Font pitches Pelicans to first victory since elbow surgery

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans got a third consecutive excellent start from Wilmer Font Wednesday, winning 3-2 at the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark.

Font, making just his seventh start since Tommy John surgery in 2010, went five innings for the first time since his surgery, earning the win while allowing just one run on three hits.  Font did not walk a batter and he struck out five.  It’s the third straight excellent start for Font, who has now allowed five hits and three runs with 17 strikeouts in his last 13.1 innings.  His ERA drops to 4.57.  The win is Font’s first since 2010 with Bakersfield.

Font was not in line for the victory when he left the game, however.  He needed help from the Pelicans offense in the top of the sixth inning.  Font departed in a 1-1 game, the Pelicans getting their first run on a homer by Odubel Herrera, his second, in the fifth.  In the sixth it was Christian Villanueva going yard, a two-run shot and his second, to make it a 3-1 lead.  It’s the first multi-homer game for Myrtle Beach since Herrera and Jake Skole went deep on April 19th at Carolina.

The three runs were enough for the Pelicans, who did run into some late turbulence.  Trayce Thompson hit his second double of the game off reliever Jimmy Reyes in the eighth to make it a 3-2 game.  Closer Randy Henry then came in and walked Brady Shoemaker and Mike Blanke on eight straight pitches to load the bases before getting Michael Early to fly to right and end the threat.  Henry put two more on in the ninth before getting Thompson to strike out on a full count with two men in scoring position.

The win is Font’s first.  The loss is issued to Winston-Salem starter Ryan Buch, despite him throwing a quality start.  Buch allowed three runs in seven innings.  The save was Henry’s fourth.

Myrtle Beach is now 19-18 and looks to take three of four from Winston-Salem Thursday night at 7:00pm.

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