Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon/MiLB.com
The magic number for minor league pitching just seems to be seven. Early in the season, most starters just go five innings, limited by a pitch count. After a few starts, they have trouble finishing the sixth, frequently because they haven't learned to be efficient.
But when they go seven innings, it's usually a sign that things are clicking. Last night, Brad Peacock did just that and broke a nine-start winless streak with a 2-1 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
For two innings, Peacock even flirted with a no-no again until Cole Miles led off the third with a clean single to center. Miles would come around to score four batters later when first-baseman Mike Jones (not to be confused with shortstop Mycal Jones) repeated the feat with two outs.
The three-hit inning would be the Pelicans' only true rally against Peacock, who retired the leadoff batter five times in seven innings. After another leadoff single in the fourth, by former Nat farmhand Dan Nelson no less, Peacock would retire 12 straight batters to finish the game.
While not using his changeup as much as his previous start, Peacock still managed to strike out eight, raising his season total to Carolina League-leading 101.
Offensively, the P-Nats were as moribund as ever with just six hits on the night. A solo home run from Robby Jacobsen in the 6th spared Peacock from a possible loss and another from Tyler Moore in the 7th was enough to give him the win.
Cory VanAllen took the mound in the 8th and surrendered a walk and an infield single between a flyout and popup to put runners on the corners with two outs for Dan Leatherman, who induced a popup to end the second Myrtle Beach threat, then struck out the side in the 9th.
With the win, Potomac takes first place for the first time this season (not impressive, but it's true) with lefty Evan Bronson matching up against righty Arodys Vizcaino.