Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals' series opener of a three-game home set at The Pfitz with the Salem Red Sox (Boston) to wrap up the opening 2013 homestand featured a slow and steady comeback that fell just short as the Red Sox clipped the P-Nats by the score of 7-6 in Game One.
Nationals LHP Kylin Turnbull (0-1) struggled through 4.1 innings as he allowed seven runs, six earned on nine hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Conversely, Red Sox RHP Michael Augliera (1-0) was good enough as he surrendered four earned runs on seven hits, while walking one and fanning four.
Salem leaped on the scoreboard with a four-run spot in the 2nd inning as C Blake Swihart ripped an RBI infield single that ricocheted off the glove of 3B Cutter Dykstra scoring 3B Garin Cecchini, who went 4-for-4 with four single and a double on the night. Then two batters later, RF Felix Sanchez cranked a three-run home run to the opposite field for his first round tripper of the season to put the Red Sox up 4-0.
Potomac answered with one run in the 2nd stanza on an RBI groundout by Dykstra scoring 1B Kevin Keyes who reached on a bloop double to right center field.
Salem tacked on one run in the 4th inning with a Sean Coyle RBI double over the head of CF Michael Taylor.
In the 5th frame, Salem took a 7-1 advantage courtesy of an RBI double to center field passed the outstretched dive of Taylor that scored SS Deven Marrero, the 1st round 2012 draft pick, who went 3-for-5 with a trip of doubles, himself, while making a pair of sparkling defensive plays to rob Dykstra and C Adrian Nieto of base hits. The additional run in the 5th for the Red Sox was produced via a Jose Garcia sacrifice fly to center field which summoned home Jacobs to make the contest 7-4 in favor of Salem.
The Nationals pushed across individual runs in the 7th and 8th innings with a solo home run from RF Caleb Ramsey deep and gone over the right center field barrier, his first of the season, as well as a SS Jason Martinson run scored after a wild pitch from reliever, RHP Nefi Ogando to cut the game to 7-6.
Potomac LHP Ben Hawkins and RHP Richie Mirowski combined for 4.2 scoreless bullpen innings allowing three hits and two walks, while striking out four.
But, it was Red Sox closer, RHP Nate Striz (SV 1) that slammed the door shut on a Game One rally in the bottom of the 9th. Striz struck out Dykstra swinging. Then, after Nieto patiently drew a walk and was relieved for pinch runner, Franisco Soriano, 2B Adrian Sanchez knocked into a game-ending 1-6-3 double play.
The Nationals will summon RHP Taylor Hill (0-0, 0.00) to the mound on Tuesday night for Game Two as the Salem Red Sox will bring RHP William Cuevas to the hill on Two-for-Tuesday at Pfitzner Stadium.
Fans will be able to purchase two hot dogs and two general admission tickets for the price of one.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. P-Nats 2013 season tickets and mini plans are on sale now. Renew your season tickets at Pfitzner Stadium for only $50 per seat. Sponsorship opportunities for the '13 season are now available. Plan your corporate outing now in preparation for next season as the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. Visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the ticket office at 703-590-2311 for more!
-- Potomac Nationals --
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.