Paula, Hodges flex muscle, help Pelicans snap drought

Adonis Paula matched a career-high with four hits while Jesse Hodges’ solo home run home run Saturday helped the Myrtle Beach Pelicans snap a five-game losing streak with an 8-3 victory over the Carolina Mudcats from TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

Hodges kicked off the scoring for Myrtle Beach (60-58, 17-31), as he launched a solo home run leading off the second inning against Carolina (57-60, 21-28) Trey Supak (3-4). With two men retired in the frame, Robert Garcia ripped a base hit into right field before stealing second base for his 15th stolen base of the season. Paula kept the rally going with an RBI single to center field, scoring Garcia to give the Pelicans a 2-0 lead in the second inning.

Max McDowell and Wendell Rijo led off the top of the third inning with back-to-back base hits for the Mudcats before both runners advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Jose Cuas. A Trent Clark sacrifice fly got Carolina on the board.

Myrtle Beach answered the Muddies immediately as Roberto Caro led off the frame with a walk before advancing into scoring position with a stolen base. Zack Short laced a line drive to left field, bringing home Caro to extend the Pelicans’ lead to 3-1.

With two men retired in the sixth, Vimael Machin laced a single to left field. Eddy Martinez then doubled him in. Garcia continued the rally by walking to set up an RBI single from Paula, plating Martinez and allowing Garcia to advance to third. With the score 5-1, Garcia scored the third run of the frame, as he advanced home on a wild pitch.

In the seventh, Short, who reached base three times, led off the frame with a walk. With one out in the frame, Short stole second base before advancing to third on a single from Trent Giambrone. With runners on the corners, Short scored on the second wild pitch from Mudcats reliever Conor Harbor to extend the Birds’ lead to 7-1.

Clark kicked off the top of the eighth with a single to left field before scoring with one out on an error that allowed Caleb Whalen to reach second base. Lucas Erceg drove home the second run of the frame with a base hit to right field, scoring Whalen and making the score 7-3.

Myrtle Beach scored the final run of the contest in the eighth. Paula laced a two-out double to left field before scoring on a Caro single to center.

Duncan Robinson (3-3) was terrific for the Birds, as the right-hander tossed five innings and allowed just one run while fanning five batters. He made it through five frames on just 58 pitches.

Myrtle Beach and Carolina will play the rubber match of their three-game set on Sunday at 6:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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