Faulkner’s scoreless streak snapped but Pelicans win

pel-faulknerThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans earned a 6-2 win in the opening game of the series with the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark on Wednesday night.

Andrew Faulkner was scored upon for the first time since July 1 when he allowed a third-inning run but went on to win the game, his ninth and fifth in five starts. He is now tied for the league lead in wins and moved to the top of league in ERA, dropping his ERA to 2.08.

Before Faulkner threw a pitch, he had been staked to a lead. The first two batters for the Pelicans (15-12, 59-36) both reached and both scored in the first. After a Chris Garia infield single, Edwin Garcia singled to right field. His line drive hit was misplayed by Keenyn Walker in right field and Garia scored from first base because of the error.

Garcia came home two batters later on a sacrifice fly from Jorge Alfaro, who had three RBI in his return to the lineup. Alfaro missed the last three games due to his playing in the MLB Futures Game on Sunday in Minnesota.

The Birds tacked on another run in the second. Royce Bolinger opened the frame with a solo blast to left field off of Winston-Salem starting pitcher Terance Marin to pull ahead 3-0.

After a pair of scoreless frames, Faulkner surrendered a run in the third. Jacob May opened the frame with a double. Faulkner then set down the next two batters, getting a strike away from getting out of the inning unscathed. On a 2-2 count, Jason Coats doubled to deep right center field to score May, getting the Dash on the board at 3-1. The run snapped a scoreless streak of 18 innings for Faulkner who had not allowed a run since the first inning of his start on July 1.

Winston-Salem (13-14, 43-53), however, allowed three runs in the next half inning, allowing the Pelicans to pull ahead by five. With two on and one out, Nick Williams singled home a run. Alfaro then doubled to the left field corner to score two more, giving the Birds a 6-1 edge.

The score held until the seventh. Faulkner finished with five innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits and a walk and striking out four.

Kevin Pucetas worked around a walk to throw a scoreless sixth. In the seventh, he allowed a leadoff double to Nick Basto on a pop up to left field that landed in between Williams and Garcia. The run scored on back-to-back fielder’s choices.

The Dash threatened but did not score again. Two singles in the ninth got the tying run to the on-deck circle, but Abel De Los Santos kept Winston-Salem off the scoreboard in the ninth, and the Pelicans won game one of the set 6-2.

Faulkner (9-1) is now tied with Carolina’s Ryan Merritt for the most wins in the league. The win was also his fifth straight. Marin (3-1) suffered his first loss allowing a season-high in runs (6), earned runs (4), and walks (3) and failed to make it through seven innings for only the second time this season.

The Pelicans can win the series on Thursday at BB&T Ballpark; first pitch is once against scheduled for 7 p.m.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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