WOODBRIDGE, VA- The Carolina Mudcats (0-1, 22-49) were unable to get their bats going to start the second half of the season as they dropped a game to the Potomac Nationals (1-0, 43-27) by a final score of 5-1 on Friday night.
Right fielder Jordan Smith accounted for the Mudcats only run with a solo home run in the top of the second inning. Smith hit his second homer of the year.
The Nationals took advantage of a Mudcat error to tie the game in the fourth. Center fielder Michael Taylor led off the inning and advanced to third when first baseman Jerrud Sabourin made his sixth error of the year. A wild pitch from Mudcats’ starter Shawn Morimando scored Taylor.
Potomac took the lead and knocked out Morimando from the game in the sixth. Second baseman Adrian Sanchez singled home a run to take a 2-1 lead. Manager Dave Wallace hooked Morimando and brought in lefty Francisco Jimenez with runners on the corners and one out.
Jimenez loaded the bases with a two-out walk before he hit designated hitter Randolph Oduber with a pitch to plate another run. Left fielder Billy Burns brought home another run on a bunt single to third base. When the inning ended, Potomac held a 4-1 lead.
Morimando was hung with his seventh loss after allowing three earned runs (four runs) on five hits in five and one-third innings. He walked two and struck out two. Jimenez gave up one hit, one walk, and a hit batter in two-thirds of an inning.
The Nationals plated another run in the seventh off of reliever Rob Nixon. First baseman Kevin Keyes grounded into a double play to score the run.
Nationals’ starter Taylor Hill shut down the Mudcats over seven innings. He gave up one run on five hits. Richie Murowski followed with two innings of one-hit ball.
Nixon surrendered one run on three hits in his two innings of relief.
Centerfielder Tyler Naquin accounted for half of the Mudcats offense with three hits. Smith had two while shortstop Francisco Lindor added a double.
The Mudcats and Nationals will continue their three-game series on Saturday night with a 6:35 start from Pfitzner Stadium. RHP Michael Peoples (0-2, 6.35) will toe the rubber for Carolina while RHP Ivan Pineyro (0-0, 0.00) will make his Carolina League debut.