Salem Red Sox drop Carolina League playoff opener

salem red soxThe Salem Red Sox allowed 11 hits to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans and hit four batters in an 8-1 loss Wednesday night at Field. The Pelicans lead the best-of-three South Division Championship Series, 1-0.

Salem (0-1) fell behind in the bottom of the first, when Myrtle Beach took a 1-0 lead against Michael Kopech. David Bote singled to left field with one out to score Charcer Burks, but further damage was evaded after Kopech struck out back-to-back Pelicans with the bases loaded.

Myrtle Beach (1-0) broke the game open in the bottom of the third, sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring six runs. Kopech (0-1) was lifted after a Jeffrey Baez RBI single brought home Flete with the third run of the frame, and Anyelo Leclerc allowed two inherited runners to score as well as a run of his own as the Pelicans grabbed a commanding 7-0 advantage.

Leclerc allowed a solo home run to Baez in the bottom of the fourth to expand the deficit to 8-0 before Jake Cosart stranded the bases loaded in a scoreless fifth.

The Red Sox finally got to Myrtle Beach starter Trevor Clifton in the top of the sixth when Rafael Devers singled to score Luis Basabe to narrow the gap to 8-1. The tally was the only blemish against Clifton (1-0) in his six innings of work.

Bobby Poyner tossed two perfect frames in the sixth and seventh innings, and Trevor Kelley worked around an error in the eighth to keep the Pelicans off the scoreboard. However, Tommy Nance and Scott Effross were able to spin three scoreless innings out of the Myrtle Beach bullpen as well to seal the win.

In each of the last two seasons, the team that has dropped Game One of the SDCS has gone on to win the best-of-three series.

The Red Sox return home for Game Two of the SDCS at 7:05 pm against the Pelicans. Salem must win to stave off elimination from the playoffs and keep its season alive. LHP Trey Ball (8-6, 3.84) gets the start for the Red Sox, while the Pelicans counter with RHP Preston Morrison (3-0, 1.77). For tickets and more information, call (540) 389-3333 or slide

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