Pelicans enter all-star break on three-game losing skid

pel-33The Myrtle Beach Pelicans lost the finale of the first half to the Frederick Keys 6-1 on Sunday afternoon at Harry Grove Stadium.

Jorge Alfaro provided the offense with a solo home run, and the Pelicans lost three games in a row for the first time since Opening Weekend. At 44-24, the Pelicans had the fewest losses in a half in team history and the best winning percentage. They finished one win shy of tying the franchise mark for wins in a half.

Up 2-1 in the fifth inning, Frederick (32-35) launched four home runs in three innings to break the game open and stay ahead for good. Michael Burgess with a solo shot with two outs in the fifth off of Pelicans reliever Jason Knapp.

Jose Leclerc allowed three long balls in 1 1/3 innings. He had only allowed one home run all season but surrendered back-to-back shots to Jason Esposito and Brenden Webb in the sixth. Sammie Star added another run on a solo home run to left in the left to push the lead to 6-1.

Burgess finished a triple shy of the cycle and collected three RBI.

The sole Pelicans run came on Alfaro’s eighth home run of the season. Down 2-0 in the fourth, he launched a home run over the left field wall off of Keys starter Parker Bridwell. It was only the second hit off of the Frederick right-hander and ended a stretch of ten batters in a row set down.

Myrtle Beach (44-24) loaded the bases in the sixth with no outs and had two on with one out in the eighth but failed to score. The Pelicans went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.

Leclerc and fellow reliever Abel De Los Santos were thrown out after hitting batters in the seventh and eighth innings. Manager Joe Mikulik was also tossed.

For the first time this season, the Pelicans used six pitchers in a game. Jose Monegro ran his scoreless streak to 13 innings.

Gene Escat and Ashur Tolliver finished the final third of the ballgame for Frederick in relief of Bridwell.

In his final start of the half, Andrew Faulkner allowed a run on two hits and three walks in two innings.

Bridwell (4-6) picked up the win, while Faulkner (4-1) took the loss—his first of the season. He was the only qualifying Carolina League pitcher without a loss prior to Sunday.

Alfaro, Preston Beck, Alexander Claudio, Faulkner, and Chris Garia head to Wilmington for the California League / Carolina League All-Star Game on Tuesday at Frawley Stadium.

The Pelicans return to action on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.

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