Senators 6, Rock Cats 1
Nathan Karns’ complete-game, two-hitter with 13 strikeouts against Altoona two weeks ago was fun to watch. It was a guy literally firing on all cylinders and the Curve batters were merely pawns in his game. It was the type of performance that gets him accolades in the Eastern League and attention by Nationals’ fans. But Thursday morning’s outing against the New Britain Rock Cats is one that offers much more hope for Karns’ success down the road.
Clearly Karns didn’t have his best control and was struggling to get through the early innings unscathed. But that’s when a pitcher shows his mettle and Karns kept plugging away until he found his rhythm and command, at one point setting down seven straight batters after the Senators took the lead. As a starter, you’re not going to leave the bullpen every night with your best stuff and it’s then when you really earn your paycheck and develop as a pitcher.
It also doesn’t hurt when you get offensive support like Karns did on Thursday as the Senators broke out the bats in the series finale to the tune of a season-high 13 hits to defeat New Britain 6-1. Leading the charge was Jerad Head (3-5, 2 RBI, 1 R), Kris Watts (2-4, 2 RBI, 1 R), Destin Hood (2-3, 2 R), and Josh Johnson (1-5, 2 RBI).
Player of the Game: Kris Watts
From the Windup
• The victory secured a winning road trip as the Senators went 4-3 over the seven games in Bowie and New Britain.
• Brian Goodwin was ejected by home plate umpire Ramon De Jesus after striking out in the top of the seventh inning.
• The four runs the Senators scored in the fifth inning broke a string of 14 straight scoreless frames.
• Harrisburg held Josmil Pinto hitless for the first time against them this season. Prior to today’s 0-for-4 performance, Pinto was hitting .423 while slugging .846 against the Senators staff. To put those numbers in comparison, the Rock Cats catcher/DH is only batting .297 and slugging .446 against the rest of the Eastern League.
• Jerad Head and Justin Bloxom teamed up for a great series as a potent heart of the Senators order. Head hit .500 with five runs batted and Bloxom hit .438 while driving in four and both hit a home run.