Méndez extends hitting streak in 7-5 FredNats defeat

Fredericksburg NationalsThough Ricardo Méndez went 2-for-4 to extend his team-record hitting streak to 11 games, the Fredericksburg Nationals dropped their second half opener to the Lynchburg Hillcats on Tuesday night by a score of 7-5.

Two Hillcats homers from Yainer Diaz and Johnathan Rodríguez in the sixth inning swung the score, erasing an early FredNats advantage in the opener of a 12-game road trip.

Onix Vega provided early offense for the FredNats, hitting a solo homer in the second and a two-run double in the third to establish a 3-0 lead. Christian Cairo began the Hillcats comeback in the third with a solo homer off Karlo Seijas (L, 2-8), the first of three homers surrendered by Seijas over his six-inning start.

Diaz doubled home a run for the Hillcats in the fourth, and scored on a Cody Farhat sacrifice fly to tie the game 3-3. Méndez got the FredNats back in front in the fifth, tripling into the right field corner before scoring on a Junior Martina fielder’s choice.

Though he was shaky early, Hillcats starter Jaime Arias (W, 4-2) got through six innings trailing by only a run. He was put in position to earn the win when Diaz and Rodríguez homered off Seijas in the bottom of the sixth, putting Lynchburg up 5-4.

The Hillcats added two more insurance runs in the eighth on a Diaz single and Farhat double, and Andrew Misiaszek (S, 1) worked around a pop fly RBI double from Paul Witt in the ninth to earn his first save.

The FredNats continue their series against the Hillcats on Wednesday night. First pitch from Bank of the James Stadium is scheduled for 6:30, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 6:15 on the FredNats Baseball Network.

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