Woodbridge, VA-After a road trip filled with wins powered by the long ball, the Potomac Nationals (5-2) continued the trend of winning with the home run, as the club opened its 2017 home campaign with two more home runs in a 6-4 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (2-5). RHP Hector Silvestre (W, 1-0) allowed four runs over six innings for the P-Nats, which matched the team's longest start of the early season.
For just the second time in the first seven games of the season, the P-Nats gave up the first run of the game. With one out in the top of the third inning, Wilmington SS Nicky Lopez tripled, and after 2B DJ Burt was hit by a pitch, CF Elier Hernandez made it 2-0 with a two-run double. Potomac quickly answered against RHP Scott Blewett, as 1B Ian Sagdal led off the bottom of the frame with a single, and 2B Bryan Mejia tied the game with a two-out, two-run home run, his second home run of the season.
Wilmington took the lead back in the top of the fourth inning, but quickly gave it away. 3B Wander Franco led off the top of the inning with a triple and scored two batters later on an RBI single by LF Roman Collins. In the bottom of the frame, Blewett issued a leadoff walk to SS Edwin Lora. LF Telmito Agustin singled, and two batters later, DH Austin Davidson tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI double. Sagdal followed with an RBI single, which put Potomac ahead 4-3.
Both teams scored again in the fifth inning, but once again, Potomac tallied one run more than the Blue Rocks in the frame. Burt began the inning with a double and scored on an RBI single from Hernandez, which briefly tied the game, but C Chase Vallot grounded into an inning-ending double play. With Blewett still on the hill, C Taylor Gushue led off the home half of the inning with a solo home run, his team best third home run of the season. Back in the lead, this time for good, the P-Nats added one more in the frame. Mejia reached on an error by Burt, and the Potomac second baseman scored two batters later on an RBI single from Lora, the shortstops second of three hits on the night.
Out of the bullpen, both teams were nearly flawless. The combination of LHP Jake Kalish and RHP Jacob Bodner allowed just one hit and struck out four over 3.2 innings of scoreless relief for Wilmington, while LHP Grant Borne (SV, 1) allowed one hit, but faced the minimum over three innings.
Two games clear of the rest of the Northern Division, the P-Nats will look to RHP Jefry Rodriguez (0-0, 9.00) for a third consecutive win. Rodriguez allowed five runs, four earned, over four innings against the Blue Rocks last week. Opposite the righty, Wilmington will send LHP Emilio Ogando (0-0, 13.50) to the hill. Ogando allowed six runs on nine hits over four innings against Potomac less than a week ago. The second consecutive starting pitcher rematch gets underway at 7:05pm Friday night at Pfitzner Stadium. The Potomac broadcast gets underway with the "P-Nats Leadoff Show" at 6:50pm. The broadcast can be heard on potomacnationals.com or via the TuneIn Radio App.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Carolina League affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Potomac Nationals have claimed five Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, 2010, and 2014) and nine CL Northern Division Championships. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2017 season and beyond are available, as well as corporate outings for the 2017 season to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz. For more information on Potomac Nationals 2017single game tickets, season tickets, mini plans, group outings, and picnic packages, visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the Potomac Nationals Ticket office at 703-590-2311.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.