Pelicans rip Keys for ninth consecutive home victory

pel-carhartThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, clobbered the Frederick Keys 8-4 on Friday en route to their ninth straight home win and their 13th in their last 14 at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

Ben Carhart went 3-for-4 at the plate in his first game back from the disabled list, adding a solo home run to his credit while scoring twice and driving in three runs.

The Keys (53-59, 21-21 second half) fell behind early as starting pitcher Matt Taylor walked the bases loaded in the first inning. The Pelicans (66-45, 25-17 second half) took advantage when Cael Brockmeyer beat out an infield single to drive in the first run, and in his first at-bat, Carhart gave the Birds a 2-0 lead with a soft RBI single to left. On the play, left fielder Jay Gonzalez dropped the ball and allowed a third run to score.

Brockmeyer and Carhart each walked in the third inning and an RBI single by Trey Martin expanded the Pelicans’ lead to 4-0. With Kevin Brown batting, Carhart scored on a wild pitch to put the Birds in front, 5-0.

Carlos Penalver added to the lead with a solo home run in the fourth. It was his second home run of the season and second in the last eight games. Prior to his walk-off home run last Thursday, Penalver had not gone deep in 14 months.

Pelicans starter Jeremy Null was perfect through the first 4 1/3 innings, but a throwing error at shortstop put a runner on second base in the fifth. That opened the door for Frederick, who scored on three consecutive base hits to trim the Pelicans’ lead to 6-2.

The Birds responded to grab those two markers back in the bottom of the fifth. Carhart, who went on the disabled list on June 7, led off the bottom of the frame with a solo homer to left, his third of the year. Five batters later, Penalver moved Myrtle Beach in front 8-2 with an RBI single up the middle. Penalver finished with a 2-for-4 night at the plate, scoring twice and knocking in two runs.

Keys first baseman Wynston Sawyer tacked on an RBI single in the sixth inning, and after a leadoff triple by Gonzalez in the seventh, left fielder Ramon Ramirez capped the scoring at 8-4 on an RBI ground out to second base.

Null (2-1) worked 5 2/3 innings and picked up the win, striking out a season-high six batters along the way. The Keys touched up the right-hander for three runs, two earned.

Taylor (1-2) was on the losing end after just 2 2/3 innings of work. The Pelicans worked the southpaw over for five earned runs on two hits. Amid some scattered rain showers, Taylor also walked a season-high five batters.

David Berg closed out the win for the Pelicans in the ninth, working around two infield singles before inducing a ground out back to the mound to finish the ballgame.

With the win, the Birds keep pace with the Winston-Salem Dash, who lead the Pelicans in the Carolina League Southern Division Second Half standings by 1 1/2 games.

Game two of the Pelicans’ three-game series with Frederick is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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