A.J. Cole shows flashes of brilliance in Potomac debut

Right-hander A.J. Cole showed flashes of how dominant he could be in his first start with the high Single-A Potomac Nationals on Sunday.

Cole struck out the side in the first inning, but later allowed a few hits and runs, going 5 1/3 innings. All seven strikeouts were swinging. He used a lot of fastballs and Lynchburg started to figure out the timing, according to a source. He has a spike curve, a slider and changeup.

One question might be is how much he will integrate the slider and changeup as he gets more comfortable. It was also force opponents to guess more later in counts if the breaking pitches become more of a weapon or at least they see them more often.

He allowed seven hits, one home run and left in line for the win, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead and Lynchburg won 11-6.

* Corey Brown had a pair of two-run homers and Zach Walters went 2-for-4 with a double and hit his third homer as Triple-A Syracuse dropped Lehigh Valley, 8-6.

Eury Perez, Jeff Kobernus and Will Rhymes are all off to good starts at the plate. The trio combined for five hits Sunday. Ryan Perry allowed six runs, but Jeff Mandel and Michael Crotta combined to toss four scoreless innings to help the Chiefs stage the comeback.

* Low Single-A Hagerstown allowed a run in the bottom of the ninth in a 2-1 loss at Delmarva. Ronald Pena went five innings, allowing only three hits and one run. Brian Dupra tossed three scoreless innings and Travis Henke allowed the hard-luck run in the final frame to take the loss. Brandon Miller had two hits, but Suns committed three costly errors.

* Double-A Harrisburg staged a dramatic comeback, with three runs in the ninth and then one in the 11th to topple Bowie 5-4 in extras. Steven Souza with a RBI single, Jeff Howell an RBI groundout and Jose Lozada a RBI double to tie the game. Sean Nicol with the game-winning RBI single on a fly ball in the 11th that plated Rick Hague.

The Senators bullpen did not allow a run over the final six innings. Aaron Barrett got the win after Ian Krol, Rob Wort and Pat Lehman kept the Baysox off the board from the sixth inning on.

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