P-Nats hold on for win in final game with Blue Rocks
The Potomac Nationals (24-27) salvaged the final game of a four-game set with the Wilmington Blue Rocks (26-25) with a 3-2 win on Memorial Day at Frawley Stadium. Potomac scored three runs with two-outs in the top of the fifth inning and the bullpen held on the rest of the way. The one-run win marked the third consecutive game decided by one run. All five games played in Wilmington this weekend were decided by a total of six runs.
The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth inning when the P-Nats struck for three two-out runs against LHP Cristian Castillo (L, 3-3). With 1B David Masters on first base and two outs, CF Victor Robles crushed his sixth home run of the season over the left field wall to give Potomac a 2-0 lead. More two out hitting would follow as LF Jack Sundberg lined a double down the left-field line. The next batter, DH Austin Davidson singled on a ground ball to right-field to plate Sundberg and The Red, White & Blue took a 3-0 lead.
LHP Hector Silvestre (W, 5-1) registered his team-high fifth win of the season after another dominant performance in his tenth start of the season. Silvestre allowed one earned run over six innings of work. He allowed just four hits, but a season-high five walks in the outing while striking out just one batter. Silvestre left the game in the top of the seventh after allowing a double and a single to the first two hitters in the inning.
Wilmington capitalized in the seventh inning after Silvestre exited with runners on first an third. After RHP Nolan Sanburn entered the game, the Blue Rocks got on the board off of an RBI single by SS Nicky Lopez. The threat was not over with the bases loaded and no out in the frame. But Sanburn got 2B D.J. Burt to fly out to center and got an inning-ending 4-3 double play off the bat of RF Anderson Miller to end the threat in the seventh.
The Blue Rocks cut the deficit to one with a run in the bottom of the eighth inning. For the second consecutive inning, Wilmington put the tying runs in scoring position. With runners on second and third and one out, RHP Gilberto Mendez (S, 5) entered the game to get the final five outs of the game. PH Travis Maezes grounded out to first to make it 3-2 and put the tying run on third. But, Mendez got CF Cody Jones to fly out to right field to end the eighth.
The P-Nats threatened for some insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning against LHP Matt Tenuta. With two outs, Sundberg dragged an infield single up the first-base line and Davidson drew a walk. Then, with two on 3B Kelvin Gutierrez drove a ball deep down the right-field line, but Miller chased it down into the corner to keep the Potomac lead at one heading into the final frame.
In the bottom of the ninth, Wilmington put the tying run on third base against Mendez. Once again, with the game on the line, Mendez shut the door. With two outs and Lopez on third, the right-handed relief pitcher struck out Franco swinging to end the game.
Potomac registered nine hits on Monday afternoon. Davidson, Sundberg and RF Rhett Wiseman each registered multi-hit performances in the Memorial Day win. Gutierrez also reached base twice in the contest.
All five games played at Frawley Stadium over the past four days were decided by a total of six runs. Potomac won the suspended game on Friday and the Memorial Day matinee 3-2. The Blue Rocks won the regularly scheduled game on Friday 4-2, the game on Saturday 7-6, and the Sunday night contest 4-3. Over 19 games between these two clubs throughout the first two months of the season, Wilmington holds an 11-8 series advantage over Potomac.
The P-Nats have the day off on Tuesday but return to action at Pfitzner Stadium on Wednesdaynight at 7:05 pm against the Lynchburg Hillcats. RHP Wirkin Estevez (3-3, 4.66) makes his ninth start of the season for the P-Nats against RHP Brock Hartson (2-1, 2.93) for the Hillcats. Our coverage begins at 6:50 pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network. You can listen to the broadcast at potomacnationals.com, or using the TuneIn Radio or MiLB First Pitch apps.
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