MYRTLE BEACH, SC – A night after a patient Pelicans lineup waited as the Frederick Keys' pitching staff melted down, the Salem Red Sox turned the tables on Myrtle Beach in the series opener of three in Virginia.
Pelicans starter Zeke Spruill didn't make it out of the fourth, and the Red Sox posted double-digit runs by the fifth in a 13-2 win over the Birds at Salem Memorial Ballpark.
Things started encouragingly enough for the Pelicans who looked poised to carry over their offensive onslaught from Thursday night's 15-5 win over the Keys in Frederick. Myrtle Beach followed a one-out single by Shayne Moody with back-to-back doubles by Adam Milligan and Gerry Rodriguez to score a pair and take a 2-0 first inning lead.
In the bottom of the first, Salem drew even with the Pelicans and used the third to blow past. Three Sox players doubled in the first with Peter Hissey and Anthony Rizzo both scoring on Ryan Lavarnway's two-bagger to level the score at two. Two innings later, it was Lavarnway again, this time with a three-run homer to left field to put the Sox on top 5-2. Salem's outburst continued in the fourth. Nine men batted in the inning, and David Mailman's leadoff triple set the tone as the first four men to bat in the frame all touched home. Spruill (0-1) departed with one out in the inning charged with nine runs—all earned—on 12 hits. His ERA spiked to 12.96.
Salem plated four more in the fifth with the big blow coming on a three-run Tim Federowicz homer. In that inning, Pelicans reliever Juan Abreu, walked the leadoff man, balked him to second, and hit Jon Hee with a pitch. After a Hissey single scored a run, Federowicz deposited his blast over the left field wall to put the contest out of reach and complete the Sox scoring. Abreu allowed four runs, all earned, on two hits over three and a third. Righty Angelo Paulino also worked an inning and a third for the Pelicans.
Salem starter Caleb Clay (1-0) picked up the victory behind five solid innings. After his shaky first, the right-hander settled down, only allowing two men to reach the rest of the way. Though Myrtle Beach cranked out 11 total hits, only two of them came against Clay following the four-hit, two-run first. Kyle Fernandes and Blake Maxwell combined to throw four shutout innings out of the Red Sox bullpen. Each staff only issued one walk apiece, a stark departure from Thursday night's marathon in which Pelicans and Keys pitchers walked a combined 19.
The Pelicans and Red Sox resume their three-game set tomorrow with a 6:05 game two at Salem Memorial Ballpark. Myrtle Beach right-hander J.J. Hoover (0-0, 0.00) makes his second start of the season opposing Salem righty Alex Wilson (0-0, 12.27).
The Pelicans return to Myrtle Beach on Monday, April 19 hosting the Winston-Salem Dash for four games at BB&T Coastal Field. Monday's series opener will be 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.