P-Nats rally again late, but come up short in a 7-5 loss
The first seven innings took 90 minutes to play. The last two inning took 75 minutes.
Such is the nature of minor-league baseball, where a 2-0, possible no-hitter can turn into a 7-5 slugfest with a couple of bad relievers and a few errors to boot.
Winston-Salem’s Cameron Bayne allowed just two baserunners through 6⅔ innings (both walks), before Destin Hood ripped a double to LF to set up Steven Souza with 2nd-and-3rd and two out. While not unimpressive, the tendency for the P-Nats to swing at the first pitch took a little bit of the shine off Bayne’s effort, which saw him strike out just three.
But that third strikeout came against Souza.
Marcos Frias took the loss, but the true culprit was Alex Caldera, who surrendered a solo shot in the 7th and three runs on five hits in eighth to dig the hole from 0-1 to 0-5 for the Nats batters.
Much like the Suns teams from early 2010, this group seems to be able to put up the big crooked number late. Stephen King led off with a walk, while Sandy Leon and Cutter Dykstra both singled to load the bases. Eury Perez beat out a double play for the first run while Jeff Kobernus tapped a slow grounder for the first two runs and Rick Hague went deep to drive in the last two runs to cut the Dash lead to 5-4.
Rob Wort took the mound in the ninth and started with a strikeout, but walks bookended around a single loaded the bases with one out. Rick Hague booted the ensuing groundball to send home two more, the fourth Potomac error of the night.
The P-Nats would rally for one more in the 9th, as Hood led off with his second double in as many at-bats, took third on a sharp, one-out single to RF, and came in on a sacrifice fly by Dykstra. Perez had runners on 1st and 3rd with two two out but came up empty after fouling off multiple pitches, eventually striking out.
The loss tumbles Potomac to 1-2 and as of this writing, today’s schoolday special has been postponed by rain. It will be made up on Wednesday at 6:05pm as a doubleheader.