Keys rally, drop Potomac, 4-2

Despite an early 2-0 lead, the Potomac Nationals (53-63, 20-26) fell in the series opener 4-2 to the Frederick Keys (54-61, 23-23) Friday night at Nymeo Field.

p-natsThe Keys plated two runs in the fifth inning after an error extended the frame, and then scored twice in the seventh inning, as RHP Luis Reyes (L, 7-12) struggled after he threw four perfect innings to begin his night.

With a dominant Reyes on the mound early, the P-Nats struck for a pair of runs in the top of the third inning against RHP Cristian Alvarado (ND). 3B Bryan Mejia led off the inning with a single, and scored on an opposite field RBI double by CF Daniel Johnson. A pair of groundouts plated Johnson, as Potomac led 2-0 after 2.5 innings.

Potomac maintained the two-run advantage until the fifth inning. After the P-Nats caught a break on a line drive double play by 3B Jomar Reyes, which occurred after the first two Keys hitters reached base, SS Ricardo Andujar reached on a fielding error by 2B Austin Davidson.

The error proved costly, as a bases loaded wild pitch plated one run, and CF Jay Gonzalez tied the game with an RBI single. On Gonzalez’s base hit, LF Jack Sundbergthrew out C Armando Araiza at the plate, which kept Frederick from the lead.

Reyes settled in and set down the side in order in the sixth inning, but the Keys jumped right back on him in the seventh. DH Glynn Davis led off the home half of the seventh inning with a home run, just his second of the season. After Reyes picked up an out, three straight Frederick hitters singled, as an RBI base hit by 2B Drew Turbin made it 4-2 Frederick, the eventual final. RHP Tommy Peterson relieved Reyes with two men on and one out in the frame, and escaped with a double play.

The P-Nats had a couple of chances after Alvarado left the game, but RHP Jefri Hernandez (W, 1-0) did not allow a run over four innings of relief in his 2017 Carolina League debut. Hernandez allowed two men to reach with two outs in the sixth inning, but then got Mejia to ground out. The righty issued a two-out walk in the eighth, but got RF Rhett Wiseman to ground out. In the ninth, DH Dale Carey led off with a single, but Hernandez retired the final three men that he faced, as Sundberg took a called third strike to end the game.

First pitch of game two of the series on Saturday is set for 6:00pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 5:45pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.