Pelicans manager Mark Johnson said he joked with homer-less slugger Jeimer Candelario that he had less long balls than 160-pound teammate Carlos Penalver.
Candelario flipped the script Saturday.
The third baseman hit two solo home runs – his second coming to jump-start a big fourth inning – and the Myrtle Beach lineup built off his momentum to score six runs in the frame as the Pelicans ran away with a 7-3 victory over Potomac at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
Highlights courtesy of Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
“When you’re down a couple runs and you have a guy that does that, it always picks up the momentum and gets guys back on track,” Johnson said. “For him to do that tonight, he finally got that out of the way. We give him a little flack because Penalver had more home runs than him but he’s finally on the board and did it in good fashion getting two and tying up the game.”
After the fourth-inning home run by Candelario, who also blasted a solo shot in the second inning, Daniel Lockhart and Trey Martin each hit RBI singles to give the Pelicans their first lead of the game, 4-2. Then, Pin-Chieh Chen hit a two-RBI single to highlight the big inning as Myrtle Beach took a 7-2 lead and never looked back.
“It was a great situation because [my home run] made everyone positive,” Candelario said. “I just want to help the team win.”
While Candelario didn’t have a home run prior to Saturday, he’s still been good at the plate as he’s batting .270 with 14 RBIs and 17 runs scored.
He finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs on Saturday.
“I was trying to look for a pitch and put the barrel on it,” Candelario said. “That’s what happens when you get a good swing and have good concentration.”
Other than Candelario, Jacob Rogers was the only Pelican with multiple hits as he went 2-for-4. Myrtle Beach had 10 hits on the night and was 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Meanwhile, starter Paul Blackburn did more than enough to pick up the win as he made a quality start as he allowed two runs on six hits and one walk and struck out five in six innings.
Blackburn gave up two runs in the second, but the Nationals didn’t score again until former Pelican Christopher Bostick hit a solo home run for the second night in a row during the eighth inning.
“He had a good outing,” Johnson said of Blackburn. “Other than that one inning where he gave up two [runs], he was on tonight.”
Potomac’s Jake Johansen received the loss as he allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks over two innings.
Bostick and Drew Ward were the only Nationals with multiple hits as each went 2-for-4. Potomac was 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and left four men stranded.
The Pelicans have already won two against the Nationals and will try to take the four-game series as they host Potomac at 6:05 p.m. Sunday.
“We just need good concentration, work hard in batting practice and look for pitches to hit,” Candelario said. “We aren’t trying to do much – just get a good pitch to hit and go from there.”
Contact MAX McKINNON at 626-0302 or on Twitter @mmckinnonTSN.