P-Nats get rare win in Tar Heel State
The Nationals got off to a quick start against Mudcats starter Michael Goodnight who came into the game with a 2-13 record. Adrian Sanchez hit a double and advanced to third on a sac bunt from Blake Kelso. Matt Skole singled in Sanchez for his 100th RBI of the year between Potomac and Hagerstown to put Potomac up 1-0.
Skole becomes just the third Washington minor leaguer to 100 RBI. The other two, Tyler Moore in 2010 and Jason Martinson this season, both got to the century mark wearing a Potomac uniform.
Goodnight didn’t factor into the decision going five innings yielding just one run. He struck out five and allowed just three hits.
The Mudcats got to P-Nats starter Matt Grace in the second inning. Ronny Rodriguez hit a monster solo shot off the scoreboard in left field for his 19th homer of the season to tie the game 1-1.
With one out in the sixth against Carolina reliever Josh Martin, Kevin Keyes blasted a solo shot that just curled inside of the left field foul pole to break the tie giving Potomac up 2-1. The homer was the Potomac leading 20th of the season for Keyes.
Grace ran into trouble in the seventh inning allowing the first two batters to reach and was pulled from the game. Aaron Barrett replaced Grace and struck out Dwight Childs for the first out of the inning. Barrett then struck out Mark Bradley on a 3-2 pitch with the runner at second gunned down at third for an inning ending double play.
The next half inning Potomac added two big runs in the top of the eighth inning. Sanchez led off the inning with a single. Skole hit a ball off the top of the 20 foot wall in right field scoring Sanchez and increasing the Potomac lead to 3-1. The next batter Keyes came through again with a double down the left field line scoring Skole and putting the P-Nats up 4-1. It was the team-leading 75th RBI of the season with Potomac for Keyes.
After Barrett struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning, closer Rob Wort came on for Potomac. Wort would struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 12th save of the season sealing a critical 4-1 win for the Nationals.
Grace (9-12) picked up his Potomac best ninth win of the season going six innings giving up one run and striking out six. Maritn (0-1), a 2012 10th Round selection, got the loss throwing in his first game in the Carolina League.
With Wilmington defeating Myrtle Beach 6-5, the Nationals still trail the Blue Rocks by three games with six games to play for Potomac.