P-Nats toss dual shutouts in doubleheader sweep of Carolina

p-natsBack home for a brief three-game series, the Potomac Nationals (21-16 Overall, 8-8 Home) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in both halves of Wednesday night’s doubleheader, courtesy of RBI hits by 1B Jose Marmolejos in the first inning of each game. Paired with stellar outings by RHP Luis Reyes (W, 3-2) and RHP Greg Ross (W, 1-1), Potomac earned the doubleheader sweep with two shutout victories, 3-0 in game one and 2-0 in game two.

Just three batters into game one, Potomac had a lead it did not relinquish. RHP Enderson Franco (L, 3-2) allowed a one-out double to SS Osvaldo Abreu. Marmolejos followed with an RBI single, as the P-Nats led 1-0 after one inning. RF Dale Carey made it 2-0 Potomac in the second on a sacrifice fly that plated 2B Bryan Mejia, and an RBI single by LF Alec Keller in the fourth frame made it 3-0 Potomac, the eventual final.

On the hill, Reyes had his best start of the season. The righty scattered five hits and walked only one over six-shutout frames. Reyes walked just one and struck out seven, one shy of his season high. He faced more than four hitters just once in the first six innings and tallied at least one strikeout in each of the first five innings. Reyes did not allow a Carolina hitter to reach third base. RHP Ryan Brinley (SV, 5) worked around a leadoff single in the seventh and retired the next three to secure Potomac’s series-opening win.

Game two followed a very similar story to game one. Abreu tallied a one-out single in the first inning off of RHP Zach Quintana (L, 1-4). Marmolejos followed with an RBI double down the left field line, as again, the P-Nats led 1-0 three batters into the game. Potomac left men at second and third in the inning, a trend that continued, but did not harm the P-Nats on the night. Potomac left on nine on and went 1-10 with men in scoring position in the game two win.

The P-Nats made it 2-0 on three straight singles vs. Quintana in the fourth, as 3B David Masters, RF Narciso Mesa, and CF Andrew Stevenson all tallied one-out base hits. Stevenson, who had a nine-game hit streak snapped in game one, picked up two hits and an RBI in game two.

In his second start of the season, Ross dazzled over 5.1 innings. The righty allowed only two hits and faced just one over the minimum. Ross allowed a one-out single to RF Keith Curcio in the first inning but erased him on a double play ball. C Joseph Odom reached on a fielding error in the fifth, but again, Ross induced a double play. 2B Ryan Gebhardt then led off the sixth frame with a single, before DH Tanner Murphy popped out, and the P-Nats went to the pen.LHP RC Orlan (SV, 4) got two quick outs in the sixth and retired the side in order in the seventh, as Potomac closed out a 2-0 win.

Six different starters had at least one hit for the P-Nats in game one, while eight of the nine game two starters had at least one hit. The P-Nats pitching staff allowed just eight hits and walked only one in the doubleheader, Potomac’s first back-to-back shutout performance of the season.

The P-Nats have an opportunity at a series sweep, as they host the Mudcats Thursday night at Pfitzner Stadium. RHP Phillips Valdez (4-1, 4.07) is set to make his first start of the season vs. Carolina, while the P-Nats will see RHP Wes Parsons (0-0, 4.43) as a starter for the first time in 2016. First pitch is set for7:05.

The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will carry live coverage of the game beginning with the “P-Nats Lead-Off Show” at 6:50. P-Nats Gameday Audio on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network is available at www.potomacnationals.com or via the TuneIn Radio App.

The homestand concludes Thursday night with Thursday Cheers, as select drinks will be available for $1 during the game.

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