Cody Kukuk looked about as dominant as you can look, tossing six scoreless innings in the Salem Red Sox 6-0 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Friday night. Kukuk struck out ten Pelicans, a career high. He surrendered just two hits and walked only one. As a staff, Salem struck out 15 Pelicans, a season high. A pitcher struck out the side in four half innings tonight, twice by Kukuk, once by Nate Reed, and once by Myrtle Beach reliever Josh McElwee.
Salem broke the game open early and never looked back. Mario Martinez reached on a error charged to first baseman David Lyon off Birds starter Ryan Bores. After a slap single to left by Aneury Tavarez, Kevin Heller was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Consecutive singles to right field by Matt Gedman, Matty Johnson, and Carlos Asuaje brought three runs in the give the Sox an early 3-0 lead. After Gedman was thrown out at home on a fielders choice hit by Mike Miller, Jantzen Witte brought in a fourth run on a sacrifice fly, scoring Johnson. A batter later, Carson Blair singled in Asuaje to post the five spot in the frame.
Salem’s final run came in the fifth. Carson Blair led off with a single, and moved to third on a single by Martinez. He eventually scored on a groundout by Kevin Heller to complete the Sox scoring for the night.
After Kukuk, Nate Reed and Matty Ott held the Pelicans off the board. Reed struck out three in two innings of work, and Ott finished the ninth with two strikeouts. Sox pitching held the Birds to just four hits all night.
Salem hits the field tomorrow winners of three of four. Justin Haley is scheduled to go for the Sox in game two of the series against Myrtle Beach. First pitch is at 6:05.