Pelicans circle P-Nats in 7-2 win

potomac nationalsIn series Game Two amid a best-of-four set, the Potomac Nationals (21-29 Overall, 12-14 Home) suffered their second straight loss to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (31-16 Overall, 20-6 Road) on a very breezy Sunday afternoon at Pfitzner Stadium, a 7-2 defeat.

Nationals starter, RHP Nick Pivetta (3-4) surrendered a career-high three home runs and 10 hits, a season-high total, in just 4.1 innings which registered as his second-shortest outing of the 2015 season.

Pivetta suffered his fourth loss this year after allowing six earned runs (most in any one appearance in ’15) and hitting one batter, walking four, and fanning only a duo.

Potomac narrowly got on the scoreboard first in the opening frame with a double to the left field corner sprayed by SS Stephen Perez and a single the other way from CF Isaac Ballou. On Ballou’s one-base knock Myrtle Beach LF Chesny Young fielded the liner and threw a lazer beam to home plate where Pelicans C Ben Carhart applied the tag on the sliding Perez.

The Pelicans got the scoring started in the 2nd inning using a bases-loaded two-run single off the bat of RF Kevin Brown grounded up the middle into center field.

The P-Nats returned fire with a two-run bomb over the right field foul pole cranked by C Craig Manuel. This four-bagger was Manuel’s first career homer as a member of the Potomac Nationals to tie the affair at 2-2.

Pelicans starting pitcher, RHP Tyler Skulina improved his Carolina League record to (2-3) as the winning pitcher. Skulina went 6.0 frames and allowed two earned runs on four hits including the Manuel home run while walking two and striking out three.

The Pelicans busted out for three runs to break the 2-2 stalemate in the 4th thanks to a wind-aided solo home run from 2B Daniel Lockhart to right field and a two-run deep fly socked by 3B Jeimer Candelario to make it a 5-2 contest. Lockhart collected his 2nd clout and Candelario has now hit all of his four home runs off Potomac pitching.

The last run off Pivetta for the birds came to the plate in the 5th via another solo homer to dead center field off the batter’s eye from Pelicans 1B Jacob Rogers. The geyser was Rogers’ team-best 6th home run blast and it gave the visiting club a 6-2 advantage.

The only run against Potomac LHP Justin Thomas scored in the 6th stanza on a triple by Young to right-center field and a subsequent RBI sacrifice fly by Candelario as part of his three-RBI game.

Thomas was effective out of the bullpen through 4.2 innings as the southpaw allowed just that one earned run on one hit to complement one walk and two strikeouts on his line.

Pelicans RHP Fernando Cruz (SV 1) earned a save in his first career Carolina League appearance. Cruz dealt 3.0 scoreless innings, allowed three hits, walked no one, and fanned a trio of P-Nats to close out the game.

Cruz qualified for the save because he finished the game with at least 3.0 frames under his belt.

Series Game Three will start with a 7:05pm first pitch tomorrow night from the Washington Nationals unanimous number one overall prospect, RHP Lucas Giolito (1-3, 4.84). Giolito guns for his second win for the P-Nats against Myrtle Beach RHP Jen-Ho Tseng (2-2, 4.26).

The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will carry live coverage of the game beginning with the “P-Nats Lead-Off Show” at 6:50pm before the live play-by-play at 7:05pm. P-Nats Gameday Audio on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network is accessible at www.potomacnationals.com or with the TuneIn Radio App.

Monday night at The Pfitz is Dollar Monday presented by: The Washington Post as hot dogs and general admission tickets are just $1 at the Potomac Nationals Ticket Office.

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