Freeman, Masters lead P-Nats comeback in win over Red Sox
The Potomac Nationals (23-32) scored eight unanswered runs in a 9-6 win over the Salem Red Sox (18-36) on Sunday afternoon. A six-run seventh inning turned a three-run deficit on its head, giving Potomac just their second comeback win of the season in the sixth inning or later.
2B Cole Freeman hit a bases-clearing double to tie the game, and two batters later SS David Masters hit his team-leading ninth homer of the season to give the P-Nats a lead they would not give back.
It was an atypically rocky start for the P-Nats, who allowed an unearned run in the first when RF Gage Canning dropped a two-out fly ball off the bat of 1B Pedro Castellanos. Masters doubled in the second and scored on a fielder’s choice, but the Red Sox answered with two in the third and three in the fourth to take a 6-1 lead.
LHP Carson Teel struggled for the first time this season, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits in 4.0 innings. The lefty allowed back-to-back doubles to 2B Jagger Rusconi and SS Ryan Fitzgerald in the third, and LF Edgar Corcino hit a solo homer to start the fourth. Rusconi followed with a two-run single later in the inning, setting the P-Nats back by a wide margin.
In the fifth, Potomac got a one-out single from 3B Omar Meregildo and subsequent double from 2B Osvaldo Abreu. Meregildo scored on a wild pitch from LHP Enmanuel De Jesus, and 1B KJ Harrison ripped an RBI double to left-center to cut the deficit to 6-3.
RHP Luis Reyes (W, 1-3) continued his turnaround out of the bullpen, pitching a scoreless fifth and sixth to extend his scoreless streak to 14.0 innings. The righty has allowed only one earned run since joining the bullpen in late April.
The P-Nats had gone 1-27 when trailing after six innings this year, but jumped on De Jesus in the seventh to start a rally. The Salem starter left with the bases loaded and two outs, giving way to RHP Eduard Bazardo. Freeman greeted the reliever with his three-run double down the third base line, and Masters completed the P-Nats comeback with his deep blast to center field.
RHP Andrew Istler contributed 1.1 innings of scoreless relief in his second Potomac outing, and RHP Jhonatan German (S, 1) got the final five outs for his first save.
The P-Nats continue their series against the Red Sox on Monday night as LHP Nick Raquet faces off against Red Sox RHP Kutter Crawford in game two. 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.