Home runs not enough in 7-5 P-Nats loss
Despite a home run from both C Jakson Reetz and 1B Aldrem Corredor, the Potomac Nationals (39-34, 2-4) could not pick up a win on Wednesday, as the Down East Wood Ducks (38-39, 3-4) used two big innings in route to a 7-5 victory. Potomac RHP Joan Baez (L, 3-6) did not make it through the fourth inning, while Down East RHP Steven Bruce (W, 2-4) pitched seven full frames.
For the third consecutive game, Potomac jumped out to an early lead. The first two batters of the game reached base, and a sacrifice fly from DH Nick Basto put Potomac on top 1-0. The lead lasted just a half an inning, as Down East put three runs on the board in the home half of the frame. DH Leody Taveras drew a one-out walk, 2B Anderson Tejeda singled, 1B Andretty Cordero tied the game with an RBI single, while 3B Chuck Leblanc gave Down East the lead with a sacrifice fly. Two batters later, LF Josh Altmann made it 3-1 Wood Ducks with a two-out RBI single.
Potomac scored in each of the next two innings against Bruce, as Reetz led off the second inning with a solo home run, and Corredor lined a three-run shot over the right field wall in the third frame. The P-Nats took a 5-3 lead into the fourth inning off of Corredor’s first Carolina League home run.
Baez appeared to have settled in after the tough first inning, as he faced just seven batters over the next two frames, but he recorded just one out in the fourth inning. The right-handed starter issued a leadoff walk to Atlmann, hit C Matt Whatley with a pitch, and then gave up an RBI double to Franklin Rollin. After Baez retired CF Eric Jenkins, Taveras ended the Potomac starter’s afternoon with a two-run single, which put the Wood Ducks on top 6-5. RHP Steven Fuentes entered, and after he retired Tejeda, he gave up an RBI single to Cordero. Cordero’s second hit of the afternoon made it 7-5 Down East, the eventual final. Baez surrendered a season high seven runs in the loss.
Both teams got strong work out of the bullpen. For Potomac, Fuentes allowed only one hit over 2.2 innings of shutout relief, while LHP Hayden Howard worked two perfect to close things out. For the Wood Ducks, RHP Kaleb Fontenot worked a scoreless eighth inning, while RHP Jairo Beras (SV, 2) worked a perfect ninth inning.
Off of the loss, Potomac will need a win on Thursday to avoid a series loss. LHP Ben Braymer (3-1, 1.93) will make his third start of the season for the P-Nats. He has pitched six innings of shutout baseball in each of his first two starts. For the Wood Ducks, RHP Walker Weickel (1-7, 5.43) will look to clinch the series for Down East. Weickel has lost four consecutive starts, and been charged with at least four earned runs in his last three outings.
First pitch at Grainger Stadium on Thursday is set for 7:00pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:45pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com, at http://bit.ly/P-NatsBroadcast, or on the TuneIn Radio App.