Hodges’ grand slam lifts Pelicans to rare series win

Jesse Hodges’ grand slam in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s contest helped lift the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to a 5-4 victory over the Buies Creek Astros in the rubber match game of their three-game set from Jim Perry Stadium.

With Myrtle Beach (53-41,10-14) leading Buies Creek (54-42,17-19) 1-0 in the sixth inning, Eddy Martinez and Trent Giambrone led off the frame with back-to-back walks against Astros starter Hector Perez (4-4) before the bases became loaded with a single from Tyler Alamo. With the first three men reaching base, Hodges promptly unloaded the bases with a grand slam to left field, extending the Pelicans’ lead to 5-0.

Zack Short led off the contest for the Pelicans with a double to left field before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Vimael Machin drove in Short with a single to right field, as the Birds began the contest with back-to-back hits to make the score 1-0.

Myrtle Beach starter Duncan Robinson (1-2) dealt for the Birds, as he whiffed five Astros over five innings of one-hit ball to earn his first win as a member of the Pelicans.

With score 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Buies Creek began their comeback attempt. Myles Straw reached with one out on a fielder’s choice before swiping second base. Jake Rogers then drew a walk before advancing to third on a single from Taylor Jones that also scores Straw to make the score 5-1. Rodgers would also score in the inning on an error as the Astros plated a pair in the frame.

Buies Creek wreaked more havoc against the Pelicans in the bottom of the eighth. Straw led off the frame with a base hit before advancing to second on a walk issued to Ryne Birk. With two men on board, Rogers laced a double to left field, plating Straw and advancing Birk to third. With the score 5-3, Anthony Hermelyn lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Birk to bring the Astros within one headed into the ninth inning.

In that ninth, Pedro Araujo entered the contest and recorded a three-up, three-down frame to lock down his sixth save of the season.

With Myrtle Beach winning the rubber match, the series victory marks the first for the Pelicans in the second half of the season.

Myrtle Beach will have an off day on Wednesday before hosting the Down East Wood Ducks on Thursday.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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