10th inning error plagues Potomac in 7-6 loss
In extra innings for the first time in 2019, the Potomac Nationals (8-13) fell victim to a 10th inning, two-out error from 3B Anderson Franco, as the Salem Red Sox (8-12) picked up a series sweep with a 7-6 win.
The series finale got off to a tough start for RHP Luis Reyes (ND), as he saw all nine Salem batters come to the plate in the opening inning, while four of the first five batters eventually scored. SS Ryan Fitzgerald put the Red Sox on the board with a sacrifice fly, LF Victor Acosta made it 2-0 with an RBI single, while C Charlie Madden gave the Red Sox a 4-0 lead with a two-run double. Reyes allowed a run in the second inning but settled in and didn’t allow a hit over his final 3.2 innings on the mound.
Potomac scored in each of the first two innings against RHP Daniel Gonzalez (ND), but the right-handed starter responded with three straight scoreless innings after that. LF Telmito Agustin picked up a home run in the opening frame, his first home run of the season, while SS David Masters tallied his 11th RBI of the season with an RBI groundout in the second inning.
After Gonzalez departed for RHP Hunter Smith for the sixth inning, Potomac pulled within a run on a two-run home from DH Nick Banks, which hit off of the left field foul pole. In the home half of the eighth inning, Potomac tied the game on an errant pick-off throw to first base from RHP Andrew Politi (W, 2-0). Politi’s throw to first base came with men on the corners and allowed Banks to score for the second time in the game.
The P-Nats got three scoreless frames from RHP Andrew Lee, while RHP Steven Fuentes (L, 1-1) entered for the ninth inning. The right-handed reliever worked a perfect ninth inning but couldn’t get out of the 10th inning unscathed. With a runner at third base and one out, Potomac intentionally walked SS Ryan Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald then attempted to get caught in a rundown between first and second base, but Potomac didn’t throw to second base, which resulted in a stolen base. With two men in scoring position and two outs, Acosta hit a routine ground ball to Franco. In an attempt to avoid the baserunner, Franco’s throw to first base went passed 1B Aldrem Corredor. The error resulted in two runs and gave Salem a 7-5 lead.
Banks continued his impressive night in the bottom of the 10th inning, as his leadoff single scored C Jakson Reetz, who began the frame as the free baserunner at second base. RHP Jake Cosart (SV, 3) then struck out Masters for the first out of the inning. On a 2-2 pitch to Franco, Banks broke for second base in a stolen base attempt, while Franco popped up behind the second base bag. Fitzgerald made the catch behind second base, and his throw back to first base beat Banks by a step and resulted in a game-ending double play. Banks finished the night with a season-high four hits in the loss.
Off of a sweep at home to Salem, Potomac will hit the road in last place in the Northern Division. The P-Nats will head to Zebulon, NC where they will play a set against the Carolina Mudcats. In the series opener on Friday night, RHP Malvin Pena (1-1, 7.50) is set to start for Potomac. Last time out, Pena allowed two runs over four innings in a no-decision vs. Winston Salem. For the Mudcats, RHP Christian Taugner (1-2, 5.87) is set for his fourth start of the season. In his last outing, Taugner pitched just four innings and allowed six runs.
First pitch at Five County Stadium on Friday night is set for 7:00pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:45pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.