P-Nats earn series split

Trevor Holder pitched into the eighth inning as the Potomac Nationals salvaged a series split with the Wilmington Blue Rocks winning 7-4 at Pfitzner Stadium.  The P-Nats scored in each of the first five innings of the game and finish their seven-game homestand at 4-3.

Holder (5-2) matched his longest start of the season tossing seven and two-thirds innings.  He earned his second straight win yielding four runs, two of them earned, on just five hits.  Holder threw 106 pitches and matched his season-high with six strikeouts.

Potomac struck first with a run in the first inning without recording a hit.  Blake Kelso led off with a walk and moved up to third base on consecutive outs.  Kelso then scored on a wild pitch by starter Elisaul Pimentel and the Nationals took a 1-0 lead.

Kevin Keyes doubled the lead in the second inning as he singled home Michael Taylor with two outs to push the score to 2-0.

Despite only one ball leaving the infield, the Blue Rocks were able to counter with three runs in the third.  After Jose Bonilla and Roman Hernandez reached to start the inning, Juan Graterol dropped down a sacrifice bunt and reached on an error by Trevor Holder.  Bonilla scored on the play to trim the deficit to 2-1.  Angel Franco tied the game with an RBI single and Orlando Calixte put Wilmington on top 3-2 on an RBI groundout.

Ricky Hague knotted up the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third with a solo home run, his fourth of the season.

The back and forth game continued in the fourth inning.  A sacrifice fly by Hernandez gave Wilmington a 4-3 lead but Potomac battled back with three runs in the bottom half.  With Taylor at third base and Keyes at first, Randolph Oduber lined a two-run triple to left-center field and was awarded home plate on a throwing error by Calixte to put the P-Nats on top 6-4.

Potomac expanded their lead to three runs in the fifth inning as David Freitas’ RBI single scored Hague and made it 7-4.

Making his first start in High-A ball this season, Pimentel (0-1) struggled from the start against the Nationals.  He was saddled with the loss surrendering seven runs, six of them earned, on six hits.

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