There have been few places where the Frederick Keys have found much success away from Nymeo Field this season. But one of them is City Stadium in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Saturday night’s 3-1 victory over the Lynchburg Hillcats, fueled by eight shutout innings from the bullpen and a late two-run homer by recent roster acquisition Brett Cumberland, raised the Keys’ record to 5-1 at City Stadium this season and assured they would have a winning record there.
Considering the Keys had just 15 road wins all year heading into Sunday afternoon’s game in Lynchburg, the feat seems more significant than just another footnote in a long season.
At Nymeo Field, the Keys are 24-24 this season. But, other than Lynchburg, the only other place where they have a winning record on the road is Myrtle Beach, where they are 2-1 with one more series left to play there.
The Keys were 15-36 on the road entering Sunday and had won just four road series all season.
Power vs. Production
Not surprisingly, Brett Cumberland’s game-winning home run Saturday night came as a left-handed batter. That’s the side the switch-hitting catcher has hit 16 of his 19 home runs as a professional.
But Cumberland actually has a higher batting average (.282) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.839) as a right-handed hitter this season, compared to a .230 average and .690 OPS as a left-hander.
Cumberland was received by the Keys in a roster move this week after the 24-year-old Californian played 28 games in Double-A Bowie this season. He was sent to Frederick the same day right-handed pitcher Cody Sedlock and infielder Ryan Ripken were promoted to the Baysox.
Through his first four games with the Keys, Cumberland was 4-for-11 with a double and the home run.
Jomar Reyes went 1-for-4 Saturday to raise his batting average to .455 in July.
The Keys’ third baseman leads the Carolina League with 38 hits in the second half of the season and has 10 multi-hit performances in July.
Odds and ends
After tossing a nine-hit complete game last Sunday, becoming the first Keys pitcher to do it in six years, Brenan Hanifee was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week. ... Heading into Sunday, 10 of the Keys’ last 18 games were decided by two runs or less. ... Outfielder Zach Jarrett has 37 hits in the second half of the season to rank second in the Carolina League behind Reyes. ... Infielder Sean Miller notched his second consecutive three-hit game Saturday and has a hit in four straight games overall.