KINSTON, N.C. (June 16, 2017) - Mike Rucker worked a career-high six innings, but the Myrtle Beach Pelicans were blanked 2-0 Friday by the Down East Wood Ducks at Grainger Stadium.
The game was scoreless in the third inning when Rucker (1-1) yielded a one out single to LeDarious Clark. The Wood Ducks (24-43) left fielder stole second in a play in which the Pelicans (41-27) made two errors, bringing Clark all the way around to score the game's first run. After Rucker (1-1) struck out Matt Lipka, the right-hander walked Brallan Perez, who promptly swiped second. Yanio Perez then dunked an RBI single into right-center to make it 2-0.
The two runs in the third halted Myrtle Beach's scoreless innings streak at a club-record 33 frames.
That was too much for the Pelicans' offense. Down East starter Jonathan Hernandez (1-2) pitched six shutout innings, scattering four hits and two walks. Adam Choplick came in to pitch 1.2 scoreless innings of relief before departing for Wood Ducks closer Ricardo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez entered with P.J. Higgins on first and two outs in the eighth inning. However, the right-hander induced Eloy Jimenez to fly to center to end the threat. Rodriguez then fanned two in a perfect ninth to earn his 10th save.
Rucker surrendered just two runs, one earned, on three hits in his career-high six frames. The right-hander matched a career-high by whiffing six. Jordan Minch and James Norwood each tossed a perfect inning out of the bullpen.
Myrtle Beach and Down East will play the third game of a four-game set with Saturday's 6 p.m. contest. LHP Ryan Kellogg (3-3, 3.14 ERA) faces off against Wood Ducks LHP Jeffrey Springs (1-6, 5.40 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.