This content was originally found in Issue No. 4 of this year’s Senators Program
Cliff Floyd (1993)
• Slashed .329/.417/.600 over 101 games
• Led the Eastern League in runs batted in (101) and home runs (26)
• Won the award over Manny Ramirez and teammate Rondell White
• World Series Champion as a member of the 1997 Florida Marlins
• “It’s been a lot of fun, being on such a good team and getting a lot of exposure. I feel that either way is all right, whether I finish here and help us try to win this ring, or whether I’m called up.” – Floyd, Chicago Tribune (July 21, 1993)
Senators go 6-1 on homestand
For a second straight game, the Harrisburg Senators won with the rarely seen walk-off walk in a 5-4 decision over the Portland Sea Dogs in front of a big crowd of 5,823 at FNB Field on Thursday afternoon.
Brian Jeroloman started the ninth inning with a walk, which was followed by a sacrifice bunt by Adrian Sanchez, and then three consecutive walks – capped off by a bases loaded, four-pitch walk by Isaac Ballou to win the game.
The walk-off win was Harrisburg’s fourth of the season overall, and a second straight by walk-off walk. The Senators (24-21) are now a season-high three games over .500.
For a third consecutive start, the Senators’ Austen Williams went at least six innings as he allowed four runs on five hits in his six innings of work Thursday. Portland’s Ryan Court did a majority of the damage against Williams as he hit an RBI triple in each of his first two at-bats before tying the game 4-4 with a solo home run in the sixth inning. John Simms continued his stellar pitching out of the Senators’ bullpen as he threw two scoreless innings to keep the game tied into the ninth inning.
Despite allowing a leadoff single in the ninth to Portland’s Cole Sturgeon, who advanced to third with two outs, Koda Glover threw another scoreless inning for the Senators.
Harrisburg needed just one hit to score four runs in the first two innings. Rafael Bautista and Wilmer Difo each walked to begin the bottom of the first inning before successfully completing a double steal to put runners at second and third with nobody out. Isaac Ballou and Neftali Soto each followed with RBI groundouts to tie the game 2-2 after one inning. Then in the second inning, Jeroloman walked with two outs and was driven in on an RBI double by Sanchez, who scored on an error by Portland pitcher Ty Buttrey.
The Senators travel to Akron tomorrow to begin a four-game series with the Eastern League-leading Rubberducks with Jaron Long on the hill. Game time is set for 6:35 p.m. with The Matt LeCroy Show beginning at 6:20 on Fox Sports 1460 AM or at senatorsbaseball.com
Senators manager Matt LeCroy and broadcaster Terry Byrom discuss last night’s walk-off win and the chance to win another series in a morning start Thursday.
- Pitching matchup – RHP Austen Williams (1-5, 5.55) vs. Portland: RHP Ty Buttrey (0-6, 5.86)
- Behind seven strong innings by Lucas Giolito and late wildness from the Portland bullpen, the Senators were able to win 2-1 in walk-off walk fashion in the third game of a four-game series.
- Portland starter Ty Buttrey is one of two pitchers in the Eastern League with six losses this season.
- Senators’ starter Austen Williams has not allowed an earned run in his last two starts (12.1 innings).
- In games decided by two runs or less, the Senators are 14-9 – the third-best record in such games in the Eastern League.
- The Senators’ 2.95 ERA in the month of May is the best in the Eastern League.
- Harrisburg’s 16 wins in the month are the third-most in the EL.
- Thursday, May 27 at Akron, 6:35 p.m.
- Harrisburg: RHP Jaron Long (2-1, 1.41) vs. Akron: Michael Peoples (4-1, 3.40)
A pitcher’s duel between Lucas Giolito and Justin Haley was decided by the bullpens as the Senators used a ninth-inning rally to top the Portland Sea Dogs, 2-1, in front of 2,345 fans at FNB Field.
Zach Collier led off the final frame against Portland reliever Luis Ysla with a single up the middle. After a sacrifice bunt by Spencer Kieboom, the Senators (23-21) used patience at the plate against the suddenly wild Ysla. Consecutive walks to Shawn Pleffner and Cutter Dykstra loaded the bases and brought Adrian Sanchez to the plate. Sanchez watched four straight pitches out of the zone for the walk-off walk and game-winning RBI.
“We played really good defense tonight and made some plays,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “Hopefully, we can continue to play like that because they’re starting to gel as a group and figure out ways to win.”
Portland wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard as they got to Giolito for a run in the first inning. Sean Coyle doubled and with Andrew Benintendi at the plate, Coyle took off for third and kept going as Benintendi grounded into the Senators’ shift in shallow right field.
An inning later the Senators evened the score as Collier tripled to lead off the frame and Kieboom singled down the right field line to drive him in. Kieboom was erased as a baserunner, however, as the catcher was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Giolito went seven strong innings, his longest outing of the season, but earned the no decision for his efforts. The 21-year-old allowed one run on four hits and one walk while striking out six.
“I thought it was by far his best outing of the year,” LeCroy said. “I thought he was in good control of that ballgame.”
“A big key for me is to take everything one pitch at a time,” Giolito said. ”Once I commit to that then I’m able to get the ball back and get on the mound, throw a pitch, get the ball back, next pitch. It just goes from there. I’m able to get out of innings quickly.”
In Giolito’s final frame, Portland threatened with their first base hit since the third inning, a Cole Sturgeon double. The go-ahead run subsequently advanced to third on a groundout, but Giolito rose to the occasion as he struck out Sea Dogs’ designated hitter Aneury Tavarez on a sharp breaking ball in the dirt.
“In big situations I always have full confidence behind whatever pitch I’m going to throw,” Giolito said. “No matter how you’ve been throwing it the first five, six innings of the game once you get to that point and need to make a good pitch, you trust it 100 percent.”
“I thought he found a real, nice rhythm from the second inning on,” pitching coach Chris Michalak said. “And then at the end, he made some really big pitches. In that last inning, they had some good ABs against him but he threw probably his best curve ball of the night to strike out [Tavarez] and end the inning with a runner on third base.”
The Sea Dogs threatened in the top of the ninth as they loaded the bases, but Bryan Harper induced a 6-4 fielder’s choice to get out of the inning unscathed and earn the victory.
A Thursday matinee is the last chance to catch the Sea Dogs at FNB Field as the two teams conclude the series at 10:30 a.m. Harrisburg will send Austen Williams to the mound looking for his second straight victory against Portland’s Ty Buttrey.
In this edition of On Deck, Senators’ reliever Nick Lee sits down with Senators broadcaster Perry Mattern to discuss last night’s game and more.
Senators manager Matt LeCroy and Senators broadcaster Terry Byrom discuss last night’s loss, tonight’s matchup and more during the Matt LeCroy Show.
- Pitching matchup – Harrisburg: RHP Lucas Giolito (2-2, 3.82) vs. Portland: RHP Justin Haley (3-3, 2.87)
- Shawn Pleffner set a new career-high with four RBI in last night’s 5-4 loss to Portland. Pleffner’s two-run single and two-run opposite field home run were the extent of Harrisburg’s offense.
- After back-to-back outings in which he did not allow a run in seven innings, Portland starter Justin Haley recorded just one out in his last start against New Hampshire. The right-hander allowed four earned runs on two hits and four walks while throwing 44 pitches before being pulled.
- Over his last three starts, encompassing 16.2 innings of work, opponents are hitting .197 against Lucas Giolito.
- In games decided by two runs or less, the Senators are 13-9 – the third-best record in such games in the Eastern League.
- The Senators’ 3.03 ERA in the month of May is the best in the Eastern League.
- Harrisburg’s 15 wins in the month are the third-most in the EL.
- Thursday, May 26 vs. Portland, 10:30 a.m.
- Harrisburg: RHP Austen Williams (1-5, 5.55) vs. Portland: RHP Ty Buttrey (0-6, 5.86)
- Promotions: Education Day
- Thirsty Thursday
|Michael Burgess (’10)||YRK||5||.263||.286||.526|
|Delta Cleary Jr. (’15)||LI||17||.297||.333||.406|
|Joel Guzman (’09)||YRK||31||.288||.336||.449|
|Ricky Hague (’13-’15)||SL||22||.247||.265||.383|
|Jeff Kobernus (’12,’14)||LAN||29||.263||.285||.314|
|Steve Lombardozzi (’10-’11)||SMD||29||.377||.419||.439|
|James Skelton (’12)||NB||24||.268||.454||.338|
|Jonathan Albaladejo (’07)||BRI||2-2||5.40||1.55||.315|
|Austin Bibens-Dirkx (’12)||LAN||2-3||4.01||1.19||.244|
|Brian Dupra (’14-’15)||NB||3-0||1.40||1.05||.220|
|Scott McGregor (’14)||SOM||2-3||3.46||1.00||.235|
|James Simmons (’14-’15)||YRK||3-1||2.61||1.10||.235|
|Aaron Thompson (’09-’10)||SL||0-0||3.68||1.50||.345|
|Zech Zinicola (’06-’12)||SL||1-1||3.44||1.47||.283|
A career day from Shawn Pleffner was not enough to carry the Harrisburg Senators as they dropped a 5-4 contest to the Portland Sea Dogs on Tuesday night at FNB Field before 2,787 fans. The loss ended the Senators’ winning streak at seven games.
Portland struck first as Senators’ starter Reynaldo Lopez allowed two hits, two walks, and two sacrifice flies in the opening frame to give the Sea Dogs a 2-0 lead. Sean Coyle tacked on another run for the Sea Dogs with a towering home run that barely reached the Ollie’s Cheap Seats in left field.
But Harrisburg (22-21) responded as a Neftali Soto single and two walks loaded the bases for Pleffner. The 26-year-old first baseman delivered with a sharp single into right field that scored two and left the Senators trailing by a lone run.
The Sea Dogs regained the three-run cushion in the sixth inning as they plated two without the benefit of a base hit. A lead-off walk, throwing error, sacrifice fly, and fielder’s choice did the damage and ended Lopez’ night after 5.1 innings.
“I didn’t think he had much feel,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “His command just wasn’t there like it was last start.”
Pleffner once again pulled the Senators within a run in the bottom of the seventh as he hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot, onto the boardwalk in left-center field. But 5-4 was the closest the Senators would get as the Portland bullpen preserved the lead and victory.
Pleffner went 2-for-3 with a walk and a career-high four runs batted in. In the last six games, the first baseman has now gone 11-for-24 and raised his batting average 51 points to .201.
“I changed my stance a little bit. Something more upright and relaxed,” Pleffner said about the turnaround. “You have to stay positive. It’s a game of failure and you have to just keep moving forward.”
“He kept us in the ball game with two swings,” LeCroy said. “Hopefully he can keep doing it.”
The only other Senator with a multi-hit night was third baseman Stephen Perez who recorded a single and double in four trips to the plate.
Lopez (1-4) scattered four hits, walked five, and struck out four while collaring the loss. Andrew Robinson was stellar in relief as he threw 2.2 scoreless innings allowing one hit while striking out two.
The third game of the four game set between the Senators and Sea Dogs will be Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. as Harrisburg sends Lucas Giolito to the mound versus Justin Haley for Portland.