There’s not much question about this when it comes to the P-Nats: These guys can hit.
Sure, they took a couple of innings to get going last night as the first six men went down in order with just one well-struck ball, an opposite-field liner by Shawn Pleffner. But in the 3rd, Will Piwnica-Worms homered to lead off the inning and struck out to end it.
In between, the Woodbridge nine had seven runners make it to first base and five of them came around to score for six-run inning that propelled the P-Nats to an 11-4 win over the Salem Red Sox.
Eight of the nine batters hit safely, and the one who didn’t — Oscar Tejeda — still drove in two runs with a fielder’s choice that might have been a hit but for a brilliant stop and toss by Salem’s Ryan Dent to get the runner trying to advance from second to third.
Randolph Oduber also went deep while Khayyan Norfork went 3-for-4 with a two-run double. Cobmined with Piwinica-Worms, the #7 batter, the veteran trio went 7-for-13 with five runs scored and five runs driven in.
On the pitching side, John Simms started and turned in five innings that on many nights wouldn’t be good enough to win as he did for the second time. He was charged with all four Salem runs on six hits and two walks and struck out four.
Two relievers followed, both coming off long stints on the DL.
Brian Rauh made his first appearance in nearly two months and did pitch well: three no-hit, no-run innings with two walks and three strikeouts and three groundouts.
He was followed by Richie Mirowski — out since May 6th, and essentially down from AA on an unofficial rehab assignment, much like Rafael Martin and Paul Demny before him — who was charged with a hit when Oduber lost the ball in the twilight and had it fall behind him in LF for a double. Mirowski was unfazed by the gaffe and retired the next two batters to finish out the game.
The two teams resume the series tonight, which could be a sellout with both Wilson Ramos and Bryce Harper expected to play on rehab assignments from DC. Dakota Bacus (2-2, 3.63) will get the ball for Potomac, opposed by Salem’s Justin Haley (5-2, 2.05).