Pelicans issue free passes in Opening Day defeat

pel-bolingerThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, fell behind early and could not muster a comeback against the Salem Red Sox, falling by a 10-3 score in front of 6,599 fans at Pelicans Ballpark on Thursday night.

Starter Victor Payano walked six and the pitching staff walked 13.

Things got started offensively for the Red Sox in the first inning. Jonathan Roof drew a one-out walk and came around to score on a triple to right-center field from Carson Blair to give Salem the lead before the Pelicans even came to the plate.

The Birds responded with a run in the bottom half, courtesy of an error by Roof in left field, allowing Chris Bostick to reach. That proved costly, as the Pelicans would load the bases and a sacrifice fly from Joey Gallo drove in a run, a flyout that would have ended the inning if not for the error.

Salem struck for the next nine runs however, putting the game out of reach. Four consecutive walks and five in six batters in the third inning spelled the end of the night for Payano and the beginning of a six run frame. Ryan Dent highlighted the inning with a grand slam to left field off of reliever Sam Stafford, making it 9-1.

Bostick doubled in a run in the fifth, his first hit and RBI as a Rangers farmhand. Down 10-2, the Pelicans picked up three consecutive hits in the eighth from Jorge Alfaro, Gallo, and Alberto but managed just one run.

A perfect ninth for the Sox bullpen finished the contest, as the Pelicans fell 10-3. Payano (0-1) took the loss, while Brian Johnson (1-0), who struck out seven over five innings, earned his first victory of the season.

The Pelicans continue the homestand on Friday against the Salem Red Sox for the second of a four-game set.

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