Early deficit too much for P-Nats

The Potomac Nationals (40-53) could not overcome a four-run Wilmington Blue Rocks (53-42) first inning and lost 6-4 on Monday evening at Frawley Stadium. The Blue Rocks collected four runs on five hits in the first frame. RF Rhett Wiseman and SS Edwin Loraeach drove in two runs in the two-run defeat.

p-natsThe Blue Rocks scored early and often against LHP Hector Silvestre (L, 7-5). Wilmington tallied four times on five hits in the bottom of the first inning. Silvestre struck out 2B D.J. Burt to begin the game but then allowed the next five of six men to get a hit. SS Jecksson Flores began the rally with a bloop double down the left-field line. After a RF Brandon Downes single, 1B Chris DeVito plated Flores for the first run of the game on a fielder’s choice ground out to first. The next four batters to the plate recorded an RBI on three singles and another RBI groundout to give the Blue Rocks a 4-0 lead after one.

Potomac cut the deficit in half in the top of the fifth inning. LF/CF Dale Carey walked with one out. Then, Wiseman drove in his first run of the game with a triple to deep center field. Lora followed with an RBI groundout to second. The P-Nats trailed 4-2 at the half way point.

Wilmington answered immediately with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Downes drilled a triple to left-center to begin the bottom of the fifth. DeVito drove in his second run of the game with an RBI groundout. The next batter, 3B Wander Franco, blasted a solo home run to left field. His third home run of the season gave the Blue Rocks their second four-run lead of the game at 6-2 after five.

The two runs in the frame were enough to chase Silvestre after five. The left-hander allowed six runs (4 ER) on 11 hits over five innings in his 17th start of the season. The 11 hits given up tied his season-high for most allowed in a start this season.

The P-Nats inched back within two in the seventh with two, two out RBIs from Wiseman and Lora. Carey began the rally with a two-out double to left-center. Wiseman singled to right field to plate the third Potomac run. Lora followed with an RBI double into the left-field corner. The Blue Rocks still held a 6-4 lead at the stretch.

RHP Andres Machado (W, 6-7) left the game with two outs and two on in the seventh. He allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven. LHP Matt Tenuta (S, 3) closed down the game from there with a strikeout to end the frame. He hurled two scoreless frames to lock down his third save of the year.

The Potomac bullpen kept up with Tenuta. RHP Mariano Rivera III and LHP R.C. Orlancombined to throw three shutout innings. Rivera struck out three in two perfect innings, while Orlan walked one and struck out two in his return to Potomac after spending a 25-game stint with Double-A Harrisburg.

With the victory the Blue Rocks have won the final regular season series between these two teams. Potomac looks to avoid the sweep tomorrow with RHP Luis Reyes (5-10, 4.66) on the mound against RHP Scott Blewett (5-6, 3.97) for the Blue Rocks.

First pitch is slated for 6:35 pm on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium. Coverage begins with the P-Nats Leadoff Show at 6:20 pm on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network. The broadcast will be streamed live on potomacnationals.com and through the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.


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