P-Nats blast Lynchburg Hillcats, 10-1
Lynchburg Hillcats starter A.J. Holland was unable to retire a batter tonight in the first inning walking four and giving up two hits. The Potomac Nationals scored four in the first and went on to win 10-1 over the Hillcats. The ‘Cats are now 1-5 in the opening games of road trips this season. Robby Hefflinger drove in the lone Hillcats run with a bases loaded walk in the third. He went 2-for-3 in the ball game extending his current hitting streak to eight games.
Holland (3-4), who had gone at least five innings in each of his last nine starts, was taken out after six batters tonight. He threw 28 pitches and only nine strikes. James Hoyt relieved him in the first frame and retired the seven, eight, and nine batters in order to end the frame.
Hoyt then allowed his first six batters to reach in the second inning. He walked two and gave up four hits including a three-run triple to Jason Martinson. The seven, eight, and nine batters saved Hoyt as he retired them in order again to end the inning. The Nationals scored five runs in the inning to take a 9-0 lead.
In the third, the Hillcats (29-23) loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a Matt Lipka single. With two outs and the bases loaded, Hefflinger drew another walk to bring home the only Lynchburg run that would score all night. Potomac starter Robbie Ray would leave the game after the third allowing the one run on two hits, walking three, and striking out seven.
The Nationals (29-24) added one more run off of Hoyt in the third. Jayson Werth, on an MLB rehab assignment, doubled in a run. Werth went 2-for-4 with an RBI, two runs scored, and a walk, before leaving the game in the eighth.
Colin Bates took over for Ray in the fourth. Bates (2-3) tossed four scoreless frames allowing just four hits while striking out four and earned the win.
The Hillcats snapped a four-game winning streak with the loss. Meanwhile, the Nationals brought themselves within one half game of the Hillcats for first place in the Northern Division with the win.
Game two of the series is set for tomorrow night at 6:35pm. RHP Ryan Weber (3-1, 2.61) will start for Lynchburg against LHP Sammy Solis (0-0, 1.50) for Potomac. The Hillcats On-Deck Show powered by Honda/Suzuki of Lynchburg will go on the air at 6:10pm. Erik Wilson will have the call on 97.9 FM The Planet and online at lynchburg-hillcats.com