P-Nats rally falls short
Mike Rayl threw seven scoreless innings as the Carolina Mudcats snapped the Potomac Nationals three-game win streak with a 3-2 victory at Pfitzner Stadium. The P-Nats scored two runs in the ninth inning but Randolph Oduber grounded out to the pitcher’s mound to end the game with the tying run at second base.
Rayl (5-7) did not allow a run in his outing for the third time this season and the first time since May 3rd. He picked up his first win since June 10th yielding just three hits and two walks in his seven shutout innings.
In his second game on rehab assignment with the Nationals, Xavier Nady was 1-for-3 with a single in the seventh inning. He flied out in his first two at bats and was pinch hit for by Francisco Soriano in the ninth inning.
Through the first five innings of the game, there was a combined one hit from both teams. Rayl and Matt Grace were matching scoreless frame for scoreless frame with the only hit coming from Blake Kelso leading off the bottom of the first. Grace retired 11 batters in a row dating from the final two outs of the first to the final out of the fourth.
Carolina finally broke through in the sixth inning with not only their first hit, but their first runs. Justin Toole broke up Grace’s no-hitter with an infield single to lead off the sixth and scored on an RBI double by Delvi Cid to give the Mudcats the lead. Tony Wolters connected with the third straight hit of the inning doubling down the right field line to increase the lead to 2-0.
Grace (4-8) was chased from the game after the RBI double from Wolters in the sixth. He took the loss allowing two runs on three hits in five plus innings.
Alex Monsalve’s first hit in the Carolina League was a big one against Matt Swynenberg in the seventh inning. With two outs, Monsalve launched a towering home run to left-center field to extend the Carolina advantage to 3-0.
After a rally was thwarted by a double play in the eighth inning, the Nationals ended their scoring drought in the ninth. Soriano led off with a walk and stole second base after two outs were recorded. Michael Taylor drew a two-out walk in front of Adrian Sanchez who doubled home two runs to cut the deficit to 3-2. The Mudcats brought on closer Jose Flores out of the pen to record the game’s final out, the groundout of Oduber.