FREDERICK, Md. (July 9, 2017) - Trent Giambrone registered two hits and two RBIs Sunday, but a late Ademar Rifaela home run propelled the Frederick Keys to a 5-3 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium.
The score was knotted at three when Glynn Davis doubled off Pelicans (49-38, 6-11) reliever David Berg (0-1) to begin the seventh. Rifaela followed by hitting a two-run home run to right to place Frederick (37-48, 6-10) in front at 5-3.
Tanner Chleborad came into the game from there and worked two perfect innings to pick up his ninth save, as Myrtle Beach again failed to win consecutive contests for the first time in the second half. The Birds' 6-11 start to the second half matches the 2010 squad for the club's worst beginning to a second half in recorded club history (through the 2005 season).
The Pelicans jumped on the board early. P.J. Higgins doubled with one out. Giambrone promptly singled him in to get the Birds on the board.
However, the Keys responded immediately. Davis reached on an error and Rifaela singled to start the home half of the first. Two batters later, Yermin Mercedes walked to load the bases. An RBI groundout of the bat of Shane Hoelscher brought in Davis to knot the score. Armando Araiza followed with a two-run double to give Frederick a 3-1 advantage.
The score would remain that way into the seventh. Keys starter Cristian Alvarado, who ceded two runs in 6+ innings, hit Tyler Alamo to begin the seventh and was pulled from the game. New reliever Luis Gonzalez walked Robert Garcia to put runners on first and second. After a pair of outs, Gonzalez issued a free pass to Higgins to load the bases. The southpaw then walked Giambrone to halve the Frederick lead at 3-2.
With the bases still juiced, the Keys brought in right-hander Mike Burke, who promptly walked Eddy Martinez to force in a run and tie the game. However, Burke induced Matt Rose into a fly out to center to escape the jam, setting up Rifaela's tiebreaking homer in the bottom of the frame.
Kyle Miller pitched 3.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Pelicans.
Myrtle Beach vies for a series split in Monday's 2 p.m. contest with RHP Mike Rucker (1-2, 2.93 ERA) on the bump against Frederick LHP Brian Gonzalez (2-7, 5.51 ERA). Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn.
The 2017 season is the 19th season for the Pelicans franchise and third as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. For information on tickets to see the Pelicans in 2017, please call (843) 918-6000, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.
ABOUT THE PELICANS: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and play their home games at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The park has ranked in the top eight in all of Minor League Baseball by Stadium Journey in each of the last six seasons. The same publication also placed the Pelicans in the Top 100 Stadium Experiences in all of sports in each of the last six years and the best in the Carolina League for six straight seasons as well. In May 2015, TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark won the 2015 TripAdvisor.com Certificate of Excellence award. The Pelicans are the two-time defending Mills Cup Champions, winning the title in 2015 and 2016 as well as 2000 and co-Mills Cup championship honors in the inaugural 1999 season. The Pelicans have made ten postseason appearances behind 12 half-season Southern Division championships, including the first half of the 2015 season and second half of 2016. For more information on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, please contact the Pelicans at (843) 918-6000 or emailing Info@MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.