WOODBRIDGE, VA - At Pfitzner Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the Keys fell to the Nationals, 3-1. Both starting pitchers pitched brilliantly on the day and neither factored in the decision. The P-Nats plated a pair of runs on an Adrian Nieto two-out, two-run single into left field in the eighth inning. Keys starter, LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, tossed seven strong innings allowed one run on four hits while striking out six.
The first run in Sunday's game crossed the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning. LF Billy Burns led off the inning with a single to center field. CF Michael Taylor followed with a double down the left field line. The speedy Burns easily scored from first to put Potomac in front, 1-0. The P-Nats loaded the bases in the fourth but Rodriguez escaped the frame without another run allowed.
The Keys struggled against LHP Robbie Ray all afternoon. 3B Jason Esposito led off the seventh inning with a single to shallow left field. With 91 pitches fired, Ray exited the game following Esposito's single. Facing Matt Grace, 3B Travis Adair singled. Esposito advanced to third on the play. 1B Connor Narron followed Adair and came through with a sacrifice fly to left field. Esposito scored to tie the game at one.
In six innings of work, Ray allowed one run on two hits. He walked four batters and struck out a career-high 10 batters.
Eduardo Rodriguez tossed a perfect seventh inning and exited the game after 88 pitches and seven innings of work.
The Nationals loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the eighth inning against RHP Gene Escat. Escat buckled down and got Cutter Dykstra to fly out and Jason Martinson to strikeout. With two outs, Adrian Nieto hit a flare to left-center field. The ball dropped in and a pair of runs scored to put Potomac in front 3-1.
Richie Mirowski tossed a scoreless ninth inning to close out the Nationals' victory. Mirowski picked up the save, Matt Grace got the win and Gene Escat was handed the loss.
The Keys will visit the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Monday evening. RHP Tyler Wilson (0-0, 6.46) will start for the Keys while the Pelicans will turn to RHP Luke Jackson (2-0, 1.88). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with coverage beginning at 6:35 p.m. with the Frederick Gorilla Pregame Show on AM 1450 The Source.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.