Blackburn pitches a gem as Pelicans claim sixth straight

pel-penalverPaul Blackburn earned his first win since returning from the disabled list, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, picked up their sixth straight win in a 2-1 game on Friday night at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium. Blackburn tossed seven scoreless innings, and Victor Caratini drove in both runs to lead the offense.

The Pelicans (62-43, 21-15 second half) struck first with an unearned marker in the fourth off of Frederick starter Mitch Horacek. Chensy Young reached on a ground ball to third and an error by third baseman Tanner Witt. Young moved up to second on a wild pitch and came home on an RBI single by Victor Caratini.

Young and Caratini would team up again in the sixth. Young laced a double to left, and Caratini brought him in again on a hit to left field to make it 2-0.

Blackburn scattered baserunners all night, as the Keys (49-57, 17-19 second half) failed to bring in a run in the first seven innings. The Pelicans right-hander induced three groundball double plays in his seven innings, and two of them ended innings. The Keys had at least one hit in five of the seven innings he worked and had a runner thrown out at home plate.

En route to his first win since coming off the disabled list, Blackburn (5-4) fired seven shutout frames, allowing seven hits and two walks. He struck out three and also hit a batter.

He turned a 2-0 lead over to Josh Conway, who entered Friday’s ballgame with an active 14 1/3 scoreless streak, the longest by a Pelicans reliever this season. After allowing a leadoff single, Conway fanned Josh Hart and Witt, but Chance Sisco singled to keep the inning alive, and before Conway struck out Jeff Kemp, two wild pitches allowed a run across.

That was all the Keys would get, however, as Jasvir Rakkar nailed down his thirteenth save with a clean ninth inning.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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