WOODBRIDGE, VA - The Mudcats lost one run leads in the second and sixth innings while dropping their fifth straight game 4-3 to the Potomac Nationals at G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge V.A. on Wednesday night.
Matt Marksberry (2-1, 4.00) allowed the go-ahead, and eventual winning run to score in the seventh after hitting a batter with the bases loaded. He allowed one hit, walked two and struck out one on an inning and two-thirds in the loss.
Lucas Giolito (1-2, 4.67) earned the win after holding the Mudcats (19-17) to three runs on six hits over seven innings pitched. He did not issue a walk and struck out nine in the victory.
The Nationals (17-22) came back from a 1-0 deficit in the first to take a 2-1 lead and tied the game in the seventh after falling behind 3-2.
Johan Camargo drove in the first Carolina run with a single to right in the second off Giolito. Jose Briceno and Connor Oliver also had hits in the three hit and one run second.
The Nationals came back with three hits of their own in the same inning off Carolina starter Blair Walters, including a two-run double by Khayyan Norfolk. The Nationals led 2-1 after two and held that lead until the Mudcats rallied for two runs in the sixth.
Joey Meneses put the Mudcats back on top in the sixth with a two-run triple to right off Giolito. Keith Curcio started the inning by reaching on a wild pitch strikeout and moved to third on a single from Sean Godfrey. Meneses then tripled to right and the Mudcats went up 3-2 in the game. Giolito went on to strikeout the next three he faced and had four strikeouts in the inning.
Walters remained in the game for the sixth after getting the 3-2 lead and then struck out the first batter he faced. He then walked Perez and gave up consecutive infield singles with the second forcing in Perez to tie the game.
Marksberry came in for the end of the sixth and got the Mudcats out of the inning by getting the first batter he faced to ground into a double play.
Walters allowed three runs on five hits over a season high five and 1/3 innings pitched. He also walked two and struck out four in the game.
The game was tied 3-3 through the sixth, but the Nationals scraped across the go-ahead in the seventh after Marksberry hit Perez with a pitch with the bases loaded. The seventh started with two consecutive outs, but Marksberry gave up a two-out hit and walked two straight on eight pitches before hitting Perez. Marksberry got out in front of Perez with a 0-2 pitch before hitting him in the foot.
Manager Luis Salazar argued the hit by pitch call made by home plate umpire Rich Grassa and was ejected from the game.
Giolito was replaced by Derek Self in the eighth and eventually Cody Davis in the ninth. Self pitched a perfect eighth and Davis managed to get out of the ninth without allowing a run despite walking one in the inning.
Carlos Franco walked and eventually made it to third in the ninth, but was caught in a double play that was nearly turned into a triple play by the Nationals. Franco reached third with help of an error in the inning and with no outs recorded. He attempted to score the tying run in the ninth when a comebacker hit to the mound by Oliver was used to get a force out at second base.
Davis and the Nationals were originally going to turn the comebacker into a double play, but Perez (after getting the force at second) threw home instead of first and in front of Franco. The Nationals got Franco into a rundown and eventually retired him between third and home. Oliver kept running on the play and made it into second just moments before the Nationals tagged him out. Potomac turned a double play (1-6-2-5) in the ninth and eventually got Lien to strikeout out to end the game. Lien was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in the loss.
The Mudcats left four men on base and were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position in the loss. They also combined to strikeout 10 times in the game.
Carolina trails in the series two games to none and has lost five straight games. LHP Yean Carlos Gil (0-6, 4.23) will start for the Mudcats in the series finale on Thursday night in Woodbridge V.A. The Nationals will counter with RHP John Simms (0-4, 5.60). Both pitchers will be in search of their first win of the season on Thursday night.
All games air on the Mudcats Radio Network, The Big Dawg 98.5 FM, Rock City 99.3 FM and Sports 1490 AM. Games are also streamed online at www.carolinamudcats.com via TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio app. TuneIn Radio is the official digital audio partner of MiLB.com.
Individual tickets are now available online at www.carolinamudcats.com, by calling (919) 269-2287 and by visiting the Five County Stadium box office.
Premium Field Level seats are $12.00, Box Seats are $10.00 and Cattail Skybox Seats are $15.00. Full season ticket packages, half season ticket packages, group tickets and the "Muddy Unreal Deal" plan are also currently available for purchase.
The Carolina Mudcats are the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. The 2015 "Braves New World" season is the first for the Mudcats as an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves and their fourth straight in the historic Carolina League. First established in 1991, the Carolina Mudcats are in their 25th straight season of baseball at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, N.C. Fans can purchase tickets or find more information by calling (919) 269-2287 or by visiting www.carolinamudcats.com.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.