Pelicans stay hot at home with fourth straight victory

pel-penlarslideThe home run ball proved the difference on Wednesday night at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, as Trey Martin lifted a three-run blast in the seventh to lead the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to an 8-5 win against the Potomac Nationals. It was Martin’s first home run of the season and his first in 11 months.

After starter Daury Torrez pitched a perfect first inning, the Pelicans (60-43, 19-15 second half) loaded the bases with a pair of soft singles and a walk in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Jason Vosler grounded to second base, but a would-be double play turned into a fielder’s choice and a throwing error that scored a pair of runs. Cael Brockmeyer, who reached on the walk, moved to third base on the play, and with Victor Caratini batting, he scored on a wild pitch to give the Pelicans a 3-0 lead.

Carlos Penalver tacked on another run in the fourth with an RBI triple into the right-center field gap, and the next batter, Daniel Lockhart, gave the Birds a 5-0 lead on a sacrifice fly to right field.

Potomac (48-54, 15-17 second half) managed four hits off of Torrez through his six innings of work, and the Nationals got to the right-hander in the fifth. A leadoff infield single brought catcher Zach Wright to the plate, and he lined an RBI triple into the right-field corner to break up the shutout. The next batter, second baseman Khayyan Norfork, knocked in another run on a ground out to shortstop, shaving the Pelicans’ lead to 5-2.

Martin’s blast came with one out in the home half of the seventh. A three-run shot that put the Pelicans ahead 8-2. It was his first longball since August 29, 2014, when he hit a solo homer at Class-A Cedar Rapids (Minnesota Twins). The 22-year-old outfielder had six extra base hits combined for the season before the month of July, but in his last 25 games, he has eight extra-base knocks this month alone.

His homer would prove crucial, as the Nationals responded with three runs in the next half inning. Against James Pugliese on the hill, Potomac scored on a pair of RBI singles and a run-scoring double. With the Birds still leading 8-5, James Farris took over on the mound and loaded the bases by surrendering a single to the first batter he faced, but he ended the threat by inducing a ground out to third.

In the ninth, Jasvir Rakkar fired a perfect inning to seal his twelfth save of the year in support of Torrez (8-6) who picked up the win.

Potomac left-hander Matthew Spann (0-6) took the loss and is still in search of his first win of the year. In 4 2/3 innings of work, Spann surrendered five runs, three earned, on eight hits while also walking three and striking out four.

The Pelicans wrap up their six-game homestand with the series finale against the Potomac Nationals on Thursday. The first pitch from TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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