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Jayson Werth singles in rehab, but Potomac Nationals fall to Myrtle Beach, 1-0

potomac nationalsThe Potomac Nationals (44-45 Overall, 25-21 Home, 11-8 Second-Half) were clipped by the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (51-39 Overall, 29-17 Road, 10-11 Second-Half) on Thursday night at Pfitzner Stadium 1-0 in series Game Two amid their current best-of-four set with the “birds.”

The Pelicans took a 2-0 lead in the set with their 14th one-run win of the 2015 season.

Washington Nationals OF Jayson Werth rehabbed with the Potomac Nationals for the fifth time in his professional career and second time in 2015. Werth was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 19th after being hit by a pitch on his left wrist on May 15th in San Diego, CA in a road contest vs. the San Diego Padres at Petco Park thrown by Padres RHP Odrisamer Despaigne. An MRI revealed two fractures in Werth’s wrist which landed him on the DL before his assignment to Potomac.

Werth went 1-for-2 at the plate with a sharp single belted into left-center field in the 1st inning on a 2-2 pitch from the eventual winning pitcher, RHP Pelicans RHP Jonathan Martinez (6-1) before striking out swinging on a 3-2 changeup dealt low out of the hand of Martinez in the 3rd stanza.

Werth factored on defense only once in three innings of play when chasing down a double ripped to the left field corner in the 3rd by Pelicans CF Trey Martin.

Martinez was exquisite through 7.0 scoreless frames in which the crafty righty scattered four base hits, walked none, and fanned four batters. Martinez faced 25 P-Nats’ hitters while dealing 95 total pitches with 62 offerings in the strike zone.

Meanwhile, P-Nats RHP Austen Williams (1-1) took a tough-luck loss which equalized his win/loss record for the P-Nats despite throwing his second straight quality start in his second career outing in the Carolina League.

Williams went 5.0 innings and surrendered one unearned run on three hits, one walk, and one wild pitch while fanning a trio.

The only run of the clash scored in the 4th for Myrtle Beach. Pelicans 3B Jeimer Candelario singled into left-center field, 1B Jacob Rogers grounded a one-base knock into right field, and with C Victor Caratini batting, Nationals C Spencer Kieboom committed his seventh passed ball of the season allowing both runners to move into scoring position. Caratini then sprayed an RBI sacrifice fly to center field as Candelario’s spikes-first slide was just ahead of the tag applied by Kieboom on a lazer beam throw from Potomac CF Narciso Mesa.

The P-Nats got RF Estarlin Martinez into scoring position on an infield single and a right-side groundout by Mesa but Martinez was backpicked and caught stealing 2-6-5.

Nationals LHP Justin Thomas and RHP Tyler Mapes were great out of the Potomac bullpen going a combined 4.0 scoreless innings and allowing just two total hits. Thomas struck out three Pelicans and Mapes walked a pair.

Mapes stranded the bases loaded in the 9th by inducing a popout to shallow center field off the bat of Martin caught by the galloping Nationals SS Stephen Perez.

The Red, White, and Blue mustered just five base knocks (four singles and a double raked by Nationals 3B Drew Ward) in the affair.

Ward committed a season-high three errors in the game including a pair of fielding miscues and a dropped popup in foul territory.

Potomac went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base.

Myrtle Beach RHP Dave Berg slung a scoreless 8th inning before Pelicans closer, LHP Michael Heesch (SV 3) converted his third save in 2015 with a de factor 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th. Nationals LF Alec Keller, who spelled Werth in the top of the 4th, fanned swinging before Perez worked a walk. Kieboom then chopped into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to seal the Pelicans’ victory albeit by the smallest margin of triumph possible.

The Nationals send the number one overall prospect in baseball per MLBPipeline.com, RHP Lucas Giolito (3-4, 2.76) to the mound in series Game Three on Friday night to sling against Myrtle Beach RHP Daury Torrez (6-5, 3.65).

A first pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm tomorrow night at Pfitzner Stadium as Potomac looks to begin a salvage job of their current homestand.

The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will carry live coverage of the game beginning with the “P-Nats Lead-Off Show” at 6:50pm before the live play-by-play at 7:00pm. P-Nats Gameday Audio on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network is accessible at www.potomacnationals.com or with the TuneIn Radio App.

Werth’s rehabilitation schedule moving forward is to be determined.

Friday evening will bring a P-Nats replica alternate red jersey giveaway sponsored by: Dave Stinson’s GEICOoffice to the first 1,000 P-Nats fans through the gates at The Pfitz in addition to a Flying Dog Brewery pre-game beer tasting and a Recycling Pays Night presented by: The Prince William County Solid Waste Division: Recycling Program. Also, kids will run the bases after the game courtesy of: Glory Days Grill.