The Potomac and Salem played for fourth time in seven days with the Red Sox finally getting a win at 10-3.
The game’s beginning was delayed for 39 minutes, but got finished in a welcome two hours and 30 minutes. Evan Bronson got the start and cruised through the first two innings, retiring six of seven batters with four flyouts and two strikeouts.
Despite showing some nice movement on his breaking pitches, the lack of groundballs early was an indicator that the evening would not go well for 24-year-old lefty. The third inning began with Salem rapping a single, a double, then a blast to dead center to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead.
He would escape that jam by getting two popups and a groundout, and a bases-loaded-one-out situation in the fourth inning before having a more “normal” fifth with two grounders, a single, and strikeout.
Bronson would pitch into the sixth, but was let down to start the frame when J.R. Higley badly misplayed a line drive off the bat of Salem’s Wilfredo Pichardo for triple-by-rule (i.e. he never touched the ball). His fifth and final strikeout gave brief hope for stranding a fifth runner since the three-run homer, but a single to left chased him. His line would finish at four runs allowed on 11 hits and a walk over five and a 1/3rd innings.
As has been the case for most of this homestand, the Potomac offense has been uneven, which is easy to miss when the pitching is stellar, but hard to ignore when it’s not. Three runs on seven hits simply isn’t going to be good enough on very many nights.
Jeff Kobernus was the leading hitter for the game, homering in the first inning to give Potomac a first-inning lead, and going 3-for-4 with a stolen base (no. 26). He’s batted .342 over his last 10 games (all at home) to raise his season batting average to .266 and make a case for a GBI mention.
As the 10-3 final score suggests, the bullpen had a rough go of it for this one. Dean Weaver and Mitchell Clegg gave up the last six runs on five hits and a walk, though two throwing errors by out-of-position-at-third Justin Bloxom made four of the six runs unearned.
With the loss, Potomac falls to 28-39 for the first half, which ends on Sunday. Trevor Holder (3-7, 6.31) is expected to make the start tonight against Salem’s Ryan Pressly (4-6, 4.58).