FREDERICK, MD-Ademar Rifaela hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning to propel the Frederick Keys (37-48/6-10) to a 5-3 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (49-38/6-11) on Sunday night at Nymeo Field. The home run came after the Keys surrendered two runs in the top half of the frame.
Tied 3-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh, Glynn Davis led off the frame with a double to right field. After working the count full, Rifaela then launched a David Berg pitch over the right field fence for a two-run blast. It was Rifaela'a 15th home run on the year, and his fourth go-ahead blast.
Myrtle Beach got on the board in the top of the first inning. After P.J. Higgins doubled with one out, he was brought home by a Trent Giambrone RBI single off of Cristian Alvarado . Despite tossing his eighth quality start, Alvarado received a no-decision following six-plus innings of two-run baseball.
The Keys would quickly take the lead in the bottom off the frame. Davis reached on an error, and Rifaela followed with a single. Following a strikeout of Randolph Gassaway , Yermin Mercedes walked to load the bases. Shane Hoelscher then hit into a fielder's choice that scored a run, and made it first and third with two outs. That is when Armando Araiza roped a double down the left field line, making it 3-1 Keys.
The score would remain that way until the seventh when the Pelicans scored twice without collecting a hit. Alvarado hit the first batter he faced before exiting the ballgame. Luis Gonzalez came on in relief, and walked Robert Garcia. Following a failed sacrifice bunt attempt where Gonzalez was able to get the lead runner, Davis made a diving catch in center field for the second out.
With runners at first and second, Gonzalez then walked the next two batters he faced, bringing in a run. He gave way to Mike Burke , who walked Eddy Martinez, bringing in the tying run. Burke then got Matt Rose to fly out with the bases still loaded, keeping it a 3-3 contest.
Burke (2-0) picked up the win despite going only a third of an inning and walking in a run. Berg (0-1) took the loss for the Pelicans, going 2.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out a batter. Tanner Chleborad recorded his ninth save for the Keys, working two perfect innings and striking out one.
The Keys and Pelicans conclude their series on Monday afternoon. Left-hander Brian Gonzalez (2-7, 5.51) takes the mound for Frederick and will be opposed by right-hander Michael Rucker (1-2, 2.93) for Myrtle Beach. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., and the game can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App.
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is scheduled to make a Major League rehab appearance with the Keys. He becomes the third Orioles player to rehab with the Keys this year, joining Zach Britton and Chris Tillman . For tickets, fans can call 301-815-9918 or visit frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.