MYRTLE BEACH — In a pitcher’s duel, Pelicans starter Randol Rojas surrendered five runs and Myrtle Beach was unable to mount much offense against Potomac starter Alex Meyer as the Pelicans fell to the Nationals 5-1 on Tuesday at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
“Meyer threw a great game against us,” Pelicans manager Jason Wood said. “We ran into a buzz saw against a good pitcher. He pretty much over-matched our entire lineup and he did a really good job. He’s pretty impressive; one of the best pitchers we’ve seen all year. It was his game from the get-go.”
The 6-foot-9 Meyer picked up the win after a quality start. Meyer allowed one run on two hits and one walk in six innings and struck out four as he goes to 2-0 on the season.
Rojas gave up five runs (four earned) on four hits and three walks in seven innings and struck out four for the loss as he fell to 8-4 on the season.
“I thought he did okay,” Wood said of Rojas. “The only thing concerning was the fact he had a good inning and came back throwing four straight balls and they were able to manage a few runs.
“We had a situation tonight where the one guy we didn’t want to beat us, beat us,” he added. “I think we had a chance to battle back but we didn’t do it.”
The Pelicans loaded the bases with only one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, but couldn’t take advantage. Vinny DiFazio struck out swinging, and Chris Grayson grounded out to end the inning.
“We were right where we wanted to be,” Wood said. “We were at the middle of the lineup out there. I think with two strikes the thought in our head was to be a little bigger than we should have. I think they came out of their gameplan and it hurt us.”
The Pelicans lone run came in the bottom of the fifth inning on a Hanser Alberto groundout that drove in Odubel Herrera to cut Myrtle Beach’s deficit to four.
The Nationals pushed across their first run in the second inning when Jason Martinson scored on a Stephen King groundout that gave Potomac a 1-0 lead. The Nationals added two runs in the top of the fourth inning when Ricky Hague scored on a Kevin Keyes groundout, and King drove in Anthony Rendon on a sacrifice fly to center field to put Potomac up by three runs.
The Nationals scored two more runs in the sixth inning when Martinson drove in Hague and Rendon on a triple that gave Potomac a 5-0 lead.
“Hats off to the job [Potomac] did tonight,” Wood said. “They did a good job on offense and their pitching was outstanding.”
The Pelicans will try to take down the Nationals in game two of the three-game series at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday.
“We have to score runs,” Wood said. “That’s basically it. We have to play good defense and score more runs than they do.”
Contact MAX McKINNON at 444-1767.