Pelicans open second half with 7-3 victory over Keys

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans (41-29, 1-0), Class-A Advanced affiliates of the Texas Rangers, started the second half on a winning note Friday, toppling the Frederick Keys 7-3 at Harry Grove Stadium.

Jerad Eickhoff earned his sixth win while Drew Robinson totaled two hits and knocked in a pair to charge the southern division first half champs.

Eickhoff (6-3) allowed three earned runs on four hits over six innings. Eickhoff posted his team-leading ninth quality start of the season and had a stretch of 11 straight retired between the second and fifth innings. He walked two and struck out four.

Robinson went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and two walks drawn. Rougned Odor, Joe Maloney and Jake Skole each registered two hits apiece to pace the Pelicans 12-hit attack.

The Pelicans sent eight men to the plate and scored three runs in the first inning. Robinson and Maloney each added RBI singles in a rally that was fueled by two Keys errors. The Pelicans never trailed in the contest and led by as many as six runs.

Robinson fueled a fourth-inning rally with an RBI double to deep left-center field. Odor made it 5-1 with an RBI groundout. The Pelicans received seven walks in the game, including two during the fourth-inning uprising.

The lead swelled to 7-1 when Jake Skole contributed an RBI double in the fifth inning after Preston Beck started the two-run rally with a sacrifice fly.

Keys right-hander Zach Petersime (2-7) lasted just 3.2 innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on six hits en route to his seventh loss of the season.

The Keys had multiple threats in the late stages. They loaded the bases against Will Lamb but did not score in the seventh. Frederick loaded them against Randol Rojas in the ninth inning but came up empty. Lamb worked a scoreless inning and Rojas got the final six outs in a non-save situation.

The Pelicans continue a three-game series Saturday against the Keys at Harry Grove Stadium. In a battle of left-handers, Victor Payano (5-3, 3.93) will be opposed by Tim Berry (4-4, 4.54). First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Coverage will begin at 5:45 p.m. on AM 1050 and FM 101.9 – Fox Sports in Myrtle Beach.

The Pelicans return home on Friday, June 28, to take on the Lynchburg Hillcats.

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