Claudio’s first start since ’12 yields shutout of Lynchburg

pel-bostickThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans started off the three-game series with the Lynchburg Hillcats with a 5-0 victory on Monday night at Pelicans Ballpark.

Alexander Claudio displayed a strong performance in his fourth career start, hurling five scoreless innings. Claudio has not allowed an earned run in his last 22 innings pitched. The Pelicans are now 4-0 against the Hillcats this season.

The Pelicans (42-20) and Hillcats (32-32) matched zeroes over the first three frames.

With runners at the corners in the bottom of the fourth, Christopher Bostick hit into a fielder’s choice, beating out a double play to score Preston Beck. The play put the Birds on the board, leading 1-0.

In his first start since 2012, Claudio worked out of jams in four of his five innings of work. Lynchburg mustered six hits and drew two walks off of the All-Star left-hander but failed to score against him. He fanned three on the night, including two strikeouts of Edison Sanchez with runners in scoring position. The five scoreless frames ran his streak to 22 innings over seven outings in which he has not allowed an earned run.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Birds unleashed their bats for four runs. Jorge Alfaro opened the inning with a walk. Beck then singled to right field, allowing Alfaro to reach third.

Still with no outs, David Lyon tripled down the right field line, scoring both Alfaro and Beck. In the very next at bat, Bostick tripled to right field as well, allowing Lyon to cross the plate. Chris Grayson ended the scoring in the inning for the Birds with a sacrifice fly to David Nick. The Pelicans extended their lead to 5-0 at the end of six innings.

Justin Sprenger came on in relief for the Birds in the sixth, tossing three scoreless innings and striking out two. Will Lamb entered for the ninth and finished off the Hillcats, fanning two of the three batters faced.

Claudio (4-0) earned the win, and Ross (4-3) took the loss.

The Birds prepare for game two of the three-game series, which takes place on Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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