Pelicans down Sox

The Pelicans picked up right where the Indians left off, holding the Salem bats to three hits in a 4-1 victory for the visitors at LewisGale Field on Sunday afternoon. Myrtle Beach lefthander Robbie Ross stymied the Sox over six scoreless innings, while reliever Chad Bell was one strike away from completing the shutout when Bryce Brentz blasted an 0-2 pitch over the wall for a solo homer. The long-ball got the Red Sox on the board, but the game ended one batter later when Dan Butler flew out to left.

Ross became the first eight-game winner in the Carolina League by dealing economically for six frames, facing more than three hitters in an inning only twice. The Red Sox did not get a man past first base until the sixth inning against Ross, who struck out four and walked nobody to lower his ERA to 2.67.

Salem starter Ryan Pressly was nearly as dominant in the first couple innings, but surrendered three doubles in the third that produced two Pelican runs. Andres James used his first extra-base hit of the season to drive in Jared Bolden, and James scored two batters later when Mitch Hilligoss smacked a double to the warning track. Up 2-0, the Pelicans added their third tally off Pressly in the fourth when Jared Hoying singled, stole second, and scored on Santiago Chirino’s single, giving Myrtle Beach a 3-0 edge.

Pressly earned a quality start with six innings and just three runs allowed on eight hits, but also suffered the loss, falling to 4-7. The Pelicans scored their fourth run thanks to a wild pitch from Anatanaer Batista in the top of the eighth that allowed Hilligoss to scurry home. Batista yielded one run in two innings of work, while Michael Gleason dealt a scoreless ninth with a pair of strikeouts for the Sox.

Even though the pitchers were solid, the Red Sox offense could not measure up, scoring just one run for the second straight game. Kolbrin Vitek went 2-4 and Brentz blasted the ninth inning bomb, while the rest of the Sox lineup combined to go 0-22 against Ross and Bell. Salem has scored just six runs in the first four games of the second half, all setbacks.

Even with a 46 minute rain delay interrupting the rhythm between the sixth and seventh innings, Sunday’s tilt became Salem’s quickest game of the season. Not including the 46 minute break, the two squads needed just one hour and 55 minutes to complete the nine-inning contest, ten minutes shorter than Salem’s 2-1 win over Myrtle back on May 6.

On Monday, the Red Sox look to Anthony Ranaudo to help snap the current five-game skid, as Salem hosts Myrtle Beach in the middle-matchup of the three game set at LewisGale Field. Ranaudo makes his fifth Carolina League start opposite Miguel De Los Santos, who is lined up for his Carolina League debut on the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.

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