P-Nats win pitchers’ duel to cool off red-hot Pelicans

pel-41pitchAfter four consecutive games with 10 or more hits, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, suffered a 1-0 shutout defeat at the hands of the Potomac Nationals at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark on Sunday.

Nationals starting pitcher Nick Pivetta, ranked the 11th best prospect in the Nationals’ system by MLBPipeline.com, fired six innings and shut out the Pelicans on three base hits. The right-handed prospect struck out four batters while walking one.

Former Pelicans infielder Christopher Bostick put the Nationals on the board with a sacrifice fly in the third inning. With one out in the frame, centerfielder Narciso Mesa clubbed a triple into the right field corner. Bostick, who hit a home run in each of the first two games, drove a fly ball to left field, but gusting winds kept it in the ballpark and allowed Mesa to score.

Potomac (19-24) remains five and-a-half games behind Carolina League Northern Division leader Wilmington. Myrtle Beach (26-15) maintains its first place lead in the Southern Division, five and-a-half games in front of second-place Salem.

Pivetta retired the first five batters he faced before walking Kevin Brown with two outs in the second.  Jordan Hankins had a pair of base hits to right field out of the ninth spot in the batting order, recording the first Pelicans hit in the third inning.

With an 0-for-3 effort that included a walk, Pin-Chieh Chen had his eight-game hit streak come to a close on Sunday. Carlos Penalver entered the game riding a nine-game hitting streak, but his also ended with an 0-for-3 night at the plate.

Pivetta (3-3) picked up his third win of the year while handing a tough-luck loss to Pelicans starter Tyler Skulina (1-3), who took his third loss. The right-hander also tossed six complete frames, allowing one earned run on four base hits while striking out six batters.

The series against the Nationals wraps up Monday with a 6:05 p.m. ET first pitch. The Pelicans will hand the ball to right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng (1-2, 2.56) while the Nationals start top-ranked prospect Lucas Giolito (1-2, 4.67). The Pelicans will have a day off on Tuesday.

Photo by Larry Kave, Myrtle Beach Pelicans

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