The Potomac Nationals (48-40, 10-9) were propelled over the Frederick Keys on Friday night at Harry Grove Stadium in the series opener of four contests by the brilliance of RHP Austin Voth, who extended his scoreless innings streak to 19.0 frames in a 4-0 shutout victory for the visiting club.
The Nationals secured their third shutout win of the 2014 season and their second blank job of their Northern Division rival, Frederick Keys.
Voth (2-0), the winning pitcher, took a perfect game into the 4th inning that was broken up by a walk issued to Fredrick 1B Trey Mancini with two outs. Voth’s no-hit bid lasted into the 6th stanza when the leadoff batter, C Wynston Sawyer ripped a hard line-drive single into center field.
The fireballer threw 97 pitches and allowed just two base hits, both one-base knocks, and the sole base-on-balls to Mancini in 7.0 scoreless innings while striking out eight batters.
Voth fanned the side in the 5th inning and struck out three consecutive batters twice in the game.
The only other Frederick Key with a single off Voth was LF Michael Burgess, a former Potomac National, who also robbed a solo home run bid off the lumber of RF Estarlin Martinez in the 4th. Burgess scaled the barrier in left field and brought the screamer back from over the fence to complete the “rob job.”
The Nationals struck first with one run in the 2nd inning via an RBI infield single dribbled towards Keys SS Adrian Marin by Potomac 2B Khayyan Norfork which plated the leadoff walk issued to DH Oscar Tejeda by the eventual losing pitcher of record, RHP branden kline (5-4).
Kline, a Frederick, Maryland native, dealt 7.0 innings to match Voth but surrendered four earned runs on eight hits while walking a pair and striking out a quartet.
Potomac poured on one more run in the 6th thanks to an RBI sacrifice fly to right field off the stick of Tejeda which scored the leadoff bunt single from washington nationals CF Eury Perez, who is back with the P-Nats for the first time since the 2011 campaign after a fractured toe landed him on the 60-day disabled list this past May.
Perez went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs in his fourth rehab game with the Potomac Nationals.
In the 7th inning, Martinez reached on a liner sprayed to the right-center field gap before C Pedro Severino clubbed a ground-rule double into the left field corner. Perez stepped in and softly lined a two-run single into shallow left-center field bringing home both Martinez and Severino yielding the Nationals a 4-0 lead which would serve as the final score. Later in the frame, Perez was shaken up while being caught stealing on a headfirst slide into the third base bag. Nationals CF Randolph Oduber came in to spell Perez in the field.
Frederick RHP Jimmy Yacabonis pitched 2.0 innings in relief without allowing a run.
P-Nats RHP Richie Mirowski gave up back-to-back singles to Sawyer and 2B Jerome Pena in the 8th, but a fantastic stop and gun to first base by Norfork at second base on a ball scorched by Keys CF Mike Yastrzemski ended the threat.
Nationals LHP Jake Walsh made his Carolina League debut in the 9th and shut down Frederick with a perfect showing. Walsh induced a 5-3 groundout from DH Tucker Nathans before earning consecutive Ks of Mancini swinging and Burgess looking to put a bow on the P-Nats’ shutout triumph.
In Game Two scheduled for 6:00pm on Saturday evening at Harry Grove Stadium, the Nationals will place LHP Matthew Spann (5-4, 4.15) on the bump to hurl against Frederick RHP Sebastian Vader (1-0, 4.50).