(KINSTON, NC) For the second straight night, the Potomac Nationals mustered just three hits. Predictably, they dropped their second consecutive ballgame 3-1 in the opener of a four-game set in Kinston.
Paul Demny was once again the hard luck loser. Demny (0-2) got typically sparse run support and one shaky inning cost him. A bunt single from Justin Toole opened the third, after Demny had sent down the Indians in order in the first two frames. Cutter Dykstra fielded the well placed bunt and threw past first baseman Justin Bloxom to send Toole to second. He moved to third when Roberto Perez singled, and scored on Dan DeGeorge's sacrifice fly to make it 1-0. After Demny walked Tyler Holt Casey Frawley flied out to left. Adam Abraham hit a single to left to score Perez, but Holt was thrown out by Chris Curran to keep the score only 2-0.
The two runs were more than enough for Brett Brach and a typically dominant Kinston bullpen. Barch (2-1) yielded just two Potomac hits over six and a third innings and one earned run, which scored after he had been lifted from the game. After a one out double in the seventh by Bloxom, Brach walked Destin Hood and was pulled. Lefthander Chris Jones struck out J.P. Ramirez but allowed a bloop single to Cutter Dykstra that halved the lead. The run broke up a string of 27 innings since the Tribe bullpen had allowed an earned run.
The K-Tribe got the run right back in their half of the seventh. Toole led off the frame with a double before Perez walked. After DeGeorge grounded out to Marcos Frias - who made his bullpen debut for Potomac tonight - Holt was walked. Frawley's sacrifice fly to right recaptured a two-run advantage for the Indians.
That would be more than enough for Preston Guilmet, who retired Potomac in order in the ninth for his fourth save.
The Nats fall to 10-16 with the loss while the Indians move to 11-15 in victory. The series continues Friday night with an intriguing pitching matchup. Cameron Selik makes his Carolina League debut against lefthander Drew Pomeranz, the top pitching prospect in the entire circuit. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 at Grainger Stadium.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.