Sox rally falls short
Having trailed by four runs on three different occasions, Salem had inched to within a run and placed the potential tying tally at second base with one out, but Myrtle Beach’s closer struck out pinch-hitter Vladimir Frias and third-baseman Kolbrin Vitek to end the game, clinching Myrtle’s 6-5 victory on Thursday night at BB&T Coastal Field. Miles Head blasted a two-run homer in the eighth to cut the Red Sox deficit to one, but Salem’s rally fell short for the second straight day by the Beach, evening the second-half record at 10-10 through 20 games.
Drake Britton authored an improved performance, throwing 46 of his 66 pitches for strikes over three innings, in which he struck out six, but allowed one run. The Pelicans took a 1-0 lead in the first on Santiago Chirino’s two-out RBI double, and little did Salem know at the time that the single-run advantage would never be relinquished.
The Pelicans biggest inning came in the bottom of the fifth, with the Birds scoring three times against Pete Ruiz, who replaced Britton in the fourth. Ruiz dealt a dominant 1-2-3 fourth, but encountered turbulence in the fifth after surrendering a leadoff double to Jared Bolden and issuing a walk to Jared Prince. Following a pop-up, Ruiz walked Chirino to load the bases for David Paisano, who singled home one run to make it 2-0. Jared Hoying ensured a multi-run frame with a two-run double, doubling Myrtle’s lead to 4-zip.
Salem broke through in the top of the sixth against Pelicans starter Wilfredo Boscan, scoring one run on a Jorge Padron RBI single. In the bottom of the inning, however, Prince blasted a solo homer to right field to retaliate and regain Myrtle Beach’s four-run edge.
The seventh inning mirrored the sixth, with both teams scoring once to bring the score to 6-2. David Mailman drove in a run for the Sox, while Andres James picked up an RBI knock for the Pelicans.
With two outs in the eighth, the Red Sox crawled as close as they could. Vitek, who had two hits and a walk, scurried home from third on a wild pitch to make it 6-3. With Padron at third, Head launched his second Carolina League homer to make it 6-5.
In the ninth, Derrik Gibson singled and moved to second on a throwing error by Pelican closer Johan Yan, but Yan cast a spell in the aftermath that allowed him to strike out the final two batters of the ballgame and earn his 10th save of 2011. Boscan picked up the victory, improving to 3-6, while Britton suffered the loss, falling to 1-8.
Salem looks to Anthony Ranaudo to snap the two-game losing skid in Friday’s third game of the four-game series in Myrtle Beach. The Pelicans counter with Justin Grimm, with the first pitch set for 7:05.