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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Stung in 12: Cutter Dykstra dunked a two-out, RBI single into shallow right field in the top of the 12th inning, propelling the Potomac Nationals to a 3-2 victory over the Salem Red Sox on Tuesday in front of 1,208 at Salem Memorial Ballpark.
Where did that come from? Sox reliever Matty Ott retired the first two hitters quickly in the 12th before Jason Martinson started the Potomac rally with a single to center. Kevin Keyes hit a nubber toward third, leaving a charging Garin Cecchini with no play.
That put runners on first and second for Dykstra, the son of three-time all-star outfielder Lenny Dykstra.
Dykstra served the ball into right for the game-winner – the third hit of the game for the former second round draft pick.
Powerful ’Pens: Sox starter Miguel Pena, making his home debut, didn’t have his typical stellar command but battled through four innings, allowing just one run.
His high pitch count turned things over to the bullpen, which was outstanding. Michael McCarthy, Nate Striz and Ott combined to yield just one run over the next seven innings.
Potomac relievers Matthew Grace and Richie Mirowski were even better. They combined to hold Salem (4-7) hitless over the final five frames.
Pickin’ and Grinnin’: Nationals starter Robbie Ray allowed just one run over six strong innings, helping himself tremendously with his ability to hold runners.
Two Sox players were picked off first base by the southpaw. Cecchini, trying to advance after a ball skipped away from the catcher, was saddled with his fourth caught stealing in seven attempts. He was nabbed just six times in 57 tries at Greenville last year.
Bats still lacking: Potomac (5-6) outhit Salem 14-5, with the Sox once again struggling at the plate. Keury De La Cruz and Jose Garcia had two hits apiece for the Sox. Blake Swihart’s fourth inning triple was the team’s only extra-base hit.
Loose ends: A moment of silence was observed before the game to honor victims of the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007…Salem’s Sean Coyle missed his second straight game with an injured thumb but is expected to return soon…Striz lowered his ERA to 1.35.
On deck: Morning baseball comes to the valley for the first time this season, as the Nationals and Red Sox complete their three-game series at 11 a.m. today at Salem Memorial Ballpark. Salem LHP Henry Owens (0-0, 1.80) opposes Potomac RHP Taylor Jordan (0-0, 1.50).
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