P-Nats clinch series with Dash

The Potomac Nationals rode a dominant start from Paul Demny and a two-hit, two-run effort from series-clinching 4-2 win over the Winston-Salem Dash on a gorgeous Thursday night at Pfitzner Stadium. With the win, the Nationals improved to 4-4 in the second half and set up a chance to earn their third series sweep of the season on Friday.

Demny (5-7) was outstanding for seven innings, striking out a career-high eight and allowing just one run on five hits without a walk.

After Potomac scored the first run of the game in the opening inning, the Dash did the only damage against Demny in the second. A one-out single by Nick Ciolli became a run when Austin Yount doubled to left field. The Nationals had surged ahead on Justin Bloxom’s RBI single in the first, which scored J.R. Higley, who walked with one out.

Souza led off the fourth with a walk. After Sandy Leon popped out, J.P. Ramirez singled to right to put runners at the corners. Eury Perez then grounded to short to score Souza and push the Nats ahead 2-1.

They added two more runs in the sixth, and again Souza was involved. A leadoff double by Thursday’s designated hitter was cashed in when Ramirez doubled with one out. After Perez struck out, Francisco Soriano singled to center to make it 4-1 for Potomac.

The Dash got a run back in the eighth inning: Tyler Saladino hit his eighth home run of the season off Josh Smoker to draw the Dash within two.

But Hector Nelo got the last out of the eighth and retired Winston-Salem in the ninth for his sixth save. The three Nationals pitchers struck out 12 Dash hitters.

Jake Petricka (0-1) made his Carolina League debut and lasted three and a third innings, allowing two runs on four hits with a strikeout and a costly three walks (two of them would score).

Potomac will look to open the month of July with a series sweep Friday at 7:05. Cameron Selik takes the mound for the Nats against lefty Joe Serafin.

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