Palumbo Returns, Offense Stalls in Loss to Pelicans
KINSTON, NC - A plethora of opportunities never materialized as the Wood Ducks (9-14, 44-49) left a team-record 15 runners on base in a 3-2 defeat to the Pelicans (9-13, 43-49). Franklin Rollin had his second straight multi-hit game as a Woodies rally came up just short in the ninth.
Joe Palumbo took a tough luck loss in his first start with an affiliate since returning from Tommy John surgery. He tossed five innings as scheduled with two strikeouts and two unearned runs.
However the Wood Ducks struck first with a pair of singles and a sac fly in the first. Alex Kowalczyk brought home LeDarious Clark with the fly to right-center. Friday was the eighth loss when scoring in the first inning for the Woodies.
With two outs, a throwing error by Brendon Davis allowed the first run to score in the fourth. It was followed by an RBI single by Roberto Caro to push Myrtle Beach ahead 2-1.
Palumbo recovered in the fifth by retiring the side in order with three ground outs. Eight of his 12 in-play outs were ground balls in the loss.
The Wood Duck offense had at least one baserunner in every inning, but could not seem to cash in. They would finish the night just 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
Out of the bullpen, Robby Rowland worked three innings of strong relief. Another error led to a run on his final line but he finished the night retiring the last seven batters in a row. Locke St. John also worked a scoreless top of the ninth with a pair of strikeouts to keep the Woodies in the game.
The ninth inning began with Rollin racing out an infield single to spark a rally. A one-out walk by Kowalczyk brought the winning run to the plate in Chuck Leblanc. He lined a single to left to put the Woodies within one.
Davis then hit a soft liner that shortstop Aramis Ademan tried to short hop and turn two but instead missed the ball completely and loaded the bases with one out. The rally would stall and end with a strikeout and pop out to seal the loss.
The Woodies fall to a season-low five games below .500 but still have 47 games remaining in the season. Tomorrow they turn Grainger Stadium into the North Pole for Christmas in July. The DEWDs will wear special Christmas-themed jerseys and caps as they host the Pelicans in game two. Right-hander Jason Bahr will make his Rangers organization debut against lefty Bryan Hudson for the birds. Gates open at 4:00 p.m. and first pitch is at 6:00 p.m.
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