Sox, P-Nats split two
Paul Demny threw five no-hit innings in the nightcap on Saturday night to key a 2-0 Potomac Nationals win and a split in a doubleheader with the Salem Red Sox. Potomac dropped the opener 5-2 but shut down the Sox to earn the split heading into the final game of the first half.
Demny faced just one more than the minimum in the second game’s first four innings; Dan Butler’s two-out walk was the lone blemish through four. In the fifth, Michael Almanzar broke up the no hitter but Demny retired Derrik Gibson and James Kang to end the inning and his outing.
The Nationals (29-40) got the decisive runs in the second inning with a two-out rally. J.P. Ramirez’s one-out walk was followed by a J.P. Ramirez single; after Justino Cuevas flied out and Chris Curran walked, Eury Perez roped a single to right field that scored a pair and put the Nats ahead for good.
After Demny was lifted before the sixth, Josh Smoker created a jam by hitting Wilfred Pichardo and walking Kolbrin Vitek. Joe Testa was summoned from the ‘pen and got Dan Butler to ground out and induced a double play by Shannon Wilkerson to end the threat.
Testa pitched a perfect seventh to earn his fifth save.
In Game One, the Sox surged ahead in the first inning and never looked back. Three straight hits, the last of which was a Bryce Brentz home run, gave the Red Sox (31-38) all the runs they would need.
Potomac pulled within a run with tallies in the third and fifth innings. In the third, Eury Perez scored on a wild pitch, while Sandy Leon drove home Justin Bloxom with a two-out single in the fifth.
But the Sox padded their lead with two runs in the seventh, and Michael Gleason pitched a perfect inning for his second save.
The ballclubs close out the first half Sunday at 1:05 P.M. Cameron Selik takes the hill for the Nationals against left-hander Chris Hernandez.