Pelicans slide past Rocks, narrow gap on first place

pel-boteslideCharcer Burks and David Bote both collected three hits in the Myrtle Beach Pelicans’ 6-3 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks Friday at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

The duo was responsible for half of the team’s hits and runs on the night. Burks extended his on-base streak to 22 games, the longest active streak in the Carolina League and the longest by a Pelican this season. Myrtle Beach evened its record to 14-14 in the second half, one-half a game behind first-place Salem.

After Pelicans (50-48, 14-14) starter Trevor Clifton (5-6) worked a 1-2-3 top of the first, Burks led off the bottom of the inning by lining a double into the left field corner. After a sacrifice bunt and a walk, Yasiel Balaguert drove home Burks with a sacrifice fly to center to give Myrtle Beach a 1-0 lead.

Brandon Downes began the top of the second with a walk. He then stole second before Elier Hernandez drove him home with a single to tie the game at one.

In a tie game in the top of the second, David Bote lined a single to right before Ian Rice walked and pushed him to second. After the next two batters were retired, Tyler Pearson stroked a single to left to score Bote and make it 2-1 Birds. The next batter was Burks, who singled up the middle. Downes’ throw from center bounced past catcher Luis Villegas, allowing Rice to score on the error and make the score 3-1.

After Clifton worked two more scoreless innings, he walked Chad Johnson to start the top of the fifth. Hernandez followed with a double down the line to push Johnson to third. After Clifton got a strikeout and pop out, a bloop doubled allowed both runners to score and tie the game 3-3.

But the Birds’ bats went right back to work in the bottom of the inning. Rashad Crawford and Gleyber Torres both drew walks, forcing Wilmington (35-62, 8-20) starter Matt Tenuta (3-8) to leave the game. After reliever Brennan Henry got a strikeout, a Bote infield single coupled with a Blue Rocks error scored Crawford. The next batter was Rice, who doubled to left to plate Torres and extend the advantage to 5-3.

Clifton worked a scoreless sixth, allowing three runs on five hits while fanning six to earn the victory.

Still leading by two in the bottom of the sixth, Bote singled with one out. After stealing second, Jeffrey Baez singled to right to score Bote and make it 6-3 Pelicans.

Daury Torrez retired all five batters he saw in relief, and Ryan McNeil recorded the final four outs to earn his league-leading 14th save of the season.

The Pelicans will return to action against the Blue Rocks Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. The Pelicans will celebrate Clemson Night by giving away a “Dabbing Dabo” Swinney bobbleheads to each of the first 1,000 fans through the gates, which open at 6 p.m.

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