ZEBULON, NC - Sal Giardina was 4-for-4 with a run, but starter Dakota Bacus and relievers Matthew Spann, Wirkin Estevez and Gilberto Mendez held the Mudcats to just one run in a 4-1 Potomac victory in front of 4,797 at Five County Stadium on Friday night in Zebulon.
Caleb Beech started for Carolina and suffered his third straight loss after allowing four runs and nine hits over six and 1/3 innings pitched. Beech (2-5, 4.47) also struck out four and walked two in the loss.
Bacus held the Mudcats (41-64, 12-23) scoreless over five innings and struck out seven while earning the win for the visiting Nationals (57-45, 23-11). Bacus also scattered three hits, walked one and earned his first win of the season.
Jose Marmolejos doubled and scored on a single from Byran Mejia in the second while giving the Nationals the early 1-0 lead. The two run Potomac third featured a triple by Austin Davidson, a RBI single from Alec Keller and a RBI double by Osvaldo Abreu.
The Nationals led 3-0 after the third and 4-0 after getting one last run across against Beech in the seventh. Abreu singled and scored in the seventh and was 3-for-5 with a run and a RBI for Potomac. Marmolejos was 2-for-3 with two walks and a run and both Mejia and Davidson were 2-for-4.
Giardina had the only multiple hit game for the Mudcats. He was 4-for-4 with hits to left, deep short, second base and shallow center.
Tanner Murphy drove in the lone Carolina run after walking with the bases loaded in the ninth. Carolina managed to load the bases twice in the final frame against Esteves and Mendez (S, 6), but scored just the one run. Luis Valenzuela struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.
Travis Demeritte started as Carolina's designated hitter and was 0-for-4 in his Atlanta Braves minor league debut.
The series continues on Saturday night with the first pitch scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Saturday's game will feature a Christmas in July themed Muddy the Mudcat bobblehead giveaway for the first 1,200 kids ages 14 and under. Saturday's game is also Goldsboro Community Night presented by Clayton Homes.
Tickets to all Carolina Mudcats games are currently available by contacting a front office representative at (919) 269-CATS (2287) or by visiting www.carolinamudcats.com.
Carolina Mudcats games air over the radio on The Big Dawg 98.5 FM and are streamed online at www.carolinamudcats.com via TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio app. All home games are additionally streamed live in high definition video and live game audio via MiLB.tv.
The Carolina Mudcats are the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. First established in 1991, the two-time Southern League Champion Carolina Mudcats are in their 26th consecutive season of baseball at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, N.C.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.