(SALEM, VA) Behind a solid start from Evan Bronson and an offensive outburst, the Potomac Nationals took a big step toward the postseason with a 10-3 win over the Salem Red Sox that pushed their magic number to two.
In his return to the Potomac rotation after nearly two months in Hagerstown, Bronson went six and a third strong innings and allowed only one earned run. The Nationals offense did the rest.
Jamar Walton's three-run blast in the fourth inning broke a 1-1 tie and set off an avalanche of runs at Lewis Gale Field. Tyler Moore and Sean Rooney - who got the Nats on the board in the first with a two-out RBI - singled to open the frame and came home on Walton's titanic blast.
The Nationals tacked on four runs in the sixth that essentially iced the Red Sox. Walton led off the inning with a double and scored on Sean Nicol's single. Chris Curran was hit by Kyle Fernandes, who came on in relief of Brock Huntzinger. After a strike out of Dan Lyons, Derek Norris doubled to left to make it 7-1.
Nicol doubled in Jamar Walton in the seventh and scored with Jose Lozada on another Norris double that staked the Nats to a 10-1 advantage.
The Sox got a pair back on Luis Segovia's second home run of the year, but Potomac had done enough damage and cruised to the victory.
With Wilmington's loss, the Nationals are now any combination of wins and Blue Rocks losses that add up to two from the playoffs. Wilmington is off tomorrow, while the Nats send Danny Rosenbaum against Stolmy Pimentel in the final road game of 2010 at 7:05.