Game Recap 6/28: McFarland Wins Again
Kinston blasted three early home runs, then leaned on closer Cory Burns to hold on for a 6-5 win over Potomac Tuesday night in Kinston. With the win, Kinston takes the series from the Nationals. T.J. McFarland gathered his Carolina League leading eighth win of the season , as Burns picked up his league leading 13th save.
The K-Tribe exploded out of the gate, pounding Potomac starter Marcos Frias in the first inning. Lucas Montero led off with a single to right field and Bo Greenwell smoked a double down the left field line to score Montero. The next batter, Abner Abreu blasted a two-run shot to left, his third of the season, to give Kinston a 3-0 lead. Chris Kersten then led off the second inning with a towering home run to left field, his third of the year to make it 4-0.
Kinston continued their power surge in the third inning. Kyle Bellows reached on an infield single and then Doug Pickens cracked a two-run homer to left, his fourth of the season to put Kinston on top 6-2. The three K-Tribe home runs were the second-most put up by the Indians in a game this season; they had six homers in a 15-2 win on April 25 against Myrtle Beach.
Frias (2-3) was pulled after five innings, in which he surrendered six runs on eight hits, walked three and struck out four. It was his first start for the Nationals since going on the disabled list on May 21 with shoulder tightness.
Potomac then rallied against Kinston starter T.J. McFarland. The Carolina League All-Star, pitching his first game since last Tuesday's All-Star game in Myrtle Beach, got into a jam in the fifth inning after a hit and an error. Steve Lombardozzi hit an RBI single to right for Potomac's first run. After a walk loaded the bases, McFarland hit Mike Burgess with a pitch to cut the lead to 6-2. He was able to get out of the jam without any further damage.
In six innings, McFarland (8-2) allowed two runs, one earned, on seven hits, walked three and struck out one. His Carolina League-leading ERA dropped to 1.94. The outing was also good enough to notch his Carolina League leading eighth win of the season.
The P-Nats tightened the game with a three-run seventh inning against Kinston reliever David Roberts. Lombardozzi knocked a solo homer to right and Tyler Moore roped a two-run double to right to cut the Indians lead to 6-5. Roberts got the first two outs of the eighth inning, then allowed a single and a walk to put the tying run in scoring position. Enter Burns who struck out Derek Norris to end the inning. In the top of the ninth, a lead-off walk to Burgess was followed by a Nick Moresi pop out and Tyler Moore striking out looking. After a Brian Peacock single pushed Burgess to third base, Burns struck out Robby Jacobson looking to end the game.
The K-Tribe will look to sweep the series Tuesday night at Historic Grainger Stadium. Joey Mahalic (3-1, 3.40) will take the mound for Kinston.
Aeros Fall Again, Lose 7-3 to Richmond
It was a record-setting night at Huntington Park, as 12,227 fans walked through the gates for Dime-a-Dog Night, setting a new attendance record by four people. The record crowd watched two rallies late in the game, but the Gwinnett Braves had the last laugh, defeating the Columbus Clippers, 4-3.
Clint Sammons came up with the bases loaded and nobody out in the ninth against reliever, Vinnie Pestano and plated two runs on a fielder's choice. Shortstop, Brian Bixler was unable to complete the double play on Sammons' ground ball as Josh Anderson scored the tying run and Joe Thurston scored the winning run.
Jared Goedert hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning off of reliever, Mariano Gomez, barely clearing the wall in left field giving the Clippers a momentary, 3-2 lead. Goedert had a chance to deliver again in the ninth with the bases loaded, but struck out looking against reliever, Craig Kimbrel to end the game.
The late-inning scoring began when Freddie Freeman delivered a solo home run in the top half of the eighth off of Clippers' starter, Josh Tomlin, giving the Braves a 2-1 lead. Tomlin, in a no decision, went