Woodbridge, VA - The Potomac Nationals (30-35) fell 5-1 to the Buies Creek Astros (35-30) on Tuesday night at Pfitzner Stadium. The Astros starter, RHP Yoanys Quiala (W, 5-1), stifled the P-Nats over eight scoreless frames. Potomac scored it's only run of the game on a bases loaded walk in the ninth inning.
Yoanys Quiala kept Potomac off-balance all game long. Through five innings he had given up just one base hit but had faced the minimum 15 batters. He allowed multiple baserunners in just one of his eight shutout innings. Quiala outdueled the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week with his best start of the season. The 2017 Southern Division All-Star gave up only four hits and struck out six.
Buies Creek ended RHP Luis Reyes (L, 5-6) scoreless inning streak at 18 straight with two runs in the top of the first inning. CF Myles Straw singled to begin the game and advanced to second on a passed ball. Then, LF Rodrigo Ayarza doubled to right-center to drive in the first run of the game. After Reyes loaded the bases, 3B Randy Cesar cashed in his first RBI of the game with a one-out single.
Reyes allowed a third earned run in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, DH Jake Rogers was hit by a pitch and C Anthony Hermelyn drew a walk to put two on for 1B Spencer Johnson. After a single to load the bases from Johnson, Cesar drove in his second run of the game with a single to extend the Astros lead to 3-0 after five.
The Potomac starter would last only five innings in his 13th start of the season breaking a streak of two quality starts in a row. Reyes allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks. The right-hander registered five strikeouts in the game.
The Astros added two insurance runs against the P-Nats bullpen in the eighth and ninth innings. After a Johnson double to begin the eighth against LHP Jordan Mills , RF Pat Porter lined a single off of the Potomac reliever to plate a run. Mills would leave the game after he was struck with the 105 mph line drive off of the bat. In 2.1 innings pitched in his second appearance since his call up from Hagerstown, Mills struck out three before he was removed from the game.
In the ninth, Straw began the inning with a walk. Ayarza followed with his second RBI-double of the game to all but seal it for Buies Creek. With two more hits on Tuesday, Ayarza has now reached base five times in nine plate appearances in two games.
Potomac made things a little interesting in the ninth inning and loaded the bases with one out against RHP Andrew Walter. LHP Sebastian Kessay came in relief and walked DH Matthew Page to force in the first P-Nats run of the game. However, Kessay settled down and got RF Rhett Wiseman to line out and SS Edwin Lora to strike out swinging to end the game.
Other than the ninth, Quiala kept the P-Nats off the base paths. Only four starters registered a hit in the contest. Page reached base twice and drove in a run. CF Victor Robles represented the only run of the ball game for The Red, White & Blue.
After a split of the first two games, these teams will decide the winner of the three-game set with the rubber match scheduled for 7:05 pm on Wednesday evening at Pfitzner Stadium. Potomac sends LHP Grant Borne (1-2, 1.14) to the mound against a TBD pitcher for Buies Creek. Borne took the loss the last time out against Down East despite allowing just one run over seven strong innings.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm at The Pfitz. Our coverage of the game begins at 6:50 pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network. Tune in to the broadcast at potomacnationals.com or use the TuneIn Radio or MiLB First Pitch apps!
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.
-- Potomac Nationals --
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.