Woodbridge, Va. - The Lynchburg Hillcats were shutout for the eighth time this season, falling to the Potomac Nationals on Thursday night, 6-0.
The Nationals (26-32) did their damage early and never looked back against the Hillcats (28-30) in the series-opener.
Malvin Pena (Win, 4-3) logged a season-high seven innings. He did not allow a run and surrendered just two hits, walking one and striking out six.
Potomac struck for three runs in the first inning. Nick Banks reached on an error, Cole Freeman singled and Aldrem Corredor walked to load the bases with nobody out. With one away Telmito Agustin lifted a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Banks for a 1-0 lead. A batter later, Bryan Mejia crushed a two-run double off the center field wall, plating both Freeman and Corredor for a 3-0 P-Nats lead.
The Washington Nationals affiliate scored three more runs in the second inning. Osvaldo Abreu and Banks singled to start the inning, and Freeman hit a run-scoring single to plate Abreu. The next batter, Corredor, connected with an RBI knock of his own to bring home Banks, and Agustin lined a two-out RBI hit to right-center to allow Freeman to cross home, capping the scoring at 6-0.
Justin Garza (Loss, 3-5) allowed six runs (three earned) on eight hits in 2.2 innings. The Hillcats bullpen combined for 5.1 scoreless frames. Anderson Polanco worked 3.1 frames, while Riley Echols and Randy Valladares each worked a scoreless inning.
Potomac pitching retired 22 of the last 24 Hillcats hitters they faced.
Aaron Fletcher threw two scoreless innings to preserve the win for the P-Nats.
The Hillcats and Nationals continue their series on Friday with the second game of the four-game series. The Nationals will send righty starter Kyle Johnston (5-6, 4.73) to the mound while Lynchburg will counter with right-hander Jean Carloa Mejia (3-1, 4.35). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. at Pfitzner Stadium.
Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 6:55 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
The Hillcats will return home to face the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Thursday, June 13 for a four-game series. Weekend highlights include Thirsty Thursday, Fantastic Friday, Sparkling Saturday and Sandlot Sunday. Friday's game will feature a post-game fireworks show presented by Centra while Saturday's post-game fireworks show will be presented by Hometown Sales & Leasing Lynchburg & Madison Heights.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.