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Myrtle Beach Pelicans Game Notes: August 24

August 24, 2019 - Carolina League (CarL) - Myrtle Beach Pelicans News Release

Today, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans continue their final road trip of the season and a three-game set against the Salem Red Sox (a Boston Red Sox affiliate). Friday's game was suspended due to rain in the 11th inning and that game will resume at 5:05 p.m. The second game, a nine-inning contest, will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. This evening, in game two, RHP Javier Assad (4-9, 3.99 ERA) starts for Myrtle Beach against LHP Enmanuel De Jesus (7-9, 3.98 ERA). Coverage begins at 4:50 p.m. on, TuneIn and the MiLB First Pitch app.



The Myrtle Beach Pelicans and Salem Red Sox were suspended in the 11th inning, tied at 4-4 when the rain set in on Friday from Haley Toyota Field. The Red Sox put up four runs in the first inning, but the Pelicans came back with three runs in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run home run from Grant Fennell and a run scoring on a double play, to pull within one. In the sixth, Miguel Amaya hammered a game-tying home run. Erling Moreno (2.0), Chad Hockin (2.0), Manny Rodriguez (2.0) and Scott Effross (1.0) all threw scoreless baseball out of the bullpen for the Pelicans before the rain poured down heading into the 11th.


Miguel Amaya has been a hot hitter for the Pelicans over the last couple months. After hitting just .217/.353/.361 with five homers in the first half of the season (49 games), he is hitting a strong .267/.378/.453 with five home runs in the second half of the season (44 games). His second half OPS (.831) is 117 points higher than his first-half OPS (.714). Since July 4, Amaya is hitting .306/.424/.509 with 10 doubles, four home runs, 23 RBIs and 20 BB compared to 16 strikeouts in a span of 32 games. The Pelicans catcher is within two long balls of his career-best 12 he hit with Low-A South Bend in 2018. In 2018, his second-half OPS (.634) was much lower than his first half mark (.865). Defensively, Amaya also has the MiLB lead with caught-stealings (45).


Inside the pitcher-friendly TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, the Birds have been an entirely different team than when they are on the road. At home, the Pelicans own the third-best ERA in the league (3.42), while they are last (10th) in road ERA (4.78) in the Carolina League. Their road slashline of .238/.326/.356 is also much better than home games: .220/.314/.323. The Birds have hit 33 home runs at home and allowed 41 while they have hit 36 homers on the road in 14 fewer games and allowed a league-worst 47 road blasts.


The Pelicans tied a season-long five-game winning streak with a win over Carolina on Thursday and the Birds have now won eight of their last 10 games. Over that span, the Pelicans pitching has dominated, owning the best ERA in the league (2.17), allowing the second-fewest home runs (3), walking the fewest batters (16) and owning the best WHIP (1.02). Offensively, the Pelicans are fourth in average (.246), third in OPS (.714) and fourth in runs (43)among the Carolina League over the last 10 games.


Another key has been the bullpen, which has just walked nine batters over their last 12 games. When the bullpen is on, so are the Pelicans, as they are 33-16 when the bullpen does not allow any runs. The bullpen has been dominant in general, allowing one run over their last 23.2 innings (spanning their last seven games) and over their last 11 games, the 'pen has a 0.58 ERA (2 ER over 31 IP). Ethan Roberts has thrown 19.2 consecutive-scoreless innings out of the backend of the bullpen. Over that stretch, he has whiffed 21 batters and only walked one. Opponents are just hitting .191 against him while he owns a 0.75 WHIP in those games.


The Pelicans are just half a game back of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers for second place in the Southern Division as of Saturday. If the season were to end today, the Woodpeckers would be in the playoffs and they also hold the head-to-head lead over the Pelicans. Winston-Salem is 2.0 games back of the Pelicans and 2.5 back of the Woodpeckers. The Pelicans have captured the season series against the Dash while Winston-Salem lost the season series with Fayetteville. Fayetteville, which was Buies Creek last season, won the Mills Cup title in 2018 in a one-game, hurricane-shortened series.


Luke Reynolds has been an offensive force since returning to the Pelicans. Reynolds played the first 55 games of the season with Myrtle Beach, hitting just .190/.296/.288 before being sent down to Low-A South Bend for 22 games. Since coming back to the Grand Strand, Reynolds is hitting .316/.409/.596 with five doubles, three home runs and 17 RBIs in 16 games. He has raised his average with the Birds all the way up to .220 and his OPS from .584 to .684 in those 16 games. Additionally, he has played errorless baseball at first base.


The Pelicans finish the season with an 11-game road trip, featuring three games against Salem, four at Potomac and a season-finishing series at Wilmington...The Pelicans have had some big performances against Salem this season. Grant Fennell is hitting .393 (22-for-56) over his 15 games against the Red Sox while Luke Reynolds is batting .364 (8-for-22) in seven games. As a team, the Pelicans are hitting .261/.336/.387 in their 15 games against Salem. They hold a 7-8 record in those contests.

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