Pelicans pitchers combine to baffle Red Sox in 5-1 win

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans  took the first game of a four-game series against the Salem Red Sox 5-1 behind a five-hitter from Pelicans pitching and three hits by Josh Richmond in a wet Monday night that included a one hour delay.

Myrtle Beach Starter Joe Van Meter picked up his third win of the season, pitching just short of six innings due to the rain delay that happened in the top of the sixth with two outs. He allowed one run and struck out six to keep his ERA a miniscule 1.86 on the season. Newly acquired relievers Phil Klein and Daniel Lopez shut the door, combining for three and a third scoreless innings.

The game was scoreless through three when Red Sox second baseman Sean Coyle singled in Drew Hedman to take a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Odubel Herrera tied the game with a solo blast to left after one of the best at-bats of the season by a Pelican hitter. The homerun came on the twelfth pitch of the at-bat with Herrera fouling off several pitches before hitting a 3-2 fastball off Sox top prospect starter Matt Barnes, who remains winless against the birds in four starts this season.

The Pelicans went up for good in the fifth off Reliever Marco Duarte. Josh Richmond led off the inning with his first of two doubles on the night. Chris Grayson followed that with a line drive two run home run to give the Pelicans a 3-1 lead.

Myrtle Beach would tack on two more runs in the seventh due to poor Red Sox defense. Hanser Alberto reached when right fielder Drew Hedman dropped an easy pop fly followed by single by Brett Nicholas, a hard ground ball that deflected off pitcher Manny Rivera. The two runs scored when left fielder Brandon Jacobs dropped a deep fly ball by Vinny DiFazio.

The Pelicans won their 70th game of the season and are now 34-23 in the second half, still 2.5 games back of Winston-Salem. Game two of the series is Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.

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