this month (in nine games-Dash are next-closest with 11). Conor Bierfeldt has hit homers in 7 of his last 13 games and is tied for fifth in the MiLB in homers this month (and tied for the lead among Class A players). Erick Salcedo’s five-game hitting streak ended Saturday. He batted .360 (9-for-25) with a triple, four doubles, an RBI and seven runs scored.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Jordan Stephens makes his 17th start and is the No. 15 prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came on Monday against Myrtle Beach. Earning the win, he tossed six shutout innings of three-hit baseball and struck out nine. It was the sixth straight quality start for the righty and cut his ERA to 3.42, the sixth-best in the CL. Stephens also rates fourth in strikeouts and fourth among starters in SO/9IP ratio. The 23-year-old 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 (four-seam and two-seam), curve, cutter and changeup.

Keys Try and Make it Six Straight Against the Dash!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

You couldn’t have asked for a better start to the series! The Keys were 8-1 victors last night against the Winston-Salem Dash, as David Richardson had a career-best outing. The right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings, while allowing just three hits.

The offense also put on a power display, clubbing three home runs, including a shot from team-leader Aderlin Rodriguez. DJ Stewart hit his first Carolina League home run and outfielder Conor Bierfeldt hit his sixth home run in 12 days.

The orange and black look for an equally impressive performance tonight as right-hander Corey Jones takes the mound. The California native is making his 10th start of the year. In his last outing, he struck out six batters in four innings.

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Saturday, July 9, 2016 · Game #86 · Home Game #44

Frederick Keys (44-41/8-7) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (35-50/7-8)

RHP Cory Jones (2-3, 2.44) vs. RHP Kelvis Valerio (2-3, 3.50)

                                                                                                                                                              

RICHARDSON AND KEYS BATS SILENCE DASH: David Richardson tossed a career-high seven shutout innings while the Frederick Keys hit three longballs in a lopsided 8-1 win over the Winston-Salem Dash on Friday night at Nymeo Field. It was Frederick’s fifth straight win over the Dash and snapped a two-game slide. Richardson scattered only three hits all game while needing only 73 pitches to work through seven stanzas. It was a rougher night for Dash starter Thad Lowry, who quickly found himself in a 4-0 hole after one. After a Wynston Sawyer fielder’s choice brought in the first run, Aderlin Rodriguez and Conor Bierfeldt hit back-to-back homers. In the fourth, the Keys stretched their lead to a touchdown and an extra point. Three straight one-out singles brought in the first run, while a Jay Gonzalez double plated two more. The Keys concluded their scoring via a solo homer by DJ Stewart in the seventh.

RICHARDSON GIVES THE BULLPEN A REST: Following 12 straight games where a Keys starter had failed to complete six innings, the bullpen got a rest on Friday thanks to an unlikely source. Making his sixth start of the season (none longer than four innings) David Richardson fired off seven brilliant frames. Used predominantly as a reliever since 2013, the righty eclipsed his previous career-high of 6.1 innings pitched (on July 29, 2012). Meanwhile it was the longest outing by a Frederick starter in nearly a month (Mitch Horacek’s seven inning complete game shutout at Potomac on June 11). Helped out by an aggressive Winston-Salem offense, 14 of the first 17 Dash hitters Richardson faced saw three or less pitches.

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: One week removed from tying their season-high for home runs, the orange and black did it again on Friday, as Aderlin Rodriguez, Conor Bierfeldt and DJ Stewart all left the park. It was the club’s third three-homer game of the year. Frederick has hit home runs in 12 consecutive games (starting with the first game of the last homestand) and has 19 deep flies over that 12-game stretch. Five of those have been multi-homer games, while it has extended the team’s total to 66 this year. Frederick ranks second in the CL in longballs (trailing only Lynchburg who has 74) while the orange and black have already eclipsed their 2015 total (56).

BIG INNINGS THANKS TO OFFENSE FIRING: Thanks in part to the home run ball, the Keys have been putting up high run totals of late. Friday marked the fourth time in five games where the team had scored seven or more runs, while the Keys are coming off a four-game set at Lynchburg where they scored 31 total runs, their largest output in a four-game series this year (by eight runs). In the last 12 games, the song has been the same. During that time, Frederick is batting .269 as a team and has scored 73 runs (6.1 RPG). That includes eight games of six runs or more and two different double-digit run scoring efforts. Additionally, more than one-third of the Keys hits have gone for extra-bases (112H/41XBH).

A-ROD EN FUEGO: Aderlin Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to six games on Friday going 1-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and a run scored. An RBI machine of late, last night was the Dominican’s third multi-RBI game in his last five contests, while he has 12 during that time to go along with three homers. A week after Conor Bierfeldt finished tied for the MiLB lead in homers and third in RBIs, Rodriguez currently paces all minor leaguers in RBIs this week while he is tied for second in homers. Additionally his 12 RBIs in eight July games already eclipses his June total (10 in 24 contests).

PLAYER OF THE MONTH (TAKE 2): Matthew Grimes was named the Carolina League Player of the Month for May and on Wednesday, Conor Bierfeldt secured the same award for June. In 25 games, the 25-year-old hit .279 with eight homers, 25 RBIs, six doubles and 19 runs scored. He finished with a .628 slugging percentage, .351 on-base percentage and a .978 OPS. Bierfeldt led the Carolina League in homers, RBIs, total bases, extra-base hits (14) and slugging. His 25 RBIs were second-most at the entire Class-A level while his eight deep flies were tied for second-best. Not the only award he has won this week, Bierfeldt was named Carolina League Player of the Week on Tuesday for his efforts from June 27-July 3.

AGAINST WINSTON-SALEM: The Keys faceoff against Winston-Salem for the third time this year over the weekend. Frederick leads the season series 5-2 after pulling a three-game sweep in the Triad from May 24-26. Offensively, the Keys are hitting .277 against the Dash this year, the highest mark against any Carolina League team. Much of that can be due to the last series in Winston-Salem, where the Keys racked up 23 total runs on 33 hits (including 14 for extra-bases). On the mound, Keys arms have pitched to a 3.14 ERA. Individually, five Keys players are hitting better than .300 against Dash pitching, while Aderlin Rodriguez leads the way. In seven games, he is batting .400 (12-for-30) with three homers, eight RBIs, six runs scored and seven extra-base hits.

ODDS AND ENDS: DJ Stewart’s home run on Friday was his first in the Carolina League and his first since May 28 with Delmarva. The Keys lead the CL with 14 home runs this month (in eight games). No other CL team has more than eight. Erick Salcedo has hit safely in his last five games and is batting .360 (9-for-25) with a triple, four doubles, an RBI and seven runs scored. He has a run scored and an extra-base hit in five straight as well. Guillermo Salas was added to the Keys roster before Friday’s game. A Venezuelan infielder, Salas was hitting .300 (9-for-30) in 10 game with Aberdeen before his first promotion to the Carolina League. He played shortstop and second base for the IronBirds.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Kelvis Valerio makes his 21st appearance of the year and his fourth start with the Dash on Saturday. His most recent outing came last Sunday at Wilmington. Picking up the win, he tossed five innings and allowed one run on six hits. He walked three and struck out two. Valerio’s third straight start, the Dash first asked the righty to start on June 18 when Matt Cooper missed an outing due to rest. The righty answered the call allowing one unearned run in 5.1 frames and has not left the rotation since. In three starts, Valerio is 1-1 with a 2.76 ERA. A pitcher without a ton of starting experience, only 29 of the Dominican’s 118 games have come as a starter. After a rough start to the year (6.55 ERA in April) he has tallied a 2.48 ERA since. Last year at Low-A Kannapolis he was 2-2 with a 4.23 ERA in 33 games (four starts).

It’s Fredneck Night!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The boys in orange and black are back in town and it’s Fredneck Night at Nymeo Field. Swamp People’s Troy Landry will be in attendance tonight to greet fans and the Keys will be wearing special camouflage hats that will be auctioned off.

On the diamond, David Richardson will be taking the mound for Frederick as they start a four-game set against the Winston-Salem Dash. He’ll be opposed by Thad Lowry, the White Sox’s #21 prospect.

Grab your tickets to this weekend’s series here!

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Friday, July 8, 2016 · Game #85 · Home Game #43

Frederick Keys (43-41/7-7) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (35-49/7-7)

RHP David Richardson (2-2, 3.42) vs. RHP Thad Lowry (6-5, 3.62)

                                                                                                                                                              

HILLCATS TAKE FINALE: The Lynchburg Hillcats rallied from a 3-1 deficit, scoring twice in the fifth and once in the sixth to defeat the Frederick Keys 4-3 on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. With the setback, the Keys were forced to settle for a four-game split. For the fourth straight day, the Keys opened the scoring thanks to an RBI double by Wynston Sawyer. Lynchburg leveled the game courtesy of a Greg Allen triple and a Tyler Krieger double, before the orange and black scored individual markers in the fourth and fifth. Jonah Heim put the Keys back on top with a solo homer, while Erick Salcedo added an RBI double in the fifth. The two-run edge did not last for long, as Lucas Long allowed an RBI single to Krieger and a Yu-Cheng Chang sac-fly to make it 3-3. Garrett Cleavinger came on in the sixth, and gave up a single to Luigi Rodriguez and a double to Taylor Murphy to start. From there, the next two walked to give the home team the lead for good. Hillcats relievers Matt Whitehouse and Cameron Hill combined on four shutout innings to wrap things up.

STARTING STRUGGLES: After a strong first half where Keys starting pitching recorded a 3.68 ERA and had 23 quality starts, things have not been quite as smooth since the break. Through 14 second half games, Keys starters have registered a 4.62 ERA (29 ER/57.1 IP) and have surrendered 70 hits during that stretch. Since the break the Keys have only one quality start, while rotation members have completed six innings only once in the second half. Starters have gone 12 straight games without completing six innings and have lasted just four innings four times in the last seven contests. Tonight David Richardson makes the start for the Keys. His longest outing of the season is four innings, while he has not thrown five or more stanzas since August 23, 2012 when he was pitching for Short-Season Aberdeen (he did not start from 2013-15).

BIG INNINGS THANKS TO OFFENSE FIRING: Although the Keys were held to three runs Thursday, offensively the team fared very well against Lynchburg. Tallying 31 total runs, it was Frederick’s largest output in a four-game series this year (the previous four-game high was 23). Over the set, Frederick averaged 7.8 runs, batted .288 and pounded out 16 extra base hits. In the last 11 games, the song has been the same. During that time, Frederick is batting .267 as a team and has scored 65 runs (5.9 RPG). That includes seven games of six runs or more and two different double-digit run scoring efforts. Additionally, more than one-third of the Keys hits have gone for extra-bases (102H/36XBH).

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: Since the Keys tied their season-high with three home runs last Friday, the team has hit eight over the six subsequent games. Frederick has hit home runs in 11 consecutive games (starting with the first game of the last homestand) and has 16 deep flies over that 11-game stretch. Four of those have been multi-homer games, while it has extended the team’s total to 63 this year. Frederick ranks second in the CL in longballs (trailing only Lynchburg who has 74) while the orange and black have already eclipsed their 2015 total (56).

PLAYER OF THE MONTH (TAKE 2): Matthew Grimes was named the Carolina League Player of the Month for May and on Wednesday, Conor Bierfeldt secured the same award for June. In 25 games, the 25-year-old hit .279 with eight homers, 25 RBIs, six doubles and 19 runs scored. He finished with a .628 slugging percentage, .351 on-base percentage and a .978 OPS. Bierfeldt led the Carolina League in homers, RBIs, total bases, extra-base hits (14) and slugging. His 25 RBIs were second-most at the entire Class-A level while his eight deep flies were tied for second-best. Not the only award he has won this week, Bierfeldt was named Carolina League Player of the Week on Tuesday for his efforts from June 27-July 3. 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 the MiLB.

SALCEDO SIZZLING: Erick Salcedo enters Friday with three straight multi-hit games to go along with a mini four-game hitting streak. During that time he is batting .381 (8-for-21) with four doubles, an RBI and six runs scored. To go along with his hit streak, Salcedo has scored a run and hit a double in four straight. The Venezuelan has served as the Keys leadoff hitter in five straight games and is batting .290 when hitting in the top spot in the order.

AGAINST WINSTON-SALEM: The Keys get their first look at Winston-Salem since late May on Friday. Frederick leads the season series 4-2 after pulling a three-game sweep in the Triad from May 24-26. Offensively, the Keys are hitting .274 against the Dash this year, the highest mark against any Carolina League team. Much of that can be due to the last series in Winston-Salem, where the Keys racked up 23 total runs on 33 hits (including 14 for extra-bases). On the mound, Keys arms have pitched to a 3.67 ERA. Individually, five Keys players are hitting better than .300 against Dash pitching, while Aderlin Rodriguez leads the way. In six games, he is batting .423 (11-for-26) with two homers, six RBIs, five runs scored and six extra-base hits.

ODDS AND ENDS: Winston-Salem took two of three in their only trip to Nymeo Field this year. The Keys lead the CL with 11 home runs this month (in seven games). Ryan Meisinger has not allowed an earned run in his first three appearances since being called up from Low-A (6.2 IP). He got his first CL win on Monday. Troy Landry from the History Channel Show Swamp People will be at Nymeo Field on Friday to meet fans and sign autographs. Landry is an alligator hunter.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Thad Lowry makes his 16th start with the Dash and his second against the Keys. His most recent outing came last Saturday at Wilmington. Tossing six innings, he allowed four runs on eight hits in a loss. Ranking second in the CL in innings (92) the righty has six straight appearances of six or more innings.  Lowry spent last season with the Low-A Kannapolis Intimidators. A workhorse, the 21-year-old led the league in innings pitched (150.2) while going 12-8 with a 4.48 ERA in 26 games. He was also tied for second in the South Atlantic League in wins. Selected by the White Sox in the fifth round of the 2013 Draft out of Spring (TX) High School. Seen as a catching prospect in high school, Lowry started getting attention for his pitching at the World Wood Bat Association World Championships. Shortly thereafter, he hit 96 mph during a scrimmage and began focusing on pitching from there. He received a reported $400,000 signing bonus and bypassed a college commitment to Texas Tech.

The Keys Try for the Series Win in Lynchburg!

Thursday, July 7, 2016 · Game #84 · Away Game #42

Frederick Keys (43-40/7-6) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (52-31/7-6)

RHP Lucas Long (4-5, 4.85) vs. LHP Justus Sheffield (6-4, 3.81)

                                                                                                                                                              

CHANG’S BIG NIGHT LEADS HILLCATS PAST KEYS: Yu-Cheng Chang posted a career-high six RBIs and equaled a career-best with four hits as the Lynchburg Hillcats outslugged the Frederick Keys 11-7 on Wednesday night at Calvin Falwell Field. For the third straight day, the orange and black recorded a multi-run first. Scoring four times in the initial frame, the Keys big blow came on a three-run homer by Cam Kneeland. Lynchburg proceeded to level the game in the home first against Franderlin Romero. Chang sliced the deficit in half with a two-run double, while Luigi Rodriguez drove home two more. After both sides exchanged runs in the second, the Hillcats pulled away in the fourth. Grabbing an 9-5 lead, the Hillcats took their first lead on an Tyler Krieger sac-fly, while Chang had an RBI single and Anthony Santander hit a two-run homer.

STARTING STRUGGLES: After a strong first half where Keys starting pitching recorded a 3.68 ERA and had 23 quality starts, things have not been quite as smooth since the break. Through 13 second half games, Keys starters have registered a 4.55 ERA (29 ER/57.1 IP) and have surrendered 64 hits during that stretch. During that time the staff has only one quality start, while making matters worse, Keys starters have completed six innings only once since the all-star break. Starters have gone 11 straight games without completing six innings and have lasted just four innings four times in the last six contests.

BIG INNINGS THANKS TO OFFENSE FIRING: Fortunately, Keys pitching has gotten a lift from the offense of late. In each game this series, Keys bats have scored seven or more runs, while over the last 10 games, the song has been the same. During that time, Frederick is batting .269 as a team and has scored 62 runs (6.2 RPG). That includes seven games of six runs or more and two different double-digit run scoring efforts. Additionally, more than one-third of the Keys hits have gone for extra-bases (93H/34XBH).

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: Since the Keys tied their season-high with three home runs on Friday, the team has hit seven over the five subsequent games. Frederick has hit home runs in 10 consecutive games (starting with the first game of the last homestand) and has 15 deep flies over that 10-game stretch. Four of those have been multi-homer games, while it extended the team’s total to 62 this year. Frederick ranks second in the CL in longballs (trailing only Lynchburg who has 74) while the orange and black have already eclipsed their 2015 total (56).

PLAYER OF THE MONTH (TAKE 2): Matthew Grimes was named the Carolina League Player of the Month for May and on Wednesday, Conor Bierfeldt secured the same award for June. In 25 games, the 25-year-old hit .279 with eight homers, 25 RBIs, six doubles and 19 runs scored. He finished with a .628 slugging percentage, .351 on-base percentage and a .978 OPS. Bierfeldt led the Carolina League in homers, RBIs, total bases, extra-base hits (14) and slugging. His 25 RBIs were second-most at the entire Class-A level while his eight deep flies were tied for second-best. Not the only award he has won this week, Bierfeldt was named Carolina League Player of the Week on Tuesday for his efforts from June 27-July 3. 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 the MiLB.

HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU: Steve Wilkerson became the latest Key to be called up to Double-A, earning a promotion to the Eastern League on Tuesday. The ninth Frederick player to be promoted this year (and the second in four days) he batted .245 with the orange and black to go with a homer and 18 RBIs. On Monday, he wrapped up a career-high eight-game winning streak. In his Double-A debut against Trenton on Wednesday, he was 1-for-4 with a run scored.

 ROAD WARRIORS: The Keys make a bid for their seventh road series win on Thursday and their first at Lynchburg this season. Frederick has not won a series at Calvin Falwell Field since July 6, 2014, when they took two of three.  This season, the Keys are 25-16 away from home, giving them the second-best record in the league (only Lynchburg has fared better at 25-15). This is Frederick’s last regular season visit to Lynchburg in 2016.

 BODIE ELECTED TO TEXAS LEAGUE HALL OF FAME: Last 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. Bodie amassed a 537-436 overall record, and a .552 winning percentage. He ranks eighth all-time in winning percentage and ninth in wins.

ODDS AND ENDS: Cam Kneeland finished with a season-high four RBIs on Wednesday. Erick Salcedo is hitting 6-for-16 over this series. He has hits in 12 of his last 14 games (which includes a nine-game hit streak) and has seen his average club from .261 to .277 during that time. After Ariel Miranda made his Orioles debut on Sunday, former Keys starter Steven Brault became the 148th former Key to the Majors on Tuesday by starting for the Pirates.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Justus Sheffield makes his 16th start of the year and his fourth against the Keys. He is the No. 4 prospect in the Indians system according to Baseball America (and the No. 2 pitching prospect). His most recent outing came last Saturday at Carolina. Earning the win he tossed six innings of one-run baseball and struck out a season-high 10. Sheffield has struggled against the Keys going 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA. Last season, the Tennessee native pitched all year for Low-A Lake County, going 9-4 with a 3.31 ERA in 26 starts. A MWL all-star, he finished second in the Midwest League in strikeouts. A first round pick by the Indians in 2014, Sheffield was selected by Cleveland with the 31st overall pick and received a $1.6 million signing bonus. The Gatorade National Player of the Year, the Indians were able to select Sheffield as compensation for Ubaldo Jimenez leaving via free agency (he received a qualifying offer). He chose the Indians over a scholarship offer to Vanderbilt.

The Keys Go for a Series Win at Lynchburg!

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 · Game #83 · Away Game #41

Frederick Keys (43-39/7-5) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (51-31/6-6)

RHP Franderlin Romero (4-1, 3.45) vs. RHP Mitch Brown (2-6, 5.20)

                                                                                                                                                              

BIG SEVENTH INNING PUSHES KEYS PAST CATS: The Frederick Keys scored seven times in the seventh inning on Tuesday night, while Aderlin Rodriguez enjoyed another strong day at the plate, as part of a 12-8 win at Calvin Falwell Field. Frederick grabbed a 5-0 lead through the first frame and a half, before Lynchburg pulled within a field goal on a Greg Allen double and an Anthony Santander solo homer. In the seventh the Keys expanded their lead to double digits. With the bases loaded, Rodriguez hit a bases-clearing triple and scored a short time late on a wild pitch. Steve Wilkerson followed with an RBI single, while Josh Hart concluded the scoring with a two-run homer. Lynchburg scored four in the home seventh thanks to two-run singles by Francisco Mejia and Mark Mathias, while the home team added a pair in the ninth but the top of the seventh proved too much to overcome.

BIG INNINGS THANKS TO OFFENSE FIRING: The seven-run seventh on Tuesday was the Keys biggest inning of the season. That mark eclipses the team’s six-run eighth inning last Friday at Nymeo Field against the Salem Red Sox. Additionally Tuesday’s 12 runs equaled the second-most the club had posted in a game this year. An offense that has been firing on all cylinders of late, the Keys are averaging 6.1 runs per game over their last nine contests (55 runs total). During that time, the Keys have scored six or more runs six times and twice have recorded double digit run totals. Over the nine games, Frederick is hitting .271 as a club to go with 29 extra-base hits.

A-ROD HEATS UP:  Following a week where Conor Bierfeldt record 13 RBIs in seven games, Aderlin Rodriguez has nine in his first two games of the Lynchburg series. During that time, he is 6-for-9 with two homers, a triple and two runs scored. Ending 4-for-5 last night, the four hits were a season-high while the five RBIs tied a season-best. Coming off a June that was less productive than normal, Rodriguez’s two homers are tied for his June total, while the nine RBIs are one shy of what he did last month. Thanks to this run, Rodriguez has seen his average climb to .296, the highest it has been since May 28.

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: Since the Keys tied their season-high with three home runs on Friday, the team has hit six over the four subsequent games. Frederick has hit home runs in nine consecutive games (starting with the first game of the last homestand) and has 14 deep flies over that nine-game stretch. Four of those have been multi-homer games, while it extended the team’s total to 61 this year. Frederick ranks second in the CL in longballs (trailing only Lynchburg who has 73) while the orange and black have already eclipsed their 2015 total (56).

BIERFELDT NAMED CAROLINA LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: On Tuesday, 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 25th road win on Tuesday. Coming off just their third loss in a road series on June 26, the Keys are 25-15 away from home, tying them with Lynchburg for the best road record in the CL (Lynchburg is also 25-15). 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.

 BODIE ELECTED TO TEXAS LEAGUE HALL OF FAME: Last 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: Josh Hart broke out of an 0-for-17 slump with a second inning single on Tuesday. The three RBIs gave him a new season-high while the three hits tied a season-best.  Wynston Sawyer is hitting .313 (5-for-16) in his first five July games after batting almost 100 points lower in June (.216). After Ariel Miranda made his Orioles debut on Sunday, former Keys starter Steven Brault became the 148th former Key to the Majors on Tuesday by starting for the Pirates. He received a no-decision, tossing four innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits. Brault also got his first MLB hit with a third inning single off Mike Leake.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Mitch Brown makes his 17th appearance and his 16th start this season. His most recent outing came last Friday at Carolina. Tossing four innings, he gave up one run on hit in a no-decision, but walked seven and struck out seven. Although Brown is fifth in the CL in strikeouts (80) and second among starters in SO/9IP ratio (10.21) he is second in walks (51). In each of his last four games he has walked four or more. Against the Keys, Brown is 1-1 with a 5.19 ERA. The 22-year-old spent all of last season with Lynchburg, where struggled most of the year, going 9-12 with a 5.15 ERA in 27 games (26 starts). He also allowed 15 long balls, the third-highest mark in the Carolina League. Originally from Rochester, Minnesota, Brown was selected by Cleveland in the second round of the 2012 draft after being named Minnesota’s “Gatorade Player of the Year” as a high school senior. He turned down an offer to play college baseball at the University of San Diego.

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.

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