Red Sox break out bats, broom to sweep Pelicans

pel-boresThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans surrendered three home runs, including an inside the park homer, in a 9-1 loss to the Salem Red Sox on Sunday at LewisGale Field. The Red Sox swept the Pelicans in the three-game set, marking the first series sweep of Myrtle Beach since April 3-6, which also came to Salem.

Pelicans starter Chad James pitched well on Sunday, but Salem (27-25, 60-60) jumped out to a lead against him in the first. With one out, Carlos Asuaje smacked a double. He reached third on a single to right by Reed Gragnani and trotted home on a sacrifice fly by Christopher Bostick.

Myrtle Beach (30-26, 74-50) tied it back up in the next half inning. With one out, Kellin Deglan smashed his first homer of the campaign with the Birds and his sixteenth overall on a deep fly to right field, tying the score at 1-1.

James faced the minimum despite two singles in the second and worked around a leadoff hit in the third to post a pair of zeros.

In the fourth, however, Salem retook the lead for good. Leading off the frame, first baseman Jantzen Witte launched a solo homer to left field, giving the Red Sox a 2-1 edge.

The score remained that way through six innings. James allowed just two runs over six frames, allowing six hits and surrendering just one walk. He fanned two.

Jose Leclerc came on in the seventh in a 2-1 game. The first five hitters of the inning reached against Leclerc, including number nine hitter Jose Vinicio, who plated two runs with a single, putting Salem up 4-.1. Two Red Sox were thrown out trying to steal off of Deglan, helping the reliever out of the inning without any more damage done.

The Red Sox exploded off of Leclerc in the eighth. With two on and one out, Manuel Margot sliced a ball to right-center field. Margot brought around two runs on the hit, which looked like a triple, but he broke for the plate and beat the Pelicans relay home for an inside the park home run, extending the lead to 7-1. Two batters later, after a walk, Jake Romanski cracked a two-run shot to deep left to put the Sox up by the final score of 9-1.

The Pelicans went hitless over the final four innings. Spot-starter Kyle Kraus went six strong innings of one-run ball, while Jonathan Aro fired three nearly perfect innings, allowing no hits and a lone walk for the save.

Kraus (6-3) picked up the win, while James (4-2) suffered the defeat, his first in five road starts.

After an off-day on Monday, the Pelicans pick up play at home on Tuesday against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. First pitch from TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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