Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals (43-34, 5-3) were edged by the Frederick Keys (34-43, 2-8) 7-6 on Saturday night at Pfitzner Stadium despite cranking a trio of home runs in the series opener of three contests.
Potomac is now (3-4) against the Keys thus far in the 2014 season.
The Keys struck for three runs in the opening inning against the losing pitcher, RHP Dakota Bacus (3-3) who allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits in 4.0 innings while walking three and fanning three.
Keys 1B Trey Mancini drove in a run on a chopper that got through P-Nats SS Oscar Tejeda, DH Michael Burgess blasted an RBI double to dead center field, and 3B Jason Esposito grounded a run-scoring single up the middle.
The Nationals answered against the winning pitcher, RHP Branden Kline in the bottom of the 1st inning as Tejeda lifted a two-run homer to the gap in left-center field, his 12th longball of the season.
Kline (4-3) gunned through 6.0 innings allowing four earned runs on seven hits. The Frederick, Maryland native walked one, fanned three, and served up a pair of clouts.
Potomac 1B Justin Miller tied the game at 3-3 in the 2nd stanza on a line drive solo bomb to the left field corner. The blast was Miller's third dinger of the current campaign.
The Keys scored individual runs in the 3rd and 5th innings and in both cases it was on an RBI single from RF Brenden Webb.
The Nationals cut the Keys' lead to 5-4 in the 5th on an RBI sacrifice fly lofted to right field by RF Estarlin Martinez that scored the leadoff double of C Cole Leonida.
Both clubs scored twice in the 8th inning. The Keys got to RHP Richie Mirowski via a two-run single off the bat of CF Glynn Davis ripped through the six hole.
A long four-bagger over three tiers of signage off the stick of LF Mike McQuillan, which was his second deep fly of the season, made it a 7-6 contest.
Frederick RHP Matt Price (SV 3) closed it out in the 9th inning to garner his third save despite allowing a leadoff single rocketed through the four hole by Martinez. DH Randolph Oduber tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt but Price pounced on the ball and got the lead out at second base. Oduber stole second base during the at-bat of Renda to get into scoring position. Renda then popped out to shallow right field. Tejeda struck out swinging to end the game.
A whopping 6,217 fans were on hand at The Pfitz on Bryce Harper Bobblehead Giveaway Night sponsored by Dave Stinson's GEICO office.
The Nationals throw RHP Austin Voth (1-0, 0.00) in Game Two who will oppose RHP Frederick RHP Mark Blackmar (4-1, 4.25).
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network, accessible by heading online to www.potomacnationals.com, will broadcast live coverage of Game Two on Sunday night in Woodbridge, VA starting with the P-Nats Leadoff Show at 5:50pm before the play-by-play at 6:05pm.
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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