Pelicans put up 14-inning fight before falling to Red Sox

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, came up short Friday, falling in the longest game of the season to date, 5-3, in 14 innings and four hours and 28 minutes to the Salem Red Sox at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

Kyle DeVore, having just arrived in Myrtle Beach from Extended Spring Training hours before the first pitch, was summoned to make his season debut in the 14th inning.  The righty pitched last season with the AZL Rangers and had not yet allowed a run in Extended this year.

He began the inning by walking Travis Shaw, the league’s leading active hitter coming into the night.  He then got Brandon Jacobs to ground into a fielder’s choice before giving up a single to Xander Bogaerts.  The ball went into left field where Jared Hoying came up throwing, trying to gun out Jacobs at third.  The throw got away from Christian Villanueva at third, but he recovered in enough time to throw home with Jacobs trying to score.  The bounced toss made it to the catcher Tomas Telis in time, but ticked away from his glove.  Jacobs scored for the 4-3 lead.  Christian Vasquez then singled to score Bogaerts and take a 5-3 advantage.

The Pelicans had taken the first lead of the game, scoring two runs off Red Sox top prospect Mat Barnes in the fifth.  Vinny DiFazio opened the scoring with his first homerun of the season, belted toward the scoreboard in left.  Santiago Chirino then reached on an error and scored two batters later when Odubel Herrera reached on another miscue.  Salem had five errors in the game.

Salem came back, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh on two doubles from Travis Shaw and Brandon Jacobs.  The Red Sox led 3-2.  Myrtle Beach tied the game in the seventh on an RBI single from Cafe Martinez.  It scored the previously walked DiFazio.

Myrtle Beach’s best chance to win came in the eighth.  A Brett Nicholas ground ball to second brought Telis home from third, where he was called out on a close tag from the catcher Christian Vazquez.  None of the final 20 Pelicans batters reached base safely.  The Birds did not have a hit in extra innings.

On the mound, Myrtle Beach got three shutout, hitless innings from Ben Henry.  It was the first time a Pelicans pitcher had thrown on back-to-back nights this season.  Zach Osborne also pitched a scoreless three innings.  Starter Roman Mendez went four and a third scoreless frames before leaving with an undisclosed injury.

Myrtle Beach and Salem do battle again at 7:05 Saturday night.

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