Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals (20-16, 10-8) got rocked by the Frederick Keys (17-20, 7-12) on Wednesday afternoon at Harry Grove Stadium in a matinee contest by the final score of 12-5 as the home club pounded out a season-high 20 base hits including a pair of home runs to take the series win.
The 20 hits for Frederick was the most hits allowed by Potomac pitching in one game so far this season, and the 12 runs tied a campaign-high total of runs surrendered by the Nationals stable in one matchup.
Washington Nationals RHP Ross Ohlendorf (0-1), the losing pitcher, joined the P-Nats for the second time in his career in a rehabilitation start while nursing a lumbar strain.
Ohlendorf was placed on the 60-day disabled list by the Washington Nationals on March 26th.
Ohlendorf started strong by hanging a pair of zeroes in the first two innings despite allowing four singles en route to a pair of strikeouts.
The Nationals had already spotted Ohlendorf a 3-0 lead in the 1st frame courtesy of an RBI double shot the gap in left center field by 1B Shawn Pleffner, an RBI groundout for RF Brandon Miller, and an RBI fielder's choice off the stick of 2B Khayyan Norfork.
Pleffner had a huge day at the plate going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, one double, two RBIs, and one walk.
Brandon Miller left the game after his inning-ending 6-4-3 double play in the 3rd grabbing the back of his leg after he went through the first base bag.
Ohlendorf gave up six straight hits in the 3rd inning and seven hits overall during the inning and inevitably served up seven earned runs. All six Keys who collected hits to begin the frame came in to score. Keys RF Lucas Herbst sprayed a two-RBI single to right field, 1B Creede Simpson grounded a run-scoring single through the hole at shortstop, LF Brenden Webb cranked a three-run home run (his second dinger of the season), and C Wynston Sawyer lofted an RBI sac fly.
Potomac came back with two runs off the winning pitcher, LHP Matt Taylor (5-1) in the 5th via a Pleffner run-scoring slapshot the other way into left field and an RBI single lined into center field by Norfork to cut Frederick's advantage to 7-5.
Taylor allowed five earned runs on nine hits in 5.0 frames while walking one and striking out one.
After Nationals LHP Matthew Spann tossed 1.2 scoreless stanzas in back of Ohlendorf, P-Nats RHP Dakota Bacus allowed five earned runs on six hits in the 7th. Webb socked an RBI double to the right field corner, 3B Jason Esposito, as part of a 4-for-4 day at the plate, ripped an RBI triple to dead center field off the glove of CF Will Piwnica-Worms who dove out towards the warning track on the attempt. 2B Jerome Pena blasted his first homer of the season, an opposite field paint scraper to give the Keys a 12-5 lead they would not let slip.
P-Nats LHP Kylin Turnbull made his 2014 Carolina League debut and went 1.1 scoreless innings out of the visiting bullpen. Turnbull allowed just one hit.
Keys LHP Lex Rutledge gunned through the 6th and 7th innings without allowing a run.
Frederick RHP Mychal Givens, a converted shortstop turned righty reliever went the last 2.0 innings.
The Nationals left the bases loaded as the game ended on a groundball to Simpson at first base off the bat of RF Justin Miller.
Potomac travels to Myrtle Beach, SC tonight to begin a four-game series with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Texas Rangers) on Thursday night at TicketReturn.com Field inside Pelicans Ballpark.
The Nationals line up RHP Ian Dickson (1-2, 4.96) to the hill to clash with Pelicans LHP Andrew Faulkner (1-0, 2.25) in the series lid lifter.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network, which is accessible at www.potomacnationals.com, will broadcast the series opener in Myrtle Beach tomorrow night as the Nationals open their four-game road set with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Broadcast coverage will begin with the P-Nats Leadoff Show at 6:50pm in preparation for a7:05pm first pitch.
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. The Potomac Nationals have claimed four Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, and 2010) and eight division championships. Most recently, the P-Nats earned a 2013 Carolina League Northern Division pennant. P-Nats 2014 season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2014 season and beyond are available. Plan your corporate outing now for the 2014 season 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 Potomac Nationals Ticket Office at 703-590-2311 for more information!
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