Woodbridge, VA-After a streak that featured 10 consecutive games in the win column, the Potomac Nationals (36-25, 22-12) were edged by the Frederick Keys (32-28, 17-15) on Sunday afternoon at Pfitzner Stadium by the score of 7-6. The Keys used a six-run 7th inning to topple the red-hot Potomac club in the Game Three finale.
Frederick has cut the P-Nats' Northern Division first place lead to 3.0 games.
Despite a terrific outing from Nationals RHP Taylor Hill, who did not receive a decision, the Nationals did not score until the 5th inning when RF Justin Miller blooped an RBI single into right center field to score the double of C Adrian Nieto.
Miller went 2-for-4 with three RBIs in the ballgame.
Hill went 6.0 scoreless innings and allowed just three singles while walking a pair and striking out five batters.
Hill has now tossed 13.0 innings against the Keys in 2013 without allowing a run.
Potomac RHP Colin Bates (2-4) (BS, 2), the losing pitcher of record, allowed six unearned runs and blew his second save in the 7th inning to give up the lead. Bates faced all nine in the Frederick lineup and surrendered a bases loaded RBI walk to RF John Ruettiger, a two-run single to 3B Jason Esposito, and a three-run blast out to right center field off the lumber of CF Brenden Webb, his seventh deep ball of the season. The run production came amidst a pair of errors charged to 3B Cutter Dykstra on a missed catch and a throwing error.
Frederick LHP Tim Berry (4-3), the winning pitcher, gunned through 7.0 stanzas and allowed just two earned runs on five hits without walking a batter and striking out eight men.
Potomac cut the Keys lead to 6-2 in the Nationals half of the 7th via an RBI groundout by SS Jason Martinson that plated the triple blasted to dead center off the stick of CF Michael Taylor.
Both teams tallied in the 8th inning as Frederick received an RBI single off the wall in center by 2B Travis Adair before Adair was out 8-6-3-5 at the second base bag. Potomac plated one run off RHP Jessie Beal with a bloop RBI single up the right field line for 2B Adrian Sanchez.
Against Beal in the 9th the P-Nats showed fight by scoring three runs on three hits. Nieto belted a double into the left center field, 1B Kevin Keyes reached on a fielding error by a pitcher playing second base, RHP Tom Winegardner, before Miller ripped a two-run triple to the gap in right center field to score Nieto and Keyes. LF Randolph Oduber then cranked a low line drive off Beal's leg that ricocheted to Winegardner who fired late to first to bring in Miller. Finally, CF Billy Burns hit a hard grounder to SS Sammie Starr that was bobbled but eventually handled and dealt to first base just in time to beat Burns and end the contest and seal Frederick's 7-6 triumph.
Potomac travels to Zebulon, North Carolina to face the Carolina Mudcats (Cleveland Indians) tomorrow for a three-game road series that opens up an eight-game bus trip.
First pitch Monday night at Five County Stadium is set for 7:15pm with Potomac RHP Blake Schwartz (5-1, 1.29) facing Carolina RHP Nick Pasquale (0-3, 4.62).
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will begin streaming with the P-Nats Baseball Lead-Off Show at 7:00pm in preparation for the live play-by-play at 7:15pm. 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 to see the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz 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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