(WOODBRIDGE, VA) - Behind a strong start from Matt Grace, the Potomac Nationals defeated the Wilmington Blue Rocks 3-1 on Sunday at Pfitzner Stadium. Potomac reclaimed second place from Wilmington in the Northern Division from Wilmington with the win.
Wilmington fireballer Yordano Ventura got the start and was touching the high 90s throughout his outing. Kevin Keyes opened the scoring by hitting a fastball off the batters eye in dead center field to lead off the third inning to give Potomac a 1-0 lead. It was the fifth homer of the season for Keyes.
The Blue Rocks responded with a solo shot of their own the next half inning off of Matt Grace. Cheslor Cuthbert knocked a shot out to left field to lead off the inning. It was his first home run of the season.
Potomac would add another off of Ventura in the fifth. With runners at first and third, Randolph Oduber grounded into a 5-4-3 double play that scored Adrian Sanchez who started the inning with a double. Ventura's day ended after a season high six innings. He struck out six while giving up two earned runs and walked none.
Grace got into trouble in the sixth. A walk to Jake Kuebler loaded the bases with one out and ended the day for Grace. Rob Wort continued his strikeout binge by getting Luis Piterson to swing through fastball for the second out of the inning. Whit Merrifield popped out in foul ground to end the threat.
It was the best start of the season for Grace. He tossed six and a third innings while allowing just the one run, striking out one and walking one in his longest start of 2012. He earned his first win of the season since his first start in Myrtle Beach April 10th - the first win of the season for Potomac.
Wort struck out the side in the seventh. He has 24 Ks in just 14 and a third innings this year. Cameron Selik truck out two in a scoreless ninth for his third save of the season in as many tries.
Sanchez led the Potomac attack going 2-for-3 and extending his hit streak to seven: the longest for a National this season. Blake Kelso and Michael Taylor both had multi-hit games as well.
Tomorrow will be the first scheduled day off for Potomac since April 9th. On Tuesday, the P-Nats start a six-game road trip with their first visit to Salem of the season. RHP Adam Olbrychowski (1-3, 5.53) gets the start for the Nationals. Potomac returns to Woodbridge on Monday, May 14th to face the Frederick Keys. For tickets please call 703-590-2311.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.