Good pitching and timely hitting were the keys to the 5-1 win Potomac posted to open the second half of the 2013 campaign.
Taylor Hill picked up where he left off prior to the break with seven strong innings, allowing one run on a homerun and five hits total. He walked none and struck out one to become the team’s first six-game winner.
Hill gave up a hit in each of the first five frames, leaving the impression that Carolina was justabouttosolvehim, which is always a concern when a pitcher isn’t getting strikeouts. Instead, he retired the last six batters he faced, getting the important shutdown inning after the P-Nats took the lead.
That happened in the bottom of the 6th. The rally started slowly, with Jason Martinson drawing a one-out walk and taking third on a Kevin Keyes double that Carolina left fielder Luigi Rodrgiuez misjudged but nearly caught anyway. Adrian Sanchez steered a single into the 3/4 hole for the go-ahead to plate Martinson and chase Mudcat starter Shawn Morimando.
Francisco Gimenez came on in relief and got an out immediately when Keyes was thrown out trying to score on a grounder to 1st, but walked Cole Leonida to load the bases then hit Randolph Oduber to give the Groovin’ Aruban the Homer Simpson RBI. Billy Burns completed the rally with a bunt down the third base line, taking advantage of the lefthanded pitcher and third baseman having to play back with two outs.
Perhaps sensing an opportunity to surprise, the P-Nats No. 3 batter Michael Taylor led off the 7th with a bunt single and took third on what was initially ruled an error as Carolina shortstop Francisco Lindor stabbed and missed at a grounder off the bat of Martinson. Keyes grounded into a double play to send in Taylor for the P-Nats fifth and final run.
Richie Mirowski followed Hill to finish the game, working around a leadoff walk in the 8th and a leadoff double in the 9th for two scoreless innings.
21-year-old Ivan Pineyro makes his High-A debut tonight in Game 2 of the series, with Michael Peoples (0-2, 6.35) opoosing him for the Carolina Mudcats.