P-Nats fall 7-6 in nail-biter to Down East

A base hit away from their second walk-off win in three nights, the Potomac Nationals (14-23) came up just short in a 7-6 loss to the Down East Wood Ducks (29-11).

Potomac gave up a run in the top of the ninth inning, loaded the bases in the home half, but left the tying run at third base and the potential winning run at second base, as RHP Demarcus Evans (W, 4-0) struck out both 3B Osvaldo Abreu and C Alex Dunlap, which closed out Down East’s one-run victory. The Wood Ducks improved to 9-5 in one-run games, while Potomac fell to 2-6 in similar contests.

Both starting pitchers in Wednesday night’s matchup had one bad big inning, as RHP Malvin Pena (ND) allowed four runs in the second inning, which gave Down East an early 4-0 lead, while RHP Reid Anderson (ND) allowed five runs in the home half of the third inning for the Wood Ducks. Pena pitched just 3.2 innings, while Anderson allowed a season-high five runs over five frames.

Each team’s big inning came with a big blast, as DH Tyreque Reed hit a three-run home run for the Wood Ducks in the second inning, while 1B KJ Harrison put Potomac on top with a three-run home run of his own in the third frame.

Down East knocked Pena out of the game on an RBI double by CF Leody Taveras in the fourth inning, which tied the game at 5-5, while each team scored a run with help from an error in the seventh inning, as the score was 6-6 after seven innings.

RHP Jhon Romero (L, 2-1) entered for Potomac to pitch in the ninth and issued a leadoff walk to Reed. Eric Jenkins pinch ran for Reed at first base and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by RF JP Martinez. A wild pitch from Romero put Jenkins at third base. With the infield drawn in, LF Yonny Hernandez hit a hard chopper to third base, but Abreu failed to come up with the ball cleanly. The ball deflected to SS Trea Turner and resulted in an out at first base, but Jenkins scored the go-ahead run.

After a scoreless eighth inning out of the bullpen, Evans returned for the ninth inning and gave up a leadoff single to DH Aldrem Corredor. Evans responded with a strikeout of Harrison, while LF Telmito Agustin and RF Gage Canning rolled consecutive singles to right field. The base hits loaded the bases with one out, but Reed struck out both Abreu and Dunlap and ended the night’s action. Potomac left 11 men on base in the loss.

In the second game of his rehab assignment, Turner went 0-4 with two strikeouts, a walk, and a run scored.

As the two teams head into the series finale on Thursday, RHP Kyle Johnston (3-4, 5.87) is set to start for Potomac. Johnston has picked up the win in consecutive quality starts, his best two starts so far in 2019. For the Wood Ducks, RHP Jason Bahr (2-0, 2.08) is set start in search of the series victory. Bahr has not been charged with more than two runs in any of his first six starts of this season.

First pitch at Northwest Federal Field on Thursday night is set for 7:05pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:50pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.

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