Lynchburg, Va. - Leading 4-3 in the ninth inning, the Potomac Nationals scored four unanswered runs to come from behind to beat the Hillcats, 7-4, in front of 4,472 at City Stadium on Tuesday.
Dalbert Siri (Loss, 1-4) surrendered a first pitch home run to Rhett Wiseman to begin the ninth inning, and was unable to recover as the Hillcats (41-45, 12-7) suffer their third last-at-bat loss of the home stand, as the Nationals (41-44, 5-14) even the series at one game apiece.
Following the home run, Siri loaded the bases on an infield single, a walk and an error. The right-hander then uncorked two wild pitches to plate runs, before giving up a sacrifice fly to cap a four-run frame for Potomac.
Stephen Strasburg made the major league rehab start at City Stadium, becoming the first big-leaguer to pitch in Lynchburg since Edinson Volquez did so for the Hillcats in 2010, when Lynchburg was a Cincinnati Reds affiliate. Strasburg tossed 50 pitches over 3.1 innings of work, allowing a run on two hits, walking one, and striking out five.
Strasburg exited in the fourth inning after a double from Conner Capel , who joined Dillon Persinger as the two Hillcats to tally hits against him. Persinger also doubled. With two outs, and Carlos Acevedo on in relief of Strasburg, Emmanuel Tapia singled against the shift to score Capel, and give the Hillcats a 1-0 lead.
The Nationals would then take a 2-1 lead against the Hillcats in the sixth. With Anderson Polanco pitching, Ian Sagdal launched a two-run home run, his second of the season, to plate Wiseman, who walked to begin the inning.
Hillcats starter Justin Garza left the ballgame after two innings of work. He retired all six batters he faced.
Lynchburg reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the eight inning, when they sent eight men to the plate. After a double from Trenton Brooks and a single from Jodd Carter , Capel came through with an RBI single to tie the game at 2-2. Late in the inning, with two outs and the bases loaded, Alexis Pantoja laced a ground ball through the right side to plate a pair of runs and put the Hillcats ahead 4-2.
Potomac trimmed the lead to one in the seventh, as Edwin Lora plated a run with an RBI groundout.
Taylor Guilbeau (Win, 1-0) fired a scoreless eighth inning for Potomac to pick up the victory, while James Bourque (Save, 4) struck out two, retiring the side in order in the ninth to close out the game.
The two team's return to City Stadium for game three of the series on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. Lefty Sam Hentges (5-5, 3.46) gets the start for Lynchburg, facing off with righty Kyle Johnston, who will make his Advanced-A debut for Potomac. He went 2-3 with a 3.42 ERA with Single-A Hagerstown this season.
Max Gun and Matt Present will bring you the action beginning at 6:20 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.
It will be Winning Wednesday at City Stadium with all fans in attendance receiving a complimentary ticket to the next Wednesday home game.
For tickets and more information visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, the City Stadium box office, or call 434-528-1144.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.