Agustin’s homer pushes P-Nats to 3-1 win
A second inning two-run home run from LF Telmito Agustin proved to be enough for the Potomac Nationals (18-14) in a 3-1 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (14-17) on Tuesday night. RHP Sterling Sharp (W, 4-2) allowed just one run over 5.2 innings, while LHP Jordan Mills and RHP James Bourque (SV, 1) followed with 3.1 innings of shutout relief.
LHP Cristian Castillo (L, 1-4) entered Tuesday’s matchup off of three straight dismal outings, but ended up as the tough luck loser in the middle game of the set. Castillo allowed just two runs over six innings, which included Agustin’s two-run home run in the second inning.
Sharp wiggled out of a few jams throughout his outing. The right-handed starter allowed three hits to the first four batters in the bottom of the first inning, but a double play ball off the bat of 2B Gabriel Cancel quelled the rally. In the third frame, Sharp surrendered his only run of the night. RF Kort Peterson doubled with one out, while CF Khalil Lee singled two batters later. Peterson finished the night with four hits.
The Blue Rocks had their best opportunity to tie the game in the fifth inning, as Peterson tripled with one out. With the infield drawn in, Cancel hit a sharp ground ball right at 3B David Masters, who threw Peterson out at the plate. The following frame, Sharp issued a two-out walk to C Meibrys Viloria, while DH Xavier Fernandez singled, which brought the call to the bullpen. Mills entered and got 1B Chris DeVito to ground out and end the inning. Mills worked through a scoreless seventh inning, and used a double play as part of a scoreless eighth frame.
Potomac added an insurance run in the top of the eighth inning against RHP Carter Hope. RF Juan Soto led off the inning with a walk, moved to second base on a wild pitch, and then scored on 1B Ian Sagdal’s sacrifice fly.
With a two-run lead after 8.5 innings, Potomac went to Bourque. The right-handed reliever struck out DeVito, got SS Angelo Castellano to ground out, and struck out Peterson, which ended the game.
In the victory, both Agustin (10 games) and Soto (eight games) extended their respective hitting streaks. Agustin leads the Carolina League with a .395 batting average.
The rubber match of the series is set for Wednesday night. RHP Joan Baez (1-2, 6.29) is set to start for Potomac. Last time out, Baez allowed a season high six runs over just four innings in a loss to the Salem Red Sox. For Wilmington, RHP Jace Vines (1-4, 7.62) will make his second start of the season vs. Potomac. In his first start of the year, Vines allowed seven runs over just three in a loss to the P-Nats.
First pitch at Frawley Stadium on Wednesday night is set for 6:35pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:20pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.