KINSTON, NC - Josh Altmann blasted his third homer in two games and put the Wood Ducks (2-3, 37-38) on top late in a 5-1 victory over the Nationals (1-3, 38-33) on Monday night. The three-run blast were the first runs of the game for Down East and marked is
KINSTON, NC - Josh Altmann blasted his third homer in two games and put the Wood Ducks (2-3, 37-38) on top late in a 5-1 victory over the Nationals (1-3, 38-33) on Monday night. The three-run blast were the first runs of the game for Down East and marked is 11th dinger of the year.
Yohander Méndez delivered a spectacular DEWD debut with nine strikeouts working into the seventh inning. He allowed one run on three hits (all singles) in his first High-A start since 2016. Despite allowing a run in the first four batters of the game, he induced a 5-4-3 double play to end the first and found his groove from there.
The left-handed Venezuelan retired 17 of his last 18 batters after the run in the first inning. At one point he struck out five batters in a row against the Nationals. He finished with a no decision due to a lack of run support.
The bullpen also supported Mendez by finishing the final two and two-thirds innings scoreless. Cole Wiper earned his second win of the season while striking out three, and Michael Matuella registered his first professional save and did so with four consecutive ground ball outs.
Down East's offense was stymied by Matthew Crownover for the first six innings. The first hit he would allow did not come until the sixth inning on a Leody Taveras single to right. He would be left stranded and set the stage for the rally in the seventh.
Andretty Cordero and Chuck Leblanc both reached on singles to start the inning. Then, Brendon Davis dropped a perfect sacrifice bunt up the third base line to move them over for Altmann. As it turned out, the bunt was unnecessary as Altmann cleared the left field billboards on an 1-0 pitch from Crownover.
Not only did it set a career-high for homers in a season for Altmann, it was his sixth go-ahead home run of the season which is the most on the team. He has also surpassed the 30-RBI mark for the third consecutive season.
The Woodies added two runs in the eighth on a two-out rally thanks to a double from Cordero and a single from Davis for insurance padding. Matuella would retire the side in order in the ninth.
The victory opens a nine-game home stand and improves the Woodies' home record to a league-best 24-11. Game two of the series is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday with another DEWD debut set on the mound. Right-hander Robby Rowland will join the Wood Ducks after he was signed by the Rangers last week. He will face left-hander Nick Raquet for the P-Nats at Grainger Stadium.