PHOTO CREDIT: Gary Dize (Potomac Nationals)
Woodbridge, VA-Washington Nationals RF Jayson Werth made his third rehabilitation start of the season and second in succession with the Potomac Nationals (28-24, 17-11) on Thursday evening at Pfitzner Stadium to aid the Nationals to a 7-3 victory in the Game Four finale. Werth went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, including a run scoring one-base knock, and scored one run to assist the P-Nats triumph over the Salem Red Sox (21-29, 12-18).
Werth, rehabbing a still tender hamstring, was tested twice in the outfield on fly balls off the bats of RF Matty Johnson and 3B Garin Cecchini in the 3rd inning and ran the bases twice on his singles, a groundball chopped through the hole at shortstop in the 1st inning and an RBI rope to center field in the Nationals' 6th stanza.
Potomac RHP Blake Schwartz was effective and came up one out shy of a quality start after tossing 5.2 innings and allowing three earned runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Schwartz allowed his first home run of the season, a solo shot over the first tier of signs in left center field to C Carson Blair in the 2nd frame. That blast from Blair ended a stretch of 37.2 innings without Schwartz allowing a four-bagger.
Salem RHP Mike Augliera (4-2), the losing pitcher, gave up four earned runs on six hits to take his second loss of the 2013 season.
Potomac struck first with one run in the 1st inning on an RBI fielder's choice by CF Michael Taylor, who earned a three RBI night, that scored the leadoff hit batsman, LF Billy Burns, who stole his Carolina League-best 24th and 25th bags in the contest.
Blair tied the game with his aforementioned solo shot before Potomac answered in the home half of the 2nd with a solo tater over everything in left field off the lumber of C Cole Leonida, his third dinger of the campaign and second homer against Salem.
The Red Sox tallied a pair of runs to knock out Schwartz in the 6th when DH Keury De La Cruz roped an RBI double to right field and 1B David Renfroe followed in suit with a two-bagger to right to give the Sox a 3-2 lead.
Nationals LHP Matt Grace (3-0) was immaculate out of the bullpen allowing just one base runner on a walk issued to SS Deven Marrero.
The P-Nats bats returned fire in the last of the 6th stanza as a leadoff Burns triple down the left field line led to Werth's run scoring lazer beam to center. SS Jason Martinson ripped an RBI two-base hit out to left field to bring home the Nationals' fourth run taking a 4-3 advantage.
The Nationals caked on three more runs of insurance after 7th inning stretch time via a Francisco Soriano RBI shot to right field and a two-run double cranked to left field by Taylor.
RHP Cameron Selik, in a non-save situation, sat down the Red Sox in order in the 9th inning to seal the deal on a series victory for Potomac.
With Werth scheduled to continue his rehabilitation with the Potomac Nationals through Sunday, the P-Nats usher in the Northern Division leading Lynchburg Hillcats (Atlanta Braves) as the clubs begin a three-game weekend set.
Potomac sends LHP Robbie Ray (3-2, 2.58) to the mound to gun against Lynchburg RHP A.J. Holland (3-3, 3.47) in the series opener.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will begin streaming with the P-Nats Baseball Lead-Off Show at 6:50pm in preparation for the live play-by-play at 7:05pm. Broadcast coverage of Potomac Nationals Baseball is accessible by heading to www.potomacnationals.com.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. P-Nats 2013 season tickets and mini plans are on sale now. Sponsorship opportunities for the '13 season are now available. Plan your corporate outing now in preparation for the summer months as the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. Visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the ticket office at 703-590-2311 for more!
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