Salem Nipped 5-2 by Nats Sunday

Sox Fall Short of Series Sweep

Darwinzon Hernandez couldn't escape the second inning Sunday, leaving it to the Red Sox pen to go the rest of the way.

By Ben Gellman / Salem Red Sox | May 6, 2018 5:25 PM

WOODBRIDGE, VA (Sunday, May 6) - The Salem Red Sox took an early lead but couldn't maintain it Sunday afternoon, dropping a 5-2 decision to the Potomac Nationals at Pfitzner Stadium.

Salem (17-13) found their issues with hitting in the clutch coming back to bite them, collecting just two hits in 14 at-bats with runners in scoring position. The Nationals (17-13) held the Sox to only two hits after the third inning, and overcame three errors in the field. Kyri Washington extended his career-best hitting streak to 10 games with a ninth-inning double.

After rehabbing MLB pitcher Shawn Kelley departed with a perfect inning under his belt, the Sox opened the scoring in the top of the second against Potomac righty Wil Crowe. Jerry Downs led off the frame with a single to left, and moved up to second when Telmito Agustin's throw to the infield was wild. Bobby Dalbec drew a walk to put runners at first and second before Tyler Hill flew out to shallow right. Washington hit a bouncer to third, but Jake Noll's throw was errant, allowing Downs to score. With two outs, Carlos Tovar laced a single to left, letting Dalbec race in to give Salem a 2-0 lead.

Potomac drew level in the bottom of the inning against Red Sox starter Darwinzon Hernandez (ND), who gave up a leadoff walk to David Masters before balking him to second. Agustin singled to center to advance Masters to third, and moved to second on the throw home by Chris Madera. With two outs, Bryan Mejia hit a broken-bat single to left, scoring the runners and knotting the game up at 2-2. The Sox yanked Hernandez for reliever Jared Oliver (L, 1-1), who got out of the inning without further damage.

In the bottom of the third, Potomac surged ahead. Oliver gave up a leadoff homer to Juan Soto, his league-leading sixth and second of the series. With two outs, Tres Barrera doubled, Masters worked a walk, and Agustin slashed a liner past Downs at first that rolled all the way to the right field corner. Agustin zipped to third as the runners scored, giving Potomac their final 5-2 lead.

Hernandez lasted only 1.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks while fanning four. Oliver surrendered three runs on four hits and a walk while whiffing four in 3.1 innings. Joan Martinez recorded one strikeout and allowed three hits in three shutout frames.

The Sox kick off a seven-game homestand Monday night against the Winston-Salem Dash, with righty Tanner Houck taking the ball for Salem against Dash righty Luis Martinez. First pitch from Haley Toyota Field is at 7:05 p.m., and the pregame show with Ben Gellman and Suzie Cool begins at 6:45 p.m. on the Red Sox broadcast network.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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