Leal’s league-best 10th win a beauty in rout of P-Nats

pel-lealErick Leal went five shutout innings to earn his league-leading 10th win of the season Friday as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans handled the Potomac Nationals 8-1 at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

46 of the 57 pitches Leal (10-3) issued were strikes, including 28 of the first 32. The right-hander scattered four hits and did not walk anyone while matching a season-high with seven strikeouts.

Nationals (40-35, 6-1) starter Austen Williams (0-3) did not fair as well. With the game scoreless in the bottom of the second, Ian Rice walked to begin the inning. Two batters later, Yasiel Balaguert singled Rice to third before David Bote drove him home with a base hit to give Myrtle Beach a 1-0 lead. After an out, Daniel Spingola pulled a single to right to give the Pelicans a 2-0 advantage.

The Birds (40-39, 4-5) continued their attack in the third. Rashad Crawford reached on an infield single before Gleyber Torres doubled off the wall in left-center. The next batter was Rice, who blooped a single into right to plate a pair and give Myrtle Beach a 4-0 lead.

Williams’ struggles carried into the fourth inning as well. The Pelicans strung together five straight hits, highlighted by RBI singles from Crawford and Torres. The Birds would tack on another run with a wild pitch to open the score up to 7-0.

After Mario Sanchez worked two scoreless innings, Wirkin Estevez entered for Potomac in the eighth. With two outs and nobody on, Pelicans right fielder Jeffrey Baez homered to deep left to give Myrtle Beach an 8-0 lead.

All nine Pelicans reached base in the effort, with eight recording base hits. Six Pelicans recorded multiple hits and six drove in runs.

With the same score in the ninth, Potomac’s Raudy Read slugged a homer of his own to cap the scoring at 8-1.

Myrtle Beach got solid relief work from Pedro Araujo and Daury Torrez to finish off the win. Araujo worked two shutout innings in his High-A debut.

The Pelicans will take on Potomac again at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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