Martinez carries Pelicans in pitchers’ duel with P-Nats

pel-martinezCarolina League All-Star right-hander Jonathan Martinez fired seven scoreless innings en-route to a 1-0 shutout win for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans over the Potomac Nationals on Thursday night at Pfitzner Stadium.

Martinez allowed just four baserunners on the night and struck out four, including big league rehabber Jayson Werth.

The one Pelicans run in the fourth inning was enough for the Pelicans pitchers. Martinez scattered four hits in four different innings and allowed just two men into scoring position on the night.

Werth, playing in his first rehab game mending a fractured wrist, singled on a two-strike pitch in the first inning. He advanced to second on a fielder’s choice lined off Martinez but was stranded when the Pelicans starter got Spencer Kieboom to pop out to end the frame.

The next time a man reached second was in Martinez’s final inning, the seventh. Drew Ward laced a one-out double to right center field. He advanced to third on a deep flyout to right field, but once again, Martinez stranded the runner, this time striking out Grant DeBruin to end the threat and close out his night.

The All-Star hurler tossed seven innings, allowing no runs on four hits, three singles and a double, did not walk a batter, and fanned four, picking up the win.

Myrtle Beach (51-39, 10-11 second half) brought in their only run, an unearned marker, in the fourth inning. The Pelicans were retired in order over the first eight batters against Austen Williams in his second High-A start, but Jeimer Candelario and Jacob Rogers posted back-to-back singles to open the fourth inning. A passed ball by Kieboom moved them into scoring position, and Victor Caratini brought in Candelario with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Justin Thomas and Tyler Mapes shut out the Pelicans over the final four innings, but David Berg and Michael Heesch completed the shutout with a scoreless inning apiece from the Pelicans bullpen, which has fired 20 consecutive scoreless innings.

Williams (1-1) suffered the loss, and Heesch picked up his third save.

The Pelicans continue the series on Friday with a chance to capture a series win. First pitch from Pfitzner Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave, MB Pelicans

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