P-Nats sweep Salem
Chris Marrero picked up two hits including a game-winning single as the Potomac Nationals swept a doubleheader against the Salem Red Sox winning 5-4 in Game 1 and 4-2 in Game 2. Potomac has won six straight contests at Pfitzner Stadium.
Playing his first rehab game with Potomac and third overall, Marrero was 2-for-3 in Game 1 of the doubleheader with his game-winning RBI coming in his final at bat. Marrero did not play in Game 2.
Game 1: Potomac 5, Salem 3 Game 1 pitted lefty Robbie Ray for the Nationals against Keith Couch of the Red Sox.
The Red Sox struck first in the second inning thanks to control problems from Ray. With the bases loaded and one out, Adalberto Ibarra drew a walk and Xander Bogaerts came into score to put Salem in front 1-0. Ray walked three batters in the inning.
Potomac battled back with four runs in the bottom of the second inning. After David Freitas and Ricky Hague singled to start the inning Zach Walters drove in Freitas with an RBI double. Two batters later Justin Bloxom launched a three-run home run, his tenth of the year, to give the P-Nats a 4-1 lead.
Marrero added to the Potomac lead with a two-out RBI single that plated Randolph Oduber to make it 5-1 Nationals.
Christian Vasquez brought Salem a run closer in the sixth inning with a two-out RBI single to cut the deficit to 5-2.
Salem mounted one final comeback in the seventh inning against Joe Testa. With two outs, Travis Shaw brought home Jackie Bradley Jr. with an RBI single. Brandon Jacobs followed with an RBI single to trim the P-Nats lead to 5-4. But with the tying run aboard at first base, Bogaerts flew out to center field to end the contest.
Ray (3-2) made his first start since going eight shutout innings last Sunday. He picked up the victory tossing five innings allowing one run on three hits with six strikeouts.
Couch (5-4) took the loss for the Sox surrendering five runs on nine hits as he pitched all six innings.
Game 2: Potomac 4, Salem 2 Bobby Hansen Jr. took the mound for the Nationals in Game 2 and was opposed by Salem’s Jeremy Kehrt.
Salem struck first for a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Bogaerts connected with his seventh home run of the season.
The P-Nats tied the game in the third inning with an unearned run. With two outs Oduber came in to score on a fielding error by Bogaerts to knot up the game at 1-1.
A three-run fourth inning proved to be the difference for Potomac in Game 2. Michael Taylor doubled down the right field line to bring home Ricky Hague to make it 2-1. J.P. Ramirez came to the plate next and lined a two-run double down the left field line to put the P-Nats up 4-1.
Carson Blair’s RBI double in the fifth inning scored Michael Almanzar and pulled Salem within two runs at 4-2. The Sox threatened to add more runs but a promising inning was cut short courtesy of a 1-2-5-3-4 double play.
Hansen Jr. (2-2) matched his longest start of the season going six strong innings. He received the win allowing two runs on just three hits.
Kehrt (0-1) made his first start of the season for Salem. He took the loss giving up four runs, three of them earned, in five innings of work.
Jimmy Barthmaier came on in the seventh inning to pick up his second save in as many attempts for the Nationals.
The P-Nats play another doubleheader with the Salem Red Sox tomorrow night starting at 5:35 PM. Nathan Karns (0-1, 21.60) takes the mound for Potomac and Matt Barnes (3-1, 1.59) starts for Salem in Game 1. In Game 2, Matt Grace (2-6, 5.67) will pitch for Potomac and Manny Rivera (3-2, 4.89) starts for Salem. The Potomac Nationals are celebrating their 35th Anniversary of professional baseball and family fun, for all your ticket needs please call the box office at 703-590-2311 or visit www.potomacnationals.com.