MYRTLE BEACH — Myrtle Beach starter Kyle DeVore and Salem starter Keith Couch were locked in a pitcher’s duel through seven innings, and the Pelicans’ attempt to come back fell short as they fell to the Red Sox 5-3 on Wednesday at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
“Well-pitched game by Couch,” Pelicans manager Jason Wood said. “He kept our offense in check tonight. I think DeVore for the most part did a good job, we just made that error early on that bunt that put us in a tough position. I tip my hat to Couch tonight [Wednesday] really, he did a good job keeping our offense off balance.
“We didn’t have too many good swings and didn’t work too many counts like we wanted to but it was nice to see we were still in it late. We had the tying run at the plate in the ninth and that’s all you can ask for as a manager.”
Couch picked up the win as he allowed one run on three hits and one walk while striking out two in seven frames.
Devore received the loss despite a quality start. He allowed three runs (two earned) while scattering five hits and walking two in seven innings and struck out four.
“He’s been a guy all year that hasn’t been expected much as far as starting,” Wood said, “but he’s done a very good job. Just two or three runs and we’re in the ballgame, we were down by two. Quality start on his end, he kept us where we needed to be.”
The Pelicans scored their first run in the bottom of the first on a Hanser Alberto sacrifice fly to right that scored Odubel Herrera as Myrtle Beach cut its deficit to one.
The Pelicans added two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on another Alberto sacrifice fly and a Brett Nicholas one-run single that cut Myrtle Beach’s deficit to two, but that was as close as they would get.
“Quality at-bats,” Wood said of Alberto. “That’s kind of what we’re looking for. If you have a runner at third with less than two outs, look for a pitch up in the zone – don’t try to do too much and he was able to succeed at that tonight [Wednesday].”
The Red Sox got on board in the first when Michael Almanzar drove in Heiker Meneses on a groundout to put Salem ahead 1-0. The Sox scored again in the inning when Brandon Jacobs drove in Adalberto Ibarra on a sacrifice fly to right field.
Salem added another in the second frame when Sean Coyle scored on a David Renfroe sacrifice to put Salem ahead 3-1.
Neither team scored from the bottom of the second until the top of the eighth. The Red Sox pushed across two more in the top of the eighth on a bases loaded walk and Coyle’s sac fly.
“These guys are in it, they stayed in it all night,” Wood said, “we didn’t come out on top but as long as you can put that tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth you have a chance and we did that tonight.”
The Pelicans will take on the Red Sox in the series finale at 7:05 p.m. Thursday.
Contact MAX McKINNON at 444-1767.