P-NATS SPLIT IN WILMINGTON
07/26/2011 11:35 PM ET
Destin Hood Twice Gave the Nationals a Lead on Tuesday (Steve Mihelerakis)
(WILMINGTON, DE) Noel Arguelles was two outs from a seven-inning no-hitter on Tuesday night in Wilmington - and then things got weird. With Francisco Soriano at second base after a leadoff walk and sacrifice bunt, Destin Hood hit a popup to right field. Yem Prades lost it in the sky, though; it fell in the outfield for a game-tying triple and ended the no-hit bid. Justin Bloxom then gave the Nationals a lead with a single into centerfield. But that was not nearly the end of the drama, as the clubs traded the lead two more times, the last of which netted Wilmington a 4-3 win to split Tuesday's doubleheader.
Arguelles had been brilliant through six innings; he would have had a perfect game were it not for Gerard Hall's error in the third inning. He walked none and struck out a pair through six innings. His leadoff walk to Soriano was the first misstep of the night for the Cuban lefthander - and it would cost him.
Wilmington tied the game in the bottom of the seventh off Hector Nelo, who relieved a brilliant Danny Rosenbaum. Nelo gave up a one-out double to Julio Rodriguez, who was lifted for pinch runner Deivy Batista. Batista scored when Joey Lewis singled to right, and the game went to an extra eighth inning.
Potomac took another lead in the eighth. J.R. Higley doubled to open the frame and moved to third on Eury Perez's one-out infield single. After a failed safety squeeze attempt, Francisco Soriano hit a sacrifice fly to center that put the Nats ahead 3-2.
Neil Holland started the bottom of the inning on the mound. He yielded a leadoff infield single to Prades. After Nick Van Stratten sacrificed him to second, John Whittleman grounded out to third. Kurt Mertins then singled to center field to score Prades, and moved to second on the late throw home. The next batter, Tim Ferguson hit a rocket off the mound that landed in center and won the game for Wilmington, 4-3.
On the evening, Rosenbaum allowed just one earned run on six hits in six innings; the run scored in the first inning when Van Stratten singled in Whit Merrifield, who had doubled to open the game.
In the first game, the Nationals took an immediate lead. Destin Hood singled to center field to score a pair and snap the 1-1 tie, where the game stood when suspended Monday night. The Nats tacked on another run in the seventh with a Steven Souza single - and it would prove to be the winner after a tumultuous ninth.
Rob Wort and Josh Smoker combined to allowed three hits and two runs, but Smoker got Whittleman to fly out to center with the winning runs on base and wrap up a 4-3 Potomac win.
The clubs play the third game in the series Wednesday night at Frawley Stadium. Sammy Solis squares off against Tyler Sample at 7:05.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.