P-Nats stifled offensively in shutout loss

In the opener of a four-game series at Pfitzner Stadium, the Potomac Nationals (18-19) failed to muster much offense, as they managed just four hits in a 2-0 shutout loss to the Wilmington Blue Rocks (18-20). RHP Scott Blewett (W, 2-3) tossed seven scoreless frames for Wilmington, while RHP Franco Terrero (SV, 2) capped off the game with two shutout innings out of the Blue Rocks’ bullpen.

p-natsDespite a third consecutive start from RHP Joan Baez (L, 1-5) in which he allowed no more than two earned runs, the Potomac offense failed to give the right-handed starter any offensive support. The P-Nats went 0-8 with RISP and left a runner at second base in each of the first three innings. From the fourth inning onward, Potomac had just one man reach second base.

Blewett dominated in his best start of the season. The Wilmington starter allowed just three hits and struck out six in the victory. Blewett gave up a two-out double to 3B Kelvin Gutierrez in the first inning, a leadoff double to SS Edwin Lora in the second inning, and a single to Gutierrez in the third frame. Each time, he escaped without any damage, as the game went scoreless into the top of the fifth inning.

The Blue Rocks finally cracked Baez in the fifth frame. CF Cody Jones led off the inning with a triple into the left-centerfield gap, while C Nate Esposito made it 1-0 with an RBI groundout. Wilmington scored the final run of the game in the next inning, once again courtesy of a leadoff hit. LF Roman Collins began the frame with a single, and then moved to second base on a groundout. 3B Wander Franco followed with an infield single to Lora, and the Potomac shortstop compounded the hit with a throwing error, which plated Collins. A fly out from the next man to the plate turned the run to earned, as Baez gave up two earned runs in 5.2 innings. The righty is 1-2 in his last three starts despite a 2.25 ERA (4/16.0).

Potomac mustered just one hit over the final six innings, as the two-run hole proved to be too much to climb out of. C Taylor Gushue led off the bottom of the ninth with a single, but Terrero got 1B Ian Sagdal to ground into a double play, before a fly out from Lora ended the game.

The bullpen put together another strong showing in the loss for Potomac, as RHP Kyle Schepel and RHP Jorge Pantoja allowed just one hit over 3.1 shutout frames.

With the loss, the P-Nats have dropped three consecutive games, one shy of their longest losing streak of the season. They’ll turn to RHP Luis Reyes (2-5, 6.27) on Tuesday night. Reyes has given up at least four earned runs in three of his last four outings, though the right-handed starter broke a streak of four consecutive losses with a victory last time out against the Blue Rocks. For Wilmington, LHP Colin Rodgers (0-1, 3.38) will make his second consecutive start against Potomac. On 5/10, Rodgers allowed just one unearned run over four innings, as the left-handed starter struck out a season high eight hitters. First pitch is set for 7:05pm on Tuesday night. 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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