Wilmington, DE - Strong pitching by starter Arnaldo Hernandez and timely hitting led the Wilmington Blue Rocks (14-16) to a 5-3 win over the Potomac Nationals (17-14) Monday night at Frawley Stadium. Hernandez turned in six solid innings en route to his fourth straight victory while Kort Peterson launched a
Wilmington, DE - Strong pitching by starter Arnaldo Hernandez and timely hitting led the Wilmington Blue Rocks (14-16) to a 5-3 win over the Potomac Nationals (17-14) Monday night at Frawley Stadium. Hernandez turned in six solid innings en route to his fourth straight victory while Kort Peterson launched a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning to push the Rocks to victory. Emmanuel Rivera drove in three runs in the winning effort.
Wilmington erased an early 1-0 deficit in the third inning. With runners at second and third and two outs, Rivera ripped a two-out, two-strike single to left field to plate Peterson and D.J. Burt to give the Blue Crew a 2-1 lead. Wilmington tacked on another run in the fifth inning when Brandon Downes lofted a sacrifice fly to plate Burt to extend the Blue Rocks lead, 3-1.
Potomac however tied it up in its half of the sixth inning. Jake Noll grounded into a fielder's choice to score Carter Kieboom before Trace Barrera doubled home the tying run to knot the game, 3-3. Wilmington promptly responded in the bottom half of the inning thanks to Peterson's solo blast over the right field wall to give the Rocks the advantage once more, 4-3. The Blue Crew added an insurance run when Rivera reached on a fielder's choice to score Burt to give the game its final score, 5-3.
Hernandez turned in a quality start, worked six innings, allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits, walked one and struck out four. Justin Camp tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief before Bryan Brickhouse recorded the final four outs of the game to earn his fifth save in as many opportunities.
The Blue Rocks and P-Nats play the middle game of the series against Potomac on Tuesday, May 8. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with lefty Cristian Castillo (1-3, 8.78 ERA) making the start for Wilmington while righty Sterling Sharp (3-2, 4.45 ERA) starts for Potomac. Fans can listen to the game as Matt Janus and Cory Nidoh will have the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
With the victory, Arnaldo Hernandez earned his fourth straight win of the season. He becomes the first Blue Rocks' pitcher since Matt Tenuta (earned four straight wins from July 27 - Aug. 20, 2016) to accomplish the feat. His last three wins of the four-game victory streak have come against Potomac. In his three starts against the Northern Division rivals, he has allowed seven earned runs in 16 innings of work. No other pitcher on the Blue Rocks' staff has more than one win on the season.
Kort Peterson blasted a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning for his fourth of the season. He is second on the team in home runs, trailing Chase Vallot , who paces the team with five. Over his last six games, Peterson is hitting .474 (9-for-19) during that stretch. He posted his third, three-hit game of the night in Monday's victory and has three, multi-hit games over his last five contests.
With the win, the Blue Rocks avoided going a season-worst four games below .500. The Blue Crew are 5-0 in games this season that potentially could put them at four-games below sea-level. Conversely, Wilmington is just 1-6 in games that can put them back to .500 on the season.
THEY SAID IT, MANAGER DARRYL KENNEDY:
(Thoughts on win): "I thought they battled well. We did a good job manufacturing some runs. We got that big, two-out hit from (Rivera) in the third inning. Arnaldo (Hernandez) did a good job, but I think he was tiring in the sixth inning. If we turned that double play for him, he's nowhere near that trouble, but he did a good job getting us out of the inning to keep it tied. Kort (Peterson) had the big home run to put us back up. I thought (Bryan) Brickhouse did a great job for us (Monday) night. He was relaxed and got a big save for us."