Matt Purke evened up his won-loss record at 3-3 as the P-Nats cut down the Keys, 6-2.
The 23-y.o. southpaw gave up both Frederick runs on four hits and a walk while striking out three for his second quality start in his last three starts, and the second time he’s gone six frames for Potomac.
While neither dominant nor ineffective, Purke got the job done by working off the fastball and throwing strikes… but not gunning for the K with his breaking stuff or trying to get batters to chase. He retired the leadoff batter in three of six innings and and got two diving catches by his corner outfielders — Brandon Miller in the 3rd, Randolph Oduber in the 6th — to end the inning in dramatic fashion.
Offensively, the P-Nats middle of the order carried the night. Frederick’s Brady Wager had a no-hitter and a 1-0 lead through three innings but lost it on Adrian Nieto’s line-drive single off the leaping glove of Keys SS Jerome Pena to lead off the 4th. Brandon Miller extended his hit streak to 15 games with a double down the left field line while Kevin Keyes tied it with a single to center. The 4-5-6 combo of Nieto, Miller, and Keyes would combine for six hits, three doubles, four runs, and three RBI on the night.
Potomac rallied for three in the 4th and posted a picket fence in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings to build a 6-2 lead. Veteran relievers Rafael Martin and Colin Bates finished out the game with three scoreless to nail down the “W” for Purke.
With the win, Potomac improves to 30-20 in the second half and holds a 7½ game lead over second-place Wilmington in the Carolina League North. The three-game series continues tonight with a matchup of Paul Demny (0-1, 5.06) vs. Zach Davies (7-5, 3.41).