K-Tribe pushes Pelicans to verge of elimination

The Kinston Indians jumped on Pelicans starting pitching for the second night in a row, and their own arms did more than enough dominant work to send Myrtle Beach to within one game of elimination from the Carolina League postseason via a 7-0 win over the Pelicans in game three.

Kinston now leads the best-of-three Southern Division Championship Series two games to one with Friday’s win at Grainger Stadium.

Looking to regain the series edge they held after a game one win, the Pelicans handed the ball in game three to lefty starter Miguel De Los Santos who ran into immediate trouble in somewhat confounding fashion. Despite getting to two strike-counts on every batter he faced in the first inning, De Los Santos allowed a leadoff single to Tyler Holt, walked Bo Greenwell after going up 0-2, and then surrendered a three-run homer to Adam Abraham. The lefty then sandwiched strikeouts of Jeremie Tice and Tyler Cannon around a Jesus Aguilar groundout to end the inning with a 3-0 deficit.

In the second, it was more of the same. De Los Santos issued free passes to two of the first three men he faced before Tyler Holt doubled Casey Frawley and Delvi Cid home with one out to extend the Indians’ lead to 5-0.

For the Pelicans, the second-half offensive issues that plagued the Carolina League Southern Division’s first-half champs reared their heads again. Myrtle Beach only put multiple baserunners on against Kinston starter Michael Goodnight once, in the top half of the fourth. Goodnight (1-0) worked five innings of scoreless ball, striking out six against two walks and stranding six Pelicans runners on the basepaths. The Birds’ lone offensive chance against him came when Travis Adair walked leading off the fourth and Andrew Clark doubled him to third base with one out. Goodnight struck out Vinny DiFazio and Chris McGuiness to turn the Pelicans away.

Myrtle Beach didn’t get a single hit after Clark’s double and left one man on in every offensive inning except the fourth when they left two. Behind Goodnight, Chris Jones, Trey Haley, and Preston Guilmet combined to work four hitless innings of relief for the Indians.

De Los Santos (0-1) settled down after the second, facing just one man over the minimum the rest of the way and striking out ten, one shy of a season high. The lefty’s five walks, however, were a season high. Against reliever Kyle DeVore, the Indians added two more when Holt, again, drove home a pair with a triple. Through the first three games of this series, Holt is batting .538 (7-for-13).

Since taking a 5-0 lead in the first inning in game two, the Pelicans have been outscored by the Indians 15-1 in dropping the last two contests.

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