(ZEBULON, NC) - The Potomac Nationals dropped the first game of a three-game series with the Carolina Mudcats 8-3 thanks in large part to five unearned runs score by Carolina. The P-Nats drop to 0-11 in the state of North Carolina.
The start of the game was delayed 34 minutes due to a massive thunderstorm that came through the area.
The Nationals started the scoring in the fourth with a Jason Martinson sac fly off of Mudcats starter lefty Francisco Jimenez to take a 1-0 lead. It was the 12th RBI in just 11 games for Martinson with Potomac.
Potomac starter south paw Robbie Ray went through the first three innings scoreless but ran into trouble in the fourth. Giovanny Urshela hit an RBI double to square the score at 1-1. Tony Wolters scored on a wild pitch to give the Mudcats their first lead at 2-1. Urshela scored on a Anthony Gallas single to increase the Carolina advantage to 3-1. The Mudcats added an unearned run in the fifth when Tyler Holt led off the inning with a single that squirted passed Michael Taylor allowing him to get to third base. Wolters knocked Holt in to give the Mudcats a 4-1 lead.
The P-Nats got within a run in the seven inning. Randolph Oduber led off the inning with a single then stole second. He scored on a Erick Fernandez single to close the gap to 4-2. After a pair of groundouts, Fernandez scored to lower the Carolina advantage to 4-3.
But in the eighth, the Mudcats put the game away with four unearned runs. Against rehabber Cole Kimball, the Mudcats had a runner at first and one out. A routine double play ball was booted by Adrian Sanchez allowing runners to first and third. With two out, Tyler Cannon knocked a single to extend the Mudcats lead to 5-3. Joe Testa replaced Kimball and allowed back to back singles plating three more runs and Carolina took a 8-3 lead after eight innings.
In his first relief outing as a rehabber with Potomac, Kimball threw two-thirds of an inning giving up three unearned runs striking out one. He tossed 17 pitches with 12 for strikes.
Cole Cook got his first save of the year with Carolina by tossing two scoreless innings striking out two.
Jimenez (7-5) gets the win with six one-run innings. Ray (3-5) takes the loss giving up four runs in five and two-thirds innings.
The five errors by the Nationals is the most they've committed this year. This is the second game on the road trip Potomac has given up at least five unearned runs in a game.
Potomac and Carolina continue their series tomorrow at 7:15 PM in North Carolina. The P-Nats send RHP Trevor Holder (5-2, 3.52) against RHP Danny Salazar (0-2, 3.00) of the Mudcats. Potomac returns home July 4th facing the Frederick Keys at 6:35 PM to start a six game homestand. The Potomac Nationals are celebrating their 35th Anniversary of professional baseball and family fun, for all your ticket needs please call the box office at 703-590-2311 or visit www.potomacnationals.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.