P-Nats prevail in extras

The Potomac Nationals and Kinston Indians decided to spend some extra time at Grainger Stadium on Monday night. Thunderstorms delayed the start of the ballgame by nearly 90 minutes, and the clubs needed 11 innings to decide a back-and-forth affair that saw the P-Nats surrender the lead in the ninth, score three in the 11th, walk the bases full of Indians in the bottom half but escape with a 5-2 win on Rob Wort’s strikeout of Casey Frawley. The win snapped a three-game slide for Potomac, and ended a six-game Kinston winning streak.

After Potomac manufactured the go-ahead run in the eighth, they were two outs from a 2-1 victory in the bottom of the ninth. But Tyler Cannon ripped a double inside the bag to score Adam Abraham, who had singled to open the inning against Hector Nelo. Nelo got the next two outs to send the game to extras.

In the 11th, the Nationals (31-43) used some shaky Kinston (42-32) defense and aggressive base running to score the decisive runs. Cutter Dykstra laid down a bunt to the mound on the inning’s first pitch. But the Tribe’s All Star closer Preston Guilmet yielded to Roberto Perez on a ball well out past home plate. Perez’s throw was not in time at first and Dykstra was aboard with an infield hit. Eury Perez then hit a high chopper to first; rather than step on the bag to get the speedy Perez, first baseman Jeremie Tice flipped late to Guilmet and the P-Nats had two aboard.

After a failed bunt attempt by Francisco Soriano, Matt LeCroy put on the double steal. The catcher Perez’s throw ricocheted off the glove of Frawley, who was covering from short on the wheel play. Dykstra scored and Perez moved to third. LeCroy then dialed up he safety squeeze, and J.R. Higley’s bunt on the first base side made it 4-2 Nats.

With two outs, Justin Bloxom singled to right to score Soriano and give the Nationals a three-run edge. In the bottom of the inning, the insurance runs proved critical.

Joe Testa led off the inning with a walk to Abner Abreu. After he struck out Cannon, he walked Perez and was lifted from the game. Wort fanned Doug Pickens to get the second out before he, too, walked Tyler Holt. But he punched out Frawley to secure the Nationals’ second win in nine games with the Indians.

Danny Rosenbaum was solid for six innings for Potomac. He allowed only one earned run on three Kinston hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Clayton Cook matched wits with the lefthander; he too tossed six one-run innings with four punchouts.

The clubs decide the series on Tuesday evening at 6:30 P.M. Adam Olbrychowski takes the ball for the Nationals. The broadcast can be heard beginning at 6:00.


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