Pelicans sweep Keys to retain top spot in standings

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans picked up their third sweep of the second half Sunday, toppling the Frederick Keys, 3-2, at Pelicans Ballpark on Sunday.

Myrtle Beach jumped on the scoreboard almost immediately, putting two runners on to start the first inning.  Teodoro Martinez began with a double that was followed by a Hanser Alberto single.  Martinez would score later in the inning on a double steal.  It was 1-0 and it stayed that way until the fifth.

In the fifth inning it was again Martinez that came through.  With two outs Martinez doubled to bring around a previously doubling Santiago Chirino.  It was 2-0.

Frederick finally pushed a run across against reliever Zach Osborne, who pitched a solid three innings.  A Garabez Rosa single that deflected off second baseman Odubel Herrera brought around Michael Flacco, who had reached on a fielder’s choice as the second batter of the inning.  That run cut into the lead and made it 2-1.

The Pelicans would respond with a much needed run in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases and scoring on a fielder’s choice where no out was recorded.  Jeremy Williams, who had singled, came across on the play.  The Birds stretched the lead to 3-1.

In the eighth the Keys threatened their most in the series.  Reliever Matt West walked the first two batters of the inning and then allowed a double to Allan de San Miguel to make it 3-2.  Still in a pinch with nobody out and runners at second and third West gave up a seared line drive to shortstop Hanser Alberto, who snared it from a dive and took it to second to double off de San Miguel.  West then walked another before being lifted from closer Ben Rowen.

Needing four outs to save the game, Rowen was perfect with three groundouts and a flyout.  He earned his 16th save and his 15th since the all-star break.  Rowen is second in the Carolina League in saves.

The win keeps the Pelicans in first place in the Carolina League’s Southern Division second-half standings at 26-17.  The Pelicans have Monday off and next play at home Tuesday at 7:05 against the Potomac Nationals.

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