Game Notes & Quotes – 6/24

Senators 7, Aeros 1

The Senators used strong work on the mound from starter Taylor Jordan and relievers Matt Grace and Neil Holland while the offense came to life in the 7-1 victory in the series opener. Jerad Head and Steven Souza each hit their ninth home run of the season and Justin Bloxom doubled in two runs to lead the Senators.

* The big news during the game was Jordan getting pulled after only five innings and 65 pitches. With a spot in the Nats rotation open on Saturday and reports from NBC’s Hardball Talk and WTOP saying Jordan is the guy, speculation was sure to be ramped up after such a short outing. Senators’ manager Matt LeCroy refuted that was the reason, “That wasn’t the deal with shutting him down.” Instead he cited a limit of 5 IP or 75 pitches for the right hander on Monday night, “It’s really just an innings issue right now…just trying to slow him down a little bit.”

* Jerad Head put the Senators up early as he lined a home run into Ollie’s Cheap Seats in the bottom of the first. Harrisburg used a Goodwin RBI groundout and Bloxom’s double into the right field corner to push their advantage to four runs after just three innings. In the seventh inning, Josh Johnson delivered a single with the Aeros’ infield playing in and Souza cranked a deep home run to give the Senators some breathing room.

* Two days ago, LeCroy and pitching coach Paul Menhart talked about needing guys to step up in the bullpen. I would say that Matt Grace and Neil Holland have more than done that lately. Grace hasn’t allowed a run since his promotion to Double-A and in his last six appearances over 7.1 innings hasn’t even allowed a baserunner. Holland on the other hand has been phenomenal in his last eight starts as he too hasn’t allowed a run during that span.

* Ricky Hague had a very good game as the second baseman made a couple of nice plays in the field and put some good at-bats together. He finished 2 for 4 with two runs scored with a pair of long drives into the left-center field gap.

* Jordan did match his season-high for the Senators with eight hits allowed (coincidentally against the same Akron squad), but most were weakly hit, well placed balls with two even coming off of broken bats.

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