FREDERICK, Md- With the Wilmington Blue Rocks refusing to lose, the Potomac Nationals know that every game left in this regular season is important, especially with a four-game set with their Northern Division rival from Pfitzner Stadium starting Thursday. After taking game one of their three-game set with the Frederick Keys by the score of 5-3, the P-Nats had help from a former teammate, but could not maintain their momentum, dropping game two, 7-3.
Washington Nationals starting pitcher, and former Potomac Nationals hurler, Jordan Zimmermann was in town to make a rehab start on his road back to the Major Leagues while rehabbing an elbow injury. Zimmermann made quite a splash in the beginning of the ballgame, striking out the side in the bottom of the first inning, whiffing six in all, in 3 1/3 innings pitched.
Zimmermann's night ended with a bit of a scare as the big right-hander took a line drive off the bat of Caleb Joseph right off the backside in the bottom of the fourth inning. Only supposed to throw about 65 pitches on the night, Zimmermann departed after throwing just 47 pitches as he was removed for precautionary measures after allowing two runs, just one being earned.
The P-Nats took an early lead off Keys starter Kenny Moreland (2-0) on a pair of solo home runs by Chris Marrero and Danny Espinosa. For Marrero, the leadoff shot in the second inning was his 16th of the season to tie Michael Burgess for the team lead in round-trippers.
Espinosa's shot was just the beginning of a big day at the plate as the shortstop followed his 11th home run in the third inning with his 12th long ball in the fifth inning, his first multi-home run game of his professional career.
After Zimmermann departed the contest, Brad Peacock (1-1) came out of the bullpen looking to build off his nine-strikeout debut against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans last week, struggled in relief of the Major League-rehabber, going just 3 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits and four runs.
The Keys did the majority of their damage in the bottom of the fourth inning as Robbie Widlansky crushed a leadoff home run against Zimmermann, and four more base hits in the inning would bring home three more runs and give the Keys the lead at 4-2.
Espinosa's second shot of the game would cut the deficit in half, but that would be the end of the scoring for the P-Nats as the Keys would tag on three more to push the final score to 7-3.
These two teams will play the rubber match tomorrow evening with first pitch scheduled for 7 ET. You can catch all the action live with Dan McGinn and Anthony Masterson starting with the pregame show at 6:40 ET.
For more information on tickets, daily promotions, and all things P-Nats, call (703) 590-2311 or log onto www.potomacnationals.com to join the party!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.