After the starters' nights were done, however, it was the Pelicans bullpen that blinked in a 6-0 loss to the Keys in game two of the clubs' three-game series.
Starters Randall Delgado for the Pelicans and Rick Zagone for the Keys exchanged scoreless inning after scoreless inning in a pair of impressive starts for their respective clubs. Delgado, who allowed a first inning run in his Opening Day Start last week against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, continued a string of scoreless innings with five frames of spotless ball. The right-hander from Las Tablas, Panama exited following the fifth having allowed no runs on three hits while striking out 5 and walking a pair.
For every big pitch that Delgado made, however, Zagone was there to match him. The University of Missouri product spun five shutout innings of his own, allowing two hits and one-upping Delgado with six Ks and just one walk. The Pelicans didn't reach base via a hit until the second time through the order when Yoel Campusano led off the fourth inning with a double, and Myrtle Beach didn't put multiple men on the basepaths at the same time all night against Zagone.
Frederick took the lead in the sixth against Pelicans reliever Chad Rodgers (1-1). After a leadoff walk to Brian Ward, Xavier Henry reached by beating out a possible double-play ball. Behind him, Kyle Hudson singled, and L.J. Hoes walked to load the bases and set up a two-run Joe Mahoney base hit. One out and two batters later, Billy Rowell knocked an RBI single of his own to give the Keys a 3-0 lead.
The Keys added to their margin in the seventh with a two-run, bases-loaded single by Mahoney again, this time off Pelicans righty Jaye Chapman. A night after Ronnie Welty homered twice and drove in five, it was Mahoney's turn to drive the engine. The Troy, New York native claimed four of the Keys' six runs batted in. Frederick added another insurance tally in the eighth against Pelicans reliever Angelo Paulino.
Zagone's outing may have inspired the Frederick bullpen. Right-handers Jose Duran (1-0) and Brandon Cooney combined to toss four innings of one-hit, shutout ball, matching three walks with three strikeouts. Pelicans relievers Rodgers, Chapman, and Paulino combined to walk six in their three innings of work.
With the loss, Myrtle Beach slips to .500 for the first time this season at 3-3. The Pelicans will try to snap their three-game skid with Thursday night's series finale at Harry Grove Stadium. Myrtle Beach southpaw Cole Rohrbough will match up with Keys righty Ryan O'Shea with first pitch slated for 7:00 PM.
The Pelicans return to Myrtle Beach on Monday, April 19 to host the Winston-Salem Dash for four games at BB&T Coastal Field. The series opener is the first Kids Eat Free Monday of 2010. All kids ages 12 and under will receive a free hot dog, chips, and soda with their game ticket. Single game and season tickets, flex books, and mini-plans, are available now through the Pelicans Box Office by calling (843) 918-6000 or (877) 918-TIXX or by visiting the Tickets page at MyrtleBeachPelicans.com