MYRTLE BEACH, SC- In front of a crowd of more than 5,000 at BB&T Coastal Field, the fans packed the seats for a Fourth of July full of baseball, food, and fireworks.
Unfortunately for the Pelicans and their fans, the Salem Red Sox supplied plenty of firepower in the top of the 5th inning, plating seven runs in the frame en route to a 10-4 Pelicans loss.
In what has become commonplace for the Birds this season, the team dropped yet another contest to their Southern Division rival, making them a ridiculous 1-11 on the season against Salem.
Matt Crim (4-8) got the nod on the hill for the Pelicans and cruised through the first three frames before running into trouble in the fourth. All-Star third baseman Will Middlebrooks knocked a two-run double to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead, but the Birds bounced back in the bottom half of the inning as Travis Jones laced a run-scoring double to cut the Pelican deficit in half at 2-1.
But the floodgates opened after that as the first six men to bat in the top of the fifth inning reached base as the Sox scored seven runs on eight hits, both of those numbers being season highs for the Pelican pitching staff.
Caleb Clay was the benefactor of the offensive explosion for the Sox as the right-hander went 6 2/3 innings, allowing just one earned run to pick up his third victory of the season, and his first since May 3.
The Pelicans showed some life in the bottom of the ninth inning as Osman Marval beat out a groundball back to the pitcher to prolong the inning. Cole Miles followed Marval with a walk and Mycal Jones ripped a two-run double down the left field line to end the scoring for the Pelicans.
Right-hander Zeke Spruill also made his first appearance with Myrtle Beach since breaking his hand after a start in Salem in April, hurling two perfect innings while striking out four.
The Pelicans will look to bounce back on Monday evening in game three of this four-game set with first pitch set for 7:05 PM.
Game three of this four-game series with the Salem Sox will mark the first Kids Eat Free Monday of the 2010 season's second half as all children 12 and under will receive a voucher upon entering the gates for a free hot dog, chips, and soda.
For more information on tickets, daily promotions, and all things Pelicans log onto myrtlebeachpelicans.com or call 1-877-918-TIXX or call 843-918-6000.