Myrtle Beach Pelicans: Game Notes, July 2 vs. Potomac
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans play the Potomac Nationals in Monday's 7:05 p.m. from TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. RHP Tyson Miller (6-6, 3.71 ERA) takes the ball for the Birds against P-Nats RHP Joan Baez (3-6, 4.92 ERA). Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on MiLB.tv, MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn.
EARLY OFFENSE HELPS PELICANS TO 6-1 WIN
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans plated six runs over Sunday's first three innings to beat the Potomac Nationals 6-1. Jhonny Pereda ripped an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning to open up the scoring. In the second, Aramis Ademan notched a two-run single before D.J. Wilson scampered home on a wild pitch later in the frame. Kevonte Mitchell added a two-run double in the third inning to make it 6-0 in favor of Myrtle Beach. The P-Nats' lone run of the game came on Nick Banks' sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. Birds starter Bryan Hudson pitched four scoreless frames before Ryan Kellogg went the next 3.1 innings to earn the win. Casey Bloomquist also pitched 1.2 shutout innings to finish off Potomac.
ON THE OFFENSIVE?
Heading into their series opener with Potomac on Saturday, Myrtle Beach had scored three runs or fewer in 15 of their previous 16 games. However, through the first two contests of their set with the P-Nats, the Pelicans have scored four and six runs, respectively, the first time since June 9-10 that the club has compiled at least four tallies in back-to-back games. Not coincidentally, June 9-10 was the last time the Birds had won back-to-back games before the first two contests of this series with the Nationals. If Myrtle Beach can earn one more victory in this set, the Pelicans would snap a season-worst four-series losing streak. A win on Monday would also mark the Birds' first three-game winning roll since a season-best nine in a row from June 1-10.
The second-youngest active player in the Carolina League, Aramis Ademan batted just .244/.269/.378 in 29 games with Low-A South Bend last year following a midseason promotion from Short Season Class A Eugene. Nonetheless, the Chicago Cubs aggressively sent Ademan to Myrtle Beach to start the 2018 season. Predictably, the 19-year-old shortstop took his lumps while also showing the flashes that made him the top prospect in the Cubs' organization according to Baseball America. Going into play on June 17, Ademan was hitting just .209/.304/.306. However, in the eight games since that point, Ademan is 9-for-28 (.321/.321/.357) with one double and three RBIs.
From the 2014 through 2017 seasons, Myrtle Beach finished every campaign in the top half of the Carolina League in home runs. In fact, the Pelicans clubbed a total of 368 long balls, an average of 92 per year. However, with just 34 homers on their ledger through 81 games, the Birds are on pace for just 58 bombs in 2018, which would be the fewest in a single season in Pelicans history. Entering play on Monday, Myrtle Beach has gone 12 games in a row without hitting a dinger, their longest drought of the season. D.J. Wilson's leadoff homer in the bottom of the first inning in game two of a doubleheader on June 16 was the Birds' last roundtripper, meaning the club's homerless drought extends 101 innings.
Arguably the strength of the club in 2018, Myrtle Beach's bullpen has put together a strong week. Over the last seven games, Pelicans relievers have surrendered just six runs, five earned, on 16 hits in 26.1 innings for a 1.71 ERA. The Birds' bullpen has combined for 26 strikeouts against three walks during this span.
Myrtle Beach starter Tyson Miller, who gets the nod in Monday's contest against Potomac, has made a habit of working up in the strike zone in 2018. Only two pitchers in the Carolina League have posted a higher fly ball rate than Miller's 48.7 percent. Not coincidentally, only one pitcher in the circuit has registered a lower ground ball rate than Miller 33.2 percent mark. Opponents have struck out in 23.9 percent of plate appearances against Miller, the seventh-best mark in the league. His 6.1 walk percentage places 11th.
The six runs and 12 hits Myrtle Beach racked up against Potomac on Sunday were the most for the Birds since scoring seven runs on 12 hits on June 11 at Winston-Salem, a span of 19 games... The Pelicans have played error-free baseball in their last four games. Myrtle Beach had committed eight miscues in their previous four contests... Over his last nine games, Jhonny Pereda has recorded three multi-hit contests, batting 12-for-31 (.387) with a double.
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