P-Nats blast Lynchburg, 14-0

Nathan Karns threw six shutout innings as the Potomac Nationals held the Lynchburg Hillcats to just one hit in a 14-0 drubbing at Pfitzner Stadium.  The win marked the P-Nats fourth shutout of the season and first in the second half.

In his first start since last Monday, Karns (5-2) was sharp from the outset.  He scattered the lone hit of the game and two walks in his six scoreless frames while tallying six strikeouts.  Karns has now won five straight decisions.  Joe Testa and Adam Carr combined to throw the final two innings of shutout ball for the Nationals as they faced just two batters above the minimum.

Potomac jumped all over Aaron Northcraft in the bottom of the first.  Francisco Soriano and Ricky Hague reached to begin the first and Soriano came in to score on an RBI single by David Freitas.  The big hit of the inning came from Michael Taylor two batters later.  With the bases loaded, Taylor launched a grand slam into the trees beyond the left field wall to balloon the lead to 5-0.  The grand slam was not only Taylor’s first home run of the season, but the first grand slam by a Potomac National this season.

The Potomac bats were kept quiet the next four innings but the Nationals added to their tally with three more in the sixth.  Jason Martinson walked and moved up to third on a double by Taylor.  Stephen King brought both home with a two-run single through a drawn-in infield to up the lead to 7-0.  Blake Kelso added another run with an RBI fielder’s choice to put the P-Nats up 8-0.

Northcraft (8-6) was removed from the game after five and one-third innings.  He was saddled with the loss after allowing a season-high eight earned runs on eight hits.

The P-Nats blew it open in the seventh inning tacking on six more runs.  Martinson started the scoring with a two-run triple that scored Hague and Freitas for his third hit of the night.  Two batters later, King picked up his third RBI of the night lining a clean single into left field to score Martinson.  Kevin Keyes delivered the big blow of the inning crushing a three-run home run to left-center field, his 13th of the year, to give the P-Nats a 14-0 lead.

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