Salem’s Couch puts Pelicans to rest with complete game

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans dropped a 6-1 decision to the Salem Red Sox Wednesday, succumbing to two big early innings from their opponent at Lewis Gale Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark.

The Red Sox got all the offense they needed in the third inning, scoring three  runs on a Xander Bogaerts home run. The shot brought home Heiker Meneses, who reached on an error, and Travis Shaw, who walked.

Salem doubled its pleasure in the fourth inning with three more runs.  Lucas LeBlanc had the most notable hit with an RBI triple.  Meneses also drove in a run as did Brandon Jacobs, who doubled.   It was 6-0 Salem at that point.  All of the damage came against Pelicans starter Randy Henry, who allowed three earned in five innings.

Myrtle Beach’s offense arrived late against Salem starter Keith Couch, who fired his league-leading second complete game of the season.  He is one of four pitcher, including Pelicans ace Kyle Hendricks, with two CG’s on the season.  Couch went all nine, surrendering 10 hits and one run.  The lone score came on a Christian Villanueva single.  He plated the doubling Brett Nicholas for his ninth RBI in four games.

Salem’s Michale Almanzar finished the game 3-for-4, extending his streak of consecutive plate appearances reaching base to 16 in the process.  He lined out to Odubel Herrera to snap the run in the seventh.

The Pelicans look to split their series with the Red Sox Thursday at 7:05.  Randol Rojas throws against Brandon Workman.  The Pelicans then return home Friday to play the Winston-Salem Dash at 7:05 p.m.

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