Cate Ks 10 as P-Nats win fourth straight game
The Potomac Nationals (23-19, 53-56) tied a season high with their fourth straight win on Friday night, defeating the Wilmington Blue Rocks (20-21, 64-46) by a score of 6-1 in the opener of a three-game series.
The P-Nats got yet another brilliant performance from LHP Tim Cate (W, 4-3), who struck out a career-best 10 batters over 6.0 innings to earn the win. The lefty took a no-hitter into the fifth, and the Potomac pitching staff combined to allow only two hits as they began their weeklong road trip with a decisive victory.
Potomac scored first in the second inning, notching four consecutive singles against Blue Rocks LHP Kris Bubic (L, 4-3). 1B KJ Harrison and 2B Austin Davidson lined base hits up the middle before RF Telmito Agustin bunted for a single to load the bases, setting the stage for 3B Omar Meregildo’s RBI base hit to left field. Bubic would strike out the next three batters, but not before uncorking a wild pitch to put Potomac ahead 2-0.
Cate allowed only a two-out walk through four no-hit innings before Wilmington 1B Nick Pratto broke up the shutout with a solo homer to right center to lead off the fifth. DH MJ Melendez singled two batters later, but was caught stealing second to preserve the Potomac lead at 2-1.
The P-Nats would answer back in the top of the sixth inning against RHP Andrew Beckwith, as Davidson doubled and Agustin singled to extend the lead back to two. Cate struck out the final two batters he faced in the bottom of the inning, handing the game off to RHP Francys Peguero.
Peguero worked around a pair of walks to toss two scoreless innings, and C Jakson Reetz gave the P-Nats some breathing room with a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning. It was the 10th homer of the season for the All-Star catcher, tops among active players on the Potomac roster. RHP Frankie Bartow worked a clean ninth to finish off the win.
The P-Nats continue their series against the Blue Rocks on Saturday as RHP Malvin Peña looks to extend the winning streak. First pitch at Frawley Stadium on Friday night is set for 6:05 p.m. with the P-Nats Leadoff Show beginning at 5:50. Fans can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.