Brilliant Raquet helps P-Nats to series win over Salem

Potomac NationalsThe Potomac Nationals (24-32) got a quality start from LHP Nick Raquet and plenty of offense as they defeated the Salem Red Sox (18-37) by a score of 6-1 on Monday night. It marked the first series win for Potomac since early April, and sets them up to potentially earn their first sweep in the finale on Tuesday.

Raquet (W, 4-5) completed 6.0 innings for the first time this season, allowing only four hits and an unearned run in his best start of the year. The lefty benefitted from early run support and carved up the Red Sox, who lost their ninth consecutive game.

LF Nick Banks hit the first pitch of the game for a single off RHP Kutter Crawford (L, 3-5), and scored on 2B Cole Freeman’s RBI double to put the P-Nats ahead 1-0. Freeman would score on RF Telmito Agustin’s double, making it 2-0 P-Nats in the first. It was the first of three hits for Agustin on the night, who also reached on a walk.

In the second, CF Armond Upshaw drew a walk, stole second, and scored on an infield single from Freeman that was exacerbated by a wild throw from Salem 2B Nick Lovullo. The small ball extended Potomac’s lead to 3-0. Upshaw would draw a season-high three walks on the night, scoring two runs.

Salem would get their lone run in the fourth, on a bad break for Raquet and the P-Nats. RF Jagger Rusconi reached on an error by 1B Aldrem Corredor as a hard throw from SS Osvaldo Abreu broke the laces on the first baseman’s glove. 1B Pedro Castellanos brought Rusconi home with an RBI double, but Raquet limited further damage.

Corredor hit a two-out RBI single in the sixth to extend Potomac’s lead to 4-1, and Raquet finished strong by stranding a runner at third in the bottom of the inning. In the eighth, a safety squeeze from Freeman and an RBI double from Corredor made it 6-1, and RHP Jeremy McKinney pitched 2.0 scoreless innings to keep the game at an arm’s length. RHP Jorge Pantoja pitched a hitless ninth to lock down the win.

The P-Nats go for the sweep against the Red Sox on Tuesday night as RHP Andrew Lee faces off against Red Sox LHP Jhonathan Diaz in the finale. First pitch at Haley Toyota Field is set for 7:05 pm, with the Potomac broadcast starting at 6:50 with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen live at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.

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