Pelicans start strong but fade down stretch vs. P-Nats

pel-alfredoThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans dropped a 7-4 decision to the Potomac Nationals on Wednesday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

Jorge Alfaro strung together two of the five hits for the Pelicans on the night. Alfaro’s first inning homer was one of two extra-base hits on the night against the Nationals pitching staff.

The Pelicans (4-3, 48-27) started the contest with an Alfaro solo home run to left field. The home run was the first time Myrtle Beach had a leadoff home run in the first inning of a game this season. The Pelicans took a 1-0 lead.

Justin Miller and Estarlin Martinez led off the third inning with a double and single off Pelicans starter Sam Wolff. The hits put two Nationals (5-1, 43-22) in scoring position for Tony Renda. Wolff then threw a wild pitch allowing Miller to score from third base. Renda then reached on an error by first baseman Kevin Torres, and Martinez scored on the play. The Nationals took the lead 2-1.

In the top of the sixth, Potomac took advantage with runners in scoring position. Wolff faced Mike McQuillan, who connected on his first home run of the season, scoring Stephen Perez and Randolph Oduber on the play. Potomac led 5-1.

Myrtle Beach cut the deficit to two in the eighth inning. Hanser Alberto doubled to left field, which put runners on second and third. Potomac brought on Richie Mirowski with the bases loaded and one out. Mirowski balked Alfaro home from third base. The Birds added one more run when Mirowski threw a wild pitch past Nick Williams, trimming the lead to 6-4. The Nationals added on an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning.

Gilberto Mendez worked a perfect ninth inning, retiring the Pelicans in order to collect his fifth save of the season, as the Nationals took game one of the three-game series 7-4. Blake Schwartz (1-0) earned the win, striking out two and allowing two hits over five innings. Wolff (7-4) lost the contest in a six-inning outing.

The Pelicans look to tie the series against the Nationals when they play on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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