Behind a second straight shutout outing by RHP Erick Fedde (W, 3-3), the Potomac Nationals (26-20 Overall, 12-10 Home) ran their win streak to four games with a 5-2 victory over the visiting Winston-Salem Dash (17-33 Overall, 12-14 Road). The victory moved the P-Nats to six games over the .500 mark, equaling the highest mark of the season.
With a dominant Fedde on the mound, the P-Nats struck in three consecutive innings, from the second through the fourth. With two outs, 2B Bryan Mejia doubled off of RHP Thad Lowry (L, 3-4). LF Alec Keller followed with an RBI single, as Potomac led 1-0 after two innings. With the bases loaded and no outs in the third, 1B Jose Marmolejos grounded into a double play, which plated RF Narciso Mesa and made it 2-0.
Potomac broke the game open in the fourth against Lowry. A pair of walks and a fielder’s choice groundout put men on the corners for Masters, who drove home Mejia with a single and made it 3-0 Potomac. Mesa followed with his second triple of the season, which plated Keller and Masters. Potomac went ahead 5-0, as Masters’ single proved to be the game-winner.
Fedde cruised through much of his outing. Over six innings, the righty walked just one and gave up four hits. C Raudy Read erased a first inning single as he caught CF Hunter Jones stealing second base. Fedde allowed a leadoff double to 1B Keon Barnum in the second, but then retired nine straight. A double play helped him get out of a jam in the fifth, and he retired three straight after he issued a leadoff walk in the sixth. Fedde struck out two of the last three that he faced, part of a five-strikeout night.
In relief of Fedde, RHP Matt Belisle allowed two runs in his first multi-inning outing on rehab from the Washington Nationals. Barnum singled off of the righty to start the seventh, and 2B Toby Thomas homered over the left field wall. Thomas’ home run made it 5-2, the eventual final. Belisle then worked out of a second and third, one-out jam in the eighth, as he struck out Jones and LF Mason Robbins. LHP RC Orlan (SV, 6) escaped with the tying run at the plate in the ninth, after an error put Davis aboard, and a wild pitch on a strikeout put pinch-hitter Zach Fish on first base. SS Cleuluis Rondon squared up on a fastball, but lined out to left field to end the game.
In the win, eight of Potomac’s nine starters reached base successfully. Keller and Mesa each had two hits for the Nationals, as the P-Nats had at least nine hits for the third straight game. With back-to-back scoreless starts, Fedde has gone 11.1 consecutive innings without allowing a run.
The P-Nats have a chance to clinch the series Sunday afternoon, as they host the Dash in the third game of the four game series. First pitch is set for 1:05, as RHP Boone Whiting (5-1, 3.45) is set to toss for Potomac, while RHP Jordan Stephens (0-6, 5.31) is scheduled to start for the Dash. Stephens had a quality start (7 IP, 3 ER) against Potomac on May 13th, while Whiting went seven innings and gave up two runs against the Dash on May 16th.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will carry live coverage of the game beginning with the “P-Nats Lead-Off Show” at 12:50. P-Nats Gameday Audio on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network is available at www.potomacnationals.com or via the TuneIn Radio App.
Sunday is the Fourth Annual Autism Awareness Day at the ballpark, presented by Lindsay Automotive. P-Nats players and coaches will wear special Autism themed jerseys, which will be autographed and auctioned off throughout the game. Sunday will also feature Bark in the Park day, presented by Ambassador Pit Bull Alliance.