Ryan Church went one for four in his first rehab appearance for AA Harrisburg on Friday. Leading off and playing center field, Church struck out swinging in the first, flied out to left in the third, hit a line single to lead off the sixth, and struck out looking in the eighth.
The Senators lost 1-0 to Altoona, wasting an excellent pitching performance by Josh Karp. The 6-5 right hander allowed only a first-inning home run to Jose Bautista while striking out five in seven innings of work. In Harrisburg, Karp is 1-1 with a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings since being sent down from AAA New Orleans, where his ERA was a less-impressive 5.65.
On Thursday, New Orleans rallied in the ninth to edge Nashville 3-2. With the Zephyrs trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, J. J. Davis, at the center of trade talk involving Colorado's Preston Wilson, smacked a home run to left center field to lead off the inning and tie the game at 2. A Brandon Watson double, and a pair of intentional walks, the second to Rick Short, AAA's leading hitter, loaded the bases. Josh Labandeira pinch hit for winning pitcher Bill Bray. Courtesy of ZephyrsBaseball.com, here's what happened next:
Labandeira takes one for the team, Zephyrs win.
Brandon Watson continues to beat up on AAA pitching, going 2-4 to raise his average to .367.
Don't look for any more Zephyrs game reports here for a while. The impending arrival of Hurricane Dennis has forced the cancellation of their weekend series with Iowa and starting Monday, AAA takes its All-Star break along with the big leagues. They are next scheduled to play on July 14 at Memphis.
In Winston-Salem, A Potomac smoked the Warthogs by sweeping a doubleheader. The first game was tied at three going into the top of the eighth. The P-Nats changed that with two pitches. After Kory Castro walked, Salomon Manriquez knocked a two-run homer right and on reliever Fabio Castro's next pitch, Josh Whitesell hit one out to left to make it 6-3.
In the second-game, shortened to seven innings, the Nations put up a five spot in the fourth to take a 5-2 win. The highlight of the big inning was a three-run homer by Vince Rooi.
Ian Desmond, considered to be the organization's best prospect at shortstop, made a lateral move from Savannah to Potomac earlier this week. For the P-Nats the team's third-round pick in the 2004 draft is 3-8 with a home run and two RBI's. Desmond will not turn 20 years old until September.
Nats Minor League Notebook: Church in Harrisburg
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