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Kinston tops Myrtle Beach Pelicans in 12-inning marathon

If the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are to salvage a split in this week's four-game series with Kinston, they'll probably have to scrape out a few low-scoring victories over the next couple of nights.

Already scuffling offensively for much of the year, they're not likely to put up many impressive offensive numbers against one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball.

The Indians struggle to score runs - hence their 14-18 record - but they give up even fewer.

The four runs Myrtle Beach scored Tuesday at BB&T Coastal Field in a 6-4 loss in 12 innings is about the most they can expect against the Indians, who blanked the Pelicans 5-0 Monday in the series opener.

The Indians' team earned-run average of a mere 2.76 runs per game entering Tuesday's game ranks fifth in professional baseball in the U.S.

Single-A Savannah and Double-A Richmond lead all teams with a 2.65 ERA, and only the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres have better ERAs than Kinston's among major league clubs.

Kinston has the best ERA in the eight-team Carolina League by more than a full run, and it is nearly three full runs better than the Pelicans' league-worst team ERA of 5.62.

“When our pitchers take the mound, especially the starting pitchers, it’s a huge confidence boost to see those guys out there doing what they’re doing," Kinston manager Aaron Holbert said. "But we still have to make plays behind them, and we have to have good timely situational hitting, which we’ve been fortunate to have these last few days.”

Kinston has a bevy of lively arms in both their starting rotation and bullpen.

Monday night's shutout of the Pelicans (10-22) was the Indians' league-leading fourth this season. Starter T.J. McFarland was largely responsible, and he improved to 4-0 with a ridiculous 0.59 ERA.

The other three shutouts were started by Tuesday night's starter, Nick Hagadone, who Baseball America ranks as the third best prospect and top pitching prospect in the Cleveland organization. He joined the Cleveland organization last year through the Victor Martinez trade with Boston.

He entered Tuesday's game with a 1.74 ERA and left with a two-run lead after five innings, but reliever Rob Bryson gave up a two-run homer in the sixth Gerardo Avila that tied the game and left Hagadone with no decision.

Kinston has a .236 batting average, which is second worst in the league to Myrtle Beach's .227, and is 13-6 when it scores more three or more runs in a game.

The Pelicans were held to three hits Monday and had five Tuesday through nine innings before finishing with seven. Alex White (1-2, 2.81 ERA) and T.J. House (0-3, 3.77) are starting for the Indians in the next two contests.

“All five of these [starters] bring something different to the table and they’ve all been extremely effective and allowed us to stay in ballgames and given us some opportunities to win ballgames,” Holbert said.

Pelicans first baseman Gerry Rodriguez got to Hagadone early with a two-run homer in the first, but that's all they could muster against the starter.

The Indians got on the board in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Donnie Webb that plated Ron Rivas, who had singled, and struck for three in the fifth off Pelicans left-handed starter Matt Grim to take a 4-2 lead, with the big hit a two-run double by Doug Pickens

Avila's homer to left field in the sixth scored Yoel Campusano, who walked, and tied the game. The Pelicans didn't get a runner into scoring position in extra innings, and Kinston struck for two in the top of the 12th on a pair of singles, sacrifice bunt, RBI single by Webb and sacrifice fly by Pickens.

Kinston.AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Sanchez, Ka 2B

5

2

1

0

0

0

.277

Webb, D CF

5

0

3

3

0

1

.240

Pickens 1B

4

0

1

3

1

0

.254

Recknagel DH

6

0

0

0

0

1

.250

Bellows 3B

5

0

0

0

0

2

.228

Martinez, R C

5

0

0

0

0

2

.220

Pena, Ro RF

5

0

1

0

0

1

.161

Rivas, R SS

5

3

3

0

0

1

.247

Montero, L LF

2

1

1

0

1

0

.158

Totals342

6

10

6

2

8

Myrtle BeachAB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Miles LF

5

0

0

0

0

3

.233

Harrilchak, C CF

5

1

1

0

0

0

.179

Campusano 2B

4

1

0

0

1

1

.202

Rodriguez, G RF

5

1

1

2

0

2

.250

Avila 1B

4

1

2

2

1

0

.315

Kennelly, M C

4

0

1

0

1

2

.254

Sucre DH

5

0

0

0

0

1

.213

Sime 3B

5

0

1

0

0

1

.344

Barba SS

3

0

1

0

0

1

.160

Totals40

4

7

4

3

11

Kinston

0010

5000

00002

--

6

10

0

M. Beach

2000

0200

00000

--

4

7

1

E--Crim (2). LOB--Kinston 7, Myrtle Beach 4. 2B-Pickens (3). 3B --Pena (2) . HR--Avila (6), Rodriguez (7). SB-Webb (4), Pickens (1), CS --Avilia (1), Webb (1).

Kinston

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Hagadone

5

3

2

2

2

2

2.10

Bryson (BS, 1)

2

1

2

2

1

5

9.99

Stowell

3

2

0

0

0

1

0.79

Roberts, D (W, 1-1)

2

1

0

0

0

3

2.95

Myrtle Beach

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Crim, M

6

5

4

3

1

1

3.82

Castro, Y

3

2

0

0

1

4

7.20

Rodgers (L, 1-3)

3

3

2

2

0

3

6.19

HBP--Montero (by Crim). Umpires--Home, Jacob Danielson; First, Shaylor Smith. T--3:08. A--1,590.

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