Potomac Nationals register 16 hits in 7-4 win
The offense for the Potomac Nationals (22-14) continues to move along no matter who is in the lineup, as the top offense in the Carolina League picked up a fifth consecutive win with a 7-4 victory over the Frederick Keys (14-22). Potomac has taken each of the first three games of the series and has 48 combined hits in the three wins.
CF Blake Perkins led off the game with a home run, and Potomac never looked back. Initially, it appeared as though LF Cole Billingsley had stolen a home run from Perkins, but the left fielder was unable to pull the ball back over the wall. Perkins’ first home run of the year made it 1-0, and the score stood there until the top of the fifth inning.
In his first start off of the disabled list, RHP Tyler Mapes (ND) pitched four perfect innings. Opposite Mapes, RHP Cristian Alvarado (L, 4-3) ran into tough luck with the wind, as the weather picked up in Potomac’s three-run fifth inning.
3B David Masters led off the fifth inning with a single, and while the wind nearly changed directions at a moment’s notice, 2B Bryan Mejia lofted a ball to right field. The gusting wind pushed the ball out of the park, as Mejia’s second home run of the season made it 3-0 Potomac. Later in the inning, DH Jake Noll made it 4-0 with an RBI groundout. An inning later, the P-Nats built the lead to five runs, as LF Jack Sundberg tripled with one out, and scored two batters later on a single by Mejia.
The Keys finally got on the board against the Potomac pitching staff in the home half of the sixth inning. In his second frame of work. LHP Ben Braymer (W, 1-0) allowed a solo home run to CF Ryan McKenna. Braymer then worked a perfect seventh inning, but fell victim to the long ball in the eighth.
SS Chris Clare reached on a throwing error by Masters to start the bottom of the eighth. RF Jake Ring singled with one out, and after Braymer retired 3B Alejandro Juvier, McKenna went deep again. McKenna’s second home run of the night knocked Braymer out of the game. The lefty was charged with just one earned run over 3.2 innings.
After McKenna’s second home run of the game, Potomac went back to the bullpen and brought in LHP Hayden Howard. The left-handed reliever immediately gave up a two-out double to 2B Preston Palmeiro, walked DH Randolph Gassawsay, and hit 1B Wilson Garcia, which loaded the bases. Howard fell behind Billingsley 3-1, but induced a ground ball and escaped the jam. The Keys finished the night just 1-4 with RISP.
Potomac added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning, as 1B Ian Sagdal led off the frame with a triple against LHP Tyler Erwin, and scored two batters later on a double by RF Rhett Wiseman. Up 7-4 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, Potomac went to RHP Jordan Mills (SV, 3), who retired the side in order and secured Potomac’s fifth consecutive victory.
With a chance at their first sweep of the season, the P-Nats will turn to RHP Sterling Sharp (4-2, 4.00) on Sunday afternoon. Sharp has picked up the win in three straight starts. In an effort to avoid a sweep, LHP Brian Gonzalez (2-2, 3.12) will take the mound for Frederick. Gonzales picked up a no-decision in his only start against Potomac, and enters off of a seven-inning shutout performance in a win over Lynchburg.
First pitch at Nymeo Field on Sunday afternoon is set for 2:00pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 1:45pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.