Potomac Nationals blast Dash, 11-3
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Potomac used an arsenal of 14 base hits including four home runs, one of which was a grand slam, to bury the Dash and salvage a series split.
Today marked the most homers the Nationals have slugged in one game thus far in 2014.
Off the losing pitcher of record, Winston-Salem RHP J.B. Wendelken (3-2), the P-Nats received back-to-back solo jacks from1B Shawn Pleffner and 2B Khayyan Norfork in the 2nd inning. Pleffner’s first dinger of the season was an “oppo boppo” shot to the left field corner that hit the yellow home run line at the top of the wall before Norfork backspun a baseball onto the grassy berm behind the left field fence for his first four-bagger this season.
Wendelken allowed six runs, five earned, on 11 base hits.
Up 2-0, the Nationals plated another pair of runs in the 3rd as Norfork lined an RBI sacrifice fly to left field and 3B Adrian Sanchez popped an RBI triple up the right field line that was narrowly an inside-the-park home run. The ball dropped in fair territory and trickled in the Dash bullpen where RF Jason Coats dug it out from under a chair and heaved the ball over the head of C Martin Medina and it was caught by Wendelken who was backing up the play and Sanchez was tagged out on a bang-bang play.
Sanchez delivered a four-hit game, the first time that feat has been achieved in the 2014 season for the Nationals clubhouse. Sanchez also extended his hitting streak to 10 games which is the longest such stretch among all P-Nats swingers in 2014.
Nationals RHP Dakota Bacus was effective but did not receive a decision after tossing only 4.0 innings. Bacus allowed two earned runs on five hits while walking one and fanning four.
P-Nats RHP Gilberto Mendez (1-0), the winning pitcher, dealt 2.0 perfect innings in relief of Bacus’ effort.
The Dash plated two runs in the bottom of the 3rd when 2B Joey DeMichele cranked a run-scoring triple to dead center field in advance of an RBI single swept through the left side of the infield by LF Courtney Hawkins who was active coming off a suspension.
The Nationals brought home individual runs in the 4th and 6th frames to take a 6-2 lead. C Pedro Severino reached on a popup misplayed by Dash 3B Nick Basto in the 4th and scored on an RBI infield single knocked by SS Stephen Perez to the right side of the infield. In the 6th, Severino cranked a solo bomb down the left field line for his second tater of the 2014 campaign.
Potomac RHP Derek Self turned in a pair of scoreless innings out of the bullpen in which he allowed two hits, struck out one, and hit a batter.
The P-Nats exploded for five runs in the 8th via an RBI walk issued to Perez by RHP Euclides Leyer and the first grand slam of 2014. DH Oscar Tejeda slugged a mammoth bases loaded bomb to the raised flagcourt in left center field above the purple party deck in left center field. Tejeda’s blast was estimated at 410 feet.
Up 11-2 in the bottom of the 9th inning, Potomac RHP Travis Henke allowed an RBI single to DH Justin Jirschele whipped into right field but got 2B Joey DeMichele on a groundout to 1B Justin Miller to end the game. Miller pinch hit for Pleffner in the 9th and worked a walk before staying in the game to man first base.
The Nationals prepare for a seven-game homestand which features three contests against the Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles) followed by a quartet of games versus the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Texas Rangers).
In Game One vs. Frederick the Nationals will throw RHP Ian Dickson (0-2, 6.23) against Keys RHP Jesse Beal (0-0, 4.41).
First pitch at Pfitzner Stadium is set for 7:05pm and the P-Nats faithful will enjoy a Dollar Monday sponsored by: The Washington Post featuring $1 hot dogs and $1 general admission seats purchased at the Potomac Nationals Ticket Office.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network, which is accessible at www.potomacnationals.com, will broadcast the series openeron Monday night beginning with the P-Nats Leadoff Show at 6:50pm before the live play-by-play at 7:05pm.