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Mandel, P-Nats get Jewett No. 1,00005/01/2009 1:02 AM ET
By John Torenli / Special to MLB.com
Potomac manager Trent Jewett entered Thursday's doubleheader against Wilmington with a career mark of 999-999 after 16 years as a Minor League manager.
The day might not have started off as well as the skipper would have wanted it to, but Jeff Mandel made sure Jewett went home with win No. 1,000 after celebrating his 24th birthday with his best performance as a professional in the nightcap.
The former 19th-round pick tossed a four-hitter for his first career shutout as the Nationals blanked the Blue Rocks, 6-0, at Pfitzner Stadium. Wilmington won the opener, 4-1.
"What comes to mind is the players I have managed, the successes they have had," Jewett told Northern Virginia's News and Messenger.
"It's not about any personal gratification. Tonight it was about us hitting well and playing good defense, getting a well-pitched game. It isn't about the manager."
Jewett, who spent four seasons as a catcher in the Pittsburgh system in the late 1980s, began his coaching career with the Welland Pirates of the New York-Penn League in 1992 and has spent the past 17 years building a winning resume in the dugout.
The 44-year-old baseball lifer spent 11 seasons managing on the Triple-A level, including recent stops at Nashville of the Pacific Coast League (2003-'04) and Indianapolis of the International League (2005-'08).
Jewett sent Mandel (2-1) to the mound in the second game in search of No. 1,000. The 22-year-old left-hander delivered in a big way, limiting the Blue Rocks to a double and three singles en route to his first complete game since a rain-shortened five-inning effort for the Nationals last June 22 against Frederick.
Mandel, who walked one and struck out one, capped the effort with a 1-2-3 seventh, getting Derrick Robinson on a grounder back to the mound for the final out.
"It wasn't something I was really aware of," Mandel told the News and Messenger when asked about Jewett's accomplishment. "It's nice to pitch on my birthday and especially to get a win."
With Mandel dealing, the Nationals went right to work against Wilmington starter Everett Teaford (2-1).
Boomer Whiting led off the opening frame with a single and scored on Stephen King's ensuing double. Danny Espinosa followed with an infield hit and Marrero walked before Jesus Valez capped the three-run inning with a two-run single.
Espinosa belted a two-run homer, his second of the year, in the second as the Nats opened a 5-0 cushion.
Tabbed Baseball America's Best Manager Prospect in 2007, Jewett improved to 11-10 in his first campaign with the defending Carolina League champions.
Jewett's other managerial stops include: Triple-A Calgary of the PCL, Double-A Carolina of the Southern League, Class A Advanced Salem of the Carolina League, Class A Augusta of the South Atlantic League and short-season Welland, where it all began.
The former backstop played at North Texas State before inking a free-agent deal with the Pirates in 1987.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.