Walks loom large as P-Nats fall 8-2 to Winston-Salem

p-natsDespite wins in the first two games of the series, the Potomac Nationals (26-22 Overall, 12-12 Home) managed just a split of the four game series vs. the Winston-Salem Dash (19-33 Overall, 14-14 Road).

Even with a first inning home run by 1B Jose Marmolejos, the P-Nats held a lead for less than half an inning, as the Dash tied it in the second and took the lead for good in the third. Potomac pitching issued a season high nine walks in the loss, four of which eventually scored. Potomac dropped each of the final two games of the series by at least three runs.

RHP Spencer Adams (W, 5-3) tossed his second consecutive eight inning, two-run performance vs. Potomac. The righty gave up the home run to Marmolejos three batters into the game, the first baseman’s seventh of the season, then did not allow another run until his final frame on an RBI groundout by Marmolejos. Adams struck out seven and gave up only five hits in the win.

For Potomac, RHP Luis Reyes (L, 3-4) gutted his way through six innings and kept Potomac within striking distance. The Dash tied the game at one on a second inning leadoff home run by 1B Keon Barnum, his first of the season. Winston-Salem then plated two runs in the third inning. Following a leadoff walk and then a single, 3B Gerson Montilla put the Dash on top 3-1 with an RBI single. Barnum followed with a sacrifice fly, which made it 4-1 Winston-Salem. Montilla’s hit proved to be the game-winner. The Dash tacked one more off of Reyes on back-to-back two-out hits by Barnum and DH Marcus Davis in the fifth inning.

Reyes allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings. The righty walked four, the sixth time in nine starts that he has walked at least three batters. In the outing, Reyes struck out two, hit a batter, and had a wild pitch.

Once the Dash got to the Potomac pen, Winston-Salem put the game away. After a 1-2-3 seventh inning by RHP Mario Sanchez, the game got away from the P-Nats in the eighth with RHP Dakota Bacus and LHP Matthew Spann on the hill. Bacus threw 20 pitches, just three for strikes. Two of the strikes were put in play for outs, but the righty walked four and was charged with four earned runs over just 0.2 innings. Bacus walked CF Hunter Jones with the bases loaded, which made it 5-1 Winston-Salem, before Spann relieved him from the bullpen. LF Mason Robbins greeted Spann with a ground rule double over the wall in centerfield, which plated C Brett Austin and 2B Ryan Leonards. A wild pitch from Spann plated Jones and closed the books on Bacus, who had walked just three over his first 11 innings with Potomac in 2016.

After Adams went the first eight innings, the Dash turned to RHP Danny Dopico for the ninth. 3B Drew Ward led off the frame with a double but was left at second base. LF Alec Keller walked with one out, but CF Dale Carey hit into a game-ending double play, his team leading eighth double play of the season.

In the loss, RHP Ryan Brinley pitched a perfect ninth inning, ran his scoreless outing streak to six games, and lowered his ERA to a team best 0.44. 2B Bryan Mejia ran his hit streak to seven games, while SS Osvaldo Abreu increased his hit streak to five games with a two-hit night.

After the Carolina League takes the day off Tuesday, the P-Nats will head to Frederick to begin a four-game, three-day series. Nymeo Field plays host to the P-Nats and Keys Wednesday night, with first pitch set for 7:00. The teams will then play a doubleheader starting at 5:00Thursday, and wrap up the series Friday night at 7:00. Potomac will then make its only first half trip to Myrtle Beach and will play four games between Saturday and Tuesday vs. the Pelicans.

The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will carry live coverage of the game Wednesday night beginning with the “P-Nats Lead-Off Show” at 6:45. P-Nats Gameday Audio on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network is available at www.potomacnationals.com or via the TuneIn Radio App.

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