Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge

Rehabbing major leaguer Jayson Werth clubbed two three-run home runs to lead Potomac to its fifth straight win, 10-6, and complete the sweep of divisional rival Lynchburg.

The six runs driven in, however, masked another poor showing from A.J. Cole, who got the win despite allowing runs in each of the first three innings and four overall. The 21-year-old gave up four runs total on six hits, including a pair of home runs.

To his credit, he walked none and struck out eight. The problem is that when the Hillcats connected, there was little in-between — a loud out or a long drive, as just three of the 17 outs he recorded came on the ground.

Offensively, the Potomac lineup continues to improve as they continue to show patience (eight walks) while still delivering hits when they’re needed (5-for-12 with RISP). Like Friday night, the first inning was emblematic of this balance.

Billy Burns and Werth both drew walks while Michael Taylor singled to load the bases. Jason Martinson refused to take the bait of a steady diet of breaking pitches (the word is out) and drove in the first run with the inning’s third walk. Kevin Keyes followed with a two-run single to left to push the early lead to 3-0.

Patience would also play a part in both the Werth home runs. Francisco Soriano and Burns both walked with two outs in the 4th to set up the first big fly, a shot over the Budweiser sign in right-center (pictured). In the 8th, Soriano walked again and Billy Burns beat out an infield hit, then the two bookends trotted home ahead of Werth’s second shot, a first-pitch fastball deposited just short of the scoreboard in left field, turning a 7-6 lead into the 10-6 final outcome.

Potomac heads to Southern Division-leading Myrtle Beach for the next four games before returning for their final home series of the first half, a weekend set against the current second-place Frederick Keys.

Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 10-3 @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.

Rosenbaum (5-3, 3.54) vs.
Aceves (2-1, 3.13)
Harrisburg Won, 6-2 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Won, 10-6 @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Hill (4-2, 4.20) vs.
Eickoff (4-3, 4.01)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-2 OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals OFF DAY vs. DSL Cardinals,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD



Pawtucket 5 Syracuse 3
• Torra (L, 0-2) 5IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 2K
• Rendon 1-2, R, 2B, BB, K, E
• Brown 1-3, RBI

Pawtucket twice put up four-spots on the scoreboard, overcoming an early 2-0 Syracuse lead for a 10-3 romp. Starter Matt Torra was charged with four runs on six hits and a walk over the first five innings. Relievers Brian Dupra and Ryan Perry were lit up for six runs combined, five of the runs coming via the long ball. Anthony Rendon walked, scored a run, doubled but committed an error at second base. Eury Perez and Zach Walters each hit solo HRs for the early 2-0 lead, but otherwise the Chiefs were held to just five hits and three walks total.

Harrisburg 2 Trenton 0
• Garcia 1IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Jordan (W, 3-0) 7IP, 3H, 2R, ER, BB, 4K
• Souza 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI
• Leon 2-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI

Taylor Jordan won for the third time in five outings as Harrisburg pulled away late from Trenton, 6-2. Christian Garcia put in his rehab inning in the first, allowing a hit with no walks or strikeouts. Jordan pitched the next seven, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk while fanning four. Steve Souza’s solo HR highlighted a three-run 8th as part of a 2-for-4 game that extended his streak to 10 games, his seventh with multiple hits since coming off the DL on May 24th.

Potomac 10 Lynchburg 6
• Cole 5⅓ IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 8K, 2HR
• Mirowski 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Werth 2-4, 3R, 2HR, 6RBI, BB
• Keyes 2-5, R, 2RBI
• Taylor 2-5, R, 2B

Jayson Werth went deep twice to power Potomac to its fifth straight win Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge.

Lexington 3 Hagerstown 2
• Pineyro 5⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 10K, HR, WP
• Smith (L, 0-1) 1⅔ IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 1K
• Renda 2-5, RBI, SB
• Piwnica-Worms 1-2, 2B, 2BB

The Legends rallied for three in the 8th to break a 2-2 tie and complete the sweep of the Suns with a 5-2 win. Starter Ivan Pineyro struck out 10 but got the no-decision with two runs allowed on five hits and a walk over five and 2/3rds innings. Jason Smith took the loss with the decisive trio of runs coming on his watch over one and 2/3rds innings. Tony Renda went 2-for-5 while Brandon Miller connected on a solo HR but the clutch hit eluded Hagerstown as they went 0-for-11 with RISP and stranded 10 baserunners.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
After getting shut out 8-0 on Saturday, the DSL Nationals rematch against the DSL Cardinals today, as the six-games-a-week grind begins.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-3 @ Pawtucket,
1:05 p.m.

Torra (0-1, 5.73) vs.
De La Rosa (0-1, 3.45)
Harrisburg Won, 2-0 vs. Trenton,
2:00 p.m.
Jordan (2-0, 1.00) vs.
Turley (5-2, 4.10)
Potomac Won, 5-4 vs. Lynchburg,
1:05 p.m.
Solis (0-0, 1.50) vs.
Weber (3-1, 2.61)
Hagerstown Lost, 3-2 @ Lexington,
1:35 p.m.
Pineyro (4-3, 3.35) vs.
Binford (4-2, 2.73)
DSL Nationals Lost, 8-0 OFF DAY TBD vs. TBD



Pawtucket 5 Syracuse 3
• Tatusko (L, 0-2) 7IP, 7H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 5K
• Cedeno 1IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• Costanzo 2-3, BB
• Marrero 1-3
• Rendon 1-4, R, BB

Pawtucket scored in each of its last four at-bats, including unearned runs in the 7th and 8th, which were the difference in a 5-3 win over Syracuse. Starter Ryan Tatusko took the loss but went seven innings with four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out five. Anthony Rendon walked and singled in his first two PAs but finished 1-for-4. Corey Brown homered for the third straight game while Chris Marrero singled to extend his hit streak to 10 games.
Roster moves: RHP Brian Dupra assigned from Auburn, RHP Erik Davis recalled to Washington.

Harrisburg 2 Trenton 0
• Clay (W, 5-2) 9IP, 3H, 0R, 3BB, 9K
• Souza 1-3, BB, SB, CS
• Hood 1-2, RBI, SF

Caleb Clay went the distance in a three-hit shutout, the first nine-inning number by a Senator since 2005, as Harrisburg blanked Trenton, 2-0. Clay struck out nine (tying his career best) and walked three while throwing 117 pitches, 70 for strikes. Steve Souza Jr. singled, walked, and stole a base while Destin Hood went 1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI to lead the Senators offense.
Roster move: IF Anthony Rendon promoted to Syracuse.

Potomac 5 Lynchburg 4
• Solis 5IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1K
• Fischer 3IP, 0H, 2R, 0ER, 4BB, 1K
• Keyes 2-4, 2B, 2RBI
• Nieto 2-4, R, 2RBI

Caleb Ramsey’s one-out, walkoff double in the 9th propelled Potomac to a 5-4 win, its fourth in a row, and sole possession of first place in the Carolina League North. Starter Sammy Solis went the first five innings, giving up two runs on six hits but walking one and setting down one on strikes. David Fischer walked four and gave up two unearned runs in three hitless innings after Solis. Derek Self got the win in relief after tossing a 1-2-3 ninth. Kevin Keyes and Adrian Nieto both went 2-for-4 with two RBI to pace the P-Nats attack.
Roster move: LHP Matt Grace promoted to Harrisburg.

Lexington 3 Hagerstown 2
• Lee 5IP, 4H, R, ER, 3BB, 6K, WP, BK
• Hudgins (BS, 2;L, 2-1) 1IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 0K
• Martinez 1-3, BB
• Perez 2-4, R

Hagerstown took a 2-0 lead with single runs in the 3rd and 5th innings, but Lexington got one in the 5th and two in the 6th and won the battle of the bullpens, 3-2. Starter Nick Lee struck out six over five innings but walked three while giving up a run on four hits. Will Hudgins gave up two of the Legends’ three extra-base hits along with a walk to take the loss for his single inning of work. The Suns were held to just seven singles and went 0-for-7 with RISP and stranded eight baserunners.

DSL Cardinals 8 DSL Nationals 0
• Valerio 4IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Rosario (L, 0-1) 2⅔ IP, 4H, 4R, 1ER, 2BB, K
• Corredor 3-4, 2B
• Gutierrez 2-4

The DSL Cardinals scored seven runs in their final two “ups” to blast the DSL Nationals, 8-0. Second-year man Maximo Valerio pitched four scoreless, allowing a walk and three hits while striking out three. 17-y.o. Ramses Rosario took the loss, giving up four runs (one earned) on four hits, with two walks and one strikeout. 17-y.o. Aldrem Corredor went 3-for-4 with a double to lead the D-Nats offense.

Anthony Rendon Promoted To Syracuse, Davis Gets The Call

Transactions for NPP 3Score one for the local beat writers, who got the news first and got it right… As reported last night by the Patriot-News, Anthony Rendon has indeed been promoted from Harrisburg to Syracuse.

At Syracuse, Rendon will work with manager Tony Beasley and play second base, the Nationals tacitly admitting the obvious that the parent club needs him at second base this sooner rather than later.

Also promoted was LHP Matt Grace, going from Potomac to Harrisburg. Grace was a 2010 Draft pick out of UCLA and was a starter until this season, where he’s been uneven (4 blown saves) for the P-Nats but 2-0 with a pitcher’s line of 3.18/2.80/1.17 (ERA/FIP/WHIP).

Corresponding moves by Potomac and/or Hagerstown have not yet been announced.

Last, but not least, RHP Erik Davis has been recalled from Syracuse. He’ll be taking the place of OF Bryce Harper, who was placed on the DL retroactive to May 27. Davis was picked up in a trade in March 2011 and added to the Nats 40-man roster this past November.

Last Night In Woodbridge

Potomac sent nine men to the plate in the first two innings to rack up nine runs en route to a 10-1 win over the first-place Lynchburg, the third straight win for the Woodbridge nine.

Much of the damage was self-inficted. Hillcats thrower A.J. Holland walked the bases loaded to start the game, then gave up a one-run single to Jason Martinson and a two-run safety to Adrian Nieto. A wild pitch brought in the fourth run, a fourth walk ended Holland’s night after just six batters faced.

Veteran reliever James Hoyt got out of the first inning with a flyball, groundout and a strikeout. But the second inning was nearly a repeat of the first. A pair of walks sandwiched around a Jayson Werth single (you did know he was playing, right?) got the bases drunk and Jason Martinson sobered ’em up with a three-run double.

Adrian Nieto doubled in Martinson, Kevin Keyes got a hometown single as the Hillcat third baseman waved at it and missed for an unruled error to move up Nieto and Caleb Ramsey capped the rally with sacrifice fly to left field.

After two it was 9-0.

The unfortunate side effect of the two crooked numbers was the time Robbie Ray spent cooling on the bench. After the four-run first, it didn’t seem to faze him as the 21-year-old struck out the side. But following the five-run second, his command wavered badly as turned in a Nuke LaLoosh inning of three walks and three strikeouts that ended his night early — the second time this month he was done after just three innings with seven strikeouts.

Colin Bates took over for Ray in the 4th got the win with four innings of scoreless relief, followed by single frames by Rob Wort and Richie Mirowski. After Hoyt, the Lynchburg ‘pen matched their counterparts five goose eggs, but the pressure will be on tonight’s Hillcats starter to go deep.

That’ll be the task for Ryan Weber (3-1, 2.61), with Sammy Solis (0-0, 1.50) making his third trip to the hill since missing 2012 after elbow surgery.
                                                                    #                                     #                                     #

With the end of the first half in sight (two weeks from tomorrow), the Carolina League North is in for yet another photo finish.

Lynchburg leads Potomac and Frederick by a half game but is in the driver’s seat in that they play those two teams for the next six games, then finish with 10 games against the Southern Division’s second- and third-place teams.

Frederick is playing last-place Wilmington tonight and tomorrow, but it doesn’t get easier for them as they play first- or second-place teams the rest of the way, including eight games against Potomac, though the last five will be at Harry Grove.

On paper, Potomac’s schedule is a little easier than Frederick’s but just five of the next 17 games are at the Pfitz. Whatever “break” they get from playing last-place Carolina for three on June 10-13 is more than offset than four games against the first-place Myrtle Beach.

Which leads us to Wilmington, which could sneak up on everybody by simply splitting with Frederick, then making hay against the Southern Division’s also-rans while the rest of the Northern Division plays each other.

Stay tuned to this space as we track the stretch run.

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 9-8 (12 inn.) @ Pawtucket,
6:05 p.m.

Tatusko (0-1, 3.38) vs.
Webster (4-0, 2.52)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-3 vs. Trenton,
7:00 p.m.
Clay (4-2, 4.31) vs.
Ramirez (1-2, 2.59)
Potomac Won, 10-1 vs. Lynchburg,
6:35 p.m.
Solis (0-0, 1.50) vs.
Weber (3-1, 2.61)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-3 @ Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Lee (1-1, 11.74) vs.
Almonte (2-4, 4.17)



Pawtucket 9 Syracuse 8 (12 inn.)
• Maya 3IP, 6H, 2R, ER, 2BB, 4K
• Broadway 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Crotta (L, 3-5) 3⅓ IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 0K
• Rahl 3-6, 2R, 2B, 2RBI
• Marrero 3-6, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Rhymes 3-4, R, 2B, 2RBI

Five errors didn’t help the cause as the Syracuse Chiefs fell in extras, 9-8 in Pawtucket. Starter Yuneksy Maya was peppered for six hits in his three innings, allowing two runs (one earned) before leaving with an apparent injury. The top five batters in the Chiefs lineup combined for 14 of the team’s 15 hits, including six doubles. Mike Crotta, the fifth reliever of the night, took the loss in the 12th as an error followed by a sacrifice and an RBI double gave the PawSox the walkoff win.
Roster move: RHP Ryan Perry activated from the 7-Day DL.

Trenton 4 Harrisburg 3

• Demny 7IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 7K, HR
• Garcia (BS, 1; L, 0-1) 1IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, 0K
• Souza 2-3, 2-2B, BB, SB
• Nicol 2-2, R, HR, RBI, BB

Christian Garcia blew the save in his first appearance, giving up two runs on three hits in the 9th in a 4-3 Harrisburg loss to Trenton. The bigger news, however, is the report that Anthony Rendon has been promoted to Syracuse, which, of course, the Nationals have yet to confirm. Paul Demny got the no-decision with two runs allowed on six hits and two walks. Steve Souza Jr. continues to blister the ball, doubling twice, walking and stealing a base to extend his hit streak to eight games.
Roster move: RHP Christian Garcia assigned the Senators as an MLB rehab.

Potomac 10 Lynchburg 1
• Ray 3IP, 2H, R, ER, 3BB, 7K
• Bates (W, 2-3) 4IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Nieto 2-4, R, 2B, 3RBI, BB
• Martinson 2-5, 2R, 2B, 4RBI
• Soriano 1-2, 3R, 3BB, 2SB

This was one was over early Last Night In Woodbridge.

Lexington 6 Hagerstown 3
• Pena (L, 2-3) 5⅓ IP, 9H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Henke 2⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, 0ER, 2BB, K
• Miller 3-5, R, 2B, HR, RBI, OF assist at 3B
• Renda 3-5, 2B

Three unearned runs in the last three Lexington “ups” was the difference in Hagerstown’s 6-3 loss. Ronald Pena took the loss, as he let up nine hits over five and a 1/3rd innings and gave up four runs (three earned). The Suns committed five errors in total, two apiece by Wilmer Difo and Pedro Severino. Offensively, Brandon Miller and Tony Renda both went 3-for-5 with a double, while Miller hit his team-leading 10th home run.

Good, Bad, Interesting – Vol. 7

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 23-30, 6th place I.L. North, 8½ games behind

Good Ross Ohlendorf 39K in 38⅔ IP in May
Bad Will Rhymes .135/.238/.289 in last 10G
Interesting Brian Jeroloman 14BB in 19G



HARRISBURG SENATORS 27-27, 3rd place E.L. West, 5 games behind

Good Matt Swynenberg 1.93 ERA/3.29 FIP/1.16 in 15 appearances
Bad Justin Bloxom .195/.320/.207 in May
Interesting Steve Souza, Jr .414/.485/.724 in 7 games since return from D.L.



POTOMAC NATIONALS 28-24, T2nd place C.L. North, 1½ games behind

Good Michael Taylor .368/.455/.500, 7R, 7RBI, 5SB in last 10G
Bad Bullpen 12 saves in 28 opportunities
Interesting Team 81 SBs leads Carolina League


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 30-20, 1st place Sally North, 2 games ahead

Good Khayyan Norfork .301/.352/.458 in 21G
Bad Ronald Pena 21BB, 19K in 38⅔ IP
Interesting 384 team batting SOs – 3rd fewest in Sally League

Last Night In Woodbridge

Potomac’s two-out knack for offense continued in the series finale, a 7-3 win over Salem.

After scoring six times with two down on Wednesday (in one inning no less), the P-Nats scored four times with two outs. Unlike the night before, both rallies came with two out and nobody on.

Cole Leonida scored the first one with his third home run of the season, a blast to the woods beyond left field that reclaimed the lead for Potomac at 2-1 in the second inning.

In the 7th, ahead again by just a run for the second time at 4-3, Potomac did it again, ruining the High-A debut of Salem’s Madison Younginer. The 22-year-old struck out the first two batters he faced, but couldn’t put away either Randolph Oduber or Billy Burns and walking both the Nos. 9 and 1 batters.

The steal has been a favorite weapon for manager Brian Daubach. It helps, of course, to have the horses (greyhounds?) to run it. Three times in the 7th, Daubach took off the reins (leash?) to put the pressure on, running the P-Nats league-leading stolen base total to 81.

Veteran UT Francisco Soriano singled in Oduber while Michael Taylor doubled in Burns and Soriano to cap the three-run rally and send Younginer to showers.

Also like the night before, the Potomac ‘pen got the job done when the starting pitching faltered.

Well, maybe not faltered, but fell short of the high standard that had been set. Coming into the game, Blake Schwartz had won four of six starts with each start seemingly better than the last, culminating in a two-hit, one-run, eight-inning gem versus first-place Lynchburg last Saturday.

Instead, Schwartz gave up more hits (7) than innings pitched (5⅔) for the first time this year, including just the second HR allowed in 56 innings. Thanks to Matt Grace, the damage would be limited to just three runs (also a season “worst”).

Grace retired seven of eight batters faced, issuing just a one-out walk in the 7th and striking out three to pick up the win, his third against no losses (though he has four blown saves).

Cameron Selik rebounded from his poor showing on Tuesday to set ’em down in order in the 9th, fanning the first and last batters to nail it down for Potomac.

The win keeps pace with first-place Lynchburg, which won its fourth straight. The Hillcats come to Woodbridge this weekend for the final series between the two teams in the first half. Robbie Ray (3-2, 2.58) takes the hill in Game One against Lynchburg’s A.J. Holland (3-3, 3.47).

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-0 @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.

Maya (1-4, 5.07) vs.
C. Hernandez (3-2, 3.58)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-2 (15 inn.) vs. Trenton,
7:00 p.m.
Demny (4-4, 4.17) vs.
Tracy (4-3, 5.66)
Potomac Won, 7-3 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Ray (3-2, 2.58) vs.
Holland (3-3, 3.47)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-2 @ Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Pena (2-2, 4.66) vs.
Brickhouse (3-3, 2.13)



Syracuse 5 Gwinnett 0
• Ohlendorf (W, 4-5) 7IP, 4H, 0R, 3BB, 11K
• Roark 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Owings 3-4, R, 2-2B, RBI
• Perez 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Marrero 1-4, R (20-game on-base streak)

Ross Ohlendorf and Tanner Roark combined on a four-hit shutout as Syracuse won a rare home game versus Gwinnett, 5-0. Ohlendorf struck out 11 batter for the second straight start, allowing the Braves’ four hits and three walks. Roark’s streak without an earned run charged is now up to 18⅔ with two more scoreless innings. Micah Owings led the Chiefs attack with a single and a pair of doubles while Eury Perez and Corey Brown both homered.

Akron 3 Harrisburg 2 (15 inn.)
• Treinen 7IP, 7H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Barrett (BS, 2) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Swynenberg 5IP, 4H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Hague 2-6, R, 4K
• Lozada 2-6, 2K
• Souza 2-6, R, HR, 2RBI, 3K

A blown save on a home run in the ninth forced this one into extras as the Aeros outlasted the Senators, 3-2 in 15 innings. Starter Blake Treinen got the hard-luck no-decision with a run on seven hits and one walk, the win snatched away by Jesus Aguilar’s one-out homer off Aaron Barrett, who suffered his second blown save. Harrisburg hitters whiffed 19 times and stranded 11 runners, unable to capitalize on the five scoreless innings of relief by Matt Swynenberg.

Potomac 7 Salem 3
• Schwartz 5&#8532 IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Grace (W, 3-0) 2⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K, 1-0 IR-S
• Martinson 2-4, 2-2B, RBI
• Taylor 1-3, 2B, 3RBI, SAC
• Burns 1-2, 3R, 3B, 2SB, BB

The two-out magic on offense continued for another game Last Night In Woodbridge.

Lexington 5 Hagerstown 2
• Anderson 6⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 8K, HR
• McKenzie (L, 0-1) 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 0K, HR
• Norfork 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI, SB
• Martinez 2-4, 2B

The home run did in the Suns as two Legends longballs accounted for four runs in a 5-2 loss. Dixon Anderson flirted with a no-hitter for four and 1/3rd innings, but finished with two runs on five hits and a walk over six and 2/3rds with eight strikeouts. Khayyan Norfork (2-for-4) tied it in the top of the 8th with a two-run shot, but Lexington got the sportswriter’s win with three runs in the last of the 8th against Chris McKenzie.

Last Night In Woodbridge

The big Nats may have trouble coming back from deficits of more than two runs, but seven runs? No problem for the P-Nats.

Potomac rallied for six runs with two outs in the 5th, then took the lead with two runs in the 6th to turn a 7-0 deficit into a 8-7 lead. Three relievers combined for four and 2/3rds innings of relief to stave off Salem as Potomac held on for a 9-8 win.

Caleb Ramsey’s grand slam was the big bang in the fifth, a frame that began slowly. With one out, Billy Burns lined one into center and stole second while Randolph Oduber struck out, a gamble of sorts when you’re down seven runs (perhaps not with the Carolina League’s stolen-base leader). Michael Taylor ended the shutout with an RBI double to left and scored when Jason Martinson followed with a safety to center.

It looked like that would be it as Adrian Nieto ripped one to first that Salem’s David Renfroe got a glove on, but booted for his fifth error. Kevin Keyes followed with a high chopper that went for an infield single and loaded the bases. Given those two breaks, Caleb Ramsey made the most out of a 3-1 fastball, launching it over three levels of sponsorship signage into the parking lot behind right field for four runs on one swing.

In the 6th, Justin Miller, who made the first out of the 5th, redeemed himself with a leadoff double. After a Burns sacrifice, Oduber got his shot at redemption for making the second out of the 5th, a rising line drive that went into the woods behind left field for a two runs and an 8-7 lead.

Taylor and Martinson kept it going with a pair of walks, then executed a double steal that paid off as Adrian Nieto’s bid for a third Potomac homer fell 15 feet short, but deep enought for the reigning Carolina League Batter of the Week to stride home with the ninth P-Nat run.

The offensive onslaught was great, but what made it necessary shouldn’t be overlooked. For the second straight start, Taylor Hill gave up seven runs on 10 hits and didn’t make it out of the fifth inning. Against an offensive powerhouse like Lynchburg, that’s forgivable. Versus the league’s worst lineup? Not so much. As the P-Nats make their second turn through the Carolina League, this is something to watch for: players who dominated early but are now struggling as the proverbial word has gotten out.

The Potomac ‘pen has taken its fair share of abuse in this space, but last night they got the job done.

Greg Holt let in the two runs he inherited from Hill, but was otherwise quite effective: striking out four over two and 2/3rds with two hits and a walk allowed as he earned his second win of the season.

Rob Wort let in the final Salem run in the 8th with an adventurous inning as he walked a man with one out, picked him off, hit a batter, walked another, and gave up an RBI single before Keyes snared a sharp grounder for the inning’s third out, the tying run just 90 feet short.

The defense also helped the pitcher out in the 9th as Derek Self gave up a pair of singles that were erased by Nieto (caught stealing) and Martinson on a 6B-3 DP to end the game. It was Self’s fourth save in eight chances.

The win keeps pace with both Frederick and Lynchburg as the three teams remain just a game and a half apart in the Carolina League North. Blake Schwartz (4-1, 1.00) gets the ball for Potomac with Mike Augliera (4-1, 3.44) as his counterpart on the mound for Salem.