Pelicans rally to win eighth straight

Courtesy: Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, won their eighth straight ballgame with a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Mudcats at Field at Pelicans Ballpark on Sunday night. The Pelicans, held hitless from the second until the eighth, scored four times in the eighth inning to come from behind. They can sweep the Mudcats with a win on Monday night. The eight-game winning streak is the longest by the club this season.

The Pelicans (37-17) knocked three straight two-out singles off of Carolina League ERA leader Ryan Merritt in the first to open the scoring. The run scored on a bloop single off of the bat of Christopher Bostick.

The Pelicans were held hitless over the next six innings.

After a couple of scoreless frames out of Myrtle Beach starter Victor Payano, Carolina (23-31) took the lead in the third. A leadoff walk came around to score on a triple to deep center field by Todd HankinsYhoxian Medina followed with a run-scoring single to put the Mudcats ahead 2-1.

Payano and the bullpen held Carolina scoreless over the rest of the game. The southpaw starter tossed six innings and allowed two runs on five hits with five walks and five strikeouts.

The Pelicans got a man to third in a two-walk fourth inning but didn't score. Merritt finished five innings of one-run ball and left in-line for the win. Josh Martin tossed perfect sixth and seventh innings, sending the 2-1 game into the eighth.

Martin gave up a single to Nick Williams and a walk to Jorge Alfaro to start the home half of the eighth inning. The Mudcats then turned it over to reliever Grant Sides. The right-hander fanned Gallo before Bostick rolled a ball up the middle. The single scored Williams and tied the game at 2-2.Preston Beck then struck out in a nine-pitch battle for the second out of the inning.

With the score tied and men at first and second, Hanser Alberto stroked a line-drive single up the middle. Alfaro scored, beating the throw from center field, Alberto beat a throw on his way to second base, and Bostick broke for home on the play. He came to the plate ahead of the throw back home. The two runs put the Pelicans ahead for good. They tacked on another on Kevin Torres' first hit of the year, and the Pelicans led 5-2, which held as the final score.

Jose Monegro (1-0) completed three shutout relief innings with a scoreless ninth. He earned the win, his first. Martin (2-3) suffered the loss.

The Pelicans go for the series sweep and their ninth straight win on Monday night against Carolina at Field at Pelicans Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Luis Parra (5-3, 4.20 ERA) goes for Myrtle Beach. Carolina sends Cole Sulser (1-5, 5.22 ERA) to the mound for the series finale. The game can be heard live on WRNN AM 1450 ESPN Myrtle Beach, on the TuneIn Radio App, and via the MiLB First Pitch App, beginning with the Hampton Inn Pregame Show at 6:45 p.m.

Monday is a Backpack Buddy Monday, presented by HTC. Fans receive half-priced admission by donating an item on the approved Backpack Buddies list.