Potomac scored not once, but twice before Wilmington responded, confusing fans at the Pfitz as they cruised to a 5-1 win.
OK, fine. It helped that Luis Reyes has figured out the Blue Rocks*, beating them for the second time after getting manhandled 12 days ago. The 21-year-old Dominican struck out eight over five and 2/3rds innings while giving up the lone run on five hits and three walks.
* With a little help with a lopsided schedule that has had the two teams play 13 times in 22 days thus far.
Perhaps with a little better defense – a “wild pitch” and an error extended the 2nd by two batters and at least 10 pitches – Reyes might have gone six scoreless and one or two fewer walks.
As the lede suggests, the P-Nats have often gone up to the plate in the bottom of the first in the hole. While the sample size is small, even Stevie Wonder can see that with (now) a 12-0 record when scoring first and a 1-8 record when they don’t, keeping the opponent off the board early is the key to winning at home, which they’ve done twice now in the past three games after once in the previous seven.
Dale Carey and David Masters teamed up for the first run with the a double and a single respectively in the 2nd. In the 3rd, Andrew Stevenson drew his second walk and broke up a double play ball, which allowed Osvaldo Abreu to reach. The Potomac shortstop swiped two bags and scored on Raudy Read’s RBI single.
The Blue Rocks chased Reyes with a single, walk, and an RBI double that cut the lead to 2-1 before Mario Sanchez put out the fire in the 6th with a popup that stranded the tying and go-ahead runs at second and third.
Narciso Mesa, who kept the lead intact with a strong relay throw in the top of the 6th, walked with one out in the 7th and scored along with Stevenson on Abreu’s two-run single to extend the lead to 4-1. Bryan Mejia closed out the scoring with one-out triple and came home on a wild pitch.
Sanchez wobbled through the 7th and gave way to R.C. Orlan in the 8th. The southpaw closed out the game with two strong innings, fanning two and working around a single, to earn his second save.
The series continues tonight with (yet another) rematch of Phillips Valdez (3-1, 5.40) vs. Zach Lovvorn (0-4, 4.50).