Another one-run matchup bites Potomac
A late game-tying rally wasn’t enough for the Potomac Nationals (37-44, 4-7), as they fell 3-2 to the Buies Creek Astros (44-37, 7-4). It was the second one-run loss of the series for the P-Nats and their league-high 20th one-run loss of the season.
For the third straight game, the Astros scored the first run of the game, and for the second time in three days, they plated two runs in the bottom of the first inning. LHP Grant Borne (ND) issued a leadoff walk to CF Myles Straw, who scored one batter later on an RBI double from DH Ryne Birk. After Borne induced a groundout, he surrendered a one-out RBI single to C Jake Rogers, as the Astros led 2-0 after one inning.
Borne settled in after the rocky first inning and didn’t allow another run over his four-inning outing. The lefty walked a season high five and saw his consecutive quality start streak snapped at five.
Opposite Borne, RHP Jorge Alcala (ND) dominated over his five-inning start. The right-handed starter regularly hit 100 MPH and gave up only one hit, a solo home run to 3B Dan Gamache in the fourth inning. The P-Nats sent just three over the minimum to the plate over Alcala’s start.
Once into the Buies Creek bullpen, Potomac quickly tied the game. CF Victor Robles led off the top of the sixth inning with a double off of LHP Matt Bower (W, 3-3). LF Jack Sundberg moved Robles to third base on a sacrifice bunt, and a wild pitch plated the Potomac centerfielder, which tied the game. Potomac left the go-ahead run in scoring position, and failed to score from that point forward.
After a scoreless inning out of the bullpen from RHP Ronald Pena, RHP Kyle Schepel (L, 1-3) worked a perfect sixth inning. In the seventh frame, he gave up a leadoff double to Rogers. After 1B Taylor Jones struck out, RF Spencer Johnson put the Astros back on top 3-2 with an RBI single.
The P-Nats threatened in the ninth inning against RHP Nick Hernandez (SV, 9), but left the tying man at second base and finished the game 0-4 with RISP. RF Dale Carey led off the ninth with a bunt single. DH Matt Pagefollowed with what looked like a base hit, but 2B Alex De Goti made a diving stop and began a tremendous double play. With two outs, 2B Bryan Mejia doubled, but Hernandez struck out SS Edwin Lora and wrapped up the Buies Creek victory.
Potomac will turn to Monday night to try to salvage a game in the series. LHP Hector Silvestre (7-2, 4.24) is set to make the start for the P-Nats. Silvestre has gone three straight outings in which he has surrendered fewer than three earned runs. For the Astros, RHP Justin Ferrell (6-3, 5.19) will try to propel Buies Creek to a sweep. Ferrell’s last four appearances have been out of the bullpen, and he has not thrown more than 60 pitches since 6/9.
First pitch is set for 7:00pm Monday night. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 1:45pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.