Pelicans hit homers early, often in demolition of Keys

pel-burksswingYasiel Balaguert, Charcer Burks and Gleyber Torres all homered as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans pounded a season-high three dingers in an 8-3 win over the Frederick Keys Friday at NYMEO Field at Harry Grove Stadium.

The Pelicans’ (18-15) eight runs was also a season-high. Their previous high also came against Frederick on April 10.

The offense came alive early for the Birds against Frederick (15-19) starter Mitch Horacek (1-4). In the top of the first, Burks ripped a double to left-center to begin the game. Three batters later,  Balaguert clubbed a two-run home run to deep left to put the Pelicans on top 2-0.

With the score the same in the second, Myrtle Beach DH Gioskar Amaya singled with one out and then stole second. Two batters after, Burks delivered a two-run homer, his second extra-base hit in as many innings.

Myrtle Beach starter Erick Leal (4-2) put up four zeroes to begin the ballgame, holding the Pelicans’ 4-0 advantage. But in the bottom of the fifth, the Keys were able to string together three straight singles to cut the deficit in half and make it 4-2. Frederick added another run on an Aderlin Rodriguez solo homer in the seventh.

In all, Leal worked 7.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits. Only two of the runs were earned, and Leal did not walk a batter. He became the first Pelicans starter to pitch into the eighth inning this season.

With the score still 4-2 in the top of the seventh, Amaya and Trey Martin both singled off Keys reliever Tanner Chleborad. Two batters later, Gleyber Torres swatted a three-run home run to right-center to open up a 7-2 lead.

Myrtle Beach tacked on another run in the eighth on a walk, wild pitch and Cael Brockmeyer sacrifice fly.

Relievers Jordan Minch and Jose Rosario combined for 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to finish off the Pelicans’ 8-3 win.

The Pelicans and Keys will meet again Saturday with Jeremy Null (0-0, 0.00 ERA) making his first start of the year for Myrtle Beach. First pitch is at 6 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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