Alfaro’s 5-for-5 night at the plate leads Pelicans’ rout

pel-24The Myrtle Beach Pelicans beat up the Salem Red Sox 12-6 on Tuesday night in the homestand opener at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

Jorge Alfaro matched a franchise record with a five-hit game, going 5-for-5 with a double, a triple, four RBI, and two runs scored. With the win over second place Salem, the Pelicans have a 6.5 game lead in the Southern Division, the largest by the team this season.

The big win didn’t start well for Myrtle Beach (33-17). Starter Victor Payano walked five batters in-a-row with two outs in the first to give up a 2-0 lead before the Pelicans even came to the plate.

After going scoreless in the first, the Birds tagged Cory Littrell for a run in the second. Alfaro collected his first hit of the night, a double, to begin the frame. With two outs, Hanser Alberto singled home Alfaro, cutting the lead to 2-1.

Mario Martinez put Salem back up by two with a solo homer with one out in the third. It was his third home run of the year and first hit for Salem on the night.

The Pelicans scored the next 11 runs, seven of which came in the fourth. Alfaro led off the frame with his second hit and first of two in the inning. Two more singles loaded the bases. Chris Garia was hit by a pitch to bring home a run, and then Nick Williams clubbed a based-clearing double to left center, putting the Pelicans ahead 5-3. The hit extended Williams’ hitting streak to 12 games, the longest of his career and longest by a Pelicans since Royce Bolinger’s 12-game hit streak at the end of last season. The Birds scored three more times in the inning and led 8-3 after the fourth.

David Lyon homered leading off the fifth to make it 9-3, and Myrtle Beach added three more on a three-run triple from Alfaro in the sixth. Alfaro also singled in the eighth, going 5-for-5 and finished a homer shy of the cycle. It was the seventh time in team history that a Pelican has collected five hits and the first time since Zach Zaneski did so on May 3, 2011 at Potomac.

With a 12-3 lead, Cody Buckel allowed three runs in the Red Sox’ eighth. He walked two and hit a batter to load the based before Reed Gragnani plated all three runners with a double. Buckel bounced back with a scoreless ninth.

Sam Stafford (2-1) fired three scoreless innings for the Birds in the middle innings. He earned the win. Littrell (3-3), the Red Sox starter, took the loss.

Seven of the nine Pelicans collected hits and all but one reached base safely. Joey Gallo walked three times; he has 44 now and is second in the minors in free passes. He has also reached safely in all 23 home games. Hanser Alberto singled twice, notching his third straight two-hit game.

With game one in the books, the Pelicans play game two of the three-game set on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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