Noll hits first homer, Crowe dealing for Senators

Jake Noll hit his first home run in Triple-A yesterday in Salt Lake City. It was an opposite-field hit over the right field fence that helped guide Fresno to a 2-0 win.

Alec Keller added the second run with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the fifth. Keller is hitting .381 (8-for-21) in the season’s first six games. Right-handed starter Kyle McGowin went 5 2/3 shutout innings, allowing only four hits and no walks, striking out six. The Grizzlies led 8-1 in the third inning of game two of the rain-abbreviated doubleheader. That game will be made up in June when Fresno returns to the Beehive State.

* KJ Harrison went 3-for-5 and drove in the go-ahead run as low Single-A Hagerstown defeated Lakewood 5-3. He finished with a pair of doubles. Left-hander Tim Cate, making his second start, went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits with three walks, striking out five. He had one wild pitch and left with a no-decision. Cate has a 1.93 ERA. The Suns are 2-5. Here is my interview with Cate in West Palm Beach from March.

* High Single-A Potomac fell 2-0 to Carolina but starter Kyle Johnston was solid, allowing one run over six innings. He gave the Mudcats only two hits, walked two and struck out five. He is 0-2 and he dropped his ERA to 5.40. David Masters went 1-for-4 with a double. Aldrem Corredor also contributed a two-bagger.

Crowe-Pitch-Harrisburg-sidebar.jpg* Double-A Harrisburg swept Hartford 5-1. Wil Crowe (2-0) retired the first 17 batters he faced and Tres Barrera hit two home runs for the win. Barrera is 11-for-19 to begin the season. Here is my spring training sit-down with Crowe.

Over six innings, Crowe allowed an infield single in 19 batters, and struck out five. As we monitor the bullpens at the minor league level, Jacob Condra-Bogan offered up another solid contribution with one shutout inning, allowing one hit with two strikeouts in the ninth. Right-hander Erick Fedde gets the start tonight as the Senators travel close to D.C., beginning a four-game set against the Bowie Baysox.

* Anthony Rendon smacked a three-run double as the Nationals crushed the Phillies 15-1. He finished 2-for-4, as did first baseman Matt Adams, who added a double and four RBIs. The 15 runs were the most the Nats had scored since Aug. 26, 2018 (15-0 over the Mets) and they did it on 17 hits, without the benefit of a home run. The Nats scored 25 runs in the final two games of the series. They beat the Phillies 17-7 June 28, 2018, also at Citizens Bank Park.

The Nats are 6-5, and more importantly, have held serve in their first four series against divisional opponents: 3-2 against the Phillies, 3-3 versus the N.Y. Mets. The Nats return to Philadelphia May 3 but now venture home to begin a homestand with the Pittsburgh Pirates arriving Friday night.

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