Can The Keys Make it Five In-a-Row?

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The orange and black try for their fifth straight victory on Tuesday following a 7-3 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Monday night at TicketReturn.com Field. With the victory, the Keys are now two games over .500 for the first time this year, while the win gives the club the top road record in the Carolina League (21-12). That includes four straight winning roadtrips after last night’s triumph.

Tonight, the team goes back to work against the Pelicans. A late pitching switch will put right-hander Ivan Hernandez on the mound against Pelicans righty Jeremy Null. Activated off the disabled list, Hernandez will be making his first start since August 8, 2013 with the GCL Orioles. This will also be Hernandez’s first appearance since May 30. He has been out with a left quad injury.

You can catch tonight’s broadcast on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m while the broadcast kicks off at 6:50.

Also, if you’re near a computer or radio tonight, be sure to listen to ESPN Radio 980 at 8 p.m as Chris McDonald (aka Shooter McGavin) will join former Keys broadcaster Tim Murray to talk about his upcoming appearance at Nymeo Field and much more! We will also be sure to post the link to the interview later on!

Remember if you haven’t gotten your tickets yet there is still time! You can call 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com. Two extra enhancers for you. If you come to the game (and get in line early enough) you can get a Shooter McGavin Bobblehead (courtesy of Pretzel and Pizza Creations):

Shooter

AND….finalizing your ticket plans for Saturday gives you free rein to do this as many times as you want:

single shooter pistol mcgavin

You just may want to be alone when you’re celebrating. We won’t laugh, but others probably will.

Tonight’s notes are below. Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 · Game #64 · Road Game #34

Frederick Keys (33-31) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (33-30)

RHP Ivan Hernandez (1-0, 3.66) vs. RHP Jeremy Null (2-2, 2.45)

                                                                                                                                                              

FAST OFFENSE NETS KEYS FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN: The Frederick Keys scored six times in the first four innings and got a terrific start from Lucas Long to defeat the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 7-3 on Monday night at TicketReturn.com Field. It was the Keys fourth straight victory. Aderlin Rodriguez drove in Cam Kneeland following a double and a Pelicans error in the first, before a Gioskar Amaya solo homer tied the game. However the Keys would follow with five unanswered runs to grab the lead for good. In the second, Erick Salcedo doubled home T.J Olesczuk, while Connor Bierfeldt cranked a solo homer to left in the third to make it a 3-1 affair. In the fourth, the orange and black plated three more. Wynston Sawyer got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in an additional run and knock Erick Leal out of the game. One batter later, a throwing error by Gleyber Torres scored two more to extend the Keys advantage to 6-1. That would be plenty of support for Long, who surrendered just the homer over six innings.

DON’T STOP NOW BOYS: On Tuesday the Keys try and equal their longest winning streak of the season (five). Frederick accomplished this feat from May 1-5 against Winston-Salem, Wilmington and Potomac. This current four-game win streak is the club’s second-longest run of the year. Additionally, this hot stretch has moved the Keys two games over .500 for the first time in 2016, while it is the first time the club has been two games above sea-level since last June 2. Not a bad accomplishment considering the Keys have been as many as nine games below .500 this season (the team was 7-16 following a loss on April 30 to Winston-Salem).

BASHING BIERFELDT: Conor Bierfeldt has been a force to be reckoned with in June. In his first 12 games, he is batting .286 with five home runs, 13 RBIs to go with a .667 slugging percentage and a .993 OPS. The five longballs and 13 RBI are tied for the most in the CL in June, while the Connecticut native has homers in consecutive games and RBIs in each of his last three contests (four).

POWER BATS: Thanks to Conor Bierfeldt’s home run on Monday, the Keys yearly total has reached 45. That is the second-most in the Carolina League, with the Keys trailing only Lynchburg (56). Keys pitching is mindful of Myrtle Beach’s home run prowess though, as the Pelicans have clubbed 44 home runs (they rank third in the CL). That includes 10 home runs in nine games against the Keys. Yasiel Balaguert paces the Birds in home runs with nine.

PITCHING PICKS IT UP: Since allowing six runs on Friday, Keys pitching has gotten back on track over the last four games. During that time, Keys arms have surrendered only three earned runs (six total) in 32 innings and given up just 23 hits. That includes a pair of shutout wins during Saturday’s twinbill at Potomac. Like in May, Keys relief pitching has remained a point a strength this month, tallying a 2.61 ERA (48.1 IP/14ER) in 14 games, after finishing with a 2.65 figure the month prior.

ONE LAST ROADTRIP: The Keys are in the middle of their final first half roadtrip. Following the five-game series against the Nationals (Thursday-Sunday) the team heads south to Myrtle Beach for three games against the Pelicans. A team made up of road warriors, the Keys own the best road mark in the CL this year (21-12), while the Keys are in the midst of their second road winning streak of four or more games (the Keys won five straight road games from April 24-May 5). Although the Keys have been eliminated from first-half playoff contention, a strong showing down the stretch could help the Keys post their first winning half since 2012, when the team ended the second half with a 35-34 record. It would also be Frederick’s first winning first half since 2011 (That year the team went a league-best 41-28).

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL STAR: Three Keys players were named Carolina League midseason all-stars last Wednesday. Matthew Grimes, Aderlin Rodriguez and Jonah Heim will participate in this year’s Carolina League-California League All Star Game on Tuesday, June 21 at 9:30 EDT. The game will he played at the home of the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres). Grimes receives his first pro all-star nod following a stellar first half on the mound. In 12 games he is 7-3 with a 1.66 ERA and just wrapped up a 28-inning scoreless streak. Rodriguez earns an all-star nod in his first CL season thanks to robust power numbers. In 57 games, he is batting .272 with 10 homers, 39 RBIs, 11 doubles and two triples. He has racked up 108 total bases and a .466 slugging percentage. He is currently tied for second in the CL in homers and tied for third in total bases. Heim makes his first pro all-star game appearance. He leads all league catchers in caught stealing percentage (32.8%).

ODDS AND ENDS: Thanks to Monday’s win, the Keys secured their fourth straight winning roadtrip (they grabbed five of seven during their last jaunt to Winston-Salem and Carolina). The team has not suffered a losing roadtrip since the end of April (when the Keys dropped three of four at Lynchburg). Six of Cam Kneeland’s 10 hits in June have gone for extra-bases (four doubles and two homers). Kneeland is tied for fifth in the CL in two-baggers (16). In his first two Advanced-A games, Mike Burke has retired everyone he has faced in five innings (5 IP/0H/0R/6 SO). Following Salem’s win over Potomac on Monday, both first half playoff spots have been clinched, with the Red Sox taking the south and Lynchburg taking on the north (the Hillcats defeated Myrtle on Sunday to wrap things up).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Jeremy Null makes his seventh appearance on Tuesday and his sixth start. His most recent outing came last Tuesday against Potomac. Pitching the second game of a doubleheader, the righty allowed three runs on six hits in 6.2 innings. He struck out six and did not walk a batter. Null’s first start of the year came against the Keys on May 14. Earning the win, he tossed five shutout frames of three-hit baseball. 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 2.1). 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.

Back on the Beach

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys start their final road series of the first-half tonight down in Myrtle Beach! Somewhat fitting this is the team’s last first-half road stop, as it is where the Keys road slate got underway.

Road warriors might be a good way to describe this bunch through the first 70 games. Through 32 road contests, the Keys are 20-12, putting them in a tie with Salem for the best road record in the CL. The orange and black have turned in three straight winning roadtrips, while the club has taken three of its last four series away from home (the other was a split).

Tonight, the Keys try and get to two games over .500 for the first time in 2016. The last time the club was two gaPromo Preview June 16-19 (640)mes over .500 (overall) was last June 2.

Although we are a couple of days away, I REALLY you take a look at this weekend’s promotional lineup. We’ve got a TON of fun stuff planned including an appearance by one of the top antagonists in sports movie history: Shooter McGavin.

This includes an awesome bobblehead presented by Pretzel and Pizza Creations. For tickets, fans can call 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.

Tonight, Lucas Long takes the mound for the Keys against Pelicans righty Erick Leal. A native of Venezuela, Leal paces the league in  wins and has taken each of his last six starts. During that time he has posted a 2.13 ERA and has not allowed any more than three earned runs in a start.

Doug has the call for you on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App. Pregame coverage kicks off at 6:50.

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Monday, June 13, 2016 · Game #63 · Road Game #33

Frederick Keys (32-31) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (33-29)

RHP Lucas Long (3-4, 4.17) vs. RHP Erick Leal (8-2, 3.29)

KEYS USE ONE-RUN WIN TO TAKE FOUR OF FIVE: Wynston Sawyer and Conor Bierfeldt hit solo home runs, while Jomar Reyes knocked in a game-winning two-run double in the sixth in a 4-3 Keys win over the Potomac Nationals on Sunday afternoon. Sawyer and Bierfeldt each gathered their sixth home runs of the year in the first and fourth innings before Potomac scored three unearned runs in the home fourth against Trevor Belicek. In the sixth inning, Reyes dumped a double to center field to plate Bierfeldt and Sawyer. Tanner Chleborad, Tanner Scott, and Michael Zouzalik combined on five scoreless innings of relief. Potomac went 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position, as the Keys took four of the five games in the series.

ANSWERING THE CALL: After being shutout on Friday night by Potomac, the Keys shutout the Nationals in both ends of a Saturday doubleheader and allowed just three unearned runs Sunday (23 IP/3R/0ER). Frederick has a 7-5 record in shutout games. That is the second-best mark in the Carolina League, while Frederick and Lynchburg are tied for the lead in shutout wins. The orange and black earned a shutout in two straight games Saturday for the first time since June 6-7, 2014 at Myrtle Beach. Over the last three games, Keys starters haven’t allowed an earned run in 17 innings, while the bullpen hasn’t given up any earned runs in 11 innings.

POWER BATS: The Keys launched three home runs in the five-game series with Potomac (Conor Bierfeldt had two, Wynston Sawyer had one) to stretch the club’s yearly total to 44. That is the second-most in the Carolina League, with the Keys trailing only Lynchburg (54). Keys pitching is mindful of Myrtle Beach’s home run prowess though, as the Pelicans have clubbed 42 home runs (they rank third in the CL). That includes eight home runs in eight games against the Keys. Yasiel Balaguert paces the Birds in home runs with nine.

AGAINST THE GRAIN: In spite of earning a 4-3 win on Sunday, the Keys did not take care of business in the most conventional fashion. Finishing the game with seven hits, the Keys also made two errors. Additionally, the P-Nats had two more hits than Frederick, making Sunday just the third time all season where the Keys had won a game when being outhit (3-25). It occurred twice in the five-game, four-day series with the Nationals, as the Keys were outhit 10-6 in the series opener on Thursday (the Keys prevailed in a 6-3 victory).

ONE LAST ROADTRIP: The Keys are in the middle of their final first half roadtrip. Following the five-game series against the Nationals (Thursday-Sunday) the team heads south to Myrtle Beach for three games against the Pelicans. The orange and black are tied for the best road record in the CL at 20-12 (Salem). Although the Keys have been eliminated from first-half playoff contention, a strong showing could help the Keys post their first winning half since 2012, when the Keys ended the second half with a 35-34 record. It would also be the team’s first winning first half since 2011 (That year the team went a league-best 41-28).

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL STAR: Three Keys players were named Carolina League midseason all-stars on Wednesday. Matthew Grimes, Aderlin Rodriguez and Jonah Heim will participate in this year’s Carolina League-California League All Star Game on Tuesday, June 21 at 9:30 EDT. The game will he played at the home of the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres). Grimes receives his first pro all-star nod following a stellar first half on the mound. In 12 games he is 7-3 with a 1.66 ERA and just wrapped up a 28-inning scoreless streak. Rodriguez earns an all-star nod in his first CL season thanks to robust power numbers. In 57 games, he is batting .273 with 10 homers, 38 RBIs, 11 doubles and two triples. He has racked up 107 total bases and a .471 slugging percentage. He is currently tied for second in the CL in homers and tied for third in total bases. Heim makes his first pro all-star game appearance. He leads all league catchers in caught stealing percentage (32.8%).

GRIMES AND RODRIGUEZ SWEEP O’S MILB HONORS: Last Monday, Matthew Grimes and Aderlin Rodriguez were named the Orioles Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Month for May. Grimes went 5-1 with a 1.12 ERA across six May games. Logging 40.1 innings, the righty allowed only five earned runs and 28 hits. Among qualifiers, Grimes’ five wins were tied for the most in the MiLB while he was third in innings pitched. He also led the Carolina League in ERA and WHIP (0.84). Rodriguez batted .333 with five home runs, 18 RBIs to go with 11 runs scored. He led all CL players in slugging (.583) while he tied for the league lead in home runs and total bases (56) and was second in hitting and OPS (.968).

 ODDS AND ENDS: A win on Monday would give the Keys their fourth straight winning roadtrip (they grabbed five of seven during their last jaunt to Winston-Salem and Carolina). In 11 June games, Conor Bierfeldt is batting .289 with four homers and 12 RBIs. The 12 RBIs are the second-most by a CL player this month and third-most by an Advanced-A player (Lynchburg’s Bobby Bradley and Bakersfield’s Joe DeCarlo have 13). In his first two Advanced-A games, Mike Burke has retired everyone he has faced in five innings (5 IP/0H/0R/6 SO).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Erick Leal makes his 11th start of the season on Monday and his third against the Keys. His most recent outing came last Tuesday versus Potomac. Tossing six innings, the righty earned his sixth straight win, scattering five hits, allowing two runs and striking out three. Leal has the most wins in the circuit, while he is 6-0 with a 2.13 ERA in May and June. In a pair of starts this year against the Keys, the he is 2-0 with a 3.55 ERA. Leal has struggled at home, posting a 5.84 ERA, while he is 5-0 with a 1.20 ERA on the road. Leal spent all of last season at Low-A South Bend, going 10-8 with a 3.85 ERA in 23 games (22 starts) with the Cubs. Over 128.2 innings, he gave up 138 hits, walked 32 and struck out 86, while opponents batted .273 against him. Perhaps the highlight of his season came on August 4 when he threw nine hitless innings against Kane County. He was denied the seventh no-hitter in team history though, as the Cubs lost in 12 innings 1-0. At his best after the All-Star break, Leal went 4-4 with a 2.82 ERA and held opponents to a .234 average (in the first half his ERA was almost five, and opponents batted .312). Originally signed by the Diamondbacks as a free agent in 2011, Leal was traded to Cubs from the Diamondbacks along with right-hander Jesus Castillo for outfielder Tony Campana in February 2013. He is originally from Valencia, Venezuela, the same hometown as Keys shortstop Erick Salcedo.

 

 

Grimes Takes the Mound as the Keys Eye .500

Good Afternoon,

The Keys try to get back to .500 on Friday night at Matthew Grimes takes the hill for the orange and black. He will be opposed by righty Boone Whiting, who faces the Keys for the third time.

Doug Raftery has the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App starting at 6:50 p.m!

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Friday, June 10, 2016 · Game #60 · Road Game #29

Frederick Keys (29-30) vs. Potomac Nationals (29-28)

RHP Matthew Grimes (7-2, 1.08) vs. RHP Boone Whiting (5-2, 3.67)

                                                                                                                                                              

BIG SECOND GIVES KEYS SERIES SPLIT: Conor Bierfeldt hit a three-run home run and reached base four times, as the Frederick Keys defeated the Potomac Nationals 6-3 on Thursday night at Pfitzner Stadium. In spite of the Keys win though, the club saw its first-half elimination number drop, as Lynchburg topped Myrtle Beach 9-3. In the second, the Keys grabbed a 2-0 advantage on a two-run home by Bierfeldt. One inning later, Bierfeldt picked up an additional RBI thanks to a bases loaded walk which made it 3-0. Drew Ward cut it to a one-run game in the fourth with a homer off Franderlin Romero, but the visitors would plate three of the next four to hang on. Romero earned his third win in as many Keys starts, firing off five innings of two-run baseball.

BIERFELDT HEATS UP: Conor Bierfeldt has 15 RBIs through his first 18 games, while nearly half of his runs knocked in have come in the last two games. Prior to his three RBI contest on Thursday, the Connecticut native drove in four runs on Tuesday, thanks in part to a three-run homer. In his first seven June games, Bierfeldt is hitting .292 with three homers and nine RBIs. Last season, he finished second among O’s farmhands in RBIs (85) and fifth in homers (12).

AGAINST THE GRAIN: In spite of earning a 6-3 win on Thursday, the Keys did not take care of business in the most conventional fashion. Finishing the game with just six hits, the Keys also made three errors, one short of a season-high. The six hits were the fewest the Keys had posted since June 1, when the orange and black mustered only four off Phillips Valdez and Robert Benincasa. Additionally, the P-Nats had four additional hits against Frederick, making Thursday just the second time all season where the Keys had won a game when being outhit (2-24). Meanwhile, yesterday was just Frederick’s third win all season when posting three or more errors in a game this season.

ONE LAST ROADTRIP: The Keys are in the middle of their final first half roadtrip. Following a five-game series against the Nationals (Thursday-Sunday) the team will head south to Myrtle Beach for three games against the Pelicans. The orange and black hold the second-best road record in the CL at 17-11 (only Salem at 19-10 has fared better). Although a first-half playoff berth seems unlikely at this point (with an elimination number of three) a strong showing could help the Keys post their first winning half since 2012, when the Keys ended the second half with a 35-34 record. It would also be the team’s first winning first half since 2011 (That year the team went a league-best 41-28).

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL STAR: Three Keys players were named MiLB midseason all-stars on Wednesday. Matthew Grimes, Aderlin Rodriguez and Jonah Heim will participate in this year’s Carolina League-California League All Star Game on Tuesday, June 21 at 9:30 EDT. The game will he played at the home of the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres). Grimes receives his first pro all-star nod following a stellar first half on the mound. In 11 games he is 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA. Owner of a 28-inning scoreless streak, the Georgian is fifth in the Minors in ERA. Rodriguez earns an all-star nod in his first CL season thanks to robust power numbers. In 55 games, he is batting .274 with 10 homers, 37 RBIs, 10 doubles and two triples. He has racked up 103 total bases and a .479 slugging percentage. He is currently tied for second in the CL in homers and third in total bases. Heim makes his first pro all-star game appearance. He leads all league catchers in caught stealing percentage (35.6%) and is tied for second on the Keys in home runs (five).

GRIMES AND RODRIGUEZ SWEEP O’S MILB HONORS: On Monday, Matthew Grimes and Aderlin Rodriguez were named the Orioles Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Month for May. Grimes went 5-1 with a 1.12 ERA across six May games. Logging 40.1 innings, the righty allowed only five earned runs and 28 hits. Among qualifiers, Grimes’ five wins were tied for the most in the MiLB while he was third in innings pitched. He also led the Carolina League in ERA and WHIP (0.84). Rodriguez batted .333 with five home runs, 18 RBIs to go with 11 runs scored. He led all CL players in slugging (.583) while he tied for the league lead in home runs and total bases (56) and was second in hitting and OPS (.968).

MORE AWARDS?: Besides being named an all-star and receiving O’s Minor League Pitcher of the month honors, Matthew Grimes was named the Carolina League Player of the Month. The announcement was made by Minor League Baseball on late Tuesday afternoon. He becomes the first Keys player to claim a monthly honor since May 2015, when Trey Mancini was recognized for his outstanding play. In six May contests, Grimes went 5-1 with a 1.12 ERA. In 40.1 innings, he permitted only 34 baserunners. Across the minors, Grimes’ five wins were tied for the most among qualifiers, while he finished third in innings pitched.

ODDS AND ENDS: Jay Gonzalez saw his six-game hitting streak snapped on Thursday, going 0-for-4 with a run scored. Despite losing that streak, he has scored a run in six of seven games (10 runs) and has six steals in his last six games. The Keys have put together three straight winning roadtrips (they grabbed five of seven during their last jaunt to Winston-Salem and Carolina). Frederick has not had a losing roadtrip since their four-game trip to Lynchburg from April 21-24 (when the Keys fell in three of four). Frederick and Potomac will play their third doubleheader against each other on Saturday starting at 5 p.m (it was originally scheduled for tonight before being moved). Lynchburg led the Carolina League with the most number of all-star selections (six).

TODAY’S OPPOSING STARTER: Boone Whiting makes his 10th start of the season on Friday and his third against the Keys. Activated off the temporary inactive list earlier today, this will be his first June start. The right-hander’s most recent outing came last Tuesday against Winston-Salem. Tagged with the loss, he allowed four runs in five innings. Against the Keys, Whiting is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA and has given up just one earned run in 12 innings. The Keys are hitting .209 against him. Signed by Washington as a free agent on January 12 of this year, Whiting spent all of 2015 at Triple-A, first suiting up for Memphis (Cardinals) and then for Albuquerque (Rockies). Between the two stops as he went 4-9 with a 6.44 ERA. Walks were a major issue as he handed out 61 in 95 innings. He was originally drafted by St. Louis in the 18th round of the 2010 draft.

The Final Roadtrip of the First Half Starts Tonight!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The orange and black get set for their final roadtrip of the first-half. First stop Potomac! The Keys and Nationals will play five (remember Saturday is a doubleheader) while the orange and black will head from Woodbridge to Myrtle Beach following Sunday’s matinee.

In case you missed it, congratulations to Matthew Grimes, Jonah Heim and Aderlin Rodriguez for being named CL Midseason All Stars on Wednesday! The trio will be heading to Lake Elsinore for the game, as the Carolina League faces off against the California League.

For Grimes the week has been especially good, as he was named the Carolina League’s Player of the Month on Tuesday and the Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month (for May) on Monday! Aderlin Rodriguez was the O’s MiLB Player of the Month.

Tonight Franderlin Romero makes the start for the Keys and will be opposed by lefty Matthew Crownover, who makes just his second Carolina League start. A former Clemson Tiger, Crownover was college teammates with Steve Wilkerson.

Once again my pal Doug Raftery has the radio call, with tonight’s pregame coverage getting underway at 6:50 on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App.

Today’s notes are below. Shake your Keys!

Geoff

 

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Thursday, June 9, 2016 · Game #59 · Road Game #28

Frederick Keys (28-30) vs. Potomac Nationals (29-27)

RHP Franderlin Romero (2-0, 3.00) vs. LHP Matthew Crownover (0-1, 7.94)

                                                                                                                                                              

BIG SECOND GIVES KEYS SERIES SPLIT: The Frederick Keys equaled their largest inning of the season on Tuesday afternoon en route an 8-4 victory over the Carolina Mudcats at Nymeo Field. With the victory, the Keys earned a series split against Carolina. Frederick scored the first seven runs of the game, including five times in the second against Max Povse. Josh Hart opened the inning with a double, moved to third on a single by Erick Salcedo before scoring on a bad pickoff throw by Povse. Salcedo scored on a single by Steve Wilkerson, before Conor Bierfeldt provided the big blow several batters later. With two aboard, the Keys five-hole man hit a three-run homer to left-center. Carolina never pulled any closer than four the rest of the game.

BALANCED PRODUCTION: On Tuesday, all nine members of the Keys starting lineup recorded a hit, as the team finished with 11 total. In three of the last five games, the orange and black have recorded double-digit hits. That includes a 14-hit outburst against Potomac last Friday, in a game that the Keys won 15-3. Following a May where the Keys hit .242 as a team, the orange and black are batting .292 through their first eight June contests to go with eight home runs. Among qualifiers, Steve Wilkerson has led the charge, batting .409 (9-for-22) through six games with six RBIs.

AN IMPORTANT LAST ROADTRIP: The Keys embark on their final first-half roadtrip on Thursday. Following a five-game series against the Nationals (Thursday-Sunday) the team will head south to Myrtle Beach for three games against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The orange and black hold one of the top road records in the league at 16-11, and will need an outstanding showing as well as a great deal of help from Lynchburg to stay in the playoff race. Entering today’s action, Frederick’s elimination number is four, a number that will drop with any combination of Keys losses/Hillcats wins.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL STAR: Three Keys players were named MiLB midseason all-stars on Wednesday. Matthew Grimes, Aderlin Rodriguez and Jonah Heim will participate in this year’s Carolina League-California League All Star Game on Tuesday, June 21 at 9:30 EDT. The game will he played at the home of the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres). Grimes receives his first pro all-star nod following a stellar first half on the mound. In 11 games he is 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA. Owner of a 28-inning scoreless streak, the Georgian is fifth in the Minors in ERA. Rodriguez earns an all-star nod in his first CL season thanks to robust power numbers. In 54 games, he is batting .276 with 10 homers, 37 RBIs, 10 doubles and two triples. He has racked up 102 total bases and a .486 slugging percentage. He is currently second in the CL in homers and total bases. Heim makes his first pro all-star game appearance. He leads all league catchers in caught stealing percentage (35.6%) and is tied for second on the Keys in home runs (five).

GRIMES AND RODRIGUEZ SWEEP O’S MILB HONORS: On Monday, Matthew Grimes and Aderlin Rodriguez were named the Orioles Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Month for May. Grimes went 5-1 with a 1.12 ERA across six May games. Logging 40.1 innings, the righty allowed only five earned runs and 28 hits. Among qualifiers, Grimes’ five wins were tied for the most in the MiLB while he was third in innings pitched. He also led the Carolina League in ERA and WHIP (0.84). Rodriguez batted .333 with five home runs, 18 RBIs to go with 11 runs scored. He led all CL players in slugging (.583) while he tied for the league lead in home runs and total bases (56) and was second in hitting and OPS (.968).

MORE AWARDS?: Besides being named an all-star and receiving O’s Minor League Pitcher of the month honors, Matthew Grimes was named the Carolina League Player of the Month. The announcement was made by Minor League Baseball on late Tuesday afternoon. He becomes the first Keys player to claim a monthly honor since May 2015, when Trey Mancini was recognized for his outstanding play. In six May contests, Grimes went 5-1 with a 1.12 ERA. In 40.1 innings, he permitted only 34 baserunners. Across the minors, Grimes’ five wins were tied for the most among qualifiers, while he finished third in innings pitched.

NOT A BAD NIGHT: Following a five-game stretch where he was 2-for-19 at the plate, Jay Gonzalez has got back on track the last six days. During that time he is batting .409 (9-for-22) with nine runs scored and seven RBIs. The highlight of this strong stretch came on Saturday, when Gonzalez delivered a walk-off single in the 11th inning to give the Keys their first extra-inning win (that night he went 3-for-4 with an RBI, two runs scored, two stolen bases and two walks). Following two more stolen bases on Tuesday, Gonzalez is now tied for second in Minor League Baseball in swipes and trails only Salem’s Yoan Moncada (34).

ODDS AND ENDS: The Keys have put together three straight winning roadtrips (they grabbed five of seven during their last jaunt to Winston-Salem and Carolina). Frederick has not had a losing roadtrip since their four-game trip to Lynchburg from April 21-24 (when the Keys fell in three of four). Conor Bierfeldt’s four RBIs on Thursday nearly equaled the total he put up in his previous 10 combined games (five). Frederick and Potomac will play their third doubleheader against each other on Saturday starting at 5 p.m (it was originally scheduled for tonight before being moved). Lynchburg led the Carolina League with the most number of all-star selections (six).

TODAY’S OPPOSING STARTER: Left-hander Matthew Crownover makes his second start with the Nationals and his 12th overall appearance this year (fifth start) between Potomac and Low-A Hagerstown, the southpaw is 5-2 with a 2.05 ERA. His Advanced-A debut came on Saturday at Myrtle Beach. Working 5.2 innings, he gave up five runs on 10 hits to go with two home runs. He struck out five. Before joins Potomac, he was 5-1 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 games (three starts) with Hagerstown. None of his outings were more than five innings.  A sixth round selection by the Nationals in the 2015 draft, Crownover spent his first pro season at Short-Season Auburn, where he went 1-4 with a 3.81 ERA in 13 games (10 starts). Drafted out of Clemson, Crownover was the 2015 ACC Pitcher of the Year, going 10-3 with a 1.82 ERA and was a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist as well as an All-American. With the Tigers, he was teammates with Keys second baseman Steve Wilkerson. Crownover had Tommy John surgery in 2012.

It’s STEM Day at Nymeo Field!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 · Game #58 · Home Game #31

Frederick Keys (27-30) vs. Carolina Mudcats (22-33)

RHP Lucas Long (2-4, 4.03) vs. RHP Max Povse (3-3, 2.98)

                                                                                                                                                              

ODOM TRIGGERS DECISIVE FOURTH: The Carolina Mudcats scored eight times in the fourth inning to post a lopsided 11-3 victory over the Frederick Keys on Monday night at Nymeo Field. Joe Odom led the charge, going 3-for-5 with five RBIs and two home runs, both of which came in the same inning. After the two sides exchanged runs, the visitors sent 12 men to bat in the fourth to take control for good. Odom opened the inning with a solo homer off Trevor Belicek, while later in the frame, Tanner Murphy slugged a three-run shot, before an RBI two-bagger by Ryan Gebhardt and a second three-run blast by Odom made it a 9-1 affair. Belicek suffered the loss, giving up six runs (five earned) in 3.2 innings. Matt Withrow picked up the win for the Muddies, tossing five innings and allowing two runs (one earned).

PITCHING TRIES TO GET BACK ON TRACK: Following an outstanding May, where Keys pitching led the circuit in ERA (2.68), the pitching staff has registered a 6.05 ERA in their first seven June contests. Most of the onus is on the starting pitching which has given up 29 earned runs in 32.2 innings (7.99 ERA). That figured has jumped over the last two games, as Mitch Horacek and Trevor Belicek have combined to surrender 11 earned runs in 8.2 stanzas.

SPEAK SOFTLY BUT CARRY A BIG STICK: Wynston Sawyer turned in the first multi-homer game of his career on Monday night, slugging a solo homer off Matt Withrow in the second, before adding a solo blast off Zack Bird in the sixth. Finishing the game 2-for-4, the two knocks were his first hits of the homestand, and ended an 0-for-14 stretch at the plate (dating back to May 29). One of the Keys top offensive contributors in May, Sawyer led all Carolina Leaguers in on-base percentage last month in May and finished with the fourth-highest figure in the MiLB during that time.

GRIMES AND RODRIGUEZ SWEEP O’S MILB HONORS: On Monday, Matthew Grimes and Aderlin Rodriguez were named the Orioles Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Month for May. Grimes went 5-1 with a 1.12 ERA across six May games. Logging 40.1 innings, the righty allowed only five earned runs and 28 hits. Among qualifiers, Grimes’ five wins were tied for the most in the MiLB while he was third in innings pitched. He also led the Carolina League in ERA and WHIP (0.84). Rodriguez batted .333 with five home runs, 18 RBIs to go with 11 runs scored. He led all CL players in slugging (.583) while he tied for the league lead in home runs and total bases (56) and was second in hitting and OPS (.968).

BREAKFAST AND BASEBALL: Tuesday marks the fifth time this year that the Keys have played a morning baseball game, while it is the third time breakfast and baseball has taken place at Nymeo Field in 2016. In morning tilts this year, the orange and black are 2-2, while the club is 1-1 in morning home games. Frederick’s last morning game came on May 18 at Wilmington, a game ending in a 3-2 Blue Rocks win.

NOT A BAD NIGHT: Following a five-game stretch where he was 2-for-19 at the plate, Jay Gonzalez has got back on track the last five days. During that time he is batting .421 (8-for-19) with seven runs scored and seven RBIs. The Orlando native has at least one hit and one RBI in his last five contests. The highlight of this strong stretch came on Saturday, when Gonzalez delivered a walk-off single in the 11th inning to give the Keys their first extra-inning win (that night he went 3-for-4 with an RBI, two runs scored, two stolen bases and two walks). Following a stolen base on Monday, Gonzalez now ranks third in all of Minor League Baseball in swipes, trailing only Salem’s Yoan Moncada and Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (both have 33).

ROSTER MOVEMENT: Right before Sunday’s game against the Carolina, Keys reliever David Richardson was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. It was his first call-up to the Eastern League while he became the seventh Frederick player to receive a promotion in 2016. Richardson made his debut on Sunday, pitching the second of a doubleheader against Akron. Receiving a no-decision, the Tampa righty gave up five runs on four hits in three innings. In nine games (two starts) with the Keys he was 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA. In a corresponding move on Monday, the Keys received right-hander Mike Burke from Aberdeen. In his Frederick debut last night, he pitched two scoreless innings. The former University of Buffalo product spent all of 2015 with Low-A Delmarva going 2-2 with a 3.36 ERA in 28 games (one start).

A TELL-TALE SIGN: A major barometer for success this year has been whether or not the Keys have out-hit their opponent. In games where Frederick holds the upper hand in the hit column, Keith Bodie’s team is 21-3. When the opponent outhits the Keys though, the team is 1-24.

ODDS AND ENDS: With Frederick’s loss on Monday and a win by Lynchburg, Frederick’s first-half elimination number was sliced down to four. Wilmington and Winston-Salem are the only two CL teams that have been knocked out of playoff contention so far. T.J. Olesczuk recorded two hits on Monday, his third two-hit game of the year. Jonah Heim tied his season-high for hits on Saturday (three) and is 5-for-9 in his last two games after going hitless in his previous 23 at-bats. Heim also leads all CL catchers in caught stealing percentage (35.6%). No other catcher is above 31.3%.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Max Povse makes his 11th start of the year on Tuesday and his second against Frederick. His most recent start came last Thursday at Winston-Salem. Tagged with the loss, the righty allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out four. Pitching against the Keys on May 27, he received a no-decision, allowing one run over five innings while striking out 10. Currently, Povse ranks seventh in the CL in ERA (2.98) is second in strikeouts (61) and fifth among starters in highest SO/9IP ratio (9.58). Opponents are hitting just .244 against him, while he has allowed three runs or less in every start but two. 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).

Tonight’s Notes Have Arrived!

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Monday, June 6, 2016 · Game #57 · Home Game #30

Frederick Keys (27-29) vs. Carolina Mudcats (21-33)

LHP Trevor Belicek (0-1, 10.80) vs. RHP Matt Withrow (3-4, 3.67)

                                                                                                                                                              

MUDCATS SCORE RAIN-SHORTENED WIN: The Frederick Keys and Carolina Mudcats combined on three multi-run innings in the opening three stanzas, but the Muddies came out on top in a 6-4 rain-shortened win on Sunday afternoon at Nymeo Field. Carolina grabbed a 6-0 lead after the first three innings. A Joseph Odom homer off Mitch Horacek gave the visitors the game’s first run. In the second, Carolina plated three more on a passed ball and RBI singles by Ryan Gebhardt and Keith Curcio, while a wild pitch and an RBI bounce out by Sal Giardina completed the Muddies scoring. Frederick answered with the next four runs. Three came in the third on a Jay Gonzalez RBI double and a two-run single by Steve Wilkerson. A sac-fly by Josh Hart made it a one-run game in the fourth, but after a hard lineout-double play by Conor Bierfeldt to end the fifth, the rains came.

CALLED EARLY: The night after playing their longest game in terms of innings on the season, the Keys played their shortest game both in regards to innings and time. The five inning contest marked the first non-doubleheader game that failed to go a regulation nine innings in 2016, while it was the first time a regulation game had been called early due to rain in nearly a year (June 4, 2015 at Wilmington). With the game lasting just five innings, it was no surprise Sunday’s contest was the shortest by time this season, as the five innings were played in one hour and 32 minutes (previous low was one hour and 49 minutes versus Potomac on May 13).

GRIMES AND RODRIGUEZ SWEEP O’S MILB HONORS: On Monday, Matthew Grimes and Aderlin Rodriguez were named the Orioles Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Month for May. Grimes went 5-1 with a 1.12 ERA across six May games. Logging 40.1 innings, the righty allowed only five earned runs and 28 hits. Among qualifiers, Grimes’ five wins were tied for the most in the MiLB while he was third in innings pitched. He also led the Carolina League in ERA and WHIP (0.84). Rodriguez batted .333 with five home runs, 18 RBIs to go with 11 runs scored. He led all CL players in slugging (.583) while he tied for the league lead in home runs and total bases (56) and was second in hitting and OPS (.968).

PITCHING TRIES TO GET BACK ON TRACK: Following an outstanding May, where Keys pitching led the circuit in ERA (2.68), the pitching staff has registered a 5.51 ERA in its first six contests. Most of the onus is on the starting pitching which has given up 24 runs in 29 innings (7.45 ERA). That figured jumped on Sunday, as Mitch Horacek surrendered six runs over five innings. Despite a blowing a four-run lead on Saturday night, Keys relievers have pitched to a 2.70 ERA (20 IP/6ER).

NOT A BAD NIGHT: Following a five-game stretch where he was 2-for-19 at the plate, Jay Gonzalez has got back on track the last four days. On Sunday, the Orlando native was 1-for-3 with an RBI double and a run scored the night after he delivered a walk-off single in the 11th inning (that night he went 3-for-4 with an RBI, two runs scored, two stolen bases and two walks). In his last four games, Gonzalez is hitting .467 (7-for-15) with seven runs scored and six RBIs. He has an RBI and a run scored in each of those games. Following a pair of stolen bases Saturday, Gonzalez now ranks third in all of Minor League Baseball in swipes, trailing only Salem’s Yoan Moncada and Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (both have 33).

 LIGHTS, CAM, ACTION: Following a disappointing May where he hit only .200 in 21 games, Cam Kneeland has gotten it back on track. In five June contests, Kneeland is hitting .353 (6-for-17) with two homers, seven RBIs, three doubles and four runs scored. On Friday and Saturday he recorded three RBIs apiece, while his seven RBIs this month in five games equals his total May output. Kneeland has homered in two of the last three days, and is tied for fourth in the league with 15 doubles.

HERE COME THE BATS: In a rain-shortened five innings on Sunday, the Keys bats continued to perform well, as the orange and black recorded four runs on eight hits in five innings. The Keys have tallied double-digit hits in two of the last three days, and are batting .347 over the last three ballgames (34-for-98). Over the last three days, the Keys have scored 24 runs after posting only 16 in their previous seven games (2.3 run average). In two of the three games the Keys have also outhit their opponents, a strong barometer for success this year. When finishing with more hits than their opponent, the Keys are 21-3 as opposed to going 1-23, when their opponent holds the upper hand.

ODDS AND ENDS: David Richardson was promoted to Double-A on Sunday and made his Eastern League debut. Starting game two of a doubleheader against Akron, he allowed five runs on three hits in four innings. Jonah Heim tied his season-high for hits on Saturday (three) and is 5-for-9 in his last two games after going hitless in his previous 23 at-bats. Frederick has won three of its last four one-run games. Frederick’s bullpen saw its scoreless innings streak snapped at 22.1 innings in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader (it dated back to the fourth inning of last Thursday’s game at Winston-Salem).

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Matt Withrow makes his 10th start of the year on Monday and his first against the Keys. The right-hander’s most recent outing came last Wednesday at Winston-Salem. Pitching five shutout innings, the right-hander scattered five hits, walked two and struck out seven. Winner of his last two starts, Withrow has given up just two runs on seven hits in his last 11 innings. Following a strong April where he pitched to a 0.79 ERA in three games, Withrow posted a 5.68 mark in five May tilts. 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.

Keys Aim for Third Consecutive Win

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

After the Keys won in a 5-4 extra inning thriller last night, we’re back at it again this afternoon! Jay Gonzalez played hero yesterday, driving in the winning run in the 11th inning. He reached base five times last night with three hits and two walks. The University of Mount Olive product also swiped two bags, making it an even 30 on the year.

Southpaw Mitch Horacek will take the mound for his 11th start of the year as he’ll be opposed by Mudcats starter Raymar Navarro.

We cap off Family Fitness Weekend today with a fun challenge for our two broadcasters. Geoff Arnold and Doug Raftery will be calling the game from the first base concourse while pedaling exercise bikes. The two have been raising money for Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County. Get in your donations for #TeamGeoff here and #TeamDoug here.

To catch their the broadcast, you can tune in on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com or the TuneIn Radio App.

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

GONZALEZ LIFTS KEYS TO WALK-OFF WIN: Jay Gonzalez delivered an RBI walk-off single to right in the bottom of the 11th to give the Frederick Keys a 5-4 win over the Carolina Mudcats on Saturday night at Nymeo Field. It was the club’s second walk-off win of the year, while the 11th inning magic came on the heels of a rough ninth inning, where the Keys saw a 4-0 lead slip away. Facing Carlos Salazar in the 11th, Jonah Heim started things off with a single to right. He was replaced by pinch-runner Anthony Caronia, who moved to second after Salazar mishandled a bunt back to the mound. Erick Salcedo followed with a bunt single up the third base line to load things up for Gonzalez, who split the right-center gap.

EVERYONE GOES HOME HAPPY: In addition to the Keys walk-off win on Saturday, the Keys defeated the Potomac Nationals via walk-off on May 23. The first game of a doubleheader, Jonah Heim delivered the decisive blow in that contest with a single down the leftfield line. The series opener against the Muddies also gave the Keys their first extra-inning win of the year. Entering the night 0-2 in games going past regulation this year (through their first 54 contests) it was the club’s first win in an extra-inning affair since last July 25 against Winston-Salem (the Keys won 2-1 on a Chance Sisco walk-off single). The Keys second extra-inning game of the week (they lost 6-5 to Potomac in eight innings in game one of Thursday’s twinbill) Saturday’s contest was also the team’s longest game in terms of innings this year.

NOT A BAD NIGHT: The walk-off single, capped off a fantastic Saturday for Jay Gonzalez, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI, two runs scored, two stolen bases and two walks. It was the Floridian’s third three-hit game of the year and first since May 15. Following a five-game stretch where he was 2-for-19, Gonzalez is 5-for-9 in his last two games with two RBIs. He has five runs scored as well, after he scored only two runs in his previous 14 games. On the basepaths, the former Mount Olive College product racked up his seventh multi-steal game of the year, giving him 30 in 34 attempts. He now ranks third in all of Minor League Baseball, trailing only Salem’s Yoan Moncada and Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (both have 33).

MY, MY, MATTHEW: Matthew Grimes was outstanding yet again for the Keys, tossing seven innings of three-hit baseball in a no-decision. He struck out a season-high eight and did not walk a batter. Although a no-decision ended his career-best four-game win streak, Grimes extended his streak of scoreless innings to 28 (he last gave up a run in the first inning of his May 16 start at Wilmington). Going back even farther, the former Georgia Tech product has allowed just one earned run in his last 35.2 innings. That has cut his ERA to 1.08, the second-best mark in Advanced-A and the sixth-best mark in Minor League Baseball.

LIGHTS, CAM, ACTION: Following a disappointing May where he hit only .200 in 21 games, Cam Kneeland has gotten it back on track. Tying his season-high with three RBIs on Saturday, he went 2-for-5 with a double. In four June contests, Kneeland is hitting .357 (5-for-14) with two homers, seven RBIs, two doubles and four runs scored. The seven RBIs equaled his total May output. Kneeland has homered in two of the last three days, and is just outside the top five in the CL in two-baggers (he has 14 this year).

HERE COME THE BATS: For the second night in-a-row, the Keys reached double-digits in hits (12) while four different players posted multi-hit games. Over the last two nights, the Keys have scored 20 runs after posting only 16 in their previous seven games (2.3 run average). Additionally in both nights, the Keys have outhit their opposition, a statistic that has been a very strong barometer of the club’s success. When finishing with more hits than their opponent, the Keys are 21-3 as opposed to going 1-22, when their opponent holds the upper hand.

HERE COME THE BATS: For the second night in-a-row, the Keys reached double-digits in hits (12) while four different players posted multi-hit games. Over the last two nights, the Keys have scored 20 runs after posting only 16 in their previous seven games (2.3 run average). Additionally in both nights, the Keys have outhit their opposition, a statistic that has been a very strong barometer of the club’s success. When finishing with more hits than their opponent, the Keys are 21-3 as opposed to going 1-22, when their opponent holds the upper hand.

GRIMES AND SAWYER SWEEP WEEKLY AWARDS: On Tuesday, Wynston Sawyer and Matthew Grimes were named the Carolina League Player and Pitcher of the Week respectively for May 23-29. It marked the first time two Keys have garnered both weekly accolades since June 6-13, 2011, when Steve Bumbry (player) and Nick Haughian (pitcher) won both.

ODDS AND ENDS: Jonah Heim tied his season-high for hits on Saturday (three) and is 5-for-9 in his last two games after going hitless in his previous 23 at-bats. Frederick has won three of its last four one-run games. Frederick’s bullpen saw its scoreless innings streak snapped at 22.1 innings in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader (it dated back to the fourth inning of last Thursday’s game at Winston-Salem). Saturday’s crowd of 7,519 was the club’s largest of the season, and the most well attended of any of the 55 the team has played this year. On Sunday, Keys broadcasters Geoff Arnold and Doug Raftery will broadcast the team’s game on exercise bikes, in support of the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Raymar Navarro makes his 12th appearance of the season and second start on Sunday. His most recent outing came on Monday against the Keys at Five County Stadium. Working a career-high five innings, he allowed one run on three hits. He struck out four and did not walk a batter. After pitching to a 5.40 ERA in April, the righty went 2-0 with a 3.31 mark in May. Navarro played four seasons in the top Cuban league, Serie Nacional, and posted an 18-30 record and 3.90 ERA in 337.1 innings with Cachorros de Holgui. His best season was his last in 2013, as he tossed a 2.70 ERA. According to reports, Navarro left Cuba in late 2013 and was at sea for two days before arriving to the Dominican Republic, where he was scouted. He became well-known after he threw a no-hitter in 2012 against Dodger signee Pablo Millan Fernandez. The Braves signed him on August 5, 2015. He now resides in Port Au Prince, Haiti

On Come the Muddies!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

It seems as if Keyote got an early birthday present last night, as the Keys scored a season-high 15 runs in a route of the Potomac Nationals! The Keys smacked three home runs — including a grand slam from Aderlin Rodriguez — and infielder Steve Wilkerson was just a triple short of the cycle.

Tonight, we open up a four-game set against the Carolina Mudcats as Matthew Grimes, arguably the best starter so far in the Carolina League, takes the bump for Frederick. The Georgia Tech product is tied for first with the best record in the league and also sports the second-best ERA. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Enderson Franco.

We’ll also be celebrating Keyote’s birthday tonight! He’ll be joined by some of his mascot friends from around the area and also the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We’re also having a pizza part and will be having a fireworks show after the game! Get your tickets here.

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Saturday, June 4, 2016 · Game #55 · Home Game #28

Frederick Keys (26-28) vs. Carolina Mudcats (21-31)

RHP Matthew Grimes (7-2, 1.21) vs. RHP Enderson Franco (3-3, 5.02)

                                                                                                                                                          

KEYS ROUT NATIONALS TO AVOID SWEEP: The Frederick Keys exploded for a season-high 15 runs and tallied 14 hits to cruise past the Potomac Nationals 15-3 on Friday night at Nymeo Field. Plating 13 unanswered runs, the club avoided its second four game sweep of the season and snapped a four-game losing streak. Cam Kneeland got the Keys on the board in the first with a two-run homer, before the Nationals posted three in the second. In the bottom of the inning though, the Keys grabbed the lead for good. After a bases loaded walk forced in a run, Aderlin Rodriguez hit a grand slam to right to make it a 7-3 affair. Frederick turned in three additional multi-run innings to close out its night at the plate. On the mound, Franderlin Romero won his Nymeo Field debut, delivering six innings of three-run baseball.

OH WHAT A NIGHT: The 15 runs posted by the Keys were four more than their previous season-high of 11 set on May 2 at Wilmington. Additionally, the 15-run output was the largest by the club since defeating the Lynchburg Hillcats 17-3 on July 5 at City Stadium (in that game Mike Yastrzemski hit for the cycle). In Friday’s contest, six Keys tallied multi-hit games, while six finished with at least one RBI (Aderlin Rodriguez led the way with five thanks to a grand slam).

OFFENSIVE COMPARISONS: Frederick’s 15 runs come on the heels of a seven-game stretch where the offense scored only 16 TOTAL runs and averaged just 2.3 runs per game. Meanwhile, the Keys eclipsed their total number of hits with runners in scoring position over the previous week on Friday. Going 7-for-13 on the game, the orange and black were a collective 6-for-35 (.171) with runners in scoring position in the seven previous contests.

WILKERSON GETS A LIFT: Following a challenging 15 game stretch where he was hitting only .157 (9-for-57), Steve Wilkerson busted out, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored. He finished a home run short of the cycle. The three-hits for the former Clemson Tiger equaled a season-high, while it was his first multi-hit game since May 14 against Myrtle Beach. In his first three June games, Wilkerson is batting .364 (4-for-11).

BACK TO QUALITY: Following four straight games where a Keys starter had failed to complete the fifth inning (one was a Yovani Gallardo MLB rehab where he was scheduled to throw only 60 pitches) the club picked up a quality start from Franderlin Romero on Friday. Tossing six innings of three-run baseball, it was Romero’s second quality outing in as many starts for the Keys. It was the 19th quality outing (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) by the pitching staff this year and blows away the seven quality starts the team had in the entire first-half of 2015. Matthew Grimes, the Keys starter for Saturday, leads the staff with six quality appearances.

MAY DON’T GO AWAY!: The Keys won 10 of their last 14 May games (including five of the last seven) to end the month with an 18-9 record. That was the top mark in the Carolina League and was the club’s best month since July 2011, when they posted a 20-8 record thanks in part to a 2.44 staff ERA. Pitching was Frederick’s formula to success this time as well, as the Keys lead the circuit with a 2.68 mark. Overall, eight Keys staff members finished with ERAs below two. At the plate, Frederick hit .242 but was led by Aderlin Rodriguez (.333), Erick Salcedo (.321) and Wynston Sawyer (.316). Rodriguez finished second in the CL in hitting (trailing only Carolina’s Joey Meneses who ended at .344).  Meanwhile, Sawyer led all CL players in on-base percentage (.475) and finished second with 24 walks. Those figures were also fourth and second in the MiLB respectively.  

GRIMES AND SAWYER SWEEP WEEKLY AWARDS: On Tuesday, Wynston Sawyer and Matthew Grimes were named the Carolina League Player and Pitcher of the Week respectively for May 23-29. It marked the first time two Keys have garnered both weekly accolades since June 6-13, 2011, when Steve Bumbry (player) and Nick Haughian (pitcher) won both. In eight games, Sawyer batted .385 with two homers, one double, one triple and five RBIs. Grimes earned his second CL Pitcher of the Week honor, after not allowing any runs over two starts (spanning 15 innings). His best performance of the year came on Sunday when he tossed eight shutout innings of two-hit baseball.

ODDS AND ENDS: Jonah Heim ended an 0-for-23 slide at the plate on Friday with a single in the second inning. Frederick’s bullpen saw its scoreless innings streak snapped at 22.1 innings in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader (it dated back to the fourth inning of last Thursday’s game at Winston-Salem). The Keys have been outhit in four straight games, while the club is just 1-22 when being outhit by the opposition. Jay Gonzalez hit his first professional home run on Thursday in game one of the doubleheader after going 837 pro at-bats without one. Luis Gonzalez tallied a 0.60 ERA in six May contests (15 IP/1ER).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Enderson Franco makes his 11th start of the season and his second start against the Keys. His most recent outing came against the orange and black last Sunday at Five County Stadium. Tagged with the loss, the Venezuelan allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits in six innings. He tied his season-high with seven strikeouts and did not walk a batter. Coming off a May where he went 1-2 with a 3.30 ERA in five games, Franco’s 5.02 ERA can be traced back to a rough professional debut against Salem where he allowed nine runs on 12 hits in two innings. If you subtract that first start, his ERA would be 3.46. Franco was selected in the minor league Rule 5 Phase by the Atlanta Braves this offseason. Originally signed in 2009 by Houston, Franco was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the Rule 5 draft in 2013, and then was acquired by the Marlins in July 2013 for an international bonus pool slot. This is Franco’s first year at Advanced-A, as he spent last year with Low-A Bowling Green (Rays) and Greensboro (Marlins), making a career-high 25 starts between the two with a 6-12 record and 6.29 ERA. The righty’s hometown of Araco, VZ is also the same home as former major leaguer Miguel Cairo, and current brothers Orlando (Triple-A, Brewers) and Oswaldo (MLB, Twins) Arcia. He throws a fastball, slider, and changeup.

The Keys Try and Avoid the Four-Game Sweep

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

It was a looooooooooooooong evening of baseball yesterday. After 15 innings of baseball were complete, the Keys were on the losing end of a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Potomac Nationals. In game one, Jay Gonzalez smashed his first professional home run to tie the game up in the seventh inning, but the Nats were victorious in extras.

Tonight, we play the series finale against Potomac as Franderlin Romero will be making his first home appearance for the Keys. He was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds organization just a few weeks ago. In his last three starts, he has gone six inning and allowed two or less runs.

We’ll also be kicking off Family Fitness Weekend tonight! The first 1,000 kids will receive a t-shirt and those who participated in our Family Fitness Program will participate in a pre-game parade. Also, after the game we’ll have FIREWORKS! Get your tickets here.

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Friday, June 3, 2016 · Game #54 · Home Game #27

Frederick Keys (25-28) vs. Potomac Nationals (29-22)

RHP Franderlin Romero (1-0, 1.50) vs. RHP Wirkin Estevez (0-3, 5.02)

                                                                                                                                                               NATIONALS SWEEP DOUBLEHEADER: The Potomac Nationals earned a doubleheader sweep of the Frederick Keys on Thursday at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium. In game one, the P-Nats overcame a game-tying home run by Jay Gonzalez to post a 6-5 victory, while a five-run fifth helped the Nationals roll to a 9-2 win in the nightcap. Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, the Keys put two on base after Jonah Heim reached on an error and Anthony Caronia walked. That sent up Gonzalez who cleared the rightfield wall to make it 5-5. However the Nationals answered in the eighth, as a David Masters double drove in Drew Ward. Masters also provided the decisive blow in game two, with a three-run homer off Lucas Long. That capped off a big Nationals inning, as Potomac scored eight of their nine runs between the fifth and sixth stanzas.

GALLARDO MAKES REHAB START: Orioles starting pitcher, Yovani Gallardo started game one of the doubleheader after being put on the disabled list on April 23 with right shoulder biceps tendinitis. Pitching three innings, the righty allowed three runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out four. He threw just under 60 pitches. Gallardo became the fourth big leaguer to join the Keys this year (Kevin Gausman and former Orioles Brian Matusz and Jimmy Paredes were the others).  In four starts with the Orioles this year Gallardo is 1-1 with a 7.00 ERA.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL: On Friday, the Keys try to avoid equaling their longest losing streak of the season. Losers of their last four contests, the Keys previously dropped five in-a-row from April 19-23. Additionally, the club hopes to avoid being swept for the second time this season. Frederick was also broomed in a four-game set by the Lynchburg Hillcats from April 14-17 (the club’s first home series of the year. Since that time, the orange and black have earned three sweeps of their own (two against Wilmington and one against Winston-Salem).

ANALYZING THE STRUGGLES: Following a stretch where the Keys won six of seven contests, the orange and black have dropped five of their last seven tilts. The offense is at the center of these struggles, as the Keys have averaged just 2.3 runs per game over the week-long stretch (and have scored two runs or less in five of those games). As a club the Keys are batting .215 during that time (46-for-214) and are hitting only .171 with runners in scoring position (6-for-35). On the mound, the Keys have pitched to a 4.10 ERA in that seven game window, but that figure rises to 7.50 (24IP/20ER) if you scan the first three games of this month.

REYES BUSTS OUT: In spite of some of the Keys struggles at the plate, Jomar Reyes has picked it up in the last few games.  Over the three game series, the 19-year-old is 6-for-10 with an RBI. Half of those came on Wednesday, when Reyes finished 3-for-3  with an RBI (his team had just four hits). The three hits were a season-high for Reyes, who was just 4-for-34 in his previous 10 games with 13 strikeouts (during which time his average dropped to a season-worst .207).

MAY DON’T GO AWAY!: The Keys won 10 of their last 14 May games (including five of the last seven) to end the month with an 18-9 record. That was the top mark in the Carolina League and was the club’s best month since July 2011, when they posted a 20-8 record thanks in part to a 2.44 staff ERA. Pitching was Frederick’s formula to success this time as well, as the Keys lead the circuit with a 2.68 mark. Overall, eight Keys staff members finished with ERAs below two. At the plate, Frederick hit .242 but was led by Aderlin Rodriguez (.333), Erick Salcedo (.321) and Wynston Sawyer (.316). Rodriguez finished second in the CL in hitting (trailing only Carolina’s Joey Meneses who ended at .344).  Meanwhile, Sawyer led all CL players in on-base percentage (.475) and finished second with 24 walks. Those figures were also fourth and second in the MiLB respectively.  

GRIMES AND SAWYER SWEEP WEEKLY AWARDS: On Tuesday, Wynston Sawyer and Matthew Grimes were named the Carolina League Player and Pitcher of the Week respectively for May 23-29. It marked the first time two Keys have garnered both weekly accolades since June 6-13, 2011, when Steve Bumbry (player) and Nick Haughian (pitcher) won both. In eight games, Sawyer batted .385 with two homers, one double, one triple and five RBIs. Grimes earned his second CL Pitcher of the Week honor, after not allowing any runs over two starts (spanning 15 innings). His best performance of the year came on Sunday when he tossed eight shutout innings of two-hit baseball.

SALCEDO’S HIT STREAK COMES TO AN END: Erick Salcedo saw his 14-game hitting streak end on Monday as he went 0-for-3. The sixth-longest mark in the CL this year, Salcedo batted .422 (19-for-45) with a homer, six RBIs and five runs scored. The highlight of the streak came nearly two weeks ago, when Salcedo hit his first professional homer (he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one). The 14-game stretch was the longest by a Frederick player since August of 2013 when Travis Adair hit in 18 consecutive contests.

ODDS AND ENDS: Frederick’s bullpen saw its scoreless innings streak snapped at 22.1 innings on game one on Thursday (it dated back to the fourth inning of last Thursday’s game at Winston-Salem). The Keys have been outhit in four straight games, while the club is just 1-22 when being outhit by the opposition. Jonah Heim has not recorded a hit in his last six games and is hitless in his last 23 at-bats (his last hit came last Wednesday at Winston-Salem).  Luis Gonzalez tallied a 0.60 ERA in six May contests (15 IP/1ER).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:  Right-hander Wirkin Estevez makes his 10th start of the season on Friday and his second against the Keys. His last outing came last Thursday against Salem, where he pitched three innings and gave up four runs. Estevez has not worked past the fifth in 2016. The right-hander did not pitch for a regular season team in 2015 due to Tommy John surgery but made four appearances for Salt River in the Arizona Fall League. There he allowed six runs on five hits in four innings (13.50 ERA). It marked the second time that the righty had undergone Tommy John surgery, as he also missed the 2013 season for the same reason. Prior to this year, Estevez’s previous full season came in 2014 with Low-A Hagerstown when he was 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA in just five games. Estevez was signed by the Nationals as an international free agent in 2010.

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

We know you love going to the ballpark, but it’s always upsetting to leave your dog at home for the evening. Well, take them with you! Tonight is ‘Bark in the Park’ as all dogs are welcome inside.

You and your furry friend are in for a treat (not a dog treat) as Orioles starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo will be making his major league rehab assignment and will start game one for the Keys.

Grab your tickets here for tonight’s doubleheader. Game one will start at 5 pm and game will start 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first contest.

Tonight’s notes are below

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Thursday, June 2, 2016 · Game #52 · Home Game #25

Frederick Keys (25-26) vs. Potomac Nationals (27-22)

G1: RHP Yovani Gallardo (0-0, 6.00) vs. RHP Greg Ross (2-2, 1.08)

VALDEZ SHUTS DOWN KEYS: Phillips Valdez turned in seven masterful innings, while the Potomac Nationals scored all six of their runs in the first three innings to defeat the Frederick Keys 6-1 on Wednesday night at Nymeo Field. On game, the orange and black were held to four hits, while they committed three errors. After a sac-fly by Jose Marmolejos in the first, the P-Nats plated three more in the second. A groundout by Dale Carey netted the first run, while Andrew Stevenson doubled home a pair to make it 4-0. Alec Keller completed the scoring with a two-run double one frame later. That was plenty for Valdez, who worked seven innings of one-run baseball. Trevor Belicek took the loss for Frederick, giving up six runs in 3.2 innings.

REYES BUSTS OUT: Offensively, the Keys lone bright spot on Wednesday was Jomar Reyes. Finishing with three of the team’s four hits, the 19-year-old went 3-for-3 and also had the team’s only RBI. The three hits were a season-high for Reyes, who was just 4-for-34 in his previous 10 games with 13 strikeouts (during which time his average dropped to a season-worst .207). The three hits were one shy of a career-high, while it was his first three-hit effort since last August 4 against Hickory.

LITTLE HELP!: Defensively the Keys struggled in the series opener against the P-Nats committing three errors, one-shy of a season-worst (the Keys made four errors on April 19 against Wilmington). It was the most errors the Keys had made since May 14, when the club committed three in an 11-3 loss to Myrtle Beach. Defensively, the Keys are tied for fifth in the circuit in fielding percentage (.974) while the club’s 50 errors are fourth-most in the league (Carolina leads the way with 63).

LET’S PLAY TWO!: For the second straight homestand, the Keys and P-Nats will play a doubleheader. The two sides played a pair last Monday at Nymeo Field, with the two clubs exchanging shutouts (Frederick took game one 1-0 and lost the back-end 2-0). This will mark the second twinbill the Keys have played this year, while the two sides will also play two on June 11 at Pfitzner Stadium. Potomac has the top doubleheader record in the league (5-1) and has gotten used to twinbills. Through their first 41 games, the P-Nats had eight postponements, one cancellation and one suspended game.

GALLARDO TO REHAB WITH KEYS: Orioles starting pitcher, Yovani Gallardo, is scheduled to pitch for the Keys in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader. On the disabled list since April 23 with right shoulder biceps tendinitis, Gallardo joins Kevin Gausman and former Orioles Brian Matusz and Jimmy Paredes as other big leaguers who have rehabbed with Frederick this year. In four starts with the Orioles this year he is 1-1 with a 7.00 ERA. Signed by Baltimore to a two-year contract in February, Gallardo pitched for Texas in 2015 where he went 13-11 with a 3.42 ERA in 32 starts. Thursday will be his first minor league appearance since April 14, 2008 when he was pitching for Milwaukee’s Triple-A affiliate in Nashville on an MLB rehab (he was recovering from surgery on a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee).

MAY DON’T GO AWAY!: The Keys won 10 of their last 14 May games (including five of the last seven) to end the month with an 18-9 record. That was the top mark in the Carolina League and was the club’s best month since July 2011, when they posted a 20-8 record thanks in part to a 2.44 staff ERA. Pitching was Frederick’s formula to success this time as well, as the Keys lead the circuit with a 2.68 mark. Overall, eight Keys staff members finished with ERAs below two. At the plate, Frederick hit .242 but was led by Aderlin Rodriguez (.333), Erick Salcedo (.321) and Wynston Sawyer (.316). Rodriguez finished second in the CL in hitting (trailing only Carolina’s Joey Meneses who ended at .344).  Meanwhile, Sawyer led all CL players in on-base percentage (.475) and finished second with 24 walks. Those figures were also fourth and second in the MiLB respectively.  

 STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: In May, Keys starters turned in a 2.71 ERA (149.2 IP/45ER), while in 15 of Frederick’s 18 wins, the starting pitcher delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less). During the recent roadtrip, Keys starters posted four quality starts (Grimes twice, Long, and Romero), while Keys starters have turned in quality outings in six of the last 11 contests (and three of five). 

GRIMES AND SAWYER SWEEP WEEKLY AWARDS: On Tuesday, Wynston Sawyer and Matthew Grimes were named the Carolina League Player and Pitcher of the Week respectively for May 23-29. It marked the first time two Keys have garnered both weekly accolades since June 6-13, 2011, when Steve Bumbry (player) and Nick Haughian (pitcher) won both. In eight games, Sawyer batted .385 with two homers, one double, one triple and five RBIs. Grimes earned his second CL Pitcher of the Week honor, after not allowing any runs over two starts (spanning 15 innings). His best performance of the year came on Sunday when he tossed eight shutout innings of two-hit baseball.

SALCEDO’S HIT STREAK COMES TO AN END: Erick Salcedo saw his 14-game hitting streak end on Monday as he went 0-for-3. The sixth-longest mark in the CL this year, Salcedo batted .422 (19-for-45) with a homer, six RBIs and five runs scored. The highlight of the streak came nearly two weeks ago, when Salcedo hit his first professional homer (he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one). The 14-game stretch was the longest by a Frederick player since August of 2013 when Travis Adair hit in 18 consecutive contests.

ODDS AND ENDS: Frederick’s bullpen has not allowed a run in its last 20.1 innings (dating back to the fourth inning of last Thursday’s game at Winston-Salem). Since scoring four runs on Saturday, the Keys have four runs total in their last four games (the Keys are 5-16 when scoring three or less runs). Wynston Sawyer has a 21-game on-base streak this month, which is the second-longest by a Keys player this year (Steve Wilkerson reached in 22 straight from April 11-May 4, the third-longest by a CL player in 2016). Sawyer’s current streak is the longest active mark in the league. Luis Gonzalez tallied a 0.60 ERA in six May contests (15 IP/1ER).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Greg Ross makes his 10th appearance and his fourth start in game one of Thursday’s twinbill. His most recent outing came last Friday against Winston-Salem, pitching a season-high seven innings, he did not allow a run and only five hits. Outstanding in each start this year, Ross is 2-0 as a starter and has not allowed a run in 16.1 innings. He has scattered 11 hits and is limiting opponents to a .196 average. This year both of Ross’ loses have come to the Keys (his most recent last Monday-in game on of the DH) In spring training with the Orioles, Ross was cut in camp and signed with Washington on April 21. Originally selected by Atlanta in the 18th round of the 2011 draft out of Frostburg State (1hr, 45 min from Frederick) Ross reached as high as Double-A with the Braves in 2014-15. With Mississippi in 2015 he was 7-9 with a 3.99 ERA in 25 games (23 starts).

 

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