Vosler makes a habit out of HRs as Pelicans top P-Nats

pel-vosler44On Monday, Jason Vosler supercharged the Pelicans’ offense with his first Carolina League home run of the season. On Tuesday night, he did it twice more, sending the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to a 4-3 win over the Potomac Nationals at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

The power surge backed starter Jonathan Martinez, who allowed just three hits and pitched a career-high eight shutout innings against the Nationals.

Potomac (48-53, 15-16 second half) had not put a runner past first base through the first eight innings on Tuesday, but that all changed in the top of the ninth. With the Pelicans leading 4-0 heading into the frame, reliever Fernando Cruz took over for Martinez and retired the first two batters he faced on back-to-back ground outs. However the Nationals loaded the bases with an infield single, a wild pitch, and back-to-back walks, forcing a pitching change in the process. Side-winding right-hander David Berg took over for Cruz and was greeted by consecutive run-scoring singles to draw the Nationals to within a run, but with the tying man at third base, Berg stopped the bleeding with a strikeout of left fielder Estarlin Martinez to end the ballgame.

The four runs of support were enough for Martinez (7-2), who just one start after allowing a career-high eight earned runs to Lynchburg in his last outing on July 22, righted the ship and fired a career-best eight shutout frames to pick up the win on Tuesday. In four of the eight innings, the right-hander retired the side in order, and he did not walk a batter all night. He hit a man to lead off the third, but outside of the three hits allowed, it was the only other man he put on base.

The Pelicans (59-43, 18-15 second half) opened the scoring in the home half of the second inning when Vosler launched his second home run in as many days to give the Birds a 1-0 lead. Two innings later, with Kevin Brown aboard by way of a leadoff single, Trey Martin lined an RBI single to right field for a 2-0 Pelicans advantage.

Later in the fifth, with two outs and Brown on first base, Vosler put Myrtle Beach in front 4-0 with his second longball of the game, a line shot over the right-center field fence. In his second professional year, it was the first two-homer game of the 21-year-old’s career.

With only 1/3 of an inning in the book, Berg collected his second save of the season. The two hits he allowed both drove in runs that were charged to Cruz, who finished with 2/3 innings and three runs, all earned, while walking two and surrendering one hit.

Potomac’s Austen Williams (1-3) was saddled with the loss after allowing four runs, all earned, on seven hits across five innings on the hill.

With an 0-for-3 performance at the plate on Tuesday, Pelicans left fielder Pin-Chieh Chen’s career-high 14-game hit-streak came to a close as well.

The Pelicans continue their three-game set against the Potomac Nationals on Wednesday with the first pitch from TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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