Pelicans Roman Mendez struggled early against his former organization, allowing four runs through the first two innings on 56 pitches. The Pelicans offense picked up their starter, however, earning those runs back with a big top of the third.
After putting just one runner on base against Major League rehabber Rich Hill in the first two innings, the Pelicans put the leadoff man Edwin Garcia on with a walk to lead off the third against lefty Drake Britton. Two batters later Teodoro Martinez singled to set up a Jared Hoying single, which drove in Garcia to cut the lead to 4-1.
Down three and with two men on, Tomas Telis did the rest, vaulting a three run blast over the leftfield wall to tie the game, 4-4.
The deadlock was short-lived. Salem got to Mendez again in the fourth, recording back to back singles with one out. After throwing 80 pitches Mendez was lifted for reliever Joe Van Meter. The righty issued a walk to load the bases and then walked Brandon Jacobs to force in a run and give Salem the 5-4 advantage.
The Pelicans quickly responded in the fifth. After another leadoff walk, this time to Martinez, Hoying reached on an error that sent Martinez to third. Telis then grounded out to tie the score at five. The Birds took their first lead two batters later when Vinny DiFazio scored Hoying with a sac fly to deep centerfield.
Myrtle Beach added insurance with two runs in the eighth on a fielder’s choice by Yefry Castillo. With Telis at third Castillo grounded to third. Travis Shaw came home with the throw, but tossed it wide of the catcher Christian Vazquez, allowing Telis to score. With the ball going astray, DiFazio tried to score from second, but got tangled with a Salem defender while rounding third. He was awarded home on obstruction and gave the Pelicans an 8-5 lead.
Salem got a run back in the bottom of the eighth, but Randy Henry shut the door in the ninth for his first save.
The win goes to Van Meter in relief. The loss is Britton’s first. The Pelicans go to 4-3 and next play at Salem Saturday at 6:05.