It was just one bad inning, but it was enough for Potomac to lose, 3-0 to Winston-Salem.
Tyler Mapes, who’s trying to battle back from a season lost to injury, started off as you’d expect from a 26-y.o. veteran who features a sinking fastball: five straight retired, four on ground balls.
But then he hit a batter on a slurve that broke late and into the prosterior of Winston-Salem’s Zach Remillard.
The Dash then reeled off three straight singles, two of which the Potomac outfielders were less than quick to the ball and allowed runners to advance from first to third. Up 2-0, it looked like Mapes was going to help himself with a pickoff to second. But with the runner halfway between the bases, Mapes threw a lollipop into centerfield, allowing the third run to score easily.
Mapes was still rattled in the 3rd, giving up two singles, but a caught stealing and a whiff ended the threat. Just one more batter reached (a walk in the 5th) as Mapes notched the quality start with six innings pitched, three runs, five hits, two walks allowed, and four K’s.
If your pitchers give up three, you gotta score four, and the P-Nats bats fell as far short as possible with none, nada, nein, zip, zero, and zilch. Like the Dash, just two leadoff batters reached base all night, but for Potomac it was the same guy: Alec Keller with a double in the 6th, then a single in the 8th. He was erased both times as the P-Nats got just one baserunner to third the whole night, which was also the only time the P-Nats had the tying run at the plate.
With the loss, Potomac lost an opportunity to gain another game on Lynchburg and Salem, but still lead the Carolina League North by 2½ games. Tonight, the P-Nats switch from their oldest pitcher to their youngest as 22-y.o. Sterling Sharp takes the hill against Bernardo Shaw (also 22, but left-handed) for the Dash.