The Senators and RubberDucks play the rubber match of the three game series Wednesday afternoon at Canal Park. The Senators evened the series with their 7-6 triumph on Tuesday, highlighted by three home runs. The ‘Ducks hold a 5-3 edge in the season series. The two clubs meet once more in a four game set at FNB Field to finish out the Senators home slate.
Andrew Robinson notched his 11th save of the season after tossing one and a third scoreless innings in game two. The 29-year-old has nine saves over his past 11 games, and that leads the Eastern League since July 27.
Kyle McGowin starts the rubber match for the series. The right-hander is 0-5 with a 10.13 ERA in five starts with the Senators this season. McGowin was activated from the disabled list on August 12 and started a pair of games with Potomac before being promoted to the Senators on August 21. For more information on McGowin, please visit the starting pitchers page on page 2.
Luis Lugo takes the bump for the ‘Ducks opposite McGowin in the series finale. The left-hander is 8-7 with a 4.63 ERA and has spent the entire season with Akron. Lugo has started against the Senators twice this year, and he is 0-0 with a 3.09 ERA in 11.2 innings. The 23-year-old was signed as a non-drafted free agent on February 28, 2011
The Senators embark on a seven game road trip beginning with a three game set against the Akron RubberDucks. The Senators look to even the series after Akron took the opener 13-5. Six of the Senators final 14 games are against Akron. The ‘Ducks hold a 4-2 edge in the season series.
After three hits, including an inside the park home run, Victor Robles has now recorded a hit in ten consecutive games. The inside-the-park home run was the club’s first since Shawn Pleffner hit one on July 16, 2016 at Altoona. The 20-year-old has had multiple hits in five straight games and seven of the ten games overall, across which he’s hitting .439. Robles is the number one number five prospect in minor league baseball according to MLB.com.
Brady Dragmire gets the ball in game two of the set. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 15 games and three starts with the Senators. Dragmire began the year in the bullpen before moving to the starting rotation in his last start, where he earned the win after allowing three runs in five innings to Richmond on 8/17. For more information on Dragmire, please visit page two.
The RubberDucks send Shao-Ching Chiang to the mound opposite Dragmire. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA in three starts with the ‘Ducks this season. Chiang began the year with high-A Lynchburg, going 8-8 with a 3.67 ERA in 19 starts before being promoted to double-A on August 4.
The Senators embark on a seven game road trip beginning with a three game set against the Akron RubberDucks. The Senators are coming off a 4-2 homestand while the RubberDucks have lost five consecutive games. Seven of the Senators final 15 games are against Akron. The ‘Ducks hold a 4-2 edge in the season series.
Seven of the final 15 games the Senators play are against Akron, who is currently three games behind Bowie for the second and final playoff spot in the Eastern League Western Division. Meanwhile, the Senators final four games of the season are against Altoona, who currently holds a one game lead over Bowie for first place in the Western Division.
Greg Ross starts the series opener for the Senators. The right-hander is 4-2 with a 5.93 ERA over seven starts with the Senators this season. Ross allowed four runs on nine hits across six innings in his last start against Richmond on August 16. For more information on Ross, please visit the starting pitcher page on page two of the game notes.
Akron counters with starter Matt Esparza. The right-hander is 5-5 with a 5.15 ERA over 14 starts this season. Esparza began the year with high-A Lynchburch and went 3-3 with a 3.26 ERA across nine starts before being promoted to Akron. The 22-year-old was originally drafted in the 14th round of the 2015 draft from UC Irvine.
The Trenton Thunder cashed in on a late-inning, bases loaded opportunity to break up a scoreless tie and take the series with a 2-0 victory over the Harrisburg Senators on Sunday afternoon at FNB Field.
Trenton starter Will Carter and two relievers stifled the Senators’ offense, holding them to six hits and two walks while striking out eight. Harrisburg countered with Taylor Hill who was in control as he matched zero for zero through seven innings. But after striking out Jhalan Jackson to lead off the eighth, Hill allowed three straight singles to load the bases.
The predicament chased Hill from the game as manager Matt LeCroy brought in Andrew Robinson. The veteran reliever struck out Nick Solak looking to get one out closer to getting out of trouble. The next Thunder hitter, Mike Ford, delivered a groundball between second baseman Corban Joseph and first baseman Drew Ward. Joseph slid to corral the ball but when he popped up to make a throw lost the handle and the ball trickled away. It was far enough to score two runs on a batted ball that barely made it out of the infield.
Hill yielded seven hits, didn’t allow a free pass, and struck out a season-high six batters while collaring the hard luck loss. “He mixed it up well,” LeCroy said. “He threw inside. He got them off-balance and then started throwing his slower breaking ball and it got him through the middle part of the game.”
The Senators had only two baserunners reach third base in the entire game as a combination of quality pitching from Trenton and abbreviated at-bats from the home side resulted in little to no offensive chances. “They have quality arms,” LeCroy said. “They study. You can tell they know how to pitch every guy.”
“We didn’t get the hit and they did. It’s as simple as that.”
Victor Robles, the Nationals’ top prospect, was pulled from the game after batting in the bottom of the fifth inning. LeCroy wasn’t pleased with Robles’ effort running the bases on his flare to center field and subsequent force out at second base on a fielder’s choice.
“We have a certain standard and it was just a teaching point,” the skipper said.
The 20-year-old outfielder finished 2-for-3 including a bunt single to raise his batting average to .306 in 25 games with the Senators.
The defeat, their 71st of the season, clinched a losing campaign for the Senators…reliever Kyle Schepel tossed a scoreless top of the ninth for Harrisburg……the shutout was the 11th time this year the Senators were blanked.
It’s a common expression when talking to Harrisburg manager Matt LeCroy. It refers to preventing the opposing team from posting runs immediately following when the Senators score. LeCroy wishes it was another advanced statistic to track and use to evaluate pitchers and teams. It’s been an issue with the Senators all season and it reared its ugly head once again on Saturday night.
Each time the Senators pulled to within one run in the seventh and eighth innings, Trenton wasted little time answering with a run of their own off reliever Matthew Crownover. In the seventh, Zack Zehner led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly from the next batter. An inning later, Nick Solak drilled the first pitch of the frame into the Harrisburg bullpen to push the lead back to two runs.
So instead of the Senators needing just one run to tie to the game up in the late innings, they were forced to score a couple. In each of the last three innings the Senators put their leadoff hitter on second base to start the frame. But instead of strategizing for that one run to tie the game up, they were forced to play for a multi-run rally.
Ultimately, Harrisburg had a golden opportunity in the ninth as they loaded the bases with one out. But Trenton reliever Cody Carroll struck out Victor Robles and Yadiel Hernandez to strand the runners and end the game with the Senators on the losing end, 6-4.
Harrisburg starter Austin Voth tossed what LeCroy called his “best outing” as the right-hander silenced the Thunder offense for six innings. As the storm clouds gathered, Trenton got to Voth in the seventh as an error, single, and homer erased the shutout and lead in one fell swoop.
It was an advantage the Thunder would never relinquish collaring the loss for Voth, his second against three wins for Harrisburg. The 25-year-old walked three, struck out two, and allowed six hits in his outing.
The two teams endured a one hour, eight minute rain delay called right after Trenton took the lead in the seventh inning…Robles and Drew Ward paced the offense as each had two hits apiece…Darian Sandford stole his 18th base of the season on the front end of a double steal with Robles.
The Senators welcome the Trenton Thunder to FNB Field for their first and only visit to Harrisburg this season. The Senators won a season-high fourth in a row Friday night with their 5-1 victory, highlighted by Wirkin Estevez’s six innings of shutout and one hit ball. Trenton can clinch a playoff spot with a victory Saturday night or a loss by Reading. This is the first series between the two clubs since they split a four game series in Trenton May 11-14. The Senators are 3-5 against the Thunder this season.
The Senators current four game winning streak is their longest winning streak of the season. Overall, the team has won six of its past seven games, with the lone loss a 10-9 defeat against Hartford where the Senators had a 9-6 lead in the ninth. The series sweep against Richmond prior to the series was the club’s first sweep since they swept Akron in four games June 10-13,
Austin Voth starts game two of the series for the Senators. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 4.13 ERA across six starts with the Senators this season. Voth received a no-decision after allowing four runs in six innings in his last start against Hartford on August 13. For more information on Voth, please go to the starting pitcher page on page two of the game notes.
Trenton counters with starter Daniel Camarena. The left-hander is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA across 11 starts with the Thunder this season. Camarena started the season with triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre where he went 4-2 with a 3.28 ERA over seven starts. The 24-year-old was the Yankee’s 20th round selection in the 2011 draft out of high school in California.
Harrisburg used two long balls and some shutdown pitching for a 5-1 triumph over the Trenton Thunder on Friday night at FNB Field. The victory was the Senators’ fourth straight making it their longest winning streak of the season.
“A lot of good things,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “We had the big homers, but we failed a couple of times with the bases loaded that would have given us some extra insurance. I’m happy what the guys are doing. They’re playing hard and playing competitive baseball.”
Starter Wirkin Estevez held down the potent Thunder lineup as the 25-year-old right-hander allowed just one base hit in six scoreless innings of work. At times it wasn’t pretty as Estevez (4-1) walked four batters, but the two-time Tommy John survivor made the pitches when he had to keep Trenton off the scoreboard. A two-out single from Francisco Diaz in the fifth inning broke up Estevez’s modest no-hit bid.
“He (Estevez) made some in-game adjustments even though he walked some guys,” LeCroy said. “I thought he did a nice job. He kept us in and pitched well with the lead.”
The Senators raced out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Victor Robles led off with a double and scored on successive groundouts with good situational hitting from Corban Joseph and Jose Marmolejos. Raudy Read followed with a home run, his team-leading 16th of the season, off Trenton starter Dillon Tate.
“I think he’s getting stronger,” LeCroy said. “A lot of times catchers break down, but you can tell a lot of the work he’s done in the weight room is helping him stay strong. The bat speed is there and he’s able to maintain some good life behind there catching almost every day.”
In the fourth inning, Harrisburg doubled their lead as Dan Gamache jacked a two-run shot with a moonshot over the right field fence. The first baseman has been just what the Senators needed mostly hitting fifth in the batting order.
“I think it takes a little heat off of Raudy to get going and it moves Ward down to take some heat off of him too,” LeCroy said. “He has a good, simple approach to the ball. It shows because he is able to hit good fastballs and stay back on the off-speed.”
Read would get another hit, his third of the game, to drive in the Senators’ final run to add an insurance tally in the eighth.
The Senators have the best batting average in the Eastern League during August at .298 and have also scored the most runs (90) in their 17 games. Six Senators, including Joseph’s .524 and Gamache’s .389, are batting .300 or better for the month. The club has also knocked double-digit hits in four of the past five games and is averaging just under 10 hits per game in August.
Read has now hit five home runs over his past six games…in Yadiel Hernandez’s last 50 games the outfielder is slashing .331/.415/.528 with 28 runs scored and 29 RBIs…with two scoreless innings to finish the game, Dakota Bacus pocketed his second save with Harrisburg this season.
The Senators welcome the Trenton Thunder to FNB Field for their first only visit to Harrisburg this season. The Senators are coming off their first series sweep of the season after they took three games from Richmond, while the Thunder captured two out of three from Akron on their prior series. Trenton can clinch a playoff spot with a victory Friday night or a loss by Reading. This is the first meeting between the two clubs since they split a four game series in Trenton May 11-14. The Senators are 2-5 against the Thunder this season.
HOW SWEEP IT IS
With their 5-4 victory Thursday night over Richmond, the Senators finished their first series sweep of the season. It’s the clubs first sweep since they swept Akron in four games June 10-13, 2016. If the Senators win Friday night, the victory will mark the club’s first four game winning streak of the season.
Wirkin Estevez starts the series opener for the Senators. The right-hander 3-1 with a 4.02 ERA across 10 starts this season. Estevez tossed six innings of two run ball in his last start on August 12 in game of a doubleheader against Hartford. For more information on Estevez, please go to the starting pitcher page on page two of the game notes.
Trenton sends starter Dillon Tate to the mound in game one of the series. The right-hander is making his second start with Trenton after he allowed three runs in six innings in his first start on August 12 against Altoona. Tate was selected by Texas with fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft and was traded to the Yankees along with two other pitchers for Carlos Beltran in 2016.
The Senators try for their first series sweep of the season as they play the Richmond Flying Squirrels for the final time during the 2017 regular season. The Senators picked up the series win with their 7-4 win in game two, highlighted by a pair of home runs by Corban Joseph. The loss was Richmond’s eight in its last ten matchups. The Senators have an 11-8 edge in the season series.
HOME RUN HAPPY
The Senators hit a season-high three home runs in a game for the third time in the past nine games on Wednesday night. After going the first 116 games without a Senator hitting multiple home runs in a game, the Senators have now had two players accomplish the feat in the last five games after Corban Joseph hit a pair Wednesday night. The Senators have hit 21 home runs in August, which is third most in the Eastern League. The club has slugged at least one home run in 15 of its past 18 games.
RED ROT RAUDY
Raudy Read has hit four home runs over his past four games after his solo shot in the third inning of game two, giving him a team-leading 15 this season. The 15 home runs are the most by a Senators player since 2014 when Michael A. Taylor hit 22 and Kevin Keyes hit 20.
Brady Dragmire starts the series finale for the Senators. The right-hander 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA across 14 games and two starts with the Senators this season. Dragmire is making his first start since being moved to the starting rotation from the bullpen. For more information on Dragmire, go to the starting pitcher page on page two of the game notes.
Richmond counters with starter Cory Taylor. The right-hander is 4-9 with a 4.60 ERA in 21 games and 20 starts this season. Taylor has been in the starting rotation the entire season, and made one start against the Senators on May 19, working six innings of two run ball. The 23-year-old was originally drafted in 8th round of the 2015 draft from Dallas Baptist.
The Senators welcome the Richmond Flying Squirrels to FNB field to start a six game homestand beginning Tuesday night. The Senators won the series opener 4-3 after Khayyan Norfork scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the seventh inning. The loss was Richmond’s seventh in its last nine matchups. This is the final series between the Senators and Flying Squirrels this season and the Senators have a 10-8 edge in the season series.
After the three game series against the Squirrels, the Senators final 18 games are against teams that currently have winning records. Three of the final four teams the Senators play are either in or within one game of a playoff spot.
Greg Ross takes the mound in game two of the series for the Senators. The right-hander is 3-2 with a 5.91 ERA across six starts with the Senators this season. Ross allowed three runs on three solo home runs across seven innings in his last start at Bowie on August 10. For more information on Ross please visit the starting pitcher page on page two.
Richmond counters with starter Dillon McNamara. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in four games and two starts with the Squirrels this season. McNamara was acquired by the Giants from the Yankees in exchange for cash on July 23. The 25-year-old allowed four runs over three innings in his last start against Portland on August 9.