Things almost got ugly in Syracuse last night as the Chiefs and Norfolk Tides' benches cleared, but cooler heads prevailed and a scuffle broke out instead of a brawl. (photo courtesy of and ©Ben Meyers (aka Saratoga County Sports).
• Report by Patrick Reddington and Ben Meyers (aka Saratoga County Sports) from Syracuse:
• High-A Potomac Debut: The big news in Potomac last night was supposed to be Jayson Werth's first rehab start, but the Nats' 33-year-old outfielder was in the Nationals' clubhouse when reporters arrived at Nationals Park last night. Questionable weather delayed the start of the Nats' outfielder's rehab assignment, but it didn't cancel the Potomac Nationals' game with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. 2011 1st Round pick Alex Meyer made his High-A debut in Pfitzner Stadium after 18 starts at Low-A Hagerstown in which he was (7-4) with a 3.10 ERA, 34 walks (3.40 BB/9) and 107 K's (10.70 K/9) in his first 90.0 IP as a pro.
The 6'9'', 220 lb, 22-year-old right-hander continued his strong first season in his first start at a new level, throwing 6.0 scoreless against the Texas Rangers' High-A affiliate in which he allowed three hits and a walk while striking out seven. "Meyer shines in P-Nats debut" was the headline for the Potomac post game report, which said that the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 Draft was, "... sharp from the start striking two batters [out] in his first inning. He ended with seven strikeouts while scattering three hits for his first victory with the P-Nats." Though Jayson Werth wasn't in the P-Nats' lineup, both Chad Tracy and Xavier Nady saw action as they rehabbed. Both Tracy and Nady were 1 for 3, but it was center fielder Michael Taylor who had the most impressive night at the plate, going 3 for 5 with two doubles and a HR in the P-Nats' 8-3 win. Box Score.
• Double-A Harrisburg: Eury Perez's name was still listed in the box score for the first of last night's two games in Harrisburg's Metro Bank Park, but it was Alex Meyer's fellow 2011 1st Round pick Brian Goodwin in center field last night when the Double-A Senators completed Wednesday's suspended game as part of a double-header with the New Britain Rock Cats, the Minnesota Twins' Double-A affiliate. After putting up a .324/.438/.542 line with 18 doubles, 9 HR's, 15 stolen bases, 43 walks and 39 K's in 58 games and 216 at bats with the Hagerstown Suns, the 21-year-old outfielder was a combined 0 for 7 with a walk and four K's last night as the Senators dropped both ends of the doubleheader at home.
22-year-old '08 6th Round pick pitcher Paul Demny took the loss in game one, allowing five hits, three walks and four earned runs in 3.0 IP and '09 22nd Round pick, 24-year-old lefty Daniel Rosenbaum, took the loss in game two of two, giving up eight hits and five runs in 6.1 IP to drop his sixth decision in his last ten starts and leave him (7-7) on the year with a 3.62 ERA, 27 walks (1.92 BB/9) and 79 K's (5.61 K/9) in 20 starts and 126.2 IP. Harrisburg's Terry Byrom has the report on the losses at the Senators' official site.
• Triple-A Syracuse (report filed by Ben Meyers aka Saratoga County Sports):
Ron Burgundy said it.
"Boy, that escalated quickly... I mean, that really got out of hand fast."
With a 2-1 count and one out in the bottom of the sixth, words were exchanged between Syracuse Chiefs catcher Koyie Hill and Norfolk Tides catcher Luis Exposito. Moments later the two catchers were wrestling on the ground as both benches cleared.
"We are a family in here. We fight for each other, we fight every game," Syracuse starting pitcher Zach Duke said about his catcher. "To do something we have to treat every game like it is a battle and win at all costs."
The Chiefs went on to win, 6-5, on Friday at Alliance Bank Stadium.
In the top of the sixth, Exposito had hit his first home run of the season to bring the Tides within two at 6-4.
Other than the wrestling match, no players from either side were involved. There were no punches witnessed, but both Hill and Exposito were immediately ejected.
"Koyie has a lot of fire in him," Duke, who picked up his International League leading 11th win, said. "He was a wrestler growing up, so, he is a tough guy. He has a little mean streak in him, but it is good to see fire. We know that if we want to have some kind of impact in the standings we are going to have to fight for it."
Duke went six innings with nine hits and four earned runs as he struck out three in the win after a four-hit two run first.
"I came out a little rough, but made an adjustment. I got some zeros and the bullpen did a great job," said Duke as four relievers combined to allow one run over the last three. "That was tremendous. It was a good win for us."
Syracuse is 46-53.
Friday, was also the debut of the Triple-A debut of Eury Perez. Perez, who was hitting .299 in 82 games in Harrisburg, went 1-for-4 with his first hit coming on a fourth-inning RBI single. He led-off and played centerfield.
"It is still baseball," Perez said. "I was very happy (to get the hit). I was looking for a fastball. I was a little nervous. A little.
Friday marked the the first time this season that Corey Brown did not bat in the No. 1 spot when he has started in Syracuse. He hit third and went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI single in the third. He also stole his 13th base of the season.
In other Syracuse news, manager Tony Beasley had a long closed door meeting after Friday’s game presumably with outfielder Brett Carroll. Neither was immediately available after the game.