Minor League Recap: Opening Day for Nats’ Affiliates


In their opening game of the season, the Chiefs scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Lehigh Ironpigs 8-7. The Chiefs’ ninth inning rally began with a one-out solo home run from Roger Bernadina to tie the game. After a Kevin Mench single (after which he advanced to second on a fielding error), an intentional walk by Josh Whitesell, and a walk by Eric Bruntlett, shortstop Pete Orr hit a single to centerfield to drive in Mench for the winning run. Orr, who also stole a base, was 3-4 on the day with a double. Second baseman Seth Bynum chipped in three RBIs, including a two-run homer. Bernadina and pitcher J.D. Martin also tallied two hits apiece, with Martin also throwing 6.2 innings while surrendering just two runs on one hit. Reliever Joel Peralta was credited with the win after pitching a one-run ninth.


The Senators started the year like the big league club, dropping their season opener to the Altoona Curve 5-1. After scoring one run in the second on a Pedro Lopez single, the Senators were blanked for the duration while the Curve followed a one-run fourth inning with a four-run fifth. Senators’ starter Jeff Mandel struggled, allowing four runs on five hits in 4.1 innings (though he did fan six Curve batters). The Harrisburg offensive was stymied for the entire game, with Lopez and first baseman Chris Marrero notching the teams only two hits.


The game between the Potomac Nationals and the Salem Red Sox was suspended due to inclement weather with two outs in the top of the second inning. In that time, Salem took a 1-0 lead, with right fielder Mitch Dening driving in third baseman Will Middlebrooks off of Nationals’ starting pitcher Robinson Fabian.


The Suns won their season opener, defeating the Hickory Crawdads 1-0 in a weather-shortened, six inning game. Hagerstown scored its lone run in the bottom of the first inning on consecutive doubles by Francisco Soriano and Steven Souza. Left-hander Daniel Rosenbaum threw 5.1 scoreless innings for the win, surrendering only two hits and striking out seven. Mitchell Clegg pitched the final two-thirds of an inning for the save. Destin Hood, the Nationals’ second round pick in the 2008 draft, was the sole Hagerstown player with a multi-hit game (two singles).