While the club’s pitching did its job preventing runs Thursday, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans had some trouble creating their own.
After scoring two runs on five hits in the first three innings, the Pelicans never found the scoreboard again as Carolina took a 3-2 victory over Myrtle Beach at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in the series opener.
“We came out and got the bases loaded in the first inning and had a chance to really knock their starter out of the game but we struggled getting the runners in,” said Pelicans manager Mark Johnson, whose team dropped its third straight game by one run. “We’re lucky we got one [run] in on a walk, but that kind of set the whole tone for the game and we just didn’t bounce back from that opportunity.”
Pelicans starter Daury Torrez (4-3) received the loss but allowed just three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks and also struck out six in six innings.
“We got a decent start from Daury,” Johnson said. “He gave us a chance and kept us in the game.”
Victor Caratini scored on an RBI walk in the first inning as the Pelicans took a quick 1-0 lead. After Carolina scored on a Jose Brienco home run in the top of the third, Caratini had an RBI double in the bottom half of the frame to give Myrtle Beach the lead back, 2-1, and the Pelicans had just three hits over the next six innings.
Meanwhile, the Mudcats found the scoreboard again in the sixth as Sean Godfrey had an RBI double and Dustin Peterson lined an RBI single to give Carolina a 3-2 advantage; that’s all the Mudcats would need.
James Pugliese provided two scoreless innings of relief in which he allowed just one hit and struck out one and Zach Cates tossed a perfect ninth inning for Myrtle Beach.
“Pugliese did really well and he got away with some stuff because he got hit really hard,” Johnson said. “But [he] didn’t give up any damage.”
Chesny Young – who has been on a tear, batting .371 since a call-up from Low-A South Bend on May 12 – went 2-for-4 with a run scored. The only other Myrtle Beach batter that had multiple hits was Pin-Chieh Chen, who went 2-for-3 and drew a walk.
“We’ve seen this lefty a few times and have done well both times so I knew exactly what he threw and I sort of knew when he was going to throw it,” Young said. “First at-bat, I saw his changeup pretty well and hit it up the middle. Second at-bat, I found a fastball and got a hit and didn’t get anything the next two at-bats. But overall I was 2-for-4, I’ll take that.”
The Pelicans offense outhit Carolina 8-5, but was 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.
Carolina starter Yean Carlos Gil struck out three and gave up two runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings.
“This was his first win,” Young said of Gil. “We didn’t hit him as well as we should have but he pitched a good game, I thought. He was able to get guys out when he needed it and we had untimely hitting but I think tomorrow will be a different story.
The Pelicans will meet Carolina in a doubleheader Friday starting at 5:05 p.m., and Myrtle Beach will host the Mudcats in another doubleheader Saturday at 5:05 p.m. as well. Johnson said his squad will come out hungry.
“You come ready to play. It’s one reason why we tried to stretch Torrez out and use only a couple of pitchers,” Johnson said. “It’s always a grind with back-to-back doubleheaders. You just hope your starters give you some good innings and not kill the bullpen.”
Contact MAX McKINNON at 626-0302 or on Twitter @mmckinnonTSN.