Nationals Take Series Opener Behind Strong Johnston Start

Lowther Throws Seven Innings in Setback

By Frederick Keys | August 27, 2018 10:45 PM

WOODBRIDGE, VA-Potomac Nationals starter Kyle Johnston tossed seven innings of one-run baseball in a 4-1 win over the Frederick Keys on Monday night at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium. A pitcher's duel for most of the game, Johnston outgunned Keys starter Zac Lowther who allowed only two runs through seven frames.

 

Coming off one of his worst starts with Potomac (69-59, 32-29) Johnston (5-1) allowed only one run on four hits through seven innings to go with three strikeouts. Most notably, the right-hander did not walk a batter for the first time since joining the P-Nats. The win marked the second time Johnston had thrown seven frames this year.

 

The Keys (62-69, 27-35) only run off Johnston came in the fifth inning. With two outs, Chris Clare singled and scored one batter later on a double to right by Alejandro Juvier . Both Clare (2-for-4, R) and Juvier (2-for-3, 2B, RBI) enjoyed strong nights at the plate.

 

Lowther (5-3) suffered the loss despite equaling a career-high for innings pitched. Over seven innings, the Keys lefty struck out six and scattered four hits. The former Xavier product has put together four straight quality starts and has allowed only 10 earned runs in his last 43.1 innings (2.08 ERA). He has struck out 43 during that time.

 

Potomac went ahead for good in the bottom of the sixth. Jakson Reetz got hit by a pitch before advancing to third on a wild pitch and a single by Telmito Agustin. The next batter, Bryan Mejia, then hit a two-run double to make it 2-1 Nationals.

 

In the eighth, the Nationals added two insurance runs against Steven Klimek . With men at first and second, Luis Garcia hit an RBI single and David Masters added an RBI base knock to make it a three-run game.

 

Frederick put the tying run at third base in the eighth and brought the tying run to bat in the ninth, but Carlos Acevedo and Steven Fuentes closed things out. Fuentes earned his third save tossing a scoreless ninth.

 

On Tuesday, the Keys and P-Nats continue their four-game series. Right-hander Cristian Alvarado (11-10, 4.28) starts for Frederick and will be opposed by Potomac left-hander Nick Raquet (3-3, 5.95). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m from Northwest Federal Field and the broadcast can be heard on frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn radio app starting at 6:45.

 

This Friday, the Keys return home for the final homestand of the 2018 season. Highlights include Art in the Park Night with a jersey auction benefiting the Frederick Arts Council, a Keyote bobblehead sponsored by Certa Advisors, a Sesame Street Meet and Greet, three fireworks shows and Fan Appreciation Day. For tickets, fans can call the Keys at 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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