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

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

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

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

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

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

Geoff

1. CF Ruettiger

2. RF Webb

3. 2B Kemp

4. DH Nathans

5. C Sisco

6. SS Marin

7. 1B Sawyer

8. 3B Caronia

9. LF Lorenzo

RHP O’Brien

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back on the Road One Last Time/Next Homestand Promotions

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Series Finale with Myrtle Beach tonight

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

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

Today’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Tucker Nathans LF

Brenden Webb RF

Chance Sisco C

Drew Dosch 3B

Adrian Marin SS

Austin Wynns C

Logan Uxa 1B

6/11 Game Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keys look to take the lead in series with Myrtle Beach

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

 

Today’s lineup

Tucker Nathans LF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Drew Dosch 3B

Brenden Webb RF

Chance Sisco C

Adrian Marin SS

Josh Hart CF

Anthony Caronia DH

Logan Uxa 1B

6/10 Game Notes

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Lets Play Two!

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

 

Today’s lineup (Game one)

Tucker Nathans DH

Adrian Marin SS

Drew Dosch 3B

Brenden Webb RF

Chance Sisco C

Jeff Kemp 2B

Josh Hart CF

Logan Uxa 1B

Gregory Lorenzo LF

6/9 Game Notes

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Keys come back home to take on Myrtle Beach

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

 

Today’s lineup

Tucker Nathans LF

Adrian Marin SS

Drew Dosch 3B

Brenden Webb RF

Chance Sisco C

Josh Hart DH

Anthony Caronia 2B

Logan Uxa 1B

Gregory Lorenzo CF

Game Notes 6/8

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Keys Try to Avoid Sweep in Wilmington

Good Morning Keys Fans!

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

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

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

Today’s game notes and lineup are attached below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. CF Josh Hart

2. SS Adrian Marin

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. DH Tucker Nathans

5. RF Brenden Webb

6. 2B Anthony Caronia

7. LF Johnny Ruettiger

8. 1B Logan Uxa

9. C Phil Llewellyn

LHP Mitch Horacek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin Gausman to Make Rehab Start Saturday

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys will try and avoid falling five games off the CL North pace on Saturday, as the orange and black and the Blue Rocks meet in the second-to-last game of this four-game set. One advantage for the Keys tonight, will come in the former of Kevin Gausman, who will make an MLB rehab start for the Keys. He is expected to go three innings or 45 pitches.

He will be countered by lefty Cody Reed, the CL’s active leader in ERA (1.45). Against the Keys so far, he is 1-0 and has not allowed a run in eight innings. Both of Reed’s appearances have come out of the bullpen though, as he opened the year as a “piggybacker” with Luke Farrell. Once the later was promoted to Double-A though, Reed took over the rotation spot and has been brutal against every opponent he’s encountered.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. from the Riverfront and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Lineups and notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. CF Josh Hart

2. SS Adrian Marin

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. DH Tucker Nathans

5. 2B Jeff Kemp

6. C Chance Sisco

7. LF Anthony Hewitt

8. 1B Logan Uxa

9. RF Gregory Lorenzo

RHP Kevin Gausman

Saturday, June 6, 2015 · Game #55 · Road Game #31

Frederick Keys (27-27) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (31-23)

RHP Kevin Gausman (0-0, –) vs. LHP Cody Reed (4-3, 1.45)

FIRST STATE STRUGGLES CONTINUE: The Wilmington Blue Rocks utilized one big swing and excellent pitching from Jakob Junis, Robinson Yambati and Ashton Goudeau to top the Frederick Keys 5-1 on Friday night at Frawley Stadium. The loss dropped the club four games back in the CL North Division standings. Held off the board with runners in scoring position in the second and third, Wilmington grabbed the lead in the fourth off Luis Gonzalez. Following a one-out walk to Frank Schwindel, the Keys lefty got Dexter Kjerstad to fly out, but surrendered back-to-back singles to load up the bases. That sent up Santiago Nessy, who drove the first pitch off the leftfield wall for a bases clearing double. Those three runs would be plenty for Junis, who tossed six innings of one-run baseball. Frederick’s lone run came on an RBI single by Tucker Nathans in the sixth. The Blue Crew added two more in the seventh off Jimmy Yacabonis, while Yambati and Goudeau combined on three innings of two-hit baseball to close things out.

RUNNING OUT OF TIME: Friday’s loss moved Frederick four games out of first in the CL North standings, the farthest the Keys have been out of the top spot this year. Prior to Friday, the Keys had been no farther than 3.5 games out of first this year. Now back at .500 for the second time in the last five days (the Keys were 25-25 entering Tuesday’s game), Frederick tries to avoid falling below sea-level for just the second time this year. The Keys have not been a game below .500 since opening day when they were shutout by Winston-Salem 13-0. One positive for the orange and black is that 11 of their last 16 first-half games come at home (where they are 16-8) while 11 of Wilmington’s last 16 games will come on the road (where they are 10-14).

NOT MY KINDA PLACE: Frawley Stadium has not been kind to the Keys this year. The orange and black have lost five of the six games they have played on the Riverfront, giving the Blue Crew a 6-4 lead in the season-series. In spite of the results so far in the First State, five of the six games between the two teams this year have been decided by two runs or less, with three hinging on one run. In general though, the Blue Rocks have been rude hosts to most of the Carolina League. Wilmington is a league-best 12 games over .500 in home games (21-9) and has claimed six of its eight home sets this year (losing one and splitting the other). A big reason for the home success is pitching, as the Rocks staff has a 2.30 ERA at Frawley Stadium.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Keys will play six of their final 16 first-half games against Wilmington, including the last four games at Nymeo Field. So far, the home team has held the upper-hand in the season-set, with the Keys taking three of the four games on Stadium Drive and the Blue Crew taking five of six on the Riverfront. This season, Frederick is hitting .263 off Wilmington pitching, while the Keys pitching staff has a 4.75 ERA. In contrast, the Blue Rocks are batting .282 off Keys arms and own a 3.19 ERA. Individually, Tucker Nathans (9G/.367/11-30) and Drew Dosch (10G/.351/13-37) pace Frederick’s offense, while Frank Schwindel (10G/.368/15-for-41) and Cam Gallagher (9G/.360/9-for-25) lead the Wilmington bats.

GAUSMAN TO START SATURDAY: Current Orioles pitcher and former Key, Kevin Gausman will make a rehab start with the Keys on Saturday as he works his way back from right shoulder tendinitis. This will be Gausman’s first appearance in exactly one month, as he last pitched against the Mets on May 6 in relief (1IP/0R). Not his first time in a Keys uniform, the former LSU star made three starts with the Keys after being drafted by the O’s in 2012. He went 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA and never worked more than three innings.

MANCINI NAMED PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Thursday was an exciting day for Trey Mancini, who was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox, but things got even better for the Keys former first baseman on Friday. Named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for May, Mancini becomes the second Frederick player this season to receive a monthly honor, joining Drew Dosch, who received the award in April. In May, Mancini hit .362 with five homers and 19 RBIs. During that time he led the league in batting average, slugging percentage (.578) and OPS (.981). In his Double-A debut at Portland on Friday he went 1-for-4 with two runs scored. His first Double-A hit came off Red Sox big league rehabber Justin Masterson.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: This four-game roadtrip to Wilmington will be the second-to-last of the first-half for the Keys. After Sunday, the team will play only three more road games (Frederick visits Potomac from June 12-14). Last time the Keys were on the road, they enjoyed their most successful sojourn of the year, going 4-3 while visiting Myrtle Beach and Lynchburg. In their previous three trips, the team went 3-4, 2-5 and 2-5. Overall, Frederick is 11-19 (.367) in road games, and join Winston-Salem as the only other CL team eight games below .500 on the road.

FOUR-RUN RULE (ROAD VERSION): Even though there have been some deviations in the last few days, the four-run rule has held true throughout Keys road games this season. When Frederick does not score four or more runs in a road game, the club is 0-15, while the club has not won a road game when scoring fewer than four runs in ALMOST A YEAR. Frederick’s last road win when scoring under three runs came last June 7 at Myrtle Beach, a game where Frederick topped the Pelicans 1-0 in 10 innings.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Lefty Cody Reed makes his 11th appearance on Saturday and his eighth start. In his most recent start last Sunday at Carolina, the Mississippi native suffered his first loss since May 2 despite turning in a complete game, quality start. Over six innings he allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits to go along with two walks and three strikeouts. Reed enters Saturday second in the Carolina League in ERA (1.45) and ranks as the active leader (since Lynchburg’s Adam Plutko has been promoted to Double-A). He rates third in batting average against (.211) and fourth in strikeouts (51). In all 10 of Reed’s appearances he has allowed three runs or less and has turned in a quality start in three of his last four games. Brutally tough against the Keys this year, the southpaw has tossed eight shutout innings against the orange and black, giving up just four hits and striking out nine. He earned a save the last time he saw the Keys on April 26, but is now in the rotation full-time after he opened the year in a piggyback with Luke Farrell (who has since been promoted to Double-A. Reed spent all of last season at Low-A Lexington, where he went 3-9 with a 5.46 ERA in 19 starts. Things got off to a tough start for Reed, who lost each of his first six decisions before earning his first victory on June 11. His best month of the season came in June, when he went 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA in four starts (21IP/6ER). Opponents hit Reed at a high clip, batting .312 against him, while righties were a problem in particular (.338). Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Reed was selected by the Royals in the 2nd round (46th overall) of the 2013 draft out of Northwest Mississippi Community College. In two seasons, he set school records in strikeouts (161), wins (16) and innings pitched (137.2) to go along with 10 complete games. Committed to attend Ole Miss after his second JUCO season, he was lured away for a reported $1,198,500 signing bonus. A three-pitch pitcher, Reed throws a fastball in the low nineties, a slider and a changeup. Last season, he was rated the No. 28 prospect in the Royals system by Baseball America.

The Keys and the Blue Rocks Tangle Again

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys and the Blue Rocks continue their four-game series on Friday night at 7:05 p.m from the Wilmington Riverfront. Hopefully the rain will hold off and give us a nicer night for baseball than we had Thursday. With one out in the seventh inning, the rains came, while after a delay of a little less than an hour, the game was called (remember a game becomes official after five innings).

With the win, the Blue Rocks extended their CL North lead to three, and took a one-game edge in the season series (5-4). Still, there is time to make up ground, as the Keys will play Wilmington seven times in their final 17 first-half games.

Tonight Luis Gonzalez makes the start for the orange and black against Jakob Junis for the Blue Rocks. Some game notes and today’s lineup are below. And as always, you can hear the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. CF Josh Hart

2. SS Adrian Marin

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. DH Tucker Nathans

5. C Chance Sisco

6. RF Brenden Webb

7. 2B Anthony Caronia

8. LF Johnny Ruettiger

9. 1B Logan Uxa

LHP Luis Gonzalez

Friday, June 5, 2015 · Game #54 · Road Game #30

Frederick Keys (27-26) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (30-23)

LHP Luis Gonzalez (3-4, 8.79) vs. RHP Jakob Junis (2-4, 4.05)

BEAT BY THE ROCKS AND THE RAIN: The Wilmington Blue Rocks claimed a 7-5 rain-shortened win on Thursday night at Frawley Stadium after the rains came with one out in the top of the seventh. Ahead 5-0 after the first inning, the Keys saw Wilmington score seven unanswered runs to stretch their lead to three games in the CL North Division standings. In the fourth, the Blue Crew pulled within three on an RBI double by Frank Schwindel, before sending seven men to bat in the fifth. Ramon Torres opened the inning with a single off David Hess, before the Keys starter retired the next two batters. With two outs, Cody Stubbs singled Torres to third, setting up another opportunity for Schwindel. Working the count full, the Rocks cleanup batter doubled in a pair to force Hess out of the game. One batter later, Wilmington took the lead on a two-run homer by Dexter Kjerstad. Wilmington added an insurance run in the sixth, before the tarp went on the field just before nine o’clock.

A TOUGH PILL TO SWALLOW: On Thursday, the Keys suffered their biggest lost lead of the season, as a five-run advantage slipped away in Wilmington. Prior to the series opener, the club’s largest lost advantage was a four-run cushion. A major reason for the setback was a stagnant offense after the first inning. After scoring five times in the first (tied for the team’s second-largest inning of the year), the Keys got just two hits off Eric Skoglund and Estarlin Cordero the rest of the way. Skoglund retired nine in-a-row at one point, while Frederick got only one extra-base hit and one runner into scoring position after the first.

GROUND LOST: Making matters worse, the Keys lost ground in the CL North Division race. Frederick is now three games behind Wilmington for the division lead, with 17 games remaining before the All-Star break. The orange and black have been stuck in second place since May 23 and are trying to avoid falling four games off the pace on Friday. This season, the club has never been more than 3.5 games out of first.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: In spite of the team’s current deficit, the Keys will play seven of their final 17 first-half games against Wilmington, including the last four games at Nymeo Field. So far, the home team has held the upper-hand in the season-set, with the Keys taking three of the four games on Stadium Drive and the Blue Crew taking four of five on the Riverfront. This season, Frederick is hitting .264 off Wilmington pitching, while the Keys pitching staff has a 4.06 ERA. In contrast, the Blue Rocks are batting .278 off Keys arms and own a 3.45 ERA. Individually, Drew Dosch (.364/12-for-33) and Tucker Nathans (.346/9-for-26) pace Frederick’s offense, while Frank Schwindel (.368/14-for-38) and Cam Gallagher (.360/9-for-25) lead the Wilmington bats.

WHAT HARD AND FAST RULES?: Lately, the usual “four-run rule” has not held the same weight, where the Keys win if they score or more runs (and vice-versa). Each of the last three games (and six of the last nine) have gone completely against that tenet. After opening the year 12-0 when scoring more than three times, Frederick has dropped four of its last five games when eclipsing the three-run plateau. Meanwhile, the team has won back-to-back games when posting three or fewer runs. On the road though, the four-run rule holds true, as the Keys are 0-14 when scoring less than four runs (and 11-4 when plating four or more).

FREE RIDING: For the second straight game, Keys pitching walked five batters over seven innings, while the club has now issued 25 free tickets in its last five games (spanning 37 innings). Just less than 40% of that total comes from Sunday, when the Keys walked nine batters for the fourth time this season. On six occasions this year, Frederick has walked nine or more in a game, with the pitching staff issuing 11 walks on two occasions (last on April 22). Keys pitching has walked 236 this year to lead the league (no other team has more than 176), while the Keys have walked more than twice as many as Wilmington pitching (107), the top pitching staff in the CL.

GRAND SALAMI TIME!: Thursday marked the first time in a long while that the Keys had hit a grand slam. Brenden Webb did the honors in the first inning, clearing the bases with a blast off Eric Skoglund. It was the first Frederick grand slam since June 2, 2013, when Jerome Pena did it….in Wilmington. Webb sits just outside the top five in the CL in home runs (five) while he has two homers, a double and six RBIs against the Blue Crew this year (he is batting .267 in nine games against the Rocks).

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: This four-game roadtrip to Wilmington will be the second-to-last of the first-half for the Keys. After Sunday, the team will play only three more road games (Frederick visits Potomac from June 12-14). Last time the Keys were on the road, they enjoyed their most successful sojourn of the year, going 4-3 while visiting Myrtle Beach and Lynchburg. In their previous three trips, the team went 3-4, 2-5 and 2-5. Overall, Frederick is 11-18 (.379) in road games, and are one of one three CL clubs that are seven games below .500 in road games. A trend throughout the Carolina League, only Myrtle Beach (20-8) has a winning record away from its home ballpark while all seven other teams are below .500.

WRAPPING UP MAY: The Keys finished May with a 12-17 record, finishing behind Wilmington (17-13) and Lynchburg (14-16). Offensively, the month was a big success for the orange and black, who hit .276 as a team, 33 points higher than their average in April. Although Frederick led the league in hitting, the pitching staff had the highest May ERA of any CL club. Jumping from 4.07 in April to 5.32 over the season’s second month, Keys pitching walked 133 in 250.1 innings (4.78 BB/9IP ratio). Individually, Trey Mancini led the team in batting average (.362), home runs (five) and RBIs (19) while Anthony Caronia (.354), Jeff Kemp (.311), Johnny Ruettiger (.309) and Tucker Nathans (.302) each performed well offensively. On the mound, relievers Jimmy Yacabonis (2.03 ERA/9G) and Nik Nowottnick (2.25 ERA/8G) and starter Jhonathan Ramos (2.18 ERA/4GS) were bright spots.

TODAY’S OPPOSING STARTER: Jakob Junis makes his 11th start of the season on Friday and his second against the Keys. In his most recent outing last Saturday at Carolina, the righty suffered the loss, giving up a season-high seven runs (six earned) on eight hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out one. His start at Frederick on April 25 was one of his best of the year, as he tossed six shutout innings of four-hit baseball to go along with a walk and six strikeouts. The Illinois native got a no-decision, as the Keys tied the game in the eighth and got a walk-off homer from Austin Wynns in the ninth. An innings eater this season, the righty ranks third in the CL in innings pitched (60.0) and has worked into the sixth inning or later in seven of his 10 starts. He is also one of three Wilmington starters in the top five in lowest BB/9IP ratio (1.05/3rd) and rates fifth in fewest baserunners/9IP (9.60). Like in 2014, Junis’ main bugaboo has been the longball, as he is tied for third in homers allowed (he gave up 16 last year second-most in the South Atlantic League). Junis spent all of 2011 at Low-A Lexington where he went 9-8 with a 4.30 ERA in 26 games (22 starts) over 136 innings. Outstanding in the first-half of the year, Junis went 7-4, before posting a 5.91 ERA after the All-Star break. Some of those struggles can be due to a poor July, where Junis finished with an ERA of 8.68. A 29th round selection by Kansas City in 2011 draft, Junis was an All-State baseball and basketball selection as a senior at Rock Falls (IL) High School. Signed by Kansas City for reported $675,000, Junis turned down a scholarship offer to play at NC State. A three-pitch pitcher, Junis throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

Keys look to sweep doubleheader with Lynchburg

Today the Keys will play two as last night’s contest was postponed. Down 0-2 in the series, the team looks to rebound by sweeping the doubleheader to evening up the four-game set before going into an off day Even the rain can’t dampen the spirits of Frederick players and faithful of getting back into the win column. The Keys will send Mitch Horacek (3-5, 3.90) out in hopes of getting a much needed win in game one. Horacek has faced the Hillcats three times this season and has won every one of them. He will be countered by Luis Lugo (3-2, 4.46) as he will be making his second appearance against the orange and black on the year. He last faced them on 4/13 where he received a no-decision. In game two Frederick will be sending out Chris Lee (0-1, 7.56) where he will be countered by Mitch Brown (2-2, 4.54).

Game one starts 11 am as game two will shortly follow

Lineup (Game 1)

Josh Hart CF

Tucker Nathans LF

Trey Mancini 1B

Jeff Kemp 2B

Chance Sisco C

Adrian Marin SS

Brenden Webb DH

Anthony Caronia 3B

Gregory Lorenzo RF

6/2 Game Notes

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: The Frederick Keys and the Lynchburg Hillcats were rained out on Monday night at Nymeo Field. On Tuesday, the two teams will play a doubleheader, with both games going seven innings. This is the second time the Keys and the Hillcats have played a morning doubleheader this year. Frederick pulled the sweep on April 15, winning 7-0 and 4-3 respectively.

 

TAKE A WALK, LEND A HAND: The Lynchburg Hillcats scored five times in the third inning thanks to five walks, while the Frederick Keys walked nine total in a 9-1 setback on Sunday afternoon at Nymeo Field. With the loss, the Keys suffer their first losing homestand of 2015 and their fifth loss in six games. A Trey Mancini home run in the bottom of the first tied the game at one, but Lynchburg grabbed the lead to stay two innings later. Allowing just one hit in the inning, Jarett Miller walked the leadoff batter Clint Frazier, before putting aboard four of the next six batters in similar fashion. Free rides to Alex Monsalve and James Roberts made it a 3-1 game, while a single to center by Ivan Castillo and an error by Josh Hart in center brought in three more markers. Lynchburg scored three more times, but the third inning would provide more than enough support for D.J. Brown. The Hillcats starter allowed just one run over a career-high 7.2 innings on just 89 pitches.

 

UNCHARTERED TERRITORY: For the first time since April 10 (the second day of the season) the Keys are playing .500 baseball, with the team siting at 25-25. Frederick has never been more than a game below sea-level this year, and that has only occurred once, when the orange and black lost to Winston-Salem 13-0 on opening day. Losers of five out of six games, this is the club’s roughest stretch of baseball since April 26-May 4 when the team dropped six of eight against Wilmington, Salem and Carolina.

 

A RAINBOW ATTACHED TO A THUNDERSTORM: Despite the loss on Sunday and Monday’s rainout, the Keys have not lost any ground in the CL North race since Saturday. That is because the division-leading Wilmington Blue Rocks fell in both ends of a doubleheader to the Carolina Mudcats on Sunday. The Keys have an important series against Wilmington starting on Thursday night at Frawley Stadium (four games long) while the Frederick will play eight of its final 20 first-half games against its First State rival.

 

FREE RIDING: On Sunday, the Keys walked nine batters for the fourth time this season. Six of those belonged to Jarett Miller, who tied his career-high in free rides for the third time this season. Frederick’s season-high for walks in a game is 11, something which has occurred twice (most recently on April 22). Keys pitching has walked 224 this year to lead the league, with the next-closest team (Lynchburg) having walked 167.

 

WHERE’S THE HOME COOKING?: After opening this homestand with a 13-4 mark in games at Nymeo Field, the orange and black have dropped four of their last five home tilts. Still, the orange and black have been one of the league’s top home teams. Frederick’s .636 winning percentage (14-8) is second-best in the league, trailing only Wilmington’s .679 mark (19-9).

 

WRAPPING UP MAY: The Keys finished May with a 12-17 record, finishing behind Wilmington (17-13) and Lynchburg (14-16). Offensively, the month was a big success for the orange and black, who hit .276 as a team, 33 points higher than their average in April. Although Frederick led the league in hitting, the pitching staff had the highest May ERA of any CL club. Jumping from 4.07 in April to 5.32 over the season’s second month, Keys pitching walked 133 in 250.1 innings (4.78 BB/9IP ratio). Individually, Trey Mancini led the team in batting average (.362), home runs (five) and RBIs (19) while Anthony Caronia (.354), Jeff Kemp (.311), Johnny Ruettiger (.309) and Tucker Nathans (.302) each performed well offensively. On the mound, relievers Jimmy Yacabonis (2.03 ERA/9G) and Nik Nowottnick (2.25 ERA/8G) and starter Jhonathan Ramos (2.18 ERA/4GS) were bright spots.

 

MILE-HIGH MINDSET: The Keys success this year has hinged on excellent offense. Entering Tuesday, the Keys have three players in the top 10 in the CL in hitting (Trey Mancini, Tucker Nathans and Drew Dosch). No other team has more than two in that department (Carolina and Lynchburg). As a team, Frederick paces the circuit in hitting (.263), and rate second in RBIs (200), home runs (24), total bases (625) and stolen bases (59).

 

COOLING DOWN A WILDFIRE: Trey Mancini has been on fire at the plate, hitting .429 (18-for-42) with three home runs, six RBIs and 12 runs scored in his last 10 games. After an up-and-down April the former Notre Dame star has seen his average climb 68 points in his last 29 games (.244 to .312). Mancini has multiple hits in 12 of his last 20 contests and ranks second in the league in hitting (.312). He paces the circuit in hits (63), extra-base knocks (23) and total bases (103). He is third in home runs (seven), fourth in RBIs (30) and sits fifth in doubles (13).

 

TODAY’S GAME ONE STARTER: Lefty Luis Lugo makes his eighth start on Monday and his second against the Keys. He is the No. 21 prospect in the Indians system according to Baseball America. Winner of three straight starts, Lugo defeated Winston-Salem last Wednesday, tossing six innings of two-run baseball. He allowed just two hits, walked three and struck out six. Lugo’s lone start against the Keys was his Advanced-A debut on April 13. In that game, he surrendered three runs (two earned) on three hits in 4.2 innings. Not factoring into the decision, the game between the Hillcats and Keys went 16 innings, the longest game in the league this year. From May 1-9 Lugo was on the disabled list. Originally from Barquisimeto, Venezuela, the 21-year-old spent all of 2014 at Low-A Lake County. In 27 games (22 starts) Lugo went 10-9 with a 4.92 ERA in 126.1 innings. Finishing third in the Midwest League in strikeouts (146) he racked up 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Ending the year strong, the southpaw registered a 2.14 ERA in August after a disastrous July (9.12 ERA 30R/26ER/25.2 IP). Signed as an international free agent for a reported $415,000, Lugo had a bevy of control issues during his first pro season in 2011 (5.9 BB/9IP) before improving the consistency of his mechanics (according to Baseball America). A four pitch pitcher, Lugo throws a fastball in the low 90s, a curveball, a slider and a changeup, with his changeup receiving high marks. An avid fisherman, Lugo enjoyed bass fishing in the Grand River and Lake Erie while playing for Lake County.

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