Pelicans ride Jackson’s arm to sixth consecutive victory

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans (36-28), Class-A Advanced affiliates of the Texas Rangers, won their sixth straight game Wednesday and earned a sweep of Frederick, topping the Keys 5-1 at TicketReturn.com Field. The first place Pelicans have five games remaining in the first half.

Right-hander Luke Jackson (6-4) earned his team-leading sixth win, allowing one unearned run on two hits over six innings. Jackson walked one, struck out six and faced two batters in the seventh inning. The effort matches Jackson’s deepest of the season.

“I felt good. I felt like I had all my stuff tonight and I felt like I threw more strikes tonight than I have in a while,” Jackson said. “[Kellin] Deglan put down the right pitches and the defense made the plays behind me.”

Right-hander Zach Petersime (2-6) started and took the loss for the Keys, allowing three earned runs on 11 hits over six innings.

The Pelicans claimed the early 2-0 lead in the third. Chris Grayson sparked the two-run third inning with an RBI single. Patrick Cantwell also added an RBI groundout in the rally, which was fueled by a double from Drew Robinson. Grayson finished 2-for-4 including 7-for-11 in the series.

The Birds took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning on an RBI single from Robinson.

The Keys sliced the margin to two with a run in the seventh inning. Michael Ohlman began the inning by reaching on an error and would later score on an RBI infield single from Sammie Starr. Jackson exited after two batters in the inning and was relieved by Joe Van Meter. The new right-hander walked Jerome Pena to load the bases, but was able to strike out the side and minimize the damage. Van Meter went two scoreless innings and struck out five.

“I was getting my off speed over pretty well and then in the seventh inning, that 13-pitch at bat kind of shot my pitch count up,” said Jackson, who exited after walking Christian Walker, the second batter he faced in the seventh.

The Pelicans struck for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Rougned Odor doubled in a run and Trever Adams blooped an RBI single beyond the drawn in infield.

The Pelicans pounded out 14 hits apiece in the final two games of the series. Six Pelicans had two-hit performances; in addition to Grayson, Joe Maloney, Edwin Garcia, Preston Beck, Robinson and Adams all went 2-for-4.

The Pelicans begin a four-day, five-game series Thursday with the Carolina Mudcats at TicketReturn.com Field. Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (4-3, 3.86) will be opposed by Mudcats left-hander Shawn Morimando (4-5, 2.94). First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.

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