P-Nats win third straight
The Potomac Nationals (44-56) beat the Down East Wood Ducks (38-63) for the second straight night by a final score of 7-3 on Tuesday at Grainger Stadium. With the win, Potomac has now tied it’s season-high winning streak at three games in a row. DH Austin Davidson led the way with two hits and two RBIs while five P-Nats drove in a run on Tuesdaynight.
For the third consecutive game, Potomac scored in the first inning. CF Daniel Johnson led off his second career Carolina League start with a double down the left-field line. After a sacrifice bunt from SS Edwin Lora, Davidson drove in Johnson on a RBI single to center field. The P-Nats led 1-0 after an inning of play.
The Wood Ducks tied the score in the bottom of the second inning. However, The Red, White & Blue took the lead again in the top of the third against LHP Brett Martin (L, 1-6). Lora walked with one out. Then, Davidson doubled into the right-center field gap plating the P-Nats shortstop from first base. Potomac held a 2-1 lead in the third.
Down East got to RHP Nolan Sanburn (W, 4-3) again in the bottom of the third to take it’s first and only lead of the game. With one out, LF Yanio Perez laced his second career triple to right-center field. 3B Ti’Quan Forbes followed with a RBI single to center to tie the score at two. After a DH Luis La O single to put runners at the corners, 2B Evan Van Hoosier hit a single to left to give the Wood Ducks a 3-2 advantage.
Potomac took the lead right back in the ensuing half inning with a two spot in the top of the fourth. 3B David Masters, RF Rhett Wiseman and LF Dale Carey each singled with one out to tie the score up at three. Then, 2B Bryan Mejia laid down a bunt with runners on the corners. Wiseman scored from third and Carey moved to second as Mejia turned the tides back towards the P-Nats. The Red, White & Blue would never trail again after taking a 4-3 lead in the fourth.
Sanburn settled down after the first three innings and returned to the starting rotation with a quality start and fourth win of the season. Despite allowing 10 hits, Sanburn scattered just three runs over his six inning start. The right-hander now has four quality starts with Potomac in 2017.
The P-Nats would score three more times the rest of the game. Potomac added one in the sixth and two in the seventh against Down East. 1B Ian Sagdal and C Jakson Reetz capped off the scoring with two, two-out RBI extra base hits in the seventh. Sagdal’s triple scored his 53rd run batted in this season. Reetz roped a double to center to plate his first career RBI in the Carolina League and give The Red, White & Blue a 7-3 lead.
RHP Tyler Skulina and RHP Mariano Rivera III closed out the game the rest of the way tossing three shut out innings in relief of Sanburn. Skulina allowed just two base runners in two innings in his first appearance back from the DL. Rivera recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning to nail down the four-run victory.
With the win, Potomac has now won all four series against Down East in the Wood Ducks inaugural Carolina League season. The P-Nats are 9-3 against the Wood Ducks and 17-14 overall against the Southern Division this season. After 28 hits over the first two games of this series, the P-Nats are hitting .295 against Down East over 12 matchups this season.
The P-Nats and Wood Ducks close out their regular-season schedule against one another with the final game of a three-game set on Wednesday morning. Potomac turns to RHP Austen Williams (1-2, 1.93) in search of it’s first sweep of the season. Down East counters with LHP Wes Benjamin (6-6, 4.38).
First pitch is scheduled for 11:00 am at Grainger Stadium. Coverage begins at 10:45 am with the P-Nats Leadoff Show on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network. The broadcast will be streamed live on potomacnationals.com and through the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.