Winston-Salem, NC-The Potomac Nationals (52-33, 10-6) and Winston-Salem Dash (47-41, 9-9) combined to swat eight home runs on Monday evening at BB&T Ballpark, a record for the Carolina League's newest stadium. Winston-Salem slugged their way past Potomac winning the series opener by the final score of 12-9.
Nationals LHP Matt Purke (0-1), the losing pitcher, endured his roughest professional outing allowing nine earned runs on eleven hits, both career highs. Purke surrendered a pair of home runs to Dash SS Chris Curley, who has now cranked the second most home runs in the league this season (17).
Potomac CF Michael Taylor got the scoring going in the 1st inning with an RBI sacrifice fly to score LF Billy Burns, who singled leading off the game that turned into a double play when RF Caleb Ramsey was cut down 8-3-5.
Dash RHP Bryan Blough (8-5), the winning pitcher, was far from sharp but earned the win after allowing five runs, four earned, on nine hits, while fanning two and walking four. Blough gave up one home run.
Curley crushed a two-run four-bagger in the home half of the 1st, his 16th of the campaign to the base of the scoreboard in right center field giving the Dash a 2-1 lead.
The P-Nats countered with one run in the 2nd stanza to even the score at 2-2 when C Cole Leonida belted his ninth bomb of the season, a solo shot to the hill in left field.
Potomac took a 4-2 advantage in the 4th frame when Leonida and 1B Justin Miller went back-to-back with run scoring singles.
Then, the flood gates opened for Winston-Salem's offense as the hosting club scored seven runs on seven hits in the bottom of the 4th. 3B Jeremy Farrell ripped an RBI single to right field, RF Josh Richmond pushed a run scoring infield single to the right side, and 2B Micah Johnson blooped a bases loaded two-RBI single up the left field line. Curley lofted a three-run dinger to the grass behind the left field wall, his second homer of the game to chase Purke from the contest.
Potomac RHP Greg Holt, a Clemmons, NC native, in relief of Purke, retired C Kevan Smith on one pitch to end further damage.
With the Dash up 9-4, the home club plated three more runs in the 5th off Holt via a solo shot from 1B Rangel Ravelo to the flag court in left center, his third of the season, and a two-run blast off the stick of DH Joe De Pinto to left field, his second homer.
Nationals RHP Rafael Martin made his 2013 Potomac debut and turned in 2.0 scoreless innings in which he allowed just one hit, a ground rule double to LF Adam Heisler.
Winston-Salem held a 12-4 lead when the Nationals scored one run in the 6th and 7th courtesy of a Burns RBI single knocked up the middle and a solo tater from 3B Mike Gilmartin hooked to the catwalk in right field. The deep shot was Gilmartin's second homer of the year.
Two more runs for Potomac were summoned home in the 8th after pinch-hitter, Kevin Keyes socked a two-run shot out to left field, his eighth of the season.
Potomac SS Adrian Sanchez belted his first homer of the 2013 journey on a lazer beam shot over the left center field video banner in the 9th to make it a 12-9 deficit for the Nationals.
However, Dash RHP Joe Dvorsky retired Leonid and Miller on fly outs and baited LF Randolph Oduber into a swinging strikeout to finish the slugfest.
Tuesday night is slated for a 7:00pm first pitch with Potomac RHP Marcos Frias (1-0, 18.00) facing Winston-Salem RHP Myles Jaye (5-2, 4.60).
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will begin streaming Tuesday night with the P-Nats Baseball Lead-Off Show at 6:45pm in preparation for the live play-by-play at 7:00pm. Broadcast coverage of Potomac Nationals Baseball is accessible by heading to www.potomacnationals.com.
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. Sponsorship opportunities for the '13 season are now available. Plan your corporate outing now to see the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz 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!
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.