Pelicans hold off Nationals, snap five-game losing skid

Eddy Martinez homered and Zack Short reached base four times Saturday to back 5.2 shutout frames from Duncan Robinson as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the Potomac Nationals at Pfitzner Stadium.

Potomac (45-58, 12-21) starter Joan Baez, who issued seven free passes in 3.2 innings, walked both Jesse Hodges and Vimael Machin to begin a scoreless second frame. Two batters later, Tyler Alamo , who had three hits, singled to load the bases. Robert Garcia then lifted a sacrifice fly to center to give Myrtle Beach (56-48, 13-21) a 1-0 lead.

Baez walked Short, who tied a career-high with three bases on balls, to start the third. An error advanced Short to second before Baez balked him to third. After a strikeout, a Trent Giambrone RBI groundout plated Short to extend the Pelicans’ advantage to 2-0.

Martinez blasted his second homer in as many games to lead off the fourth inning, widening the Birds lead to 3-0.

In the fifth, Robinson (2-2) yielded a leadoff double to Ian Sagdal before walking both David Masters and Edwin Lora to load the bases. However, the right-hander struck out Rhett Wiseman before inducing a 4-6-3 double play, one of four Myrtle Beach turned, to get out of the jam unscathed. Robinson scattered four hits and three walks in 5.2 frames to earn the win.

The score was still 3-0 in the seventh when Giambrone singled to lead off. Two batters later, he scored from first on Machin’s double into the right field corner. Two batters after that, Alamo singled in Machin to push the Birds lead to 5-0.

However, Potomac finally came charging back. Sagdal walked to begin the bottom of the seventh before Masters doubled him in for the Nationals’ first run. Lora changed places with Masters with an RBI double of his own. Wiseman singled to put runners on the corners. Dale Carey then doubled in a run before a Daniel Johnson RBI single cut the Pelicans lead to 5-4.

With runners on the corners and nobody out, Jack Sundberg hit a ground ball back to the mound. Myrtle Beach reliever Casey Bloomquist fielded and saw Carey too far off third. When combined with another baserunning miscue by Johnson, the Birds turned a 1-2-5-6 double play for the first two outs. Bloomquist then got Austin Davidson to ground out to escape the seventh with the lead.

Pedro Araujo worked the final two frames to pick up his seventh save of the season, helping manager Buddy Bailey earn his 1,986th career win, tying him for 12th all-time in Minor League Baseball history.

The Pelicans and Nationals wrap up their four-game series with Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. doubleheader.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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