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Washington Nationals Daily Minor League Affiliate Report

Daily news, notes and game reports from across the Nats' minor league affiliates.

From staff and wire reports:

SYRACUSE (AAA): The Chiefs fell to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 5-1, on Monday night at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The IronPigs slugged two home runs in the first three innings on the way to their first win of the year over the Chiefs. Caleb Ramsey record his fourth straight multi-hit game in the loss.

Lehigh Valley (5-5) tallied two runs in the first inning off Austin Voth. With Taylor Featherston on second base after a double, Andrew Knapp hit a long two-run home run that hit the second level of signage in right field to give the IronPigs an early lead. Two innings later, Darnell Sweeney hit a solo home run to right-center to extend the lead to 3-0.

The IronPigs added a fourth run off Voth in the fourth inning. Knapp led off with a single and moved to third on Cam Perkins' one-out double. Knapp scored on Will Venable's groundout to stretch the lead to 4-0.

Syracuse (5-5) finally got on the board in the fifth. The Chiefs loaded the bases with one out against Mark Appel on consecutive singles by Pedro Severino, Caleb Ramsey and Tony Campana. Voth followed with a ground ball to second which brought a run in, after Sweeney tagged out Campana going to second. The Chiefs put at least two runners on base in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but scored just the one run.

Lehigh Valley added an insurance run in the seventh. Venable singled and stole second. He advanced to third on a fly out to right, and scored on Ryan Jackson's groundout to short to give the IronPigs a 5-1 advantage.

The Chiefs and IronPigs return to Coca-Cola Park Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Paolo Espino is scheduled to start for Syracuse opposite Jake Thompson for Lehigh Valley.

HARRISBURG (AA): Despite a four-run outburst in the first inning, the Senators immediately relinquished the lead for good as the Altoona Curve won going away, 12-5, in the series opener in front of 2,155 fans at FNB Field.

The Senators’ offense came out of the gate quickly as Rafael Bautista led off with a single into left field. After Wilmer Difo flew out, Bautista stole second and third base as Shawn Pleffner walked to put runners at the corners.

Kevin Keyes followed with a booming double off the base of the center field wall to plate the Senators’ first run. On the next pitch, Chris Bostick lined a single into left-center field to double the Harrisburg lead to 2-0. An Isaac Ballou groundout and Spencer Kieboom single pushed the score to 4-0 and the Senators appeared in control.

Altoona responded though off Harrisburg starter Austen Williams by loading the bases on two hits and a walk. A single by Chris Diaz scored the Curve’s first run, but Williams appeared close to getting out of the jam when he got the second out of the inning by striking out the opposing pitcher Jason Creasy.

A triple, hit by pitch, and single would push Altoona to a 5-4 lead and send Williams (0-2) to the showers early. Reliever Gilberto Mendez was called on to stem the tide, instead Pirates’ prospect Reese McGuire drove the first pitch he saw over the right field fence to give the Curve a commanding four-run lead.

A day after allowing 14 runs to Reading, the Senators experienced déjà vu as the Curve would also reach double-digits as Mendez would allow another three-run home run, this one to Diaz, in the fifth inning. Altoona scored their twelfth and final run when Erich Weiss greeted Abel De Los Santos with a solo shot. Nick Lee and Juan Gutierrez each worked a scoreless inning of relief.

After knocking Creasy around for four hits in the first inning, the Senators recorded only one more hit, an Adrian Sanchez single in the seventh inning, as their offense sputtered to a stall. The other run Harrisburg would plate is when Wilmer Difo raced around all the way from first base as McGuire threw the ball into shallow center field on a dropped third strike.

Harrisburg (4-6) continues their first series against Altoona on Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. as John Simms squares off against Clay Holmes at FNB Field.

POTOMAC (HIGH-A): Just three batters into Monday night’s game between the Nationals and the Lynchburg Hillcats, the visitors struck first and put Potomac in a hole the club could not escape out of. Phillips Valdez allowed a season high 10 hits and seven runs over 4 2/3 innings, as Potomac fell for the fourth time in five games.

Potomac (6-5) has given up the first run of the game in each of the last five games.

Valdez (L, 2-1) began the game as he hit Greg Allen, who scored two batters later on an RBI double by Anthony Santander. Dorssys Paulino followed two batters later with an RBI double, and RF Taylor Murphy followed that with an RBI double of his own, as Lynchburg led 3-0 after half an inning. The Hillcats tallied 12 hits, eight of them doubles, in route to the 9-6 victory.

The troubles for Valdez continued into the second inning, as C Sicnarf Loopstock started the frame with a single and scored on an RBI double by Allen. Allen then stole third base, one of three steals on the night for the league leader in stolen bases (13), and scored on a sacrifice fly. Lynchburg led 5-0 after 1.5 innings.

Down 6-0 in the fourth, Andrew Stevenson cleared the bases with his second triple of the season, as his three-RBI hit cut the Potomac deficit from six to three. But despite trailing by three on four separate occasions, the P-Nats never got within three runs.

Derek Self pitched a scoreless ninth inning for Potomac. Self has not allowed a run over his first three outings, covering six innings.

With four losses in the past five games, Potomac will ask Wirkin Estevez (0-1, 5.40) to be the stopper and level the series at a game a piece. Luis Lugo (1-0, 3.38) will try to continue the run of strong play for the Hillcats. First pitch of the middle game of the series is set for 7:05pm at Pfitzner Stadium.

HAGERSTOWN (LOW-A): Cody Dent drove in a pair with a triple in the fifth and the Suns topped the Lakewood Blue Claws 4-3 on Sunday before 3,042 at FirstEnergy Park.

Andrew Lee (W, 1-0) went five innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits and one walk, striking out two. Mariano Rivera earned his second hold of the season, pitching two innings with one hit and three walks and Ronald Pena gave up a solo home run to Jose Pujols in the eighth.

Dent was 1 for 3 for the day. Rhett Wiseman had a pair of base hits and Ryan Ripken doubled in four at bats as the Suns amassed six hits.

Hagerstown faces Lakewood in the second of a three-game series on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m.