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Heralded prospect Vizcaino makes Pelicans debut

It wasn't exactly Strasburg-mania, but these weren't the Washington Nationals either.

On the same night the Nats' rookie sensation made his third big-league start, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans unveiled highly rated pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino on Friday night.

The 19-year-old right-hander was greeted by a rain delay, a small crowd and an unwelcoming bunch of Frederick Keys hitters in his BB&T Coastal Field debut.

Vizcaino was not involved in the decision after exiting in the fifth inning with the game tied at 4. He was roughed up in the first two innings by the Keys, who seemed unfazed by his mid-90 mph fastballs or his much-ballyhooed breaking ball.

The Pelicans went on to lose 8-6.

Vizcaino, who came into the Braves' organization in a trade with the Yankees that sent Javier Vazquez back to the Bronx, was rated the No. 3 pitching prospect with both organizations. The Yankees said his curveball was second only to A.J. Burnett.

The Braves quickly moved him up the ladder after posting a 9-3 record and 2.34 ERA at Rome. Vizcaino was called up with a 331/3-inning scoreless streak and an unheard of 33 strikeouts to zero walks during his tenure with the low-A club.

The Keys must not have read the scouting report as Vizcaino walked the first batter he faced. After striking out the second batter with a 96 mph heater, he gave up an RBI single to Joe Mahoney, who jumped on a hanging curve. So did Xavier Avery, who crushed a two-run homer to right field in the second inning.

Vizcaino finally settled down in the third and got some run support from his new teammates. Calvin Culver doubled and scored on L.V. Ware's sacrifice fly in the third and Dan Nelson had an RBI single in the fourth. Nelson then scored when Samuel Sime launched one over the left field wall for the Pelicans' first lead of the night at 4-3.

Vizcaino lost his shot at the decision, however, after Sime caught Jacob Julius in the run down between second and third and allowed Kyle Hudson to score the tying run. Vizcaino hit the next batter and was removed after 4 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and four runs (two unearned) while striking out four and walking two.

After Angelo Paulino relieved Vizcaino to get the final out of the fifth, misfortune struck again in the sixth. With two outs and the bases empty, the Keys loaded them up against Paulino and retook the lead when Hudson hit a slow roller to Mychel Jones, who mishandled the ball and allowed the go-ahead run to score. The Keys added two more in the inning for a 7-4 lead.