Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-6-15

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Frederick Keys wrap up their series with the Winston-Salem Dash on Monday night, as the Keys head to Wilmington to take on the Blue Rocks after the game. Scented neck pillows and blankets would be appreciated.

Mitch Horacek was outstanding in Sunday’s game, turning in  seven innings of two-run baseball. The lefty set down the final 16 he faced, while Horacek and Matt Taylor combined to retire 22 of the final 23 Dash hitters.

On Monday, the Keys will play their third straight rubber game, as Chris Lee takes the mound against a fellow southpaw in Jordan Guerrero. Neither starting pitcher has seen their opposition before, while Lee comes off his second quality outing in three starts.

First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m and our pregame coverage begins at 6:45 on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. If you’re into the Bachelor, feel free to hit the DVR, expecting a good one here tonight.

Today’s lineup and game notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. CF Josh Hart

2. SS Adrian Marin

3. C Chance Sisco

4. 2B Jeff Kemp

5. DH Austin Wynns

6. 1B Wynston Sawyer

7. RF Conor Bierfeldt

8. 3B Tanner Witt

9. LF Jay Gonzalez

LHP Chris Lee

Monday, July 6, 2015 · Game #82 · Road Game #41

Frederick Keys (36-45/4-7) vs Winston-Salem Dash (36-44/6-4)

LHP Chris Lee (2-4, 4.58) vs. LHP Jordan Guerrero (1-1, 5.72)

HORACEK SHUTS DOWN DASH: Frederick Keys starter, Mitch Horacek, turned in seven outstanding innings, while the team used one big inning to defeat the Winston-Salem Dash 5-2 on Sunday night at BB&T Ballpark. The victory snaps a two-game slide and forces a Monday rubber game. After allowing a pair of runs in the second, Horacek would shutdown the Dash, retiring the final 16 batters he faced. He surrendered two unearned runs on four hits to go with six strikeouts. In total, Horacek and Matt Taylor retired 22 of the last 23 Dash hitters. All four Keys runs came in the fourth against James Dykstra, as the orange and black pounded out five hits and sent eight to bat. Following a leadoff single by Jeff Kemp and a double by Brenden Webb, Austin Wynns plated the first run with a sac-fly. Wynston Sawyer (single) and Tanner Witt (double) followed with run-scoring hits before Josh Hart completed the scoring with a groundout to the right side.

QUALITY AND QUANTITY: After the Keys pitching staff turned in just seven quality starts in the first-half, the club posted four last week. The latest came from Mitch Horacek, who tossed seven innings of two-run baseball on Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak. It was his first win since June 2. In addition to Horacek, Mikey O’Brien, Chris Lee and David Hess recorded three straight quality starts from last Tuesday-Thursday. It was the first time that had occurred all season. Horacek leads all Keys starters with five quality starts, while Lee goes for his third in Monday’s finale. The southpaw has turned in quality outings in two of his last three games.

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE, DOUBLE YOUR FUN: The Keys tied their season-high for extra-base hits on Sunday, tallying six doubles on the night. Jeff Kemp and Tanner Witt both had two, while Brenden Webb and Chance Sisco had the others. It marked the second straight Sunday where the Keys had recorded six two-baggers in a contest, as on June 28, the club got six against Wilmington. Half came as part of a four-run fifth inning.

ALL HANDS ON DECK: In addition to four different players finishing with extra-base hits, five posted multi-hit games on Sunday as the Keys registered 14 hits, the team’s largest output in the second-half. Jeff Kemp and Tanner Witt led the way, as each went 3-for-4, while Chance Sisco, Brenden Webb and Jay Gonzalez had two hits apiece. Overall seven of the nine starters finished with one hit and five had an RBI. The four-run fourth inning also tied the Keys most productive stanza since the all-star break.

LET’S PUT A BOW ON THIS ONE: On Monday, the Keys search for their first series victory since June 14, when the club took two of three at Potomac. Since that time, Frederick has lost five consecutive series, the longest it has gone without winning a set this year. This year, the Keys are 3-6-2 in road sets, with two of those series wins coming at the homes of CL South opponents (Salem and Myrtle Beach). In rubber games this season, the Keys are 4-4. They have lost back-to-back deciding games against Potomac and Wilmington.

WINNING WITH WITT: Since joining the Keys from the Rockford Aviators of the Frontier League, Tanner Witt has made a strong impression. In his first six games, he is batting .500 (7-for-14) with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. He has two multi-hit games, while splitting time between third, shortstop and second. Sunday’s three-hit effort from Witt was the most number of hits he had recorded in an affiliated game. Joining the Keys at the All-Star break, Witt took the roster spot of Tucker Nathans who was promoted to Double-A Bowie. In 29 games for Rockford, before joining Frederick, he batted .335 with a home run and 22 RBI.

RUETTIGER AND O’BRIEN CALLED UP: On Sunday, Johnny Ruettiger and Mikey O’Brien were promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. It is Ruettiger’s first promotion to Double-A this year, while O’Brien returns to the Eastern League for the second time this season. In total, 10 different Keys have received either Double-A or Triple-A call-ups in 2015. In 57 games with the Keys this year, Ruettiger batted .265 with 13 RBIs, two triples, 16 doubles and 10 stolen bases. He finished June with a .316 average and hit .300 or better in each of his last two months with the orange and black. O’Brien joined the Keys after making two relief appearances with the Baysox in late-May and early June. Used exclusively as a starter, he went 0-3 with a 2.25 ERA in four games. Both players played for the Baysox on Sunday, with Ruettiger going 2-for-4 with a walk, and O’Brien tossing five innings of three-run baseball in a no-decision.

AGAINST WINSTON-SALEM: Saturday marked Frederick’s first game in Winston-Salem since last July 31, and was the only spot in the CL the Keys had yet to visit. Frederick currently leads the season series 6-3, thanks to a pair of series victories at Nymeo Field. Although the orange and black hold the head-to-head lead, the Dash have outscored the Keys 59-45. That can be traced to a 13-0 Dash win on April 9 and a 14-2 setback on May 7, the Keys two worst losses of 2015. Offensively, the Keys have been led by Brenden Webb (.429/12-for-28), Jeff Kemp (.417/15-for-36) and Austin Wynns (.375/6-for-16). For the Dash, Jake Peter (.389/14-for-36) and Keon Barnum (.351/13-for-37, 12RBI) lead the way.

ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT: The Keys snapped their longest scoreless stretch of the season on Thursday, as Conor Bierfeldt’ s double gave the team its first runs since the fifth inning of Monday’s game against Wilmington. The 28.2 inning scoreless stretch eclipsed the team’s previous high of 17 from April 21-23. Ending the game with eight hits, seven came during Frederick’s final three trips to bat. Additionally the Keys posted three extra-base hits after going without one for three straight games.

TONIGHT’s OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Jordan Guerrero makes his 15th overall start of the season and his sixth with Winston-Salem. With the Dash this season he is 1-1 with a 5.72 ERA. Combined between Winston-Salem and Low-A Kannapolis he is 7-2 with a 3.44 ERA (14 starts) in 83.2 innings. His most recent outing came on last Tuesday night against Myrtle Beach. Tossing 5.1 innings, he allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits. He walked one, hit a batter and struck out six. Guerrero has favored the strikeout this year, posting 29 in his first 28.1 Carolina League innings, while his SO/9IP ratio is better than 4:1 (five of his seven walks came in one game). Promoted to Winston-Salem on June 3 from Low-A Kannapolis (first to Advanced-A), the southpaw went 6-1 with a 2.28 ERA in nine starts. Twice he was named the South Atlantic League “Pitcher of the Week” Guerrero tossed 12 scoreless innings over his first two starts, before turning in 13 more scoreless innings a few weeks later. In nine starts with Kannapolis he gave up more than one earned run just twice, while his 1.27 ERA through May 7 was the seventh-lowest among MiLB qualifiers. Pitching for Low-A Kannapolis exclusively in 2014, he went 6-2 with a 3.46 ERA in 27 games (nine starts). As a starter he had a 4.25 ERA compared to a 2.65 mark as a reliever. He never worked more than five innings in a game, piggybacking with Andre Wheeler in the Kannapolis rotation. The White Sox exercised caution with Guerrero last season after he made just five starts before being shutdown due to shoulder fatigue. He attributed the fatigue to overuse and failing to take proper care of his arm. Selected by Chicago in the 15th round of the 2012 draft out of Moorpark (CA) High School, Guerrero received a reported $100,000 signing bonus. He throws a fastball, curveball and changeup.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-5-15

Good Afternoon!

We are back in the Triad for some 5 p.m baseball as the Keys take on the Winston-Salem Dash for just the second time this year in the Ole North State. Mitch Horacek gets the start tonight, as the Keys try to bounce back after a 6-5 11 inning loss on the Fourth of July. Right-hander James Dykstra starts for Winston-Salem.

We’ll have coverage on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com and today’s lineup and notes are below!

Talk soon,

Geoff

LINEUP

1. CF Josh Hart

2. SS Adrian Marin

3. C Chance Sisco

4. 2B Jeff Kemp

5. RF Brenden Webb

6. DH Austin Wynns

7. 1B Wynston Sawyer

8. 3B Tanner Witt

9. LF Jay Gonzalez

LHP Mitch Horacek

Sunday, July 5, 2015 · Game #81 · Road Game #40

Frederick Keys (35-45/3-7) vs Winston-Salem Dash (36-43/6-3)

LHP Mitch Horacek (5-7, 7.62) vs. RHP James Dykstra (3-5, 3.76)

NARVAEZ SINGLE GIVES DASH WALK-OFF WIN: An Omar Narvaez single to right in the bottom of the 11th inning gave the Winston-Salem Dash a 6-5 walk-off win over the Frederick Keys on Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark. It was the Dash’s first walk-off victory of the campaign, and just the Keys second extra-inning loss of the season. After the two sides exchanged runs in the seventh inning, the Dash would have the final say in the 11th. Williams Louico quickly retired Michael Suiter and Adam Engel, but proceeded to put the next three on base. That sent up Narvaez, who fell behind against Louico 1-2, but drove the fourth pitch of the at-bat into right for the game-winner. Both sides exchanged runs all night, as the Keys took three separate leads in the second, third and seventh innings only to see Winston-Salem counter each time.

FREE BASEBALL FOR EVERYBODY: Saturday marked just the second time this season the Keys had suffered an extra-inning defeat, while it was the third time the club had been victimized by a walk-off in 2015. For the year, Frederick is 5-2 in games stretching past regulation, the second-best mark in the CL behind Myrtle Beach (7-2). Five of those extra-inning contests have come at home (4-1). Narvaez’s single marked the first time the Keys had suffered a walk-off loss since May 10, when a Christopher Bostick single gave Potomac a 4-3 triumph over the orange and black on May 10. The other instance took place on April 16, when Bubba Starling lifted Wilmington to a 3-2 walk-off victory over the Keys with an RBI double.

SOME LOVE FOR THE CATCHERS: It was a great night offensively for the three backstops listed on the Keys roster, as the trio of Chance Sisco, Austin Wynns and Wynston Sawyer accounted for seven of Frederick’s 12 hits. All three had multi-hit efforts, as Sisco 2-for-4, Wynns went 3-for-4 and Sawyer went 2-for-5. All three individuals also had RBIs, with Sawyer driving in a pair. Meanwhile, the three-hit game for Wynns established a new season-high and was one-short of a career-high.

NO FREE RIDING: For the second straight game, Frederick arms walked nine batters, two short of a season-high, while Keys arms have walked 18 in their last 20 innings. The nine free rides were tied for second-most Keys arms had given out in a game since the all-star break  (Frederick pitching walked 10 last Friday at Salem). This year, the pitching staff has walked nine or more in a game on nine occasions. That includes three games of double-digit walks. In the first 80 games this season, Keys pitching has walked 345, 67 more than the next-closest team.

AGAINST WINSTON-SALEM: Saturday marked Frederick’s first game in Winston-Salem since last July 31, and was the only spot in the CL the Keys had yet to visit. Frederick currently leads the season series 5-3, thanks to a pair of series victories at Nymeo Field. Although the orange and black hold the head-to-head lead, the Dash have outscored the Keys 57-40. That can be traced to a 13-0 Dash win on April 9 and a 14-2 setback on May 7, the Keys two worst loses of 2015. Offensively, the Keys have been led by Austin Wynns (.429/6-for-14), Brenden Webb (.417/10-for-24) and Jeff Kemp (.375/11-for-28). For the Dash, Jake Peter (.406/13-for-32) and Keon Barnum (.333/11-for-33, 12RBI) lead the way.

ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT: The Keys snapped their longest scoreless stretch of the season on Thursday, as Conor Bierfeldt’ s double gave the team its first runs since the fifth inning of Monday’s game against Wilmington. The 28.2 inning scoreless stretch eclipsed the team’s previous high of 17 from April 21-23. Ending the game with eight hits, seven came during Frederick’s final three trips to bat. Additionally the Keys posted three extra-base hits after going without one for three straight games.

BIG LEAGUER IN THE HOUSE: Jonathan Schoop played his final game with the Keys as part of a Major League rehab assignment on Friday, going 1-for-5 with a run scored and two strikeouts. Joining Frederick on Thursday, Schoop went 3-for-9 in his two games with the orange and black, which included a game-tying home run in Thursday’s contest. On Sunday, Schoop was activated from the 60-day disabled list after missing time since April 18 with a sprained right knee. The Curacao hit .265 in nine rehab games with four homers and seven RBIs.

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK: On Monday, Keys starting pitcher, David Hess, was named the Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” for June 22-28. It marks the first time in his professional career that Hess had earned a weekly honor, while he becomes the second Keys player to garner a weekly award in 2015. Former Keys infielder, Drew Dosch, was named the CL “Player of the Week” for April 20-27. On Saturday, Hess turned in five shutout innings of three-hit baseball to pick up a win against Salem.

TONIGHT’s OPPOSING PITCHER: James Dykstra makes the start for the Dash on Sunday and is rated as the No. 25 pitcher in the White Sox system according to Baseball America. A member of the Carolina League All-Star team, Dykstra’s most recent outing come on Monday against Myrtle Beach. Receiving a no-decision, he tossed six innings of one-run baseball and allowed five hits. He walked one and struck out five. It was his second straight quality start, and the third straight game where he worked into the sixth inning or later. This will be his second start against the Keys. Facing the orange and black on opening day, he tossed six shutout inning of one-hit baseball and struck out three to earn the win. In his second start he was even better, as he tossed a seven inning no-hitter at Potomac on April 15. In the game, Dykstra faced the minimum, while no Potomac player hit the ball out of the infield. It was the 15th no-no in Winston-Salem franchise history, the first since 2009, while it marks the only no-hitter in the CL this year. With those two performances it was no surprise April was Dykstra’s best month, as he registered a 0.78 ERA in four games (23IP/2ER). May (4.87) and June (5.70) were not quite as smooth, while the righty was out from May 9-23 with a back injury. Regarded as having the “best control” among White Sox minor leaguers, Dykstra has just eight walks in 67 innings this year this year and has not walked any more than two in a game (happened once). He is second in the league in WHIP (1.00), second in lowest BB/9IP ratio (1.07) for starters and fifth in lowest batting average against for starters (.240). Dykstra was a sixth round selection by Chicago in the 2013 draft out of Cal State San Marcos, an NAIA school 30 miles outside his native San Diego. One of three colleges Dykstra attended, the Californian began his career at Yavapi (AZ) Junior College, where he converted from outfield to pitching. He transferred to LSU the following spring, registering a 5.48 ERA in only 23 innings of work (he was teammates with Kevin Gausman). With playing time limited he moved to Cal State San Marcos, and refined his off-speed pitches with pitching coach Pat Hause. Dykstra throws a fastball, changeup and curveball.

The Keys Try For a Series Win Tonight!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The Keys try for a series win against the Potomac Nationals on Friday as Cuban lefty Ariel Miranda makes his second Keys start! He will be opposed by Phillips Valdez, yet another hard-throwing righty for the Nationals.

It figures to be an outstanding crowd for tonight’s game so if you’re in the area come on down! Here are some things to consider:

-Jonathan Schoop is STILL HERE rehabbing

-Postgame Fireworks (Sponsored by Cruise Holidays of Frederick)

-A Stars and Stripes Hat auction (come and bid on the first base concourse)

-One family will win a FREE CRUISE…that’s right folks (also courtesy of Cruise Holidays of Frederick

In other words, it doesn’t take a slick talker to outline the benefits of this game. For those NOT in the area (or those with Iphones or Androids in the ballpark) tune us in on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Pregame show starts at 6:45!

Talk soon and shake your Keys!

Geoff

Friday, July 3, 2015 · Game #79 · Home Game #41

Frederick Keys (35-43/3-5) vs Potomac Nationals (37-40/4-3)

LHP Ariel Miranda (0-0, 4.50) vs. RHP Phillips Valdez (2-2, 5.34)

OFFENSE COMES TO LIFE LATE AS KEYS DOWN NATS: Held off the scoreboard for 28.2 innings, the Frederick Keys rallied for four runs in their final two at-bats to claim a 4-3 win over the Potomac Nationals on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. In the process, the orange and black snapped a three-game losing streak and forced a Friday rubber game. Behind 2-0 going to the seventh inning, Wynston Sawyer and Brenden Webb recorded back-to-back singles off Nationals starter Reynaldo Lopez, before Conor Bierfeldt doubled to left to tie the game. Potomac would briefly regain the lead on a double play ball by Stephen Perez, but MLB rehabber Jonathan Schoop hit a solo homer off Derek Self while an RBI double by Jeff Kemp plated the go-ahead run.

ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT: The Keys snapped their longest scoreless stretch of the season on Thursday, as Conor Bierfeldt’ s double gave the team its first runs since the fifth inning of Monday’s game against Wilmington. The 28.2 inning scoreless stretch eclipsed the team’s previous high of 17 from April 21-23. Ending the game with eight hits, seven came during Frederick’s final three trips to bat. Additionally the Keys posted three extra-base hits after going without one for three straight games.

NICE TO HAVE A BIG LEAGUER AROUND: Orioles second baseman, Jonathan Schoop left his mark on Thursday’s game, his eighth as part of a Major League rehab assignment. Hitting a solo homer that tied the game in the eighth, the Curacao native went 2-for-4. In eight rehab games between Frederick and Double-A Bowie, Schoop is hitting .276 (8-for-29) with four home runs, seven RBIs, two doubles and three runs scored. With Baltimore he hit .259 with three homers and seven RBIs in nine games. On Friday, the second baseman will continue his rehab with the Keys, as he is scheduled to leadoff and play second. A member of the Keys from 2010-11, Schoop played on the 2011 Mills Cup Championship team, batting .353 with three RBIs in the championship series against Kinston.

QUALITY AND QUANTITY: Over the last three nights, Frederick has received outstanding starting pitching from Mikey O’Brien, Chris Lee and David Hess. During that time all three have posted quality starts, marking the first time all season that has occurred. Prior to Tuesday, Keys starters had turned in back-to-back quality outings just once (May 22-23). On Thursday, Hess worked a career-high seven innings allowing two runs on five hits, while O’Brien tied his career-high for innings pitched on Tuesday with seven innings of one-run baseball.

CLOSE CALLS: Two of the Keys last three games have hinged on one run, while the Keys have played 25 one-run affairs this season. That is the third-most in the Carolina League, with only Myrtle Beach and Potomac (26 each) having played more. In games coming down to a run, the orange and black are 13-12, good for fourth-best in the league.

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!: On Friday the Keys try for their first home series win since May 17, when the team earned a rubber game win against Potomac. Frederick has dropped three straight series and four of its last six sets at the friendly confines. This season the Keys are 4-3 in rubber games, with the most recent one coming on Tuesday against Wilmington.   

ROSTER CHANGES: In addition to Schoop joining the Keys, several other roster changes occurred on Thursday. Outfielder Jay Gonzalez joined the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. A 10th round pick by the Orioles last season, Gonzalez hit .294 in 72 games with the Shorebirds and led the South Atlantic League in on-base percentage (.426), runs scored (54) and walks (61) while he placed fifth in stolen bases (24). Gonzalez takes the spot of Gregory Lorenzo who was released by the Orioles. Additionally, Williams Louico was activated from the seven-day disabled list.

QUITE A STRETCH: Josh Hart saw his nine-game hitting streak come to a close on Wednesday. One game short of his season-high 10-gamer, the Georgian batted .405 (15-for-37) with a home run, two doubles, a triple, four RBIs and six runs scored. In the process he moved his average from .265-.295.

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK: On Monday, Keys starting pitcher, David Hess, was named the Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” for June 22-28. It marks the first time in his professional career that Hess had earned a weekly honor, while he becomes the second Keys player to garner a weekly award in 2015. Former Keys infielder, Drew Dosch, was named the CL “Player of the Week” for April 20-27. On Saturday, Hess turned in five shutout innings of three-hit baseball to pick up a win against Salem.

WRAPPING UP JUNE: Problems scoring runs came into play in June, as the Keys wrapped up the third month with a 9-17 record. It was the worst showing by any Carolina League team in June, and Frederick’s roughest month of the season. In 26 games the club averaged just 3.5 runs per game (in April and June that number was over four) while Keys pitching posted a 4.73 ERA. Individually, Josh Hart (.340) and Chance Sisco (.333) fared best at the plate, with Johnny Ruettiger (.316) also turning in a good showing. On the mound, Mikey O’Brien (2.25 ERA), Dylan Rheault (2.63 ERA) and Austin Urban (2.08 ERA) led the way. In June, the Keys won only one series (1-4-2) while the club endured a five-game losing streak and two four-game losing streaks.

AGAINST POTOMAC: Frederick holds a 7-5 lead in the season series against Potomac, with the Keys winning back-to-back sets against their closest geographic rival. The orange and black are batting .255 against the Nationals and hold a 3.42 staff ERA. Potomac is batting .247 collectively against Frederick with a 3.26 ERA. Offensively, Johnny Ruettiger leads the way with a .447 (17-for-38) average with four multi-hit efforts in 10 games. On the Nationals side, Narciso Mesa (.295), Brandon Miller (.290) and Stephen Perez (.286) lead the way. Three of Miller’s seven homers have come against Keys pitching.

TONIGHT’s OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Phillips Valdez makes his 14th start of the season and his seventh with Potomac. With the P-Nats this season he is 2-2 with a 5.34 ERA after going 5-2 with a 1.47 ERA in eight starts at Low-A Hagerstown. His most recent start came on Sunday against Carolina, where he tossed six innings of one-run baseball and allowed four hits. It was his second straight win. Valdez’s lone start against Frederick came on June 14 and did not go well. Lasting only 2.2 innings he allowed nine runs (seven earned) on seven hits. He walked four and hit a batter, while it was the shortest start of his career. Promoted to the P-Nats from Hagerstown on May 28, Valdez allowed three runs or less in all eight Low-A starts before getting his first promotion to Advanced-A. His second-to-last outings was his best, as he threw seven shutout innings against Greensboro while the Suns came one strike away from a no-hitter. Currently with his third organization, Valdez opened his career with the Cleveland Indians, who signed him as an international free agent in 2009. From there, Valdez would be signed by Tampa Bay, but would not pitch in 2011, before the Nationals signed him in May 2012. In Valdez’s career walks have been his biggest issue, with the right-hander’s career BB/9IP ratio sitting at 4.4. This season though, he has shown some improvement walking a combined 2.4 through nine innings so far. Valdez hails from San Pedro de Macoris, a town which has been dubbed “the cradle of shortstops” more than 100 players from this town have gone on to play Major League Baseball since players from the Dominican began coming to play professional baseball in 1958. Among those from San Pedro who have gone on to the Major Leagues: Robinson Cano, Sammy Sosa, Alfonso Soriano, Tony Fernandez.

 

Keys look to even series with Potomac

Last night the Keys offense was held off the board the entire game as they fell in the series opener against the Potomac Nationals by a score of 4-0. Looking to knot the series at a game a piece, Frederick will trot out David Hess (3-4, 5.43) who is making his second appearance against the Nationals this year. Potomac will send out Reynaldo Lopez (4-4, 4.88) in hopes of clinching the series. Lopez will be making his second appearance against the Keys on the season. Also Baltimore Orioles second baseman, Jonathan Schoop, will be making a rehab start tonight with the orange and black. Game time start will be 7:00 PM.

Today’s lineup

Jonathan Schoop 2B

Josh Hart CF

Chance Sisco C

Jeff Kemp SS

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Brenden Webb DH

Conor Bierfeldt RF

Anthony Caronia 3B

Jay Gonzalez LF

7/2 Game Notes

KEMP BREAKS UP NO HITTER, BUT KEYS FALL: The Potomac Nationals came up two outs short of a no-hitter on Wednesday night, settling instead for a 4-0 win over the Frederick Keys at Nymeo Field. Trying to wrap things up in the ninth, Manny Rodriguez retired Josh Hart on a flyout to center, but Jeff Kemp laced an 0-1 single to left to wreck the no-hit bid. In the game, Frederick got only six men on base, while Kemp’s single was the team’s only hit of the night. Prior to the ninth, MLB rehabber Aaron Barrett and Lucas Giolito combined on eight hitless innings, with seven coming from Giolito in his first professional relief appearance. The seven frames also tied a career-high for the Californian who struck out seven. Offensively, the Nationals scored on an RBI double by Adrian Sanchez in the second and added three insurance runs in the eighth on two-baggers by Narciso Mesa and Spencer Kieboom.

THE SCORELESS STRETCH CONTINUES: The Keys scoreless stretch continued on Wednesday as the orange and black were shutout for the second straight night. Frederick enters Thursday having gone 22 innings without a run (dating back to the fifth inning on Monday). It is the Keys longest scoreless stretch of the season, eclipsing a 17-frame stretch from April 21-23. Additionally, the club was one-hit for the first time since August 24, 2014 when the Keys lost 12-1 at Potomac in the back-end of a seven-inning twinbill. In six of the Keys seven games since the all-star break, the team has been limited to three runs or less.

BLANKED: The Keys have now been shutout seven times this season, tied for the second-most in the Carolina League. At the same time, the Keys have blanked just three opponents this year, giving them the worst shutout record in the CL. With Wednesday’s 1-0 setback, the Keys also suffered consecutive shutout defeats for the first time since last August 13 at Wilmington (doubleheader).

SCHOOP TO REHAB THURSDAY: Orioles second baseman, Jonathan Schoop is scheduled to leadoff and play second base for the Keys on Thursday as he continues his MLB rehab assignment. Currently on the 60-day disabled list, Schoop has not played in an Orioles game since April 18 with a sprained right knee. In seven rehab games with the Bowie Baysox he hit .240 (6-for-25) with three home runs, six RBIs, two doubles and three runs scored. With Baltimore he hit .259 with three homers and seven RBIs in nine games. A member of the Keys from 2010-11, Schoop played on the 2011 Mills Cup Championship team, batting .353 with three RBIs in the championship series against Kinston.

ROSTER CHANGES: In addition to Schoop joining the Keys, several other roster changes occurred on Thursday. Outfielder Jay Gonzalez joined the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. A 10th round pick by the Orioles last season, Gonzalez hit .294 in 72 games with the Shorebirds and led the South Atlantic League in on-base percentage (.426), runs scored (54) and walks (61) while he placed fifth in stolen bases (24). Gonzalez takes the spot of Gregory Lorenzo who was released by the Orioles. Additionally, Williams Louico was activated from the seven-day disabled list.

QUITE A STRETCH: Josh Hart saw his nine-game hitting streak come to a close on Wednesday. One game short of his season-high 10-gamer, the Georgian batted .405 (15-for-37) with a home run, two doubles, a triple, four RBIs and six runs scored. In the process he moved his average from .265-.295.

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK: On Monday, Keys starting pitcher, David Hess, was named the Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” for June 22-28. It marks the first time in his professional career that Hess had earned a weekly honor, while he becomes the second Keys player to garner a weekly award in 2015. Former Keys infielder, Drew Dosch, was named the CL “Player of the Week” for April 20-27. On Saturday, Hess turned in five shutout innings of three-hit baseball to pick up a win against Salem.

WRAPPING UP JUNE: Problems scoring runs came into play in June, as the Keys wrapped up the third month with a 9-17 record. It was the worst showing by any Carolina League team in June, and Frederick’s roughest month of the season. In 26 games the club averaged just 3.5 runs per game (in April and June that number was over four) while Keys pitching posted a 4.73 ERA. Individually, Josh Hart (.340) and Chance Sisco (.333) fared best at the plate, with Johnny Ruettiger (.316) also turning in a good showing. On the mound, Mikey O’Brien (2.25 ERA), Dylan Rheault (2.63 ERA) and Austin Urban (2.08 ERA) led the way. In June, the Keys won only one series (1-4-2) while the club endured a five-game losing streak and two four-game losing streaks.

NO MAS ME CASA ES SU CASA: Series wins at home have been tough to come by of late. Tuesday’s series defeat was the club’s third in-a-row at Nymeo field and their fourth in the last six sets at Nymeo Field. Frederick has not won a home series since May 17, when the club took two of three against Potomac. Although the Keys are a game above .500 at home (20-19) the orange and black are just 7-15 in their last 22 road tilts.

AGAINST POTOMAC: Frederick holds a 6-5 lead in the season series against Potomac, with the Keys winning back-to-back sets against their closest geographic rival. The orange and black are batting .255 against the Nationals and hold a 3.46 staff ERA. Potomac is batting .249 collectively against Frederick with a 3.15 ERA. Offensively, Johnny Ruettiger leads the way with a .447 (17-for-38) average with four multi-hit efforts in 10 games. On the Nationals side, Brandon Miller (.321), Narciso Mesa (.300) and Stephen Perez (.290) lead the way. Three of Miller’s seven homers have come against Keys pitching.

TONIGHT’s OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez makes his 11th start with the P-Nats on Thursday and his second against the Keys. His most recent outing came at Wilmington last Friday. Pitching the front-end of a doubleheader, Lopez threw a six-inning complete game, but allowed five runs on nine hits in a losing effort. The nine hits equaled a career-high. Rated the No. 3 prospect in the Nationals system according to Baseball America the right-hander did not allow a run in his first 13.2 Carolina League innings, before giving up a run to the Keys in his third CL start. Facing Frederick on May 17, Lopez got a no-decision allowing one run on five hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out four. June was a challenging month for the 21-year-old who went 2-2 with a 5.79 ERA. Signed for $17,000 as an international free agent in 2012, Lopez split 2014 between Short-Season Auburn and Low-A Hagerstown. Between the two stops, he went 7-3 with a 1.08 ERA over 16 starts. A pitcher with an overpowering fastball, Lopez throws in the mid-upper 90s to go along with an 11-5 curveball and a changeup.

Keys open up series with Potomac tonight

The Keys battled the Wilmington Blue Rocks till the very end of last night’s rubber match, but Wilmington came out on top winning 1-0 and the series. Frederick will look to finish their six-game homestand as they open up a three-game series with the Potomac Nationals tonight. The orange and black will send out southpaw Chris Lee (2-3, 5.13) who will be making his second appearance against Potomac this season. He will be countered by the Nationals’ Lucas Giolito (2-4, 3.55) who is making his third appearance against the Keys on the year. Washington Nationals reliever Aaron Barrett is slated to start the game as he is making a rehab stint with Potomac and will be replaced by Giolito after an inning. Game time start will be 7:00 PM.

Today’s Lineup

Josh Hart CF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Chance Sisco DH

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Conor Bierfeldt RF

Austin Wynns C

Anthony Caronia 3B

Johnny Ruettiger LF

Tanner Witt SS

7/1 Game Notes

BEATEN BY AN EYELASH: A bang-bang play at first base went against the Keys in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded, allowing the Wilmington Blue Rocks to escape with a 1-0 win on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field. It marked the sixth time this season the Keys had been shutout. In the bottom of the ninth, Chance Sisco collected a one-out single and moved to second on an additional base hit by Conor Bierfeldt. Both runners advanced an additional 90 foot on a fielder’s choice, before Cordero walked Austin Wynns to send up Gregory Lorenzo. Bouncing a ball to the left side, Lorenzo thought he arrived at first ahead of a one-hop throw by Ramon Torres, but Lorenzo was called out by base umpire Mike Provine to end the game. Wilmington’s lone run came on a solo homer by Mauricio Ramos in the first.

BLANKED: The Keys have now been shutout six times this season, tied for the third-most in the Carolina League. At the same time, the Keys have blanked just three opponents this year, tying them for the worst shutout record in the Carolina League (Myrtle Beach is also 3-6). Half of Frederick’s shutout losses have come to Wilmington, while on Tuesday much of the credit belonged to Alec Mills. The CL’s active leader in ERA, the right-hander tossed seven shutout innings and struck out eight. Dating back to the first half, Mills has worked 23.1 scoreless innings, including 15.1 against the Keys. That performance overshadowed Mikey O’Brien’s evening. Tying his career-high with seven innings, the Keys starter was a tough-luck loser allowing one run on six hits. The seven-inning stint also equaled the longest by a Frederick pitcher in 2015.

WHERE HAVE THE BATS GONE?: Despite being tied for the league lead in hitting and placing in the top half in runs scored, the Keys offense has struggled in the second half. Entering Wednesday, the orange and black have gone 13 innings without scoring a run. Right before the all-star break, Frederick endured a 15.2 inning stretch without a run, while the club’s longest stretch of the year remains a 17 frame stretch from April 21-23. In five of the Keys six games since the all-star break, the team has been limited to three runs or less. Much of that can be due to issues with runners in scoring position. In six games since the break, the team is hitting .170 (9-for-53) with men at second or third. A good barometer for the Keys success this year, when scoring three runs or less the orange and black are 5-33, as opposed to 29-9 when plating four or more.

WRAPPING UP JUNE: Problems scoring runs came into play in June, as the Keys wrapped up the third month with a 9-17 record. It was the worst showing by any Carolina League team in June, and Frederick’s roughest month of the season. In 26 games the club averaged just 3.5 runs per game (in April and June that number was over four) while Keys pitching posted a 4.73 ERA. Individually, Josh Hart (.340) and Chance Sisco (.333) fared best at the plate, with Johnny Ruettiger (.316) also turning in a good showing. On the mound, Mikey O’Brien (2.25 ERA), Dylan Rheault (2.63 ERA) and Austin Urban (2.08 ERA) led the way. In June, the Keys won only one series (1-4-2) while the club endured a five-game losing streak and two four-game losing streaks.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: In the last 28 games, an opponent has batted around 11 times, with the latest instance coming in Monday’s seventh inning. Meanwhile during that time, Keys opponents have posted 13 innings of four runs or more. That includes four six-run innings, three five-run innings and six four-run innings.

NO MAS ME CASA ES SU CASA: Series wins at home have been tough to come by of late. Tuesday’s series defeat was the club’s third in-a-row at Nymeo field and their fourth in the last six sets at Nymeo Field. Frederick has not won a home series since May 17, when the club took two of three against Potomac. Although the Keys are two games above .500 at home (20-18) the orange and black are just 7-14 in their last 21 road tilts.

ANOTHER PLAYER OF THE MONTH?: The last two Orioles Minor League “Players of the Month” have been Keys players and Josh Hart is making a case for a third. In 25 June games, the Georgia native paced the team with a .340 batting average to go along with eight RBIs, seven extra-base hits, 14 runs scored and seven stolen bases. He comes into Wednesday with a nine-game hitting streak. During that stretch, Hart is batting .405 (15-for-37) with a home run, two doubles, a triple, four RBIs and six runs scored. In the process he has moved his average from .265-.295, the highest it has been all season. The 20-year-old has one 10-game hitting streak already this season (the longest by a Key in 2015) which went from April 10-May 29.  

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK: On Monday, Keys starting pitcher, David Hess, was named the Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” for June 22-28. It marks the first time in his professional career that Hess had earned a weekly honor, while he becomes the second Keys player to garner a weekly award in 2015. Former Keys infielder, Drew Dosch, was named the CL “Player of the Week” for April 20-27. On Saturday, Hess turned in five shutout innings of three-hit baseball to pick up a win against Salem.

AGAINST POTOMAC: Frederick holds a 6-4 lead in the season series against Potomac, with the Keys winning back-to-back sets against their closest geographic rival. The orange and black are batting .272 against the Nationals and hold a 3.61 staff ERA. Potomac is batting .253 collectively against Frederick with a 3.48 ERA. Offensively, Johnny Ruettiger leads the way with a .486 (17-for-35) average with four multi-hit efforts in nine games. Anthony Caronia (.333) and Austin Wynns (.300) have also fared well. On the Nationals side, Brandon Miller (.320), Narciso Mesa (.306) and Khayyan Norfork (.304) lead the way. Three of Miller’s seven homers have come against Keys pitching.

FACING A BIG LEAGUER: Aaron Barrett will make a one-inning start for the Nationals on Tuesday as he rehabs from a right biceps strain. In 30 relief appearances with Washington this year, Barrett is 3-2 with a 5.06 ERA. In 50 games with the Nationals last season he went 3-0 with a 2.66 ERA.

FOLLOWING BARRETT: Right-hander Lucas Giolito makes his 10th start of the season and his third against the Keys. Facing Wilmington on June 25, he tossed two scoreless innings and allowed a walk and two strikeouts in a no-decision. Against Frederick this year, he is 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA (10.2 IP/6ER/16H). He last saw the Keys on June 12, giving up one run on eight hits in 6.1 innings. He walked one and struck out five. He also saw the Keys in his CL debut and allowed five runs on eight hits in 8.1 innings (he suffered the loss).  In the month of June, Giolito went 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA (23.1 IP/6ER). 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.

Keys play Wilmington in rubber match

Last night the Keys got routed by Wilmington as they fell 11-3. With the series tied at 1-1, tonight’s contest will be the rubber match. In hopes of winning the series, Frederick will send out Mikey O’Brien (0-2, 2.77) who is making his second appearance against the Blue Rocks. In his last outing on June 18, O’Brien pitched five innings allowing two runs on five hits and he suffered the loss. He will be countered by Alec Mills (5-3, 2.34) making his fourth start against the Keys on the season.

Today’s Lineup

Josh Hart CF

Adrian Marin SS

Jeff Kemp 2B

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Chance Sisco C

Conor Bierfeldt DH

Anthony Caronia 3B

Johnny Ruettiger LF

Gregory Lorenzo RF

6/30 Game Notes

POWER OUTAGE: The Wilmington Blue Rocks pounded out 16 hits and turned in three multi-run innings en route to an 11-3 victory over the Frederick Keys on Monday night at Nymeo Field. In the game, five Wilmington starters registered multiple hits, while Sean Manaea struck out eight Keys batters in five innings to earn his first win of 2015. In the third, the visitors grabbed a 5-2 edge on a two-run homer by Mauricio Ramos and an RBI double by Cam Gallagher, before pulling away with four runs in the seventh. Sending all nine to bat, Dominique Taylor drove in Logan Moon with a double, while a single and a walk loaded the bases. From there, Dylan Rheault plunked Ramos to force in a run before a single by Alfredo Escalera and a groundout by Santiago Nessy brought in the final run of the frame.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Wilmington’s 11-run output marked the second time in four games, Frederick pitching had allowed more than 10 runs in a contest. Last Friday, the team suffered an 11-1 setback to Salem. Over the last month, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 27 games, an opponent has batted around 11 times (with the latest instance coming in Monday’s seventh inning). Meanwhile during that time, Keys opponents have posted 13 innings of four runs or more. That includes four six-run innings, three five-run innings and six four-run innings.

THESE GUYS AGAIN?: Blue Rocks hitters have enjoyed hitting against Keys pitching, with Wilmington batting a collective .279 against Frederick this year. In the last four games, Frederick is being outscored by its First State rival 25-10. In total, five different Blue Rocks players are hitting better than .300 against Keys pitching this year, with Cam Gallagher (.370) and Jack Lopez (.368) leading the way. Add a 2.78 staff ERA to the mix against the orange and black, and it is no surprise Wilmington has claimed nine of the last 11 head-to-head meetings, and the Blue Rocks hold a commanding 12-6 lead in the season-series. On Wednesday, the Blue Crew try to earn their third straight series win against the Keys this year.

READY FOR THE CALENDAR TO FLIP: Coming into the last day of June, the Keys are ready for the calendar to flip. Following a challenging May where the Keys were 12-17, the team is just 9-16 in June. Myrtle Beach is the only other CL team that is seven games below .500 (10-17) this month. In June, the Keys have won only one series (1-3-2) while the club has endured a five-game losing streak and two four-game losing streaks.

NO MAS ME CASA ES SU CASA: Series wins at home have been tough to come by of late. On Tuesday, the orange and black try and win their first home series since May 17, when the club took two of three against Potomac. A loss would mark the team’s third straight series defeat at the friendly confines and their fourth in the last six sets at Nymeo Field (the other two have been splits). Although Frederick is three games above .500 at home (20-17) the orange and black are just 7-13 in their last 20 road tilts after opening the year with a 13-4 record in games on Stadium Drive. That included five straight series wins.

ANOTHER PLAYER OF THE MONTH?: The last two Orioles Minor League “Players of the Month” have been Keys players and Josh Hart is making a case for a third. In 24 June games, the Georgia native paces the team with a .333 batting average to go along with eight RBIs, seven extra-base hits, 14 runs scored and seven stolen bases. Entering Tuesday with an eight-game hitting streak, Hart is batting .394 (13-for-33) with a home run, two doubles, a triple, four RBIs and six runs scored. In the process he has moved his average from .265-.290, the highest it has been all season.   

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK: On Monday, Keys starting pitcher, David Hess, was named the Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” for June 22-28. It marks the first time in his professional career that Hess had earned a weekly honor, while he becomes the second Keys player to garner a weekly award in 2015. Former Keys infielder, Drew Dosch, was named the CL “Player of the Week” for April 20-27. On Saturday, Hess turned in five shutout innings of three-hit baseball to pick up a win against Salem.

WALK THIS WAY: Keys pitching finished with 10 walks last Friday, one short of the club’s season-high. It was the most number of walks by Frederick arms since April 22 at Lynchburg when the staff walked 11. In 2015, Frederick arms have walked nine or more in a game on seven occasions. That includes three games of double-digit walks. Through 75 games this year, Keys pitching has walked 320, 65 more free rides than the next-closest team (Lynchburg has walked 265). In all three months, the pitching staff has at least a 4.2 BB/9IP ratio. As a point of comparison, the Blue Rocks pitching staff has walked 140.

WELCOME NEWCOMERS!: On Thursday, a total of six different roster moves were made. Those changes brought about two newcomers: Connor Bierfeldt and Tanner Witt. Through his first five games, Bierfeldt is 4-for-18 with a home run, two doubles and six strikeouts. He joins the club from Low-A Delmarva, where he led the South Atlantic League in RBIs (56) in 62 games. Signed to a free agent contract, Witt joins Frederick from the Rockford Aviators of the Independent Frontier League. There he hit .355 in 29 games with a home run and 22 RBIs. He was the league’s “Rookie of the Year” in 2014. So far with the Keys, Witt is 3-for-5.

TODAY’S OPPOSING STARTER: Right-hander Alec Mills makes his 14th start on Tuesday and his fourth against the Keys. Before pitching in the Carolina League-California League All-Star game, Mills closed out his first-half on a high note. Facing the orange and black on June 18, the right-hander tossed 8.1 shutout innings giving up three hits, walking one and striking out seven. In the game he got 23 of his 25 outs without allowing a ball out of the infield. Additionally the 8.1 innings marked a career-high for Mills. Prior to his start against the Keys, Mills tossed eight shutout innings at Salem, meaning he enters Tuesday’s start with a 16.1 inning scoreless streak. He has not surrendered a run since June 7, when he gave up a sixth inning marker to the Keys. Against his closest geographic rival this year, the 23-year-old is 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA in three games (18 IP/7ER). Despite pitching in a pitcher-friendly park at home, Mills has a lower ERA in six road starts (1.23) than in seven home starts (3.63). 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 two 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.

Keys look to clinch series with Wilmington

Last night the Keys came away with a much needed win in the opening of a three-game set with the Wilmington Blue Rocks by a score of 6-2 to get to a .500 record. They rallied four runs in the fifth inning to take the lead as Frederick’s pitching shut down Wilmington’s offense for the rest of the contest. Tonight, the orange and black look to clinch the series as they will send out southpaw Mitch Horacek (4-7, 3.96) who is making his second appearance against the Blue Rocks this season. He will be countered by fellow lefty Sean Manea (0-0, – -) making his season debut with Wilmington. Tonight will be Harry Potter Night at Nymeo Field as the game will start at 7:00 PM.

Today’s Lineup

Josh Hart CF

Adrian Marin SS

Jeff Kemp 2B

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Chance Sisco C

Conor Bierfeldt DH

Brenden Webb RF

Anthony Caronia 3B

Johnny Ruettiger LF

6/29 Game Notes

FIFTH INNING MAGIC: The Frederick Keys scored four times off in the fifth inning thanks to five straight two-out hits, while Luis Gonzalez turned in four frames of shutout relief to lead the orange and black to a 6-2 victory on Sunday night at Nymeo Field. It marked the first time the Keys had won back-to-back games since June 13-14. Anthony Caronia triggered the fifth inning rally, doubling to right-center after seeing seven pitches from Rocks starter Eric Skoglund. Josh Hart followed with an RBI single, before coming in on a two-bagger by Adrian Marin. A single by Jeff Kemp and a third double by Wynston Sawyer completed the scoring. On the mound, Gonzalez limited Wilmington to just two hits from the fifth through eighth innings.

THERE’S THE OFFENSE!: Coming into Sunday with losses in eight of their last 10 games, the Keys had also been limited to limited to three runs or less in five straight games (and eight of 10). However the club’s offense busted out for six runs and 12 in the series opener against the Blue Rocks. Half of those hits went for extra-bases (all doubles) equaling a season-high. The six runs were the most Frederick had scored since June 14 at Potomac, while 12 hits were the most the club had registered since June 15 against Carolina. Utilizing contributions from up-and-down the lineup, eight of the nine Keys starters had at least one hit. A radically different club when reaching the four-run barrier, the orange and black are 29-9 when tallying more than three runs, and 5-31 when posting three or less.   

READY FOR THE CALENDAR TO FLIP: In spite of earning back-to-back wins, the Keys are ready for the calendar to flip. Following a challenging May where the Keys were 12-17, Frederick is just 9-15 in June. Myrtle Beach is the only other CL team that is six games below .500 (10-16) this month. In June, the Keys have won only one series (1-3-2) while the club has endured a five-game losing streak and two four-game losing streaks.

YO ADRIAN!: Adrian Marin enjoyed a great day at the plate on Sunday, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base. The three hits tied a season-high for the Miami native, who last registered three knocks on June 15 against Carolina. A force against Wilmington this year, Marin is batting .290 (18-62) against Wilmington this year, while nine of his 16 doubles have come against the Blue Crew. In his first four second-half games, the shortstop is batting .357 (5-for-14) with two doubles, an RBI and four runs scored.

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK: On Monday, Keys starting pitcher, David Hess, was named the Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” for June 22-28. It marks the first time in his professional career that Hess had earned a weekly honor, while he becomes the second Keys player to garner a weekly award in 2015. Former Keys infielder, Drew Dosch, was named the CL “Player of the Week” for April 20-27. On Saturday, Hess turned in five shutout innings of three-hit baseball to pick up a win against Salem.

NO MAS ME CASA ES SU CASA: Although Frederick is four games above .500 at home (20-16) Nymeo Field has not been quite the home field advantage it was through the first month and a half of the season. After opening the year with a 13-4 mark in home tilts (which included five straight series wins) the Keys have gone just 7-12 since. Frederick has dropped back-to-back sets at the friendly confines and three of the last five (the other two were splits). The orange and black have not claimed a home series since May 17, when the team took two of three against Potomac.

BITTEN BY THE BIG FLY: Over the recent seven-game homestand, Keys pitching surrendered 12 home runs. That included four in Sunday’s quasi-doubleheader. In six of the seven games, Frederick arms allowed at least one deep fly, while in five of the seven contests the opposition homered twice or more. In total, the pitching staff has allowed 49 home runs, 10 more than the next-closest team.

THESE GUYS AGAIN?: For the second straight homestand, the Keys will face-off against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the first-half CL North champs. Winners of eight of the last 10 head-to-head meetings, the Blue Rocks hold a commanding 11-6 lead in the season-series. As a team Frederick is batting just .251 against Blue Rocks pitching, while the Keys staff has a collective 4.61 ERA. In contrast, Wilmington is batting .272 against Frederick and sports a 2.89 staff ERA. Individually, Adrian Marin leads the way with a .290 average. For the Blue Crew, Jack Lopez (.369), Frank Schwindel (.354) Cam Gallagher (.341), and Robert Pehl (.304) guide the offense.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last four weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 26 games, an opponent has batted around 10 times (with the latest instance coming in the fifth inning Friday). Meanwhile during that time, Keys opponents have posted 12 innings of four runs or more. That includes four six-run innings, three five-run innings and five four-run innings.

WALK THIS WAY: Keys pitching finished with 10 walks on Friday, one short of the club’s season-high. It was the most number of walks by Frederick arms since April 22 at Lynchburg when the staff walked 11. In 2015, Frederick arms have walked nine or more in a game on seven occasions. That includes three games of double-digit walks. Through 74 games this year, Keys pitching has walked 315, 56 more free rides than the next-closest team (Lynchburg has walked 259). In all three months, the pitching staff has at least a 4.2 BB/9IP ratio.

WELCOME NEWCOMERS!: On Thursday, a total of six different roster moves were made. Those changes brought about two newcomers: Connor Bierfeldt and Tanner Witt. Through his first four games, Bierfeldt is 3-for-14 with a home run, two doubles and five strikeouts. He joins the club from Low-A Delmarva, where he led the South Atlantic League in RBIs (56) in 62 games. Signed to a free agent contract, Witt joins Frederick from the Rockford Aviators of the Independent Frontier League. There he hit .355 in 29 games with a home run and 22 RBIs. He was the league’s “Rookie of the Year” in 2014. Making his first CL start at third on Saturday, Witt finished 2-for-3.

Keys return for first home series of the second half

The Frederick Keys return to Nymeo Field for the first home series in the second half of the season. Keys began their quest to clinch a playoff spot for the second half by playing a three game set down in Salem where they lost two out of three. The good news of coming back to Nymeo Field is that Frederick had a 19-16 record in the first half at home. Their first series back they will be taking on the Wilmington Blue Rocks who clinched the first half playoff spot. The Blue Rocks took three out of four against the Keys to close out to first half at Nymeo Field and are on a four game win streak. The orange and black will trot out lefty Ariel Miranda (0-0, – -) who is making his first appearance for Frederick. The Cuban prospect was recently signed by the Baltimore Orioles on May 23 where they expect him to be a contributor later in the season. He will be countered by Wilmington southpaw Eric Skoglund (6-2, 2.74) making his fifth appearance against the Keys this season where he has a 1-1 record. Tonight will also be Faith Night at Nymeo Field.

Today’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Adrian Marin SS

Jeff Kemp 2B

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Chance Sisco DH

Conor Bierfeldt LF

Brenden Webb RF

Austin Wynns C

Anthony Caronia 3B

 

6/28 Game Notes

NOT TO LEAVE EMPTY HANDED: The Frederick Keys salvaged the final game of their three-game set with the Salem Red Sox, utilizing strong pitching from David Hess, Donnie Hart and Cody Wheeler to exit with a 3-1 win on Saturday night at LewisGale Field. The win snaps a four-game slide for the orange and black. Frederick scored all three of its runs in the first two innings. Josh Hart opened the game with a bunt single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, before scoring after a steal of third and an errant throw by Jordan Procyshen. In the second, the club picked up both its runs with two outs. Following a double by Austin Wynns, Conor Bierfeldt slugged a two-run homer to make it 3-0. Hess and Hart combined on seven scoreless innings, before the Red Sox loaded the bases against Wheeler in the eighth. However, the Virginia native limited the damage to just a run, thanks to a double play and a strikeout of Forrest Allday. Wheeler retired all three in the ninth to close things out.

SLIDE SNAPPED: On Saturday, the Keys snapped their four-game losing streak, tied for the club’s second-longest slide of the season. Frederick dropped five in-a-row from June 4-9 against Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. Additionally, the team avoided being swept for the fourth time this season. In spite of the win, the Keys still have work to do to shake off their current funk. Currently, the Keys have lost eight of their last 10 games and have not posted back-to-back wins since June 13-14 at Potomac.

READY FOR THE CALENDAR TO FLIP: As June winds down, the Keys are ready for the calendar to flip. Following a challenging May where the Keys were 12-17, Frederick is just 8-15 in June. That is the worst mark the in the Carolina League, with no other squad sitting more than five games below sea-level this month. In June, the Keys have won only one series (1-3-2) while the club has endured a five-game losing streak and two four-game losing streaks. Not helping matters, the Keys last two series (and upcoming set) come against the two teams that have fared the best this month, Salem (14-9) and Wilmington (13-9).

NO MAS ME CASA ES SU CASA: Although Frederick is three games above .500 at home (19-16) Nymeo Field has not been quite the home field advantage it was through the first month and a half of the season. After opening the year with a 13-4 mark in home tilts (which included five straight series wins) the Keys have gone just 6-12 since. Frederick has dropped back-to-back sets at the friendly confines and three of the last five (the other two were splits). The orange and black have not claimed a home series since May 17, when the team took two of three against Potomac.

BITTEN BY THE BIG FLY: Over the recent seven-game homestand, Keys pitching surrendered 12 home runs. That included four in Sunday’s quasi-doubleheader. In six of the seven games, Frederick arms allowed at least one deep fly, while in five of the seven contests the opposition homered twice or more. In total, the pitching staff has allowed 48 home runs, 12 more than the next-closest team.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: Saturday marked the first time all season Frederick scored less than four runs in a road game and managed to win. Entering the finale at Salem, the Keys had gone 0-19 when posting three or fewer runs in a road tilt. Despite getting the win, offense has been at a premium of late. In their last five games, the team has been limited to three runs or less and in eight of their last 10 contests. This season, the Keys have been a radically different team when reaching the four-run barrier. When tallying four or more runs, the Keys are 28-9, as opposed to going 5-31 when posting three or fewer runs.

THESE GUYS AGAIN?: For the second straight homestand, the Keys will face-off against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the first-half CL North champs. Winners of eight of the last nine head-to-head meetings, the Blue Rocks hold a commanding 11-5 lead in the season-series. As a team Frederick is batting just .245 against Blue Rocks pitching, while the Keys staff has a collective 4.79 ERA. In contrast, Wilmington is batting .278 against Frederick and sports a 2.67 staff ERA. Individually, Austin Wynns leads the way with a .280 average. For the Blue Crew, Cam Gallagher (.368), Jack Lopez (.361), Frank Schwindel (.355) and Robert Pehl (.350) guide the offense.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last four weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 25 games, an opponent has batted around 10 times (with the latest instance coming in the fifth inning Friday). Meanwhile during that time, Keys opponents have posted 12 innings of four runs or more. That includes four six-run innings, three five-run innings and five four-run innings.

WALK THIS WAY: Keys pitching finished with 10 walks on Friday, one short of the club’s season-high. It was the most number of walks by Frederick arms since April 22 at Lynchburg when the staff walked 11. In 2015, Frederick arms have walked nine or more in a game on seven occasions. That includes three games of double-digit walks. Through 72 games this year, Keys pitching has walked 313, 59 more free rides than the next-closest team (Lynchburg has walked 254). In all three months, the pitching staff has at least a 4.2 BB/9IP ratio.

WELCOME NEWCOMERS!: On Thursday, a total of six different roster moves were made. Those changes brought about two newcomers: Connor Bierfeldt and Tanner Witt. Through his first three games, Bierfeldt is 2-for-10 with a home run, a double and four strikeouts. He joins the club from Low-A Delmarva, where he led the South Atlantic League in RBIs (56) in 62 games. Signed to a free agent contract, Witt joins Frederick from the Rockford Aviators of the Independent Frontier League. There he hit .355 in 29 games with a home run and 22 RBIs. He was the league’s “Rookie of the Year” in 2014. Making his first CL start at third on Saturday, Witt finished 2-for-3.

TODAY’S OPPOSING STARTER: Left-hander Eric Skoglund makes his 13th start of the season for the Blue Rocks on Sunday and his fourth against the Keys. Ranked the No. 14 prospect in the Kansas City Royals system according to Baseball America, Skoglund’s last first-half start came against Frederick. Only a one-inning outing (Wilmington clinched two days prior) Skoglund gave up one hit. Currently, Skoglund is fifth in the CL in ERA, one of four Blue Rocks pitchers who rank among the top 10. He is also second in WHIP (0.99), fifth in innings pitched (75.2). He is also tops among  starters in lowest BB/9IP ratio (0.95) and fewest baserunners/9IP (9.40). This year against Frederick, Skoglund is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA. The two toughest starts of his career have come against the Keys, as twice he has allowed five runs over six inning stints. In 10 of his other 11 starts Skoglund has given up three runs or less (that includes six quality starts). Last season, Skoglund went 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA over nine games (eight starts) at Rookie-Advanced Idaho Falls in 2014. In his first foray into pro baseball, the 22-year-old saw hitters bat .316 against him, with left-handers clubbing at .407. Coming off a college season, Skoglund never worked more than three innings. Selected by Kansas City in the third round of the 2014 draft out of UCF, the 6-7 lefty earned AAC “Pitcher of the Year” honors as a junior. In 15 starts he went 9-3 with a 2.54 ERA, while opponents hit only .217 against him. Skoglund’s junior campaign was a considerable turnaround from his sophomore season where he had a 5.08 ERA in 10 starts. Royals Director of Scouting, Lonnie Goldberg told MLB.com, “he [Skoglund] pitches off deception and fastball command.” A 16th round pick by the Pirates in 2011 out of Sarasota (FL) High School, Skoglund did not sign. He throws a 90-91 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Time to Turn the Page`

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The orange and black try and avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Salem Red Sox on Saturday, when the two sides meet up at 6:05 p.m from LewisGale Field. Last night Salem won 11-1, benefiting from three big innings and 10 walks by Frederick pitching.

This season, the Keys have been swept three times, that includes a pair of sweeps this month. The Red Sox have broomed an opponent twice this season, with the most recent instance coming on June 12-14 against Wilmington.

Keys right-hander David Hess gets the ball for Frederick tonight and will be opposed by Salem lefty Trey Ball, who tries for his seventh win on his 21st birthday.

Tonight’s broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. As a programming note, Keys Corner will resume next Saturday at 1:05 p.m.

We’ll have lineups later, but until then today’s game notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Saturday, June 27, 2015 · Game #73 · Road Game #38

Frederick Keys (32-40/0-2) vs Salem Red Sox (40-32/2-0)

RHP David Hess (2-4, 5.83) vs. LHP Trey Ball (6-5, 3.80)

HARD TO ESCAPE THE SPIRAL: The Salem Red Sox scored a combined 10 times in the middle three innings, while Frederick Keys pitching walked 10 in an 11-1 setback on Friday night at LewisGale Field. With the win, the Sox claim the three-game set, while the Keys have now lost four straight. After the game started off as a pitcher’s duel, Salem scored three times in the fourth. Following an error by Wynston Sawyer at first with one out, back-to-back singles loaded the bases. All three men eventually came home, with one scoring via a walk and the other two coming in on a single by Jordan Procyshen. Salem proceeded to bat around the next inning, sending 10 to bat and scoring four times. The big blow came on a two-run double by Wendell Rijo, while in the sixth the Red Sox added three more and sent 10 to bat. Frederick’s lone run came on an RBI single in the fifth by Sawyer. Ty Buttrey pitched six innings of one-run baseball for Salem to notch his sixth win in nine starts.

TAKING A TURN SOUTH: Friday’s 11-1 defeat was the Keys worst loss since May 7, when the Keys lost to Winston-Salem 14-2 in the back-end of a quasi-doubleheader. This season, the Keys have lost four games by 10 runs or more, with the most lopsided defeat coming on opening day, when the Dash earned a 13-0 shutout victory. On Saturday, Frederick tries to avoid being swept for the fourth time (two have come in June).

UNCHARTERED TERRITORY: The orange and black have lost eight of their last nine, with six of those setbacks coming by three runs or more. That has dropped the Keys to a season-worst eight games below .500 (32-40). On Saturday, Frederick tries to avoid its longest losing streak of the season (five games) something which occurred from June 4-9. Ready for the calendar to flip, the Keys are just 7-15 in June.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last four weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 24 games, an opponent has batted around 10 times (with the latest instance coming in the fifth inning Friday). Meanwhile during that time, Keys opponents have posted 12 innings of four runs or more. That includes four six-run innings, three five-run innings and five four-run innings.

WALK THIS WAY: Keys pitching finished with 10 walks on Friday, one short of the club’s season-high. It was the most number of walks by Frederick arms since April 22 at Lynchburg when the staff walked 11. In 2015, Frederick arms have walked nine or more in a game on seven occasions. That includes three games of double-digit walks. Through 72 games this year, Keys pitching has walked 309, 55 more free rides than the next-closest team (Lynchburg has walked 254). In all three months, the pitching staff has at least a 4.2 BB/9IP ratio.

WHERE HAVE THE BATS GONE?: Frederick scored only six runs during its four-game set with Wilmington, while the Keys have been limited to three runs or less in each of their last four games (all losses) and seven of their last nine contests. This season, the Keys have been a radically different team when reaching the four-run barrier. When tallying four or more runs, the Keys are 28-9, as opposed to going 4-31 when posting three or fewer runs. That trend is even more pronounced on the road, with the club going 13-5 when plating four or more and 0-19 when scoring three or less.

WELCOME NEWCOMERS!: On Thursday, a total of six different roster moves were made. Those changes brought about two newcomers: Connor Bierfeldt and Tanner Witt. Through his first two games, Bierfeldt is 1-for-7 with a double and four strikeouts. He joins the club from Low-A Delmarva, where he led the South Atlantic League in RBIs (56) in 62 games. Signed to a free agent contract, Witt joins Frederick from the Rockford Aviators of the Independent Frontier League. There he hit .355 in 29 games with a home run and 22 RBIs. He was the league’s “Rookie of the Year” in 2014. On Friday, Witt played the final two innings and struck out in his lone at-bat. In corresponding moves, CL All-Star Tucker Nathans was promoted to Double-A Bowie, and came up with a game-winning single in his Baysox debut on Thursday. Additionally, Logan Uxa was transferred to Delmarva.

AFTER 70 GAMES: After an outstanding start where the club ended April five games over .500 (13-8), the Keys went just 19-30 the rest of the way, to finish last in the CL North first-half standings. Swept in Sunday’s quasi-twinbill, Frederick dropped into the cellar for the first time all season, while the club lost six of its final seven first-half games.

POINTS OF IMPROVEMENT/PRIDE: Pitching proved to be the club’s biggest problem prior to the All-Star break. Over 70 games, Frederick pitching placed last in ERA (4.80), while finishing with league-highs in hits allowed (645), runs allowed (369), earned runs allowed (323), home runs (48), hit by pitches (42), walks (295) and wild pitches (68). Offensively, the orange and black ended second in hitting (.261) and placed among the top three in home runs (34, 3rd), RBIs (263, 3rd), stolen bases (74, 3rd) and runs scored (296, t-3rd).

BITTEN BY THE BIG FLY: Over the recent seven-game homestand, Keys pitching surrendered 12 home runs. That included four in Sunday’s quasi-doubleheader. In six of the seven games, Frederick arms allowed at least one deep fly, while in five of the seven contests the opposition homered twice or more. In total, the pitching staff has allowed 48 home runs, 12 more than the next-closest team.

AGAINST SALEM: The Red Sox have a 5-3 edge in the season series. Salem holds a 3-2 advantage in games at LewisGale Field, while the Red Sox took 2 of 3 at Nymeo Field back in late-May. Frederick is hitting .248 as a team off Salem pitching, while the orange and black have a 4.83 staff ERA. Salem pitching has a 3.68 ERA against the Keys, and the Red Sox offense is hitting .304 against Keys arms. Individually, Anthony Caronia (.389/7-18) and Josh Hart (.333/7-21) lead the way for Frederick, while Kevin Heller (.400/8-20) and Mario Martinez (.357/5-14) pace Salem offensively.

CONGRATS!: On Wednesday, former Keys pitcher, Mychal Givens made his MLB debut with the Orioles, tossing a clean eighth inning against the Red Sox. On Thursday, he was optioned back to Bowie to make roster space for Miguel Gonzalez. He became the 139th former Key to reach the big leagues and the sixth former Key to get there this year (Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Oliver Drake, Eduardo Rodriguez and Scott Copeland are the others). Zach Davies also received good news on Thursday, learning that he had been selected for the Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game. With Triple-A Norfolk this year he is 3-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 14 games. Davies pitched for Frederick in 2013.

TODAY’S OPPOSING STARTER: Left-hander Trey Ball makes his 14th start of the season and his third against the Keys. His most recent outing came last Friday at Winston-Salem. Picking up his sixth win, Ball tossed six innings of three-run baseball and scattered six hits. He walked two and struck out two. A winner in three of his last four starts, Ball has allowed three runs or less in each outing and has trimmed his ERA from 4.98 to 3.80. In June his ERA is 1.25 (21.2 IP/3ER). The lefty’s last tough outing came on May 29 in Frederick when he surrendered five runs (four earned) on nine hits in 5.1 stanzas. Against the Keys he is 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA (10.1 IP/8ER).  Rated the No. 15 prospect in the Red Sox system according to Baseball America, the Indiana native is tied for second in the CL in wins, but is second in homers allowed (eight) and fifth in walks (30). Ball spent all of 2014 with Low-A Greenville, going 5-10 with a 4.68 ERA over 100 innings (22 starts). He finished tied for fifth in losses. Following a rough first-half of the season where he went 1-6 with a 7.07 ERA, the lefty turned things around after the all-star break, going 4-4 with a 3.36 ERA in 13 starts. A 2013 first round selection (seventh overall) out of New Castle Chrysler (IN) High School (Boston’s highest draft pick since 1993), Ball was named the Gatorade Indiana Baseball Player of the Year as a senior, going 5-0 with a 0.76 ERA and was named the No. 1 draft eligible prospect according to Baseball America. He hails from the same hometown as former Indiana basketball great and current UCLA men’s basketball coach Steve Alford. He throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

Keys Try for Their First Second-Half Win Friday

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys try to snap a three-game slide and earn their first win of the second-half on Friday night in Salem. Last night the Red Sox scored five runs in the first two innings en route to a 6-3 win. Frederick hopes to even the series up though with Chris Lee on the hill. Lee is coming off his first Advanced-A quality start last Friday against Wilmington. He will be opposed by Ty Buttrey, who has been among Salem’s best starters since his promotion from Low-A.

If you’re in the Roanoke Valley, come on out and see the Keys! I know Friday entertainment options are plentiful out this way, but if you’re around pay a trip to LewisGale Field. If you’re not? Well that’s what I’m here for. We’ll have the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com starting at 6:50. Join us, promise it will be fun.

Today’s lineup and notes are below. Talk soon!

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. CF Hart

2. LF Ruettiger

3. 2B Kemp

4. RF Webb

5. C Sisco

6. SS Marin

7. DH Bierfeldt

8. 1B Sawyer

9. 3B Caronia

LHP Lee

Friday, June 26, 2015 · Game #72 · Road Game #37

Frederick Keys (32-39/0-1) vs Salem Red Sox (39-32/1-0)

LHP Chris Lee (2-2, 4.91) vs. RHP Ty Buttrey (5-1, 2.68)

SALEM STARTS QUICK, KEYS DROP SECOND-HALF OPENER: The Salem Red Sox benefited from two early Frederick Keys errors to score five times in the first two innings, as the orange and black suffered a 6-3 setback on Thursday night at LewisGale Field. It was the Keys third straight loss. Frederick grabbed a quick 1-0 lead after a leadoff triple by Josh Hart and an RBI groundout by Johnny Ruettiger, but the Red Sox countered with a pair in the home-first. Roanoke native, Mikey O’Brien loaded the bases to start things off and nearly escaped, but a two-run single by Yoilan Cerse made it 2-1 Salem. In the second, the Red Sox sent eight to bat, adding three more. After the first two men reached, Jose Vinicio laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw was off line from Anthony Caronia at third allowing Jordan Betts to score. Later in the frame, Tzu-Wei Lin (RBI bounce out) and Mario Martinez (double) added RBIs to make it 5-1. Red Sox starter Aaron Wilkerson turned in his fourth quality start with the Red Sox throwing six innings of three-run baseball, while the duo of Chandler Shepherd and Austin Maddox combined of three innings of hitless relief.

TRYING TO BUST OUT: With the loss in the second-half opener, the Keys are now seven games below .500 for the first time all season. The orange and black have lost seven of their last eight, with five of those setbacks coming by three runs or more. Frederick’s longest losing streak of the season is five games, something which occurred from June 4-9. The club has also endured two four-game losing streaks, with the most recent one taking place from June 15-18. Ready for the calendar to flip, the Keys are just 7-14 in June.

WHERE HAVE THE BATS GONE?: Frederick scored only six runs during its four-game set with Wilmington, while the Keys have been shutout in two of their last five games (that included a 15.2 inning scoreless stretch from June 18-19). In the recent seven-game homestand, the orange and black scored only 18 total runs (2.57). This season, the Keys have been a radically different team when reaching the four-run barrier. When tallying four or more runs, the Keys are 28-9, as opposed to going 4-30 when posting three or fewer runs. That trend is even more pronounced on the road, with the club going 13-5 when plating four or more and 0-18 when scoring three or less. In the last three games, the Keys have scored three runs or less, while in six of their last eight contests, the Keys have registered fewer than four runs.

DEFENSIVE DIFFICULTIES: The Keys made a pair of errors on Thursday, marking the 19th time this season Frederick has committed two or more errors in a game. As result of those mistakes, only two of the six runs were earned against Keys pitching. When making two or more errors in a game this year, Frederick is 6-13. For the season, the club has made 77 errors second-most in the CL.

WELCOME NEWCOMERS!: On Thursday, a total of six different roster moves were made. Those changes brought about two newcomers: Connor Bierfeldt and Tanner Witt. Making his Carolina League debut in rightfield, Bierfeldt went 1-for-4 with a double and three strikeouts. He joins the club from Low-A Delmarva, where he led the South Atlantic League in RBIs (56) in 62 games. Signed to a free agent contract, Witt joins Frederick from the Rockford Aviators of the Independent Frontier League. There he hit .355 in 29 games with a home run and 22 RBIs. He was the league’s “Rookie of the Year” in 2014. In corresponding moves, CL All-Star Tucker Nathans was promoted to Double-A Bowie, and came up with a game-winning single in his Baysox debut on Thursday. Additionally, Logan Uxa was transferred to Delmarva.

AFTER 70 GAMES: After an outstanding start where the club ended April five games over .500 (13-8), the Keys went just 19-30 the rest of the way, to finish last in the CL North first-half standings. Swept in Sunday’s quasi-twinbill, Frederick dropped into the cellar for the first time all season, while the club lost six of its final seven first-half games.

POINTS OF IMPROVEMENT/PRIDE: Pitching proved to be the club’s biggest problem prior to the All-Star break. Over 70 games, Frederick pitching placed last in ERA (4.80), while finishing with league-highs in hits allowed (645), runs allowed (369), earned runs allowed (323), home runs (48), hit by pitches (42), walks (295) and wild pitches (68). Offensively, the orange and black ended second in hitting (.261) and placed among the top three in home runs (34, 3rd), RBIs (263, 3rd), stolen bases (74, 3rd) and runs scored (296, t-3rd).

BITTEN BY THE BIG FLY: Over the recent seven-game homestand, Keys pitching surrendered 12 home runs. That included four in Sunday’s quasi-doubleheader. In six of the seven games, Frederick arms allowed at least one deep fly, while in five of the seven contests the opposition homered twice or more. In total, the pitching staff has allowed 48 home runs, 12 more than the next-closest team.

WRAPPING UP THE ALL-STAR GAME: Tucker Nathans, Jeff Kemp and Mitch Horacek all participated in the Carolina League-California League All-Star game on Tuesday night in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca. In the contest, Nathans went 1-for-3, Kemp finished 0-for-2 and Horacek allowed three runs in one inning of relief. The California League All-Stars won the game 9-2. Rancho Cucamonga’s Brandon Trinkwon won game MVP honors going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

AGAINST SALEM: The Red Sox have a 4-3 edge in the season series. Salem and Frederick are even at 2-2 in games at LewisGale Field, while Salem took 2 of 3 at Nymeo Field back in late-May. Frederick is hitting .256 as a team off Salem pitching, while the orange and black have a 4.28 staff ERA. Salem pitching has a 4.06 ERA against the Keys, but the Red Sox offense is hitting .302 against Keys arms. Individually, Anthony Caronia (.400/6-15), Jeff Kemp (.368/7-19) and Josh Hart (.353/6-17) lead the way, while Kevin Heller (.438/7-16), Mario Martinez (.385/5-13) and Jordan Betts (.304/7-23) pace Salem offensively.

CONGRATS!: On Wednesday, former Keys pitcher, Mychal Givens made his MLB debut with the Orioles, tossing a clean eighth inning against the Red Sox. On Thursday, he was optioned back to Bowie to make roster space for Miguel Gonzalez. He became the 139th former Key to reach the big leagues and the sixth former Key to get there this year (Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Oliver Drake, Eduardo Rodriguez and Scott Copeland are the others). Zach Davies also received good news on Thursday, learning that he had been selected for the Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game. With Triple-A Norfolk this year he is 3-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 14 games. Davies pitched for Frederick in 2013.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last three and a half weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 23 games, an opponent has batted around nine times. Meanwhile during that time, Keys opponents have posted 11 innings of four runs or more. That includes four six-run innings, three five-run innings and four four-run stanzas.

TODAY’S OPPOSING STARTER: Right-hander Ty Buttrey makes his ninth start with the Red Sox and his second against the Keys. His most recent outing came at Winston-Salem last Thursday. Tying his career-high with seven innings pitched, Buttrey allowed one run on four hits, walked two and struck out one. It was his first since May 28, when he tossed six innings of two-run baseball against the Keys and faced the minimum through five innings. Four of Buttrey’s eight starts have been quality outings. He is limiting right-handers to a .195 batting average against, while opponents are batting .255 against him. In his first month in the CL (May) he posted a 2.40 ERA over five games (he was 4-0) while he is 1-1 with a 3.29 mark in June. Promoted to Salem on May 1 from Low-A Greenville, the North Carolina native is a combined 6-1 with a 2.60 ERA over 12 starts between the two stops this year. In four starts with Greenville, he went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA. Buttrey split the 2014 campaign between Greenville, Short-Season Lowell and the GCL Red Sox. He went a combined 0-5 with a 5.78 ERA and struggled with command walking 32 in 62.1 innings (46 BB/9IP ratio). After making just four starts with the Drive to open the year, Buttrey landed on the DL from mid-May to early-July after breaking his hand. When he returned to Greenville in late-July he went 0-2 with a 5.19 ERA in his last seven starts. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of the 2012 draft out of Providence (NC) Senior High School, the righty averaged 13 SO/9IP as a senior and signed for a reported $1.3 million more than $1 million higher than the slot recommendation that year. According to Yahoo Sports, Buttrey was not allowed to walk at his high school graduation because he missed a walk-through (where cell phones were banned) which coincided with the MLB draft. Buttrey throws a fastball, a spike curveball and a changeup

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: