Jimenez goes deep, makes big splash as latest Pelican

pel-12dugoutMyrtle Beach newcomer Eloy Jimenez showed why he is the Chicago Cubs’ top prospect by launching his first home run of the season and Ryan Kellogg dominated through 6.2 innings, but the Pelicans faltered late on Monday in a 4-2 series-opening loss to the Buies Creek Astros at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

The score was tied at two when Buies Creek’s (24-15) Anibal Sierra led off the inning with a walk against Pelicans (21-17) reliever Tommy Thorpe (2-2). An RBI double hit by Jason Martin made the score 3-2 in favor of the Astros. Myles Straw followed with an RBI double of his own to extend the Buies Creek advantage to 4-2.

Myrtle Beach starter Ryan Kellogg and Buies Creek starter Framber Valdez matched each other for the first six frames. Kellogg tossed 6.2 innings, yielding two runs on six hits without a walk. Valdez mowed through the Birds’ order to fire six shutout innings, ceding just two hits and one walk with five strikeouts.

The Astros struck first in the top of the seventh inning, as Kyle Tucker led off the frame with a base hit to left field. Two batters later, Tucker would be gunned down at the plate on a terrific relay from the Pelicans’ defense on a Ryne Birkdouble. However, Anthony Hermelyn provided the damage in the frame, as he blasted a two-run home run to left field, giving Buies Creek the 2-0 advantage.

Myrtle Beach would rally back in the bottom half of the seventh, as Jimenez launched his first home run of the season out of the ballpark to begin the frame. Eddy Martinez would reach on an error before advancing to third on a double from Matt Rose . That set up a sacrifice fly from Adonis Paula to tie the game up at two.

Ralph Garza worked two scoreless innings for his second save.

Myrtle Beach sends RHP Adbert Alzolay (3-0, 2.38 ERA) to the mound for Tuesday’s 7:05 p.m. game against Buies Creek RHP Hector Perez (2-2, 2.60 ERA).

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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