PHOTO CREDIT: Nick Wass (AP)
Woodbridge, VA-For the second consecutive evening at Pfitzner Stadium on Wednesday, Washington Nationals LF Bryce Harper made a rehabilitation start and assisted the Potomac Nationals (47-28, 5-1) to a victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (43-32, 3-3) to give the P-Nats a two games to one advantage in the four game series. The Nationals hosted their fifth sellout of the 2013 season as an announced crowd of 5,777 fans viewed the second ever rehab appearance for Bryce Harper.
Harper, 20, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with bursitis in his left knee on June 2nd after injuring the knee in a collision with the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium on May 13th. Harper aggravated the ailment sliding on May 26th at Nationals Park.
Harper was given the designated hitter role by field manager, Brian Daubach, and hit in the two spot of the batting order.
The southpaw slugger, Harper, faced Pelicans RHP Jerad Eickhoff, who did not factor into the decision, in the 1st inning, and struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch.
Then, in the 3rd frame, the baby-faced basher wearing a thick beard, smashed a solo home run out to right field that bounced high in the air off the second barrier.
Harper finished the night 1-for-3 at the plate after lining out hard to right field in the 5th effectively ending his rehab work for the evening.
Once again Harper did not speak to the media following his appearance at Pfitzner Stadium tonight and will only do so once he plays a full nine inning game per the Washington Nationals.
Harper signed autographs for Potomac Nationals fans before the National Anthem and also signed a few on his way out of the ballpark while also tossing his own bobblehead giveaways out to fans personally before driving away from The Pfitz with his father, Ron, in tow.
Potomac C Adrian Nieto was the hitting star of the contest going 4-for-4 at the plate with his own solo four-bagger in the 2nd inning, his sixth bomb of the season. Nieto also ripped three singles.
Potomac RHP Brian Rauh, in his second spot start of the season, went a solid 4.0 scoreless innings and allowed just one base hit, a broken-bat single from CF Chris Grayson.
With the Nationals up 2-0 after Harper's majestic drive out to right field and Nieto's tater, the Pelicans exploded for five runs in the 6th stanza charged to RHP David Fischer. Pelicans 1B Joe Maloney cranked a three-run triple and Grayson nailed an RBI single off Fischer before 3B Drew Robinson lifted an RBI sacrifice fly on a pitch from RHP Greg Holt.
With the P-Nats trailing 5-2 in the 8th inning, against the eventual losing pitcher, RHP Joe Van Meter (2-4, BS 2), Potomac bats came alive to score four times and take a 6-5 lead they would not relinquish. LF Caleb Ramsey socked a run scoring single into right field, 1B Francisco Soriano sent a two-run single into center field, and the go-ahead run scored on a double shot up the left field line by CF Billy Burns.
Nationals RHP Richie Mirowski (6-3), the winning pitcher, closed the ballgame out in the 9th by fanning LF Hirotoshi Onaka, inducing a popout off the bat of C Pat Cantwell, and rolling over 2B Rougned Odor for a game ending groundout.
Mirowski went 2.0 scoreless frames and allowed one hit while fanning three.
Potomac sends RHP Ivan Pineyro (0-0, 9.64) to the mound to face Myrtle Beach LHP Victor Payano (5-4, 4.41) in the Game Four finale on Thursday night which wraps a seven game homestand.
Thursday night is Thursday Cheers presented by: Bungalow Ale House and Yellow Cab in which the P-Nats will host drink specials. Government Employee Night will allow government employees to show their ID and receive $2 off all tickets in the stadium.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will begin streaming Friday night 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 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!
-- Potomac Nationals --