Salem, VA-On Monday night in their series finale, the Potomac Nationals (54-44, 16-13) outlasted the Salem Red Sox (45-53, 12-18) and claimed a 5-2 victory on LewisGale Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark to seal a series sweep.
This win represented the Nationals' sixth consecutive road triumph, the tenth straight time they defeated the Carolina League's defending champions, and the fifth series broom job of the 2014 season.
P-Nats starter, RHP Pedro Encarnacion dealt 4.0 frames and allowed two earned runs on four hits while walking one and fanning a quartet.
Potomac scored first with one run in the 1st inning off Salem LHP Corey Littrell using an RBI two-bagger belted off the left field wall by 3B Oscar Tejeda.
Tejeda missed hitting for the cycle by a home run and went 4-for-5 with three doubles, one run scored, and one RBI.
Littrell went 5.1 innings and surrendered two runs, one earned, on seven hits while walking one and fanning a trio.
Neither Encarnacion nor Littrell factored into a decision.
The Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the 3rd thanks to an RBI groundout to first base off the bat of 2B Carlos Asuaje that scored the double of SS Dreily Guerrero before an RBI triple gashed by 3B Jantzen Witte plated CF Matty Johnson, who got aboard with an infield single.
The P-Nats tied the contest at 2-2 in the 6th on a passed ball that grazed the glove of Salem C Jordan Weems on an offering from the losing pitcher, RHP Matty Ott (1-1) (BS 2).
Ott gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits in 2.2 innings while blowing his second save of the campaign.
A big three-run 8th inning was the difference maker for the visiting club. Tejeda led off by blasting a line drive double off the barrier in left-center. LF Randolph Oduber reached on a comebacker to the mound that Ott opted to throw to third base with Tejeda coming in safe. DH Mike McQuillan broke the 2-2 tie with an RBI fielder's choice groundball to Guerrero at shortstop. Guerrero's throw to home plate was not in time as Tejeda went down into a hook slide coming across home plate safe. After RF Estarlin Martinez was called out for running out of the basepaths on a groundball on the infield, C Craig Manuel singled to load the bases. Nationals CF Cody Dent then spanked a low line drive that went through Guerrero allowing Oduber and McQuillan to score and put the P-Nats on top 5-2.
Martinez extended his 2014 P-Nats-long hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the 4th inning.
Potomac RHP Ian Dickson (2-8) was the winning pitcher after tossing 3.0 scoreless innings that featured three base hits and one walk allowed plus one strikeout.
Nationals RHP Travis Henke hung a zero in the 8th stanza and stranded a double allowed to Witte.
Witte logged seven extra-base hits in the three-game series.
P-Nats RHP Gilberto Mendez (SV 7) clinched his seventh save of the season by sidestepping a walk issued to Weems in the bottom of the 9th. This was just the fourth walk handed out by Mendez all season. Mendez got LF Kevin Heller and Guerrero to strike out swinging before inducing a bang-bang 3-1 putout of Johnson at first base to end the game.
The Nationals drive through the night to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to prepare for the backend of the current two-city bus trip, a three-game road set against the Winston-Salem Dash (Chicago White Sox).
In Game One at BB&T Ballpark tomorrow night, the Nationals will throw RHP Dakota Bacus (3-5, 3.62) at Dash RHP James Dykstra (1-0, 2.70).
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network, accessible by heading online to www.potomacnationals.com, will provide live broadcast coverage of the set opener on Tuesday evening in Winston-Salem, North Carolina beginning with the P-Nats Leadoff Show at 6:45pm before the play-by-play at 7:00pm.
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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