Erick Fedde struck out 10 and retired the last 10 batters he faced while the P-Nats bats gave him just enough offense for a 2-1 victory over Wilmington.
Defense? Well, not so much. Matthew Page got the start at 1B and won’t remind anyone of J.T. Snow or Don Mattingly as he committed one error and was less than smooth on his other chances. But the 24-y.o. did go deep in the 4th to break a 1-1 tie with his first big fly since his callup on Monday.
Potomac got on the board first in the 1st with a pair of singles by Alec Keller and Osvaldo Abreu that put runners on the corners. The Blue Rocks’ Zach Lovvorn, who would go on to lose his 13th game despite a respectable 3.58 ERA this season, wild-pitched Keller in for the first P-Nat run.
Then we got a reminder that this is indeed Single-A ball: Max “For Those About To” Schrock reached first on an error that was ruled an infield hit, then, after a Raudy Read popup, Abreu tried to score on a comebacker to the mound and was easily thrown out.
Wilmington got it back in the top of the 2nd as Page fielded a two-out grounder to his right and then threw a strike past Fedde, who was not late in covering the bag. That plated Wilmington catcher Chad Johnson, who had doubled for the only extra-base hit Fedde would give up.
Fedde took the defense out of the equation for three straight whiffs before giving up another two-out hit in the 3rd. After Osvaldo Abreu committed the second two-out error by Potomac, Page got the grounder to end the 3rd inning.
That out started a string of dominance for the Nats’ #1 pick in 2014 as he retired 13 of 14 batters with only a Willie Mays Hayes “oops” single to spoil things. He would finish with a line of one unearned run on five hits over seven innings, with no walks and a career-high 10 strikeouts to win his sixth game.
The Potomac bullpen held the 2-1 lead with a scoreless 8th from R.C. Orlan for hold #6 and a 1-2-3 ninth from Ryan Brinley for save #12, his second in as many appearances since dropping down from AA.
The series continues tonight with Matthew Crownover (2-4, 4.79) taking the hill against Corey Ray (6-5, 5.21) for Wilmington.