Salem Red Sox top Myrtle Beach
A night after setting a career high with four RBI, Andrew Benintendi was back at it for the Salem Red Sox, driving in all four runs in a 4-3 triumph over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Friday night at TicketReturn.com Field.
Benintendi notched his first RBI of the night on an RBI groundout in the first inning that plated Yoan Moncada, who had reached on a hit by pitch. Myrtle Beach was able to even the game in the last of the first on a Yasiel Balaguert RBI single.
The game remained tied at one until the fifth inning when Mauricio Dubon singled, moved to third on a pair of wild pitches and scored on a Benintendi single to right field to make it 2-1.
The Pelicans (11-10) battled back, though, getting to Salem starter Matt Kent in the last of the sixth for a pair of tallies. Ian Happ clocked an RBI double and scored on a Balaguert single to put Myrtle Beach ahead 3-2. Jamie Callahan replaced Kent with one out in the inning and worked around a hit by pitch to strand the bases loaded.
It turned out to be a big stop for Callahan as Salem (14-8) took the lead for good in the seventh. With two outs and runners on the corners, Benintendi battled to a 2-2 count before fighting off a fastball that fell just inside the left field foul line for his third hit of the night. Moncada and Dubon both scored on the double to give Salem the 4-3 edge.
Benintendi ended his night going 3-for-4 with a double and four RBI, matching his career-high set a night ago at Frederick. The three knocks extended his hitting streak to 18 in a row, the second-longest stretch in Salem Red Sox history. The Salem centerfielder has now recorded 11 RBI in his last nine at-bats dating back to his three-run homer in the eighth inning on Wednesday.
With the lead in tact, Callahan (1-1) and Taylor Grover faced the minimum over the final three innings to seal the win. Grover earned his second save of the year with a perfect ninth. Callahan tossed 2.2 scoreless for his first win of the year. Kent, who earned a no-decision, lasted 5.1 frames for Salem, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
Ryan McNeil (0-1) took the loss in relief for Myrtle Beach, ceding two runs on three hits in two innings. Trevor Clifton gave up two runs on five hits in five innings in a no-decision for the Birds.
Winners of three in a row, the Red Sox look for a series victory on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Travis Lakins (2-1, 2.33) will get the ball for Salem against Myrtle Beach’s Erick Leal (2-1, 5.40). Fans can follow along with all the action on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network, starting with pregame coverage at 6:45.
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