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Myrtle Beach Pelicans Game Notes: September 1 at Wilmington

September 1, 2019 - Carolina League (CarL) - Myrtle Beach Pelicans News Release

Today, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans continue their final road trip of the season and their final series, a four-game set against the Wilmington Blue Rocks (a Kansas City Royals affiliate) with the third game of the series beginning at 1:35 p.m. This evening, LHP Brailyn Marquez (3-1, 1.77 ERA) starts for Myrtle Beach against LHP Rito Lugo (4-3, 2.39 ERA). Coverage begins at 1:20 p.m. on MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, TuneIn and the MiLB First Pitch app.

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BIRDS FALL IN FOURTH STRAIGHT, SHUT OUT BY ROCKS

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans dropped the second game of the final series of the year 6-0 to the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Saturday from Frawley Stadium. Kris Bubic (W, 7-4) threw six dominant innings in the win for the Blue Rocks and three bullpen arms combined after him to complete the shutout. Wilmington put up the game's first run in the second before plating three in the third and one more in the eighth. It was the 13th shutout loss on the year for Myrtle Beach and the first time the Pelicans had been blanked by the Blue Rocks.

THAT TEAM CAN PITCH

The Pelicans have had their troubles against the Wilmington pitching staff this season. In 12 head-to-head games, in which Myrtle Beach is just 2-10, the Birds are just hitting .209/.287/.267 with two home runs while averaging just 2.5 runs per game. The Blue Rocks have outscored the Pelicans 52-30 over the 12 games while owning a 1.98 ERA. Aramis Ademan (.359 in 11 games) and Cam Balego (.302 in 11 games) are the only two everyday Pelicans to have a batting average over .300 against the Blue Rocks on the year.

YOU HAVE TO MAKE UP WORDS TO DESCRIBE HIM

Today's starter, Brailyn Marquez, is the best pitching prospect in the Cubs organization according to MLB.com and second best by Baseball America. Marquez has been brilliant for the Birds over his four starts, allowing just four earned runs in 20.1 innings (1.77 ERA). He roughest start was his most recent, in which he ceded four runs, three earned, over his five innings against Potomac. He has pitched at least five innings in all four starts with the Pelicans.

LEAVING THE FRIENDLY CONFINES

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 (4.66) in the Carolina League. Their road slashline of .235/.321/.348 is also much better than home games: .220/.314/.323. The Birds hit 33 home runs at home and allowed 41 while they have hit 40 homers on the road in five fewer games and allowed a league-worst 52 road blasts.

THE WRONG KIND OF RECORDS

The Pelicans are on pace to set a few franchise lows in 2019. In the first half, the Pelicans set the franchise record for fewest first half wins (21), most first half losses (46) and lowest first-half winning percentage (.313). The record for fewest road wins is 25 (2010) and the Pelicans currently have 24 road wins. Offensively, the Pelicans .228 batting average is one pace to set a new franchise low (.232, 2018). The Birds are also on pace for franchise lows in hits (980), runs (523), at bats (4,306) and total bases (1,444).

SUPER MITCHELL

Kevonte Mitchell has been hot late in the season for the Pelicans. From May 24 through August 18, he hit just .176 over a stretch of 53 games, but he has turned it around. Over his last 12 games, he is hitting .351/.455/.595 with three doubles, two home runs and 12 RBIs. Mitchell leads the team with 14 home runs, a new career high as well after hitting 11 with Low-A South Bend in 2017. It's the most for the Pelicans since 2017 when Eddy Martinez and Matt Rose both hit 14.

NO POSTSEASON THIS YEAR

With a Pelicans loss and a Fayetteville Woodpeckers win on Thursday, the Woodpeckers clinched the second Southern Division playoff spot. It is the first time the Pelicans failed to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons since 2009 and 2010. Fayetteville, which was Buies Creek last season, won the Mills Cup title in 2018 in a one-game, hurricane-shortened series.

THE RETURN OF THE JEDI

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 .300/.382/.489 with six doubles, three home runs and 15 RBIs in 25 games. He has raised his average with the Birds all the way up to .226 and his OPS from .584 to .678 in those 25 games. Additionally, he has played errorless baseball at first base. He is currently riding a season-best seven-game hitting streak, batting .309 (8-for-26) over that span with a double, four runs scored and two walks.

PELICAN POINTS

The Blue Rocks are playoff bound after winning the Northern Division in the first half of the season...This four-game series ends an 11-game road trip for the Birds. It's the fifth season in a row in which Myrtle Beach finishes the season on the road...Delvin Zinn has been on fire, snapping a six-game hitting streak on Saturday. Over his last 15 games, Zinn is batting .288 (17-for-59).


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