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Myrtle Beach Pelicans Game Notes: July 18 at Carolina

July 18, 2019 - Carolina League (CarL) - Myrtle Beach Pelicans News Release

Today, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans continue a three-game set against the Carolina Mudcats (a Milwaukee Brewers affiliate) with the middle game at 7:00 p.m. This evening, RHP Alexander Vargas (2-2, 3.83 ERA) starts for the Birds against LHP Aaron Ashby (2-3, 3.57 ERA). Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, TuneIn and the MiLB First Pitch app.

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BIRDS ARMS DOMINATE, PELICANS WIN THIRD STRAIGHT

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans shutdown the best scoring offense in the league in a 5-2 win over the Carolina Mudcats on Wednesday from Five County Stadium. Jack Patterson (W, 2-0) threw 5.1 shutout innings, allowing just two hits on his way to the win. Enrique De Los Rios threw 1.2 scoreless frames, Ryan Lawlor only yielded a two-run homer to Mario Feliciano in the eighth and Ethan Roberts put forth a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his first save for the Birds. Myrtle Beach put up a single tally in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings on their way to the victory. Grant Fennell went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and Tyler Durna reached three times, including two walks, while scoring twice.

BRINGING THE PAYNE

Pelicans catcher Tyler Payne hit two home runs in Friday's win over the Potomac Nationals. It was the first time in his career that he had belted a pair of long balls in the same contest. After a three-run shot in the fourth inning, he hammered a solo homer in the seventh. He also tied a career-best four RBIs on the day. The Hurricane, W.Va. native became the second Bird to do so this season, joining D.J. Wilson, who did so on June 27 at Fayetteville. Payne has been rather streaky for the Pelicans, but his hits have come in bunches. He has five multi-hit games over his last 13 games, hitting .295 (13-for-44) with a .983 OPS. On Wednesday, he also hit his first triple since April 25, 2018 with the South Bend Cubs.

THE HERRO(N) WE DESERVE

Jimmy Herron has been on fire at the plate for the Pelicans. The Birds outfielder is hitting .327 (16-for-49)/

.382/.510 with four doubles, a triple and a home run over his last 13 games. In his last 27 games, he is also hitting .306/.386/.408 to raise his batting average from .198 to .232. His OPS has also raised from .633 to .685. Over that span, he has eight multi-hit games. Herron has taken over as the everyday centerfielder for the Pelicans with Zach Davis being promoted to Double-A Tennessee and D.J. Wilson currently on the Injured List.

NEVER SKIP ARM DAY

The Pelicans have dominated on the mound over their last 15 games, allowing just 38 earned runs over 126.2 innings (2.70 ERA). That ERA ranks first in the Carolina League over the last 15 games. Paul Richan, Ryan Kellogg, Erich Uelmen, Erick Leal, Jack Patterson, Javier Assad and Alexander Vargas were strong in their starts, allowing just 24 earned runs collectively over 89.2 combined frames (2.41 ERA), striking out 70. Today's starter, Vargas, is coming off of a quality start his last time out against the Potomac Nationals.

LET'S CHECK IN ON THAT IMPROVEMENT

After a tough first half in which the Pelicans finished a franchise-worst 21-46, the Pelicans have turned things around in the second half of the season. In the first half offensively, the Pelicans were ninth out of 10 teams in the Carolina League in batting average (.220), runs per game (3.6), and OPS (.635) while placing eighth in home runs (33). In the second half, the Birds are seventh in average (.238), third in both runs per game (4.1) and fifth in OPS (.693) and second in home runs (21). From the mound, in the first half, Myrtle Beach was eighth in ERA (4.49) and WHIP (1.42) while, in the second half, they are sixth in ERA (3.64) and second in WHIP (1.20).

SEPULVEDA AMONG THE ELITE

Pelicans second baseman Carlos Sepulveda has been one of the best defensive players in the Carolina League this season. Over 256 total chances, Sepulveda has just committed one error. Among Carolina Leaguers in any position who have played at least 55 games, Sepulveda's .996 fielding percentage leads the league. He is one of two everyday second basemen in Minor League Baseball to have committed just one error. The 22-year-old missed part of 2017 and all of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury before returning to the diamond in 2019.

A BIG GOOSE EGG

The Pelicans' 10-0 win on Monday marked their eighth shutout win on the season. That mark is third in the league behind Down East (15) and Wilmington (10). The Pelicans pitching staff threw 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings before Mario Feliciano's two-run home run in the eighth inning of Wednesday's game. The Birds have also been shutout 10 times this season. Last season, the Pelicans recorded 16 shutouts from the mound and were shutout a franchise-record 20 times. The franchise record for most shutout wins in a season is 27 times in 2000.

PELICAN POINTS

Pelicans reliever Garrett Kelly threw one more scoreless innings on Monday, running his streak to 13-consecutive scoreless...Miguel Amaya (.308) and Jimmy Herron (.304) lead the way for the Pelicans in batting average in July... Cam Balego and Kevonte Mitchell are tied for a team-high 10 home runs. This series marks the final time the Pelicans will travel to Zebulon. They will see the Muddies for one more three-game series at home from August 20-22.


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