PENSACOLA, Fla. - It was not the prettiest game that the Shreveport-Bossier Captains played this season, with nine men left on base, three errors, two double plays hit into, and an early four-run lead disappearing. But as the cliché goes, a win is a win, and the Captains found a way to bring that about Tuesday night, with a few clutch hits, defensive plays and pitches, beating the Pensacola Pelicans 8-5 at Pelican Park to extend their winning streak to a franchise-record tying nine games.
Uriak Marquez was the hitting star of the night for Shreveport-Bossier (24-13), getting four RBIs on three hits to pace the offensive attack, which scored more than five runs for just the third time on the winning streak.
Marquez, who entered the game hitting .326 with runners in scoring position on the year, got his first chance with a runner at second and two outs in the first, with Shreveport-Bossier already leading 3-0 on a wild pitch, an RBI single by Andres Rodriguez and an RBI groundout by Bryan Frichter. Marquez hooked a pitch from Dane De Valk to right to make it 4-0.
Pensacola (15-22) came back off rookie Cody Kelley in the second, though, getting a two-out rally starting with a double to right-center by Adolfo Gonzalez. Chase Porch then reached on an infield single, although he was caught off the bag when Kelley made a fake-to-third, throw-to-first move. However, Kelley's throw bounced low and went by Rodriguez at first, allowing a run to score and sending Porch to second. Kyle Brown then singled to left to make it 4-2 Captains.
De Valk, who was much better in his final five innings after the rocky first, allowed one other Captains run, coming in the fourth. After a leadoff walk to Joe Urtuzuastegui, Jovanny Rosario singled and stole second. Pensacola elected to intentionally walk Christopher Garcia, and Palmer Karr came through with a sacrifice fly to right to give the Captains a three-run lead.
Kelley pitched through the third, fourth and fifth innings fairly economically, but gave up two hits to start the sixth and was lifted for Marcus Salmon (1-0). Marcos Rodriguez bunted the runners over, and Gonzalez lined out to second, but Porch, who hit his first home run of the season off Salmon in Monday's game, homered on the first pitch of this at-bat to tie the game at five.
Undeterred, the Captains came right back to take the lead for good against Seth Overbey (0-1), making his season debut. The righty walked Garcia to start the seventh, although Karr erased him with a double play. Rodriguez then drew a walk, Frichter singled through the right side, and Marquez hit a two-strike pitch to the track in right-center to score both of them and return the lead to Shreveport-Bossier.
Cody Railsback and Jameson Maj each survived a pair of baserunners in an inning of work after that, and after the Captains tacked on another run in the ninth on Marquez's third hit of the game, Hector Carrasco got three easy ground balls to pick up his fifth save of the season.
Notes: The Shreveport Sports won nine games in a row twice, from May 27-June 5 in 2003 in the Central League, and from August 7-18 in 2006 in the first year of the American Association…Garcia walked four times, including twice intentionally, both one shy of the league record…Eight of the nine Pelicans starters had hits…Rodriguez and Sabatella each also had three hits for Shreveport-Bossier…Carrasco has pitched in seven of eight games, including four in a row, since joining the Captains. Maj has also pitched in each of the last four games.
(Courtesy: Shreveport-Bossier Captains)