Walk-off grand slam sends Pelicans into deeper slump

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans (74-57, 34-28) squandered a two-run ninth inning lead Saturday and fell 6-4 against the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark.

Joey DeMichele hit a two-out, walk off grand slam in the ninth inning to give the Dash a series-opening win. With Salem’s win over Carolina, the Pelicans trail the Red Sox by 1.5 games with eight games remaining. The Pelicans have lost seven of their last eight games.

Right-hander Ryan Harvey (7-2) surrendered the ninth inning long ball and was saddled with the loss, allowing two earned runs over a third of an inning. Joe Dvorsky (2-3) earned the win out of the Dash bullpen, allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits over an inning.

Hanser Alberto and Trever Adams paced the Pelicans 12-hit attack with three-hit performances. Adams had a go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning to break a 2-2 tie. Chris Grayson and Odubel Herrera each added two hits.

With the Pelicans down 1-0 in the seventh inning, Grayson launched a go-ahead, two-run home run to right field. Grant Buckner tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single.

The Pelicans rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth inning. After Adams’ RBI single, Joe Maloney made it 4-2 with a sacrifice fly. Patrick Cantwell and Drew Robinson each had sacrifice bunts in the inning.

Right-hander Cody Kendall worked 2.1 innings out of the Pelicans bullpen, and allowed three runs, one earned, on one hit. After working the seventh and eighth innings, he started the ninth inning and walked Josh Richmond and saw Buckner reach on an error before giving way to Harvey. Martin Medina hit a comebacker to the mound and Harvey threw out Richmond trying to score from third for the second out of the inning. A two-out walk to Joe DePinto loaded the bases ahead of DiMichele’s game-ender.

DiMichele finished 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBIs in the game.

Lefty Luis Para started for the Pelicans and turned in six innings of one-run, four-hit baseball.

The Pelicans and Dash play the second game of the three-game series tomorrow afternoon at BB&T Ballpark. Right-hander Kevin Pucetas (1-1, 4.35) will be opposed by Jake Cose (6-4, 3.74). First pitch is set for 2 p.m.

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