Six-run fifth inning snaps P-Nats losing skid
Wednesday night’s matchup between the Potomac Nationals (58-61, 28-24) and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (47-72, 26-26) blistered through the first half of the game, but came to a screeching halt, as the P-Nats scored six runs on seven hits in the home half of the fifth inning against RHP Javier Assad (L, 4-9). Behind the six-run frame and a dominant start from LHP Nick Raquet (W, 10-8), Potomac picked up a 7-0 win.
The two starting pitchers traded zeroes through the top of the fifth inning, though Potomac had far more scoring chances. The P-Nats stranded a man in scoring position in each of the first two frames, while Myrtle Beach mustered just two hits over the first five innings.
After four-scoreless innings, Assad gave up six consecutive hits to begin the bottom of the fifth. DH KJ Harrison led off the inning with a towering solo home run to left field, which made it 1-0 Potomac. Following singles from RF Gage Canning and 2B Osvaldo Abreu, SS Gilbert Lara hit a rocket just over the wall in left-centerfield for a three-run home run, as Potomac took a 4-0 lead. 1B Aldrem Corredor and 3B Austin Davidson each tallied an RBI in the frame, as Assad went just 4.2 inning and was charged with six earned runs. RHP Chad Hockin got the final two outs of the fifth inning, as Potomac led 6-0 after five frames.
Raquet was brilliant once again, as the left-handed starter recorded his sixth consecutive quality start and earned the win in a fifth straight start. Over seven-shutout innings, Raquet allowed just two hits, both singles in the third inning. After 2B Carlos Sepulveda singled with one out in the third inning, Raquet retired 11 in a row and 14 of the last 15 batters that he faced.
Out of the Potomac bullpen, RHP Francys Peguero worked two-shutout innings, as he secured Potomac’s shutout win, one night after the team was shut out 8-0.
With the series set for a rubber match on Thursday evening, LHP Tim Cate (4-3, 3.75) is scheduled to pitch for Potomac. The left-handed starter has spun consecutive quality starts and has done so in five of his last seven starts with Potomac. For the Pelicans, LHP Brendon Little (0-1, 16.88) will pitch for the series win. In his Carolina League debut last Friday, Little went just 2.2 innings and was charged with five earned runs. Both starters rank among the top 10 prospects in their respective organizations by MLB.com (Cate-8th, Little-7th).
First pitch at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium on Thursday night is set for 7:05pm. 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.