Pelicans fall two outs short of no-hitter

Birds give up first hit in ninth, still beat P-Nats 3-0

Miguel De Los Santos tossed seven hitless innings on Saturday. (Robert Gurganus)

By James Smyth / Myrtle Beach Pelicans | August 6, 2011 6:10 PM ET

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The Myrtle Beach Pelicans nearly made history at BB&T Coastal Field on Saturday, but they fell just short. Miguel De Los Santos no-hit the Potomac Nationals for seven innings and Zach Osborne carried it for four more outs, but with one down in the ninth Francisco Soriano laced a clean single to right to break up the no-hitter, but the Birds still pulled out a 3-0 win.

De Los Santos (3-3) was magnificent after walking the first two batters of the game. After a rough outing last Saturday in which he walked four and didn't make it out of the second inning, it looked like it would be a repeat performance. It was anything but, as the southpaw retired the next 21 batters he faced, ten on strikes, before his night came to an end.

Osborne (S, 3) came on in relief in the eighth and worked a 1-2-3 inning and induced a groundout from Eury Perez to start the ninth and put the Birds two outs from the no-hitter. Soriano followed with the liner to right field to break up the Pelicans' bid for their second no-no in franchise history. Jose Lozada ripped a line drive to second baseman Jonathan Roof, who caught it and doubled off Soriano for a game-ending double play.

The only previous no-hitter in Pelicans' history was a seven-inning gem on July 23, 2000 against Frederick, when Tim Spooneybarger tossed a hitless first inning before Christian Parra closed it out with six hitless frames.

The last no-no in the Carolina League was on the penultimate day of the regular season last year, when Kinston's Marty Popham, Chris Jones and Cory Burns combined for a ten-inning 1-0 no-hitter against Potomac.

De Los Santos outdueled Potomac's Erik Davis, who was making his first start for the P-Nats since being transferred from Double-A Harrisburg on Tuesday. The righty was terrific in a complete-game loss.

The Birds broke a scoreless tie in the fifth, when with two on and two out, Roof laced a shot down the right field line that Destin Hood dropped and allowed Travis Adair to score the game's first run. They added another tally in the sixth when Jared Prince came in on a Vinny DiFazio double and one more in the eighth when Ryan Strausborger singled home DiFazio.

Davis (0-1) took the tough-luck loss in going the distance, allowing three runs, two earned, in eight innings, striking out five and walked one.

Like any no-hit bid, there were several spectacular defensive plays by Myrtle Beach to support De Los Santos and Osborne. Roof took a hit away from Cutter Dykstra in the second with a diving stop at second and Santiago Chirino made a great stab at third base to rob Soriano of a hit in the sixth inning.

Prince made the play of the night, a diving catch on a Hood fly to right for the first out of the seventh. Behind Osborne in the eighth, Jared Bolden ranged to his right at first base for the second out of the eighth.

The rubber game of the series is set for Sunday night as right-hander Wilfredo Boscan (4-8, 4.18) goes for the Birds against southpaw Evan Bronson (2-3, 3.68). First pitch at BB&T Coastal Field is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Tickets for all Pelicans home games, including the postseason, are available at the BB&T Coastal Field box office,, and by phone at 843-918-6000 or 877-918-TIXX.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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