Home Papelbon rehabs, Keller homers, P-Nats win 5-1

Papelbon rehabs, Keller homers, P-Nats win 5-1


p-natsThe hot start to the second half for the Potomac Nationals (38-34, 4-0) continued, as they picked up a series-opening victory over the visiting Winston-Salem Dash (31-44, 3-2) 5-1 Monday night at Pfitzner Stadium. Rain delayed the start of the game for 49 minutes, and scheduled starter RHP Erick Fedde (W, 4-3) gave way to RHP Jonathan Papelbon (ND), as rain had the Washington Nationals closer start for the P-Nats.

Papelbon, in his first rehab appearance of his career, needed just 10 pitches in a perfect first inning. The righty got CF Hunter Jones to fly out to centerfield, struck out RF Mason Robbins, and induced a groundout from 3B Gerson Montilla.

Potomac got on the board first, as 1B Jose Marmolejos had a two-out RBI single off of RHP Kelvis Valerio (L, 1-3) in the first inning. Valerio, in his second start of the season, but 19th appearance, allowed five runs over six innings. After he posted scoreless frames in the second and third, defense haunted the righty in the fourth. Marmolejos led off the inning with a ground ball to SS Danny Mendick, but Mendick’s throw pulled 1B Telvin Nash off the bag. C Raudy Readfollowed with what could have been a double play ball, but Mendick’s dive only knocked the ball down, as Read reached on an infield single. Two batters later, RF Drew Vettleson made it 3-1 with a two-run double, the eventual game-winning hit.

In relief of Papelbon, Fedde allowed just one run over five innings in route to the win. After Fedde got two quick outs in the second inning, Nash hit his second home run of the season, which tied the game at one. Fedde then worked a perfect third inning, got a double play that ended the fourth, stranded men at the corners in the fifth, and induced another double play, which ended the sixth and his night.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Potomac put the game out of reach. With Valerio past his season high of 60 pitches, LF Alec Keller hit a two-run home run, his second home run of the season. Keller leads the team with 41 RBIs.

Following Fedde out of the bullpen, RHP Wirkin Estevez and RHP Tommy Peterson combined for three shutout innings. Estevez allowed two hits and walked a pair over two frames, while Peterson labored through a 27 pitch ninth, though he only allowed one man to reach base.

In the win, Marmolejos extended his hit streak to 10 games, while the top seven hitters in Potomac’s order each had at least one hit. In his debut for Potomac, CF Victor Robles had two hits and made multiple ranging catches in the outfield. Also in his P-Nats debut, 2B Max Schrock had a pair of hits.

At 4-0, Potomac remains the only unbeaten team in the Carolina League in the second half. They look to win their sixth consecutive game overall Tuesday night as they host the Dash once again at Pfitzner Stadium. First pitch is set for 7:05pm, as LHP Matthew Crownover (0-2, 5.85) is set for his fifth start with Potomac. Opposite Crownover, RHP Jordan Stephens (3-7. 3.86) is scheduled to start for the Dash. The righty is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts vs. the P-Nats this season.



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