Home runs power P-Nats to 8-1 win over Down East
On the back of four home runs, the Potomac Nationals (28-33) picked up an 8-1 victory over the First Half Southern Division Champion Down East Wood Ducks (45-19) in the series opener on Monday night. The loss was just the sixth road loss for the Wood Ducks in 2019, with three of those losses in Woodbridge, VA.
The Wood Ducks put the leadoff man aboard in each of the first two inning, but both times, LHP Nick Raquet (W, 5-5) induced a double play and posted a scoreless frame. Opposite Raquet, RHP Alex Eubanks (5-2) induced a double play of his own in the first inning but ran into long ball problems in the second frame.
RF Telmito Agustin put the P-Nats ahead 1-0 with a one-out solo home in the second inning. Two batters later, SS Osvaldo Abreu doubled, while DH Jakson Reetz followed with a towering home run to left field. The home run for Reetz, his first of the season, gave Potomac a 3-0 lead.
Eubanks departed for RHP Wes Robertson to begin the home half of the fifth inning, and like the Eubanks, Robertson fell victim to the big blast. 3B Omar Meregildo connected with his first home run of 2019, a solo home run with one out in the fifth frame. LF Nick Banks nearly made it back-to-back home runs for Potomac but settled for a double and later scored on an RBI groundout from 2B Cole Freeman. Potomac led 5-0 after five frames. Robertson later gave up a three-run home run to Banks in the seventh inning, as Potomac set a new 2019 high with four home runs.
Raquet gave up a leadoff triple to RF Eric Jenkins in the sixth inning, who later scored on a misplay from Abreu. After a meeting with manager Tripp Keister on the mound, Raquet remained in the game and struck out both 3B Diosbel Arias and DH Sam Huff as he locked down his second consecutive quality start. Raquet struck out four and allowed just three hits over six frames.
Out of the Potomac bullpen, RHP Aaron Fletcher struck out four batters over two perfect frames, while RHP Frankie Bartow struck out a pair of Wood Ducks hitters in a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Potomac pitching retired the final 12 batters of the game.
Off of the series-opening win, the P-Nats will look to make it consecutive victories over the team with the best record in the Carolina League on Tuesday night, as RHP Andrew Lee (2-3, 3.35) is set to make the start. Lee matched his season-best performance last time out, as he allowed just one run over six innings in a victory over the Salem Red Sox on Tuesday night. For the Wood Ducks, RHP Jason Bahr (5-1, 1.90) will look to even the series at one game apiece. In his first 10 starts this season, Bahr has never been charged with more than two earned runs, and seven of the starts have been at least five innings in length.
First pitch at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium on Tuesday night is set for 7:05pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:50pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.