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Washington Nationals Minor League Affiliate Report

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

Courtesy of Syracuse Chiefs

From staff and wire reports:

Syracuse (AAA): Due to unsafe playing conditions caused by inclement weather, the Chiefs postponed their home opener and moved their first series of the season to Allentown, Pennsylvania to face the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs on Friday in a doubleheader.

First pitch was scheduled for 11 a.m. today. RHPs A.J. Cole and Taylor Jordan will start for the Chiefs in Games One and Two, respectively.

"The last thing we want to do is put our fans and our players in danger", said Chiefs general manager Jason Smorol. "Over the past few days, our grounds crew and I have been closely monitoring the field and playing surfaces. Because of the heavy snow this past week, and with rain, snow and freezing temperatures in the forecast, we've determined that the weather has made playing unsuitable through Sunday."

The Chiefs' 78th annual home Opening Day will now take place Monday, April 11th against Buffalo.

Harrisburg (AA): The Senators earned their first victory of the season as they topped the Altoona Curve, 10-6, on Opening Night at Peoples Natural Gas Field in the heart of Blair County. Harrisburg used a balanced 14-hit attack to outslug the Curve after the teams waited out a 65-minute rain delay before beginning the 2016 season.

Starter John Simms scattered three hits over five innings while striking out seven but failed to factor into the decision. Despite relinquishing a two-run lead, Dakota Bacus (1-0) picked up the victory and Juan Gutierrez struck out two in the ninth inning to pocket his first save of the season.

Isaac Ballou, Spencer Kieboom and Adrian Sanchez led the way on offense with three hits each.

Potomac (High-A): Though the players and fans had to wait an extra hour and a half for the 2016 season to get underway, it was well worth it for the Nationals (1-0 Overall, 1-0 Road) as two home runs and a strong team pitching performance highlighted an Opening Night victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (0-1 Overall, 0-1 Home).

Raudy Read and Drew Ward both homered, while Phillips Valdez went five strong innings.

Valdez (1-0) surpassed his 2015 season high in strikeouts (six) in just five innings of work in the win. The righty struck out seven and allowed just one run on three hits in an excellent season debut.

Valdez turned the ball over to the bullpen duo of RHP Andrew Robinson and RHP Koda Glover. The bullpen pair combined for four no-hit innings. Potomac pitching notched 15 strikeouts and walked just two Wilmington hitters.

The two teams meet again on Friday night at Frawley Stadium. First pitch is set for 7:05pm, as RHP Wirkin Estevez takes the mound for Potomac while Wilmington will send RHP Pedro Fernandez to the hill.

Hagerstown (Low-A): Andrew Lee pitched five shutout innings, but the Suns' bats were dominated and Hagerstown dropped its opening day matchup against the Delmarva Shorebirds 4-0 at Municipal Stadium. The Suns were limited to three hits by four Shorebirds pitchers, including starter Lucas Long.

Rhett Wiseman was 1 for 4 with a double, while Matthew Page and Temito Augustin added singles for the Suns. Hagerstown was 0 for 8 with RISP and stranded nine.

Lee gave up three hits and walked two, striking out five, in his first start. Reliever Mick VanVossen took the loss, allowing two earned runs on two hits in three innings.