FREDERICK, Md. - After an unlucky bounce led to an extra-innings loss in game one of Tuesday's doubleheader, Zach Petersime knew his team needed a strong start from him.
And Petersime, who's struggled in three Carolina League starts this season, accomplished what he set out to do, holding Myrtle Beach to two runs over five innings while his teammates did the rest, pushing the Keys to an 8-2 victory. The Keys dropped game one 5-1 after Myrtle Beach rallied for a four-run ninth-inning.
"Definitely wanted to have some good, quick first second and third innings and give us some momentum," said Petersime. "It definitely wasn't a good way to lose and I think we all wanted to start from the get-go and put up some runs."
Keys game one starter Zach Davies threw 6.2 scoreless innings to start the evening, but after inducing groundouts from the first two batters he faced in the seventh, surrendered an extra-base hit to Drew Robinson, the last batter he would face. Robinson doubled to left on a line drive just past the diving glove of Johnny Ruettiger and Marcel Prado came in to relieve Davies.
With two strikes on Kevin Torres, Prado threw a wild pitch, that got past catcher Zane Chavez and bounced off home plate umpire Brian Miller's shoe, nearly rolling all the way to the third base dugout. Robinson beat Chavez's throw to Prado at the plate with a feet-first slide, tying the game at 1-1.
It was a tough loss for the Keys, but the game two battery made certain game two wouldn't end in the same fashion.
Myrtle Beach scored a run in the first off Petersime, Rougned Odor plating Chris Grayson -- who led the game off with a double -- on a sacrifice fly. But Frederick responded with runs in the first and second and two in the third off Pelicans game two starter Joe Van Meter.
Delvi Cid tied the game at 1-1 scoring on a throwing error by shortstop Luis Sardinas on catcher Allan de San Miguel's single, who broke out of a slump with a 3-for-3 night that included an RBI double and a solo home run. Jerome Pena's RBI double in the second put the Keys' ahead 2-1 and de San Miguel's RBI two-bagger and Connor Narron's bases-loaded fielder's choice gave Frederick a 4-1 lead.
"It was key for us after losing that first game, with losing the way we did, getting off to a good start," said Keys manager Ryan Minor. "Giving up a run in the first but then scoring a run and scoring another run in the second inning, that gave us some momentum."
Petersime allowed his only other run of the game in the fifth, when Sardinas singled home Edwin Garcia with two outs, but snuffed any chance at a two-out rally when he got Odor to hit a weak grounder to second. Big innings had been a problem for Petersime entering the game, but he seemed to find a solution Tuesday.
"I kind of got back to what I have success with, which is a lot of fastballs.," said Petersime of his ability to get key outs Tuesday. "...Getting ahead with that and making them defensive and staying ahead (in the count)."
The Keys added a run in the bottom of the fifth on de San Miguel's second homer of the year, this one right down the left-field line. So close to the fair pole, in fact, Myrtle Beach manager Jason Wood came out of the dugout to argue that it went foul.
But the call stood and Frederick added three more runs to their total in the sixth on Delvi Cid's bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, de San Miguel's bases-full walk and Jason Esposito's RBI single off reliever Ryan Harvey.
Petersime (1-2) struck out four and brought his ERA down more than a point and a half to 7.85. Keys fifth-place batter Esposito went 3-for-4 in game two and nine-hole hitter Pena went 2-for-3, each with an RBI. In front of 2,270 at Harry Grove Stadium, de San Miguel, who batted cleanup, finished a triple shy of the cycle.
"He's been scuffling a lot, but he's a veteran guy and he worked at it," said Minor of his catcher. "He was big for us tonight. You get production out of your catcher and four-hole and five-hole spots, you're gonna have a chance to win."
Sardinas was the only Pelican with more than one hit Tuesday, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Van Meter (0-1) took the loss, going three innings and allowing four runs, one earned, on five hits and two walks.
In game one, Pelicans' starter Jerad Eickhoff held the Keys to one run on six hits in seven innings, the right-hander getting Johnny Ruettiger to ground into a bases-loaded, inning-ending double play to end his final inning, preventing a Frederick walk off.
Two bunt singles ignited Myrtle Beach's four-run ninth, that saw runs score on a Trever Adams' go-ahead single, a walk, a double play and a double. Prado (1-1) took the loss, allowing four runs, one earned, in 1.1 innings while Randal Rojas (1-0), who pitched two scoreless innings and struck out the side to end the game, earned his first victory.
Narron gave the Keys a 1-0 lead in the second inning of the first contest at Harry Grove Stadium Tuesday on a groundout to first base. Chavez and Esposito led off the bottom of the inning with back-to-back singles and a wild pitch from Eickhoff allowed them to advance to second and third, Chavez scoring on Narron's groundout.
Odor and Robinson both had two hits and an RBI in game one. Chavez and shortstop Sammie Starr led the Keys with a pair of hits each. Davies struck out five batters, allowed five hits and walked none. For the night, Keys pitchers walked just two batters in sixteen innings.
The Keys take on the Pelicans for the third time this series tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium. Southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez starts for the Keys against Myrtle Beach's Alec Asher. For tickets, contact the Keys' box office at 301-815-9939, purchase online at FrederickKeys.com or visit the box office at Harry Grove Stadium.