As Hurricane Charley moves toward the Washington area, the Keys could be forced to postpone a few more games in an already rain-drenched season. Frederick has had nine postponements and one cancellation.

More postponements would put a damper on the Keys at a time when they are playing well, having won three in a row and four of its past six games.

Leading the way has been left-hander Kurt Birkins, who has won three games in August by pitching 12 scoreless innings.

He pitched four scoreless innings Aug. 22 to earn a win, then pitched two scoreless innings Aug. 6 to capture a close win over Winston-Salem, 3-1.

On Tuesday, Birkins made his second start of the season -- and his first since June -- and threw six scoreless innings to lead the Keys past Salem.

As a team, Frederick has a 2.58 ERA in August, with the team as a whole holding a nearly 4-to-1 ratio in strikeouts to walks. While the team has batted a league-worst .238 this month, the Keys are still 6-4.

Notes: Closer Tony Neal has converted his last six save attempts, including a save in each of the Keys' last three games, and has not allowed a run in 51/3 innings since July 29. Neal's 12 saves rank sixth in the Carolina League. . . .

Tripper Johnson remains among the Carolina League leaders in slugging statistics. Johnson is second in home runs (20), seventh in slugging percentage (.481), fifth in runs batted in (65) and sixth in extra-base hits (39).

The Keys are second in the league with 97 home runs, but seventh out of eight teams in batting average (.258). . . .

The Keys' bullpen has been one of the league's most heavily used. Ryan Keefer leads the league in appearances with 52, while his teammate Nick McCurdy is tied for second with 50.