Amaya’s bat stays hot but Pelicans can’t hold off Keys

pel-amaGioskar Amaya and Charcer Burks both delivered their fifth home run of the year Monday, but the Myrtle Beach Pelicans lost 7-3 to the Frederick Keys at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

Amaya’s first inning homer was his fourth in the last three games, and fifth in the last 11 contests. He also reached base three times, and owns an on-base percentage of .649 over those last 11 games.

The Keys (33-31) got the bats going early against Pelicans (33-30) starter Erick Leal (8-3). Cam Kneeland doubled to left center with out in the top of the first. Two batters later, Aderlin Rodriguez singled to drive him in and make it 1-0 Frederick. Amaya’s home run in the bottom of the first tied the game at one for the Pelicans.

Leal allowed a single to T.J. Olesczuk to start the second before retiring the next two batters. Keys shortstop Erick Salcedo then came through with an RBI double down the right field line as Frederick regained a 2-1 lead.

With the same score in the top of the third, Conor Bierfeldt connected on a home run to left field to extend the Keys’ advantage to 3-1.

Frederick continued to pound away at Leal in the fourth. With one out, Zach Kapstein singled. After retiring the next batter, Leal walked two consecutive batters before hitting Wynston Sawyer to plate a run and make it 4-1. Leal exited from the game after 3.2 innings, his second-shortest performance of the season. James Pugliese came in, but an allowed two runs to score and give the Keys a commanding 6-1 tally.

Frederick starter Lucas Long (4-4) put together a terrific start, limiting the Pelicans to one run on four hits over six innings. He struck out six and walked only one.

After Long left the game, reliever Max Schuh hit Jason Vosler before allowing him to score on a sacrifice fly from Daniel Spingola. The next batter was Burks, who lined a homer off the scoreboard in left center to cut the deficit to 6-3.

But that would be the closest the Pelicans would get. Keys relievers Jeff Beliveau and Michael Zouzalik combined for 2.1 shutout innings, as Zouzalik picked up his eighth save of the year.

In the top of the ninth, Anthony Caronia dragged a bunt single to second before coming home to score on a Cam Kneeland single, which capped the scoring at 7-3.

Pugliese worked four innings of hitless relief for Myrtle Beach, the longest relief outing by a Pelicans pitcher this year. Andrew Ely also recorded his first two hits as a Pelican.

The Pelicans will meet the Keys again tomorrow at 7:05.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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