New York Mets: Zach Walters

Series preview: Mets vs. Nationals

August, 11, 2014
Aug 11
6:30
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets are due to face Doug Fister, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg at Citi Field.
METS (57-62, fourth place/NL East) vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS (63-53, first place/NL East)

Tuesday: RHP Rafael Montero (0-2, 5.40) vs. RHP Doug Fister (11-3, 2.49), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (11-9, 3.97) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (7-5, 3.06), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.54) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (8-10, 3.68), 7:10 p.m. ET

Nationals short hops

• Center fielder Denard Span has reached base safely via hit or walk in 36 straight games, the longest active streak in the majors, and the second-longest streak in Nationals history. Ryan Zimmerman holds the franchise record, with 43 straight games reaching base in 2008. The longest streak in the majors this season belongs to Toronto’s Jose Bautista, with 37 straight games reaching base, through May 10.

Span also has a 14-game hitting streak. He has 23 steals. That is approaching the career-high 26 steals he produced in 2010.

Stephen Strasburg is 1-8 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 road starts this season. Overall, he already has surrendered 18 homers in 2014, two more than his previous career high. Strasburg nonetheless has a National League-best 186 strikeouts.


Jonathan Ernst/Getty ImagesDenard Span has reached base in 36 straight games.


• Outfielder Steven Souza landed on the disabled list with a bruised left shoulder, which he suffered in a collision with the right-field wall Friday at Atlanta while trying to catch Freddie Freeman's homer. Outfielder Michael Taylor has been promoted. He hit a combined .315 with 22 homers and 63 RBIs with Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse this season.

Souza was filling in Friday because Jayson Werth was sidelined with right shoulder and ankle soreness for two weekend games. Werth returned to the starting lineup Sunday night.

Werth earned the NL Player of the Month award for July. He hit .337 with six homers and an NL-leading 24 RBIs during the month.

Bryce Harper created a stir Saturday in Atlanta when he partially wiped out the “A” in the dirt behind the batter’s box at Turner Field. Fans lustily booed him the remainder of the series. Harper denied intent.

Meanwhile, manager Matt Williams vehemently said last week there is no intention of demoting Harper, who recently had struggled. Williams has asked Harper to bunt less frequently.

• The Braves snapped an eight-game losing streak and won two of three weekend games against Washington to pull within 3 games of the first-place Nats. The middle game ended at 2:29 a.m. Sunday. It was delayed by rain at the beginning for three hours, 41 minutes.

• The Nats acquired free-agent-to-be Asdrubal Cabrera and cash from the Cleveland Indians at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline for 24-year-old infielder Zach Walters. The intent is for Cabrera, 28, to primarily play second base, displacing switch-hitting Danny Espinosa in the lead role at that position. Cabrera, an All-Star with the Indians in 2011 and ’12, last had started at second base in 2009 (28 games). He could be a Mets candidate to sign for shortstop during the upcoming offseason.

Doug Fister is 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA when pitching on extra rest this season, which he will do again Tuesday.

• Zimmerman is expected to miss most if not all of the remainder of the regular season with a Grade 3 right hamstring strain -- the most severe of the levels. Zimmerman originally suffered the injury on July 22 at Colorado. Anthony Rendon has shifted from second to third base minus Zimmerman, which helped fuel Cabrera’s acquisition.

• The Nationals claimed left-handed reliever Matt Thornton from the Yankees last week. Thornton made his D.C. debut against the Mets last Wednesday. Thornton is under contract for next season at $3.5 million.

• Catcher Wilson Ramos did not appear in last week’s series against the Mets in D.C. He was on paternity leave for the opening two games, then went unused in the series finale.

• First baseman Adam LaRoche had a rough July, hitting .159 (14-for-88) with one homer. He then got on track against the Mets last week. LaRoche went 6-for-11 with two homers, three RBIs and three walks during the three-game series. LaRoche’s father Dave continues to fill in as pitching coach with the Brooklyn Cyclones. He is subbing for Tom Signore, who is dealing with a head-related injury, which Signore suffered getting struck with a baseball while filling in for Frank Viola with Las Vegas.

• Washington has the top run differential in the National League at plus-79.

• Closer Rafael Soriano became the 46th pitcher to notch 200 saves on July 27.

• Shortstop Ian Desmond's 70 RBIs rank fourth in the NL. Desmond launched his 19th homer of the season on Sunday.

• Struggling backup outfielder Nate McLouth landed on the disabled list last Monday with right shoulder inflammation. He has hit only .173 this season.

Series preview: Mets at Nats

August, 4, 2014
Aug 4
11:43
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets are due to face Gio Gonzalez, Doug Fister and Jordan Zimmermann in D.C.
METS (53-59, fourth place/NL East) vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS (60-50, first place/NL East)

Tuesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (6-8, 3.60) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-7, 3.88), 7:05 p.m. ET

Wednesday: LHP Jonathon Niese (5-7, 3.24) vs. RHP Doug Fister (10-3, 2.68), 7:05 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Jacob deGrom (6-5, 2.77) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (7-5, 3.00), 12:35 p.m. ET

Nationals short hops

• The Nats acquired free-agent-to-be Asdrubal Cabrera and cash from the Cleveland Indians at Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline for 24-year-old infielder Zach Walters. The intent is for Cabrera, 28, to primarily play second base, displacing switch-hitting Danny Espinosa in the lead role at that position. Cabrera, an All-Star with the Indians in 2011 and ’12, last had started at second base in 2009 (28 games).

Ryan Zimmerman is expected to miss a substantial amount of time with a right hamstring strain. Anthony Rendon has shifted from second to third base minus Zimmerman, which helped fuel Cabrera’s acquisition.


Alex Brandon/Associated PressDenard Span has reached base safely in 30 straight games.


• Catcher Wilson Ramos will be placed on paternity leave before Tuesday’s series opener and is due to miss the entire three-game series. Jose Lobaton and, potentially, Sandy Leon as a call-up will fill in behind the plate.

• Struggling backup outfielder Nate McLouth landed on the disabled list on Monday with right shoulder inflammation. He has hit only .173 this season. Outfielder Steven Souza, 25, has been promoted from Triple-A Syracuse to take the roster spot.

Souza holds several International League-leading totals: a.354 average, .435 on-base percentage, .601 slugging percentage and 70 RBIs. He also has 18 Triple-A homers. He went 1-for-8 with a walk in a major league cameo in April with Scott Hairston on the DL.

Souza should have a backup role considering the Nats have Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Jayson Werth as regulars. He reportedly took grounders at first base Monday, but is not expected to work there in-game anytime soon.

• Span has reached base safely via hit or walk in 30 straight games, the longest active streak in the majors, and matching the second-longest streak in Nationals history. Zimmerman holds the record, with 43 straight games reaching base in 2008. Alfonso Soriano in 2006 also reached base safely in 30 straight.

Span, a center fielder, also has 23 steals. That is approaching the career-high 26 steals he produced in 2010.

• Werth earned the NL Player of the Month award for July. He hit .337 with six homers and an NL-leading 24 RBIs during the month.

Jordan Zimmermann tossed seven scoreless innings in his last start, in an 11-0 win against the Philadelphia Phillies. He has not allowed a homer at Nationals Park in his last nine starts. The last batter to take him deep in D.C.: Miami’s Derek Dietrich, on April 9. Zimmermann has allowed one run or fewer eight times this season. He is the winningest pitcher in Nats history, with a 50-40 record.

Gio Gonzalez has been knocked out in the fourth inning in two of his past three starts. He spent part of May on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Gonzalez has 38 career wins apiece with the Nats and with the Oakland Athletics.

• Rendon homered Saturday, snapping the Nats’ homerless drought at nine games. It was their longest homerless drought since the team moved to D.C. from Montreal in 2005.

• Washington has the top run differential in the National League at plus-76.

Rafael Soriano became the 46th pitcher to notch 200 saves on July 27.

• Shortstop Ian Desmond’s 66 RBIs rank fifth in the NL.

• Washington lost a rainout makeup against Baltimore on Monday night.

• First baseman Adam LaRoche had a rough July, hitting .159 (14-for-88) with one homer. LaRoche’s father Dave has filled in as pitching coach with the Brooklyn Cyclones of late while Tom Signore has dealt with a head-related injury.

• Manager Matt Williams has asked Harper to bunt less frequently.

• Washington's bullpen has surrendered 18 runs in its past 20 2/3 innings.

Series preview: Mets at Nats

May, 16, 2014
May 16
9:00
AM ET

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets are due to face Tanner Roark, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann this weekend at Nationals Park.
METS (19-21, fourth place/NL East) at WASHINGTON NATIONALS (21-19, second place/NL East)

Friday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-2, 2.17) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (2-1, 3.65), 7:05 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.84) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.97), 4:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-3, 4.53) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 3.59), 1:35 p.m. ET

Nationals short hops

• Injuries have seriously struck the Nats, with five Opening Day starters already having spent time on the disabled list this season.


Nick Wass/Associated PressBryce Harper required surgery to repair a ligament tear in his left thumb after this April 25 slide into third base.


Left fielder Bryce Harper underwent surgery on April 29 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. Harper (.289, 1 HR, 9 RBIs in 83 at-bats) is expected to be sidelined until July. He suffered the injury on a headfirst slide while tripling.

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman broke his right thumb while getting picked off diving back into second base on April 12.

Adam LaRoche (.319, 5 HR) landed on the DL on Sunday with a right quadriceps strain.

Three others integral players are back after recovering from maladies:

Catcher Wilson Ramos, who suffered a broken hamate bone in his left hand on Opening Day at Citi Field, returned May 7 after missing 32 games.

Right-hander Doug Fister, acquired during the offseason in a salary dump by the Detroit Tigers, has made two starts since opening the season on the disabled list with elbow inflammation and a lat-muscle strain.

Denard Span spent a week in mid-April on the concussion DL.

Anthony Rendon has shifted from second base to third base in Zimmerman’s absence, with Danny Espinosa handling second base full time. Tyler Moore was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse to handle first base. Moore, who had been demoted basically coinciding with Ramos coming off the DL last week, returned after spending only three days in the minors. Minus Harper, four players have started in left field: Nate McLouth, Kevin Frandsen, Scott Hairston and Zach Walters.

McLouth, who signed a two-year, $10.75 million deal in December to defect from the Baltimore Orioles, is one of the few bench players struggling to handle the larger role. Originally signed as the fourth outfielder, he is hitting .117 with one homer and one RBI in 60 at-bats.

• The Nats have outscored opponents by 38 runs from the seventh inning onward, the best differential in the majors. They have outscored opponents 19-3 in the ninth inning.

• Nats relievers have a collective 2.28 ERA, which ranks third in the majors. Closer Rafael Soriano (1.18 ERA, eight saves) lost a career-best 25-inning scoreless streak Saturday, when he suffered his lone blown save this season, at Oakland. Drew Storen has a 0.568 WHIP -- with six hits and one walk allowed in 12 1/3 innings.

• The Nats signed lefty-hitting Greg Dobbs to a minor-league deal for potential pinch-hitting duty. Dobbs, 35, was released by the Miami Marlins after opening the season 1-for-13 with four strikeouts. Miami ate his $1.7 million contract. Dobbs has not yet been added to the big-league roster.

• After consecutive scoreless efforts (including a rain-shortened four-inning outing opposite L.A.’s Zack Greinke), Jordan Zimmermann allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings at Arizona on Monday while pitching on two extra days of rest. For his career, Zimmermann has a 2.99 ERA on standard rest and 3.89 ERA with extra rest. Zimmermann will have an extra day of rest before facing the Mets on Sunday.

• Subtract a May 3 outing at Philadelphia in which he allowed two homers and seven runs and Tanner Roark otherwise has a 2.45 ERA in six starts this season.

Shortstop 'situation' continues for Mets

March, 13, 2014
Mar 13
3:29
PM ET
VIERA, Fla. -- Ruben Tejada’s performance Thursday only exacerbated the Mets’ shortstop “situation,” although Terry Collins nonetheless gave Tejada a vote of confidence.

Tejada committed his third error in six Grapefruit League games, falling to handle a routine grounder from Zach Walters that would have ended the fourth inning.

Tejada also went 0-for-3 at the plate, including grounding into a 5-4-3 double play to end the top of the third against Ross Detwiler with two on base. Tejada is now 1-for-15 in Grapefruit League play. He had been sidelined for a week early in camp with a hamstring issue, too.

Said Collins: "I talked to him today about trying to relax a little bit, quit worrying about things. I said, 'Listen, you're the shortstop here. Your name and your number are going to be in the lineup. So you've just got to go be the player we know you can be and quit worrying about trying to impress everybody. We've seen you in the past. Two years ago you were the talk of the town. You had a bad year. Big deal. Forget it. It's over.'"

Despite Sandy Alderson’s play-it-cool statement that Tejada is not under a microscope and insistence there is no “situation,” the pressure has to be mounting for the Mets to find an alternative at shortstop.

The Seattle Mariners have Nick Franklin available, and former Mets GM Joe McIlvaine continues to scout the Mets for that organization. McIlvaine attended the Mets-Nats game Thursday.

Tejada insisted he is not overthinking things with the spotlight focused on him.

“Errors happen. Everybody makes them,” Tejada said. “I have a couple this week. I’ll keep working and keep staying mentally positive and keep playing hard.”

As for the error, Tejada said: “I tried to catch it with two hands. To the glove side, it’s better to play it with one hand, especially with two outs and a man on first. The next one I’ll try to catch it with one hand and make sure of the out at second.”

Tejada said he actually felt “much better” at the plate Thursday.

“I took a couple of pitches and stayed in my zone and didn’t try to do too much,” Tejada said.

Series preview: Mets vs. Nationals

September, 9, 2013
9/09/13
9:24
AM ET

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets face (l to r) Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Dan Haren to open a four-game series.
METS (64-77, fourth place/NL East) vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS (73-69, second place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Carlos Torres (3-3, 2.89) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (9-6, 3.49), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (11-9, 3.53) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (16-8, 3.30), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (7-4, 3.38) vs. RHP Dan Haren (8-13, 5.23), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: LHP Jonathon Niese (6-7, 3.86) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (5-0, 0.94), 1:10 p.m. ET

Nationals short hops

Bryce Harper’s season is in jeopardy because of his latest ailment -- a left hip injury. Harper, who turns 21 on Oct. 16, has been banged up nearly all season. His issues began with crashing into a chain-link fence at Turner Field in Atlanta on April 30 and suffering a bruised left rib cage.


Joy R. Absalon/USA TODAY SportsBryce Harper's latest ailment is a hip injury.


“Ever since I hit the wall, pretty much every day I feel something different,” Harper told Nats beat writer Mark Zuckerman. “Or something will feel better, and then something else hurts. It’s pretty much just the left side of my body. That’s what hurts me right now. Everything on the right side of my body feels great. If the right side of my body felt like the left side of my body, I’d probably just say, ‘Screw it.’ But the last time I probably felt pretty good was that first month.”

Denard Span has a career-high 19-game hitting streak, which is the longest active streak in the majors. He is hitting .397 (31-for-78) during that stretch.

• Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has three homers in the past two days. He has gone deep five times in his last six games, giving him 20 long balls for the season.

• Shortstop Ian Desmond needs one more steal for his second straight 20-homer, 20-steal season. The only other Nationals player ever to reach those thresholds was Alfonso Soriano, who had 46 homers and 41 steals in 2006.

• Right-hander Tanner Roark displaced Ross Ohlendorf from the rotation on Saturday in Miami. After nine relief appearances to begin his major league career, Roark tossed six scoreless innings against the Marlins to improve to 5-0 with a 0.94 ERA. Originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 25th round in 2008, Roark was acquired by the Nats on July 30, 2010 with Ryan Tatusko for Cristian Guzman.

Wilson Ramos has started 16 straight games behind the plate. He was limited to 25 games in 2012 because of a torn ACL in his right knee, and has appeared in only 61 games this season because of multiple hamstring strains.

• Out-of-favor infielder Danny Espinosa was snubbed for a September call-up. Espinosa served as the Nationals’ Opening Day second baseman, but was demoted with a .158 average after 158 at-bats. Rookie Anthony Rendon since has taken over at second base, with some contribution from Stephen Lombardozzi. Espinosa hit only .216 with a .280 on-base percentage and struck out 101 times in 313 plate appearances at Triple-A Syracuse.

The Nats’ September call-ups: infielder Zach Walters, outfielders Eury Perez and Corey Brown, utilityman Jeff Kobernus and left-hander Xavier Cedeno.

• The Nats are on the ropes in their attempt to reach the postseason. They trail the Cincinnati Reds by eight games for the second wild-card spot with 20 games remaining.

Around the minors 8.1.12

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
11:19
PM ET
HARRISBURG 3, BINGHAMTON 2: Harrisburg took the lead in the second inning with a two-out rally against B-Mets starter Gonzalez Germen and never trailed. Justin Bloxom doubled and scored on Devin Ivany's single. Dustin Martin’s bobble in left allowed Ivany to take second, setting the stage for Jonathan Tucker's RBI single. The B-Mets were kept in check through the first four innings by starter Kevin Pucetas, who allowed only two baserunners. Binghamton broke through in the fifth. Wilfredo Tovar doubled, took third on a groundout and scored when Germen singled. Against Germen in the sixth, James Skelton singled and scored on Zach Walters’ two-out triple. Pucetas’ night ended after five innings. Paul Demny posted a scoreless sixth and handed off to Marcos Frias in the seventh. Martin helped the B-Mets scratch within a run after a leadoff single. He took second on a sac bunt and, with two outs and pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores at the plate, scampered to third on a wild pitch. Martin scored when the throw from Ivany, the catcher, sailed past Tim Pahuta. The B-Mets failed to get another runner into scoring position. Juan Lagares reached on a bunt single in the eighth against Hector Nelo, but was thrown out attempting to steal. Reese Havens followed with a walk, but was erased on a double play. Germen (6-8) surrendered three runs (two earned) on six hits in seven innings. Frank Francisco threw a scoreless eighth in his fifth and likely final rehab game with Binghamton. The B-Mets (52-57) will face rehabbing National Chien-Ming Wang on Thursday. Box

CLEARWATER 7, ST. LUCIE 3: Starter Erik Goeddel allowed three runs on five hits and five walks in four innings. Yohan Almonte surrendered four runs (two earned) in three relief innings. First baseman Richard Lucas and third baseman Robbie Shields had errors on consecutive plays in Clearwater's three-run sixth. Alonzo Harris Jr. had a two-run homer in St. Lucie's three-run eighth. Box

SAVANNAH 5, GREENSBORO 2
GREENSBORO 1, SAVANNAH 0:
The Grasshoppers scored the lone run in the top of the seventh inning of Game 2, against reliever Carlos Vazquez. Brent Keys, the South Atlantic League’s leading hitter, flipped a one-out single into left field to score Tony Caldwell. The Gnats collected only four hits in the nightcap, squandering another strong outing from left-hander Alex Panteliodis. He tossed six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and one walk to lower his ERA to 3.20. Panteliodis has struck out 26 batters in his last 19 innings. The Hoppers scored first in Game 1, tallying two runs in the fourth against Savannah starter Michael Fulmer. Wilfredo Gimenez drove in the second run with a double. The Gnats answered in the bottom half with four singles, which led to a three-run frame and 3-2 lead. Brian Harrison and Dustin Lawley each picked up RBI singles before Gregory Pron lifted a sacrifice fly to put the Gnats in front. Fulmer, in his shortest start since May 25, lasted 4 2/3 innings. He allowed two earned runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out two. Box 1, Box 2

GREENEVILLE 7, KINGSPORT 4: 2012 first-round pick Gavin Cecchini was pulled from the game in the sixth inning for a pinch runner. The K-Mets took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh, when Greeneville posted four runs against Andres Perez and Flabio Ortega, who combined to walk four in the inning. Box

BROOKLYN 3, CONNECTICUT 2: Brandon Nimmo singled to open the bottom of the first and Phillip Evans reached on a fielder’s choice. Jayce Boyd then drew a four-pitch walk. Kevin Plawecki followed with a two-run double. The Tigers evened the score at 2 in the fourth. Danry Vasquez led off with a double. Juaner Aguasvivas then struck out swinging before Devon Travis walked. After Tyler Hanover flied out, Patrick Smith doubled, scoring two. Brooklyn retook the lead in the fifth when Boyd reached on a fielding error by third baseman Edgar Corcino. Nimmo started things off with a single and advanced when Evans grounded out. Nimmo, who went 2-for-4, scored on the error on Plawecki's grounder. In his past three games, Nimmo has gone 9-for-15 with seven runs scored, three doubles, one homer and three RBIs. Brooklyn starting pitcher Gabriel Ynoa (3-1) allowed two earned runs on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts in six innings. Matt Koch contributed two scoreless relief innings. Tyler Vanderheiden earned his seventh save. Box

Compiled from team reports

Around the minors 7.31.12

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
12:00
AM ET
BUFFALO 5, INDIANAPOLIS 4 (11 innings): With runners on first and second and one out in the 10th, Bisons closer Fernando Cabrera struck out the next two batters. Buffalo's Zach Lutz then took advantage, launching his second homer of the game in the 11th. Entering the bottom of the ninth, the Herd led 4-2. But Indianapolis' Brandon Boggs, batting with runners on first and second and one out, ripped a line drive into the right-field corner against Cabrera to score two. Cabrera survived the inning from that point, aided by Matt den Dekker's sliding catch on the warning track in right-center that retired the side. After Lutz's 11th-inning heroics, Bisons reliever Jeff Stevens made quick work of Indy, retiring the side in order. Bisons started Collin McHugh tossed six innings, allowing two runs on three hits. Lutz finished 3-for-5 with two homers. Lutz's first homer came on a solo shot in the seventh. Josh Satin also homered for the Herd, with a two-run shot in the fifth. Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 2-for-4. Box

BINGHAMTON 3, HARRISBURG 2: Entering off two subpar performances, Zack Wheeler produced a season-high 11 of Binghamton's 17 strikeouts in a rebound performance. Wheeler allowed two runs on four hits. The strikeout total was one shy of Wheeler's career high, set last season with the San Jose Giants. The B-Mets scored in the first against starter Danny Rosenbaum (7-8) on a fortunate bounce. With Wilmer Flores at first, Jefry Marte zipped a groundball down the third-base line that struck the tarp and ricocheted back into left field, allowing Flores to score the game’s first run. Harrisburg got on the scoreboard a half-inning later. Zach Walters doubled, took third on a single and scored on Sean Nicol’s sacrifice fly. Tim Pahuta gave Harrisburg a brief lead with a solo homer in the fourth. It was only the second homer allowed by Wheeler this season. Binghamton responded with a run the next half-inning. The B-Mets cracked three hits to start the frame, but a baserunning mistake by Marte forced Flores to get thrown out at home. Francisco Pena made up for the miscue with a game-tying RBI groundout.

The B-Mets took the lead for good in the sixth. Flores walked and took second on a groundout. After Dustin Martin bounced out to the mound for the second out, Pena sent a high chopper to second. Jose Lozada attempted to field the in-between hop, but the ball squirted under his glove. The error allowed Flores to score. Given the lead, Wheeler (10-6) capped his night with two strikeouts in the seventh. He fanned the final four batters he faced before giving way to C.J. Nitkowski. Pinch-hitter Jonathan Tucker greeted the lefty by launching a long fly ball to left, but was robbed of a hit by Pedro Zapata, who made a running catch on the warning track. Frank Francisco needed only 11 pitches to strike out the side in the eighth. In the ninth, Adam Kolarek struck out the first two batters before surrendering consecutive singles. With the tying run on second, Kolarek locked down his first Double-A save by striking out Lozada. The 17 strikeouts are the most collected by the B-Mets since they struck out 19 in a 14-inning game against Harrisburg on July 28, 2011. The total was one shy of a franchise record for a nine-inning game, set against New Haven on April 10, 1995. Box

ST. LUCIE 3, CLEARWATER 2: Rafael Montero struck out 14 while limiting Clearwater to two runs on five hits in six innings. Taylor Whitenton notched his fifth save. St. Lucie broke a 1-all tie in the sixth on T.J. Rivera's RBI single and Blake Forsythe's sacrifice fly. Box

SAVANNAH 2, GREENSBORO 1 (11 innings): Dustin Lawley delivered the game-winning single in the bottom of the 11th, scoring Gilbert Gomez. Lawley went 2-for-5 and drove in both Savannah runs. The Hoppers scored their lone run against Savannah starter Jacob deGrom in the first inning. With one out, Austin Barnes doubled and scored on Wilfredo Gimenez’s double. DeGrom completed seven innings and lowered his ERA to 2.37. After stranding the bases loaded in the third inning, he retired 13 of the final 15 batters to face him. In his seven innings, he yielded one run on four hits, walking two and fanning five. The Gnats evened the game at 1 in the fifth. Cam Maron drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Lawley’s single under the glove of Hoppers shortstop Austin Nola. Relievers Estarlin Morel, T.J. Chism and Chasen Bradford combined for four scoreless innings, twice stranding a runner at third. Bradford worked a 1-2-3 11th with two strikeouts to earn the win. Box

KINGSPORT at JOHNSON CITY (ppd.)

Compiled from team reports

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187