Pelicans blast Red Sox for sixth straight road victory

Odubel HerreraThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, won their sixth consecutive ballgame, all coming on the road, in a 9-5 victory over the Salem Red Sox on Sunday afternoon at Lewis-Gale Field.

The Pelicans collected a season-high nine runs and tied a season-best 11 hits en route to the win. Joey Gallo clubbed his fourth home run in as many days and Luis Parra became the first Pelican to win two games this season.

The Pelicans (6-4) got the offense going against Salem starter Brian Johnson in the second inning. Johnson, who pitched well on Opening Night against Myrtle Beach, retired Hanser Alberto on a pop out to start the inning. With one out, Zach Cone struck out but reached first on the dropped third strike. He scored on a double from David Lyon to left field, his first hit and first RBI of the campaign, to open the scoring at 1-0. Three batters later, Edwin Garcia singled home Lyon to extend the lead to 2-0.

Andrew Faulkner, the Pelicans starter, had not given up a run to start the year, holding opposition scoreless over his first seven innings of work. That changed in the second when a Ryan Dent double and a Kevin Heller single trimmed the Myrtle Beach lead to 2-1. The Pelicans held the lead until the fourth, however, when they put up a crooked number against Johnson to break open the contest.

In a wild top of the fourth, with four singles, a walk, two wild pitches, and a passed ball, the Pelicans scored four runs, three earned off Johnson. The most exciting moment came when a wild pitch allowed Herrera to score from third base. After Salem catcher Jayson Hernandez threw down to second in an attempt to stop Garcia from advancing from first to second base on the wild pitch, Herrera took off for home and beat the throw back to the plate with a head first slide. The four-run frame put the Pelicans ahead 6-1 and they never trailed in the game.

Salem scored two more off of Andrew Faulkner in the fourth who finished with 3.2 innings pitched, allowing three runs, all earned, on five hits and a walk in his first start of the year. The Aiken, South Carolina native struck out five and did not pick up a decision.

A wild pitch, one of four uncorked by the Red Sox on Sunday, plated another for the Birds to make it 7-3 in the fifth. Gallo led off the seventh with a solo home run, his fourth home run of the season and fourth homer in four games to put the Pelicans ahead 8-3, and a sacrifice fly from Cone later in the inning made it 9-3 Myrtle Beach.

Salem drew closer with two runs off of piggyback starter Luis Parra in the seventh and loaded the bases in the ninth before Jose Leclerc came on for the final two batters. Leclerc (1) collected the save, nailing down the win for Luis Parra (2-0). Johnson (1-1), who allowed six runs, five earned, over four innings, took the loss.

Herrera went 2-for-5 to extend his season-long hitting streak to eight games. Hanser Alberto went 0-for-5 in his first game action since he left Tuesday’s game in the fourth inning in Wilmington.

The win was the largest margin of victory on the season for the Pelicans, and the 9-5 score marked the largest margin of defeat for the Red Sox (6-4).

The Pelicans complete their four-game series and seven-game road trip at 11:05 a.m. on Monday against the Red Sox at Lewis-Gale Field.

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