Aaron Thompson has been a frustrating pitcher to watch this season. Listening to his start tonight, I found him to be a guy who seemed to lack an out pitch and was inconsistent with command. Early on he pitched around walks and three ball counts. Altoona managed to only score after a leadoff double by third basemen Josh Harrison, followed by a long flyout and a groundout RBI to Marrero, who wisely made the safe play and decided to accept the sure out at first. By the fourth inning, however, Thompson had racked up a high pitch count and the walks hurt him. Two leadoff walks helped lead to two more earned fourth inning runs, and his high pitch count forced manager Randy Knorr to call to the bullpen after Thompson finished the fourth down 3-1.
Offensively, Harrisburg was fortunate that the Curve seemed embarrassed by their lead and decided to help get Thompson off the hook. The Senators took advantage of a misplayed Marrero double play grounder to score an unearned run in the first. After a Stephen Lombardozzi double to leadoff the fifth, Chris Marrero drove him in on a clutch two out bloop single. Michael Burgess' grounder to third should have ended the inning, but an error by Josh Harrison allowed Burgess to reach base and Marrero to advance to third. Marrero scored from third on starter Jeff Locke's wild pitch, and the game was tied 3-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth for Adrian Alaniz to try to win the game in relief.
Adrian Alaniz, a recent callup from Potomac who had started successfully down the stretch, was hit hard immediately. He gave up three runs, allowed a single, allowed two doubles, and hit a batter to give up three runs. Harrisburg could only score one run in the seventh off of a Josh Johnson leadoff triple and Jesus Valdez RBI groundout before a Senators 6-4 loss to Altoona.
Potomac summary and player performances after the jump:
Potomac found itself down Game 2 against Frederick as well. Trevor Holder gave up a ground rule double and a single in the second to lead to Frederick's first run, but minimized the damage with an inning ending double play. Bill Rhinehart hit a solo shot to tie up the game in the top of the fourth, but Holder allowed three unearned runs in the bottom of the frame with an error by third baseman Robert Jacobsen helping the Keys turn three hits into the three unearned runs.
Potomac, however, immediately bounced back in the top of the fifth. The bottom of the order ignited the rally this time. Walton leadoff with a single, and an RBI triple from Robert Jacobsen helped immediately atone for his error in the bottom of the fourth. Sean Nicol tripled in Jacobsen and a Chris Curran sacrifice fly tied the game up at 4-4 before Holder pitched a scoreless fifth to end his night.
Potomac got outstanding relief. Rob Wort pitched a scoreless sixth. The bottom of the order again came up strong in getting the much needed go ahead run. Jacobsen and Nicol singled before Chris Curran hit an RBI double to score Jacobsen. Potomac had the lead they needed, and Zach Dials was tonight's pitching star. He held down Frederick for the final three innings on his way to well earned save in the P-Nats 5-4 victory over Frederick.
- Aaron Thompson, LSP: 4IP, 4H, 3ER, 3BB, 4K, picked off runner
- Adrian Alaniz, RRP: (L, 0-1) 1IP, 3H, 3ER, 0BB, 0K
- Brad Peacock, RSP: 2IP, BB, 3K
Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B: 1-5, R, 2B, fielding error
- Josh Johnson, SS: 2-3, 2R, 2B, 3B, 2BB
- Jesus Valdez, LF: 1-4, RBI, BB
Chris Marrero, 1B: 2-5, R, RBI, K, pickoff error
- Michael Burgess, RF: 0-4, BB, 2K
- Aaron Thompson, P: 1-2
High A Potomac:
- Trevor Holder, RSP: 5IP, 6H, 4R, 1ER, BB, 4K
- Rob Wort, RRP: (W, 1-0) 1IP, 0R, 0H, 1BB, 0K
- Zach Dials, RRP: (S, 1) 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
Derek Norris, C: 0-3, 2BB, 2K, picked off first, 1 stolen base allowed
- Bill Rhinehart, RF: 1-5, R, RBI, HR, K
- Tyler Moore, 1B: 1-4, 0BB, 2K
- Robert Jacobsen, 3B: 4-4, 2R, RBI, 3B, fielding error
- Sean Nicol, SS: 2-3, R, RBI, 3B, sacrifice bunt
- Chris Curran, 2B: 2-3, 2RBI, 2B, SF