Carolina Mudcats give up 5 in 4th, lose to Myrtle Beach, 5-1
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A five-run rally in the fourth spoiledDylan Baker’s comeback Monday as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans avoided the sweep by beating the Carolina Mudcats 5-1.
In his first start since fracturing his ankle on April 13, Baker (1-1, 4.66 ERA) was tagged with the loss allowing five earned runs on four hits in 3.2 innings. The right-hander appeared sharp outside of the decisive bottom of the fourth, striking out seven while not issuing a walk in his return.
James Roberts gave Baker and the Mudcats an early lead, albeit a slim one, drawing first blood in the top of the third. He opened the frame by taking Pelicans starter Andrew Faulkner deep to left, his second homerun of the year as Carolina went up 1-0.
The Carolina advantage would be short-lived as the Myrtle Beach offense unceremoniously welcomed Baker back to the Carolina League in the bottom of the fourth. Edwin Garcia singled up the middle, and then advanced all the way to third on a pair of wild pitches to Nick Williams, including a wild third strike, which allowed Williams to take first. Williams then stole second with Jorge Alfaro batting, but the Pelicans backstop went down swinging for out number one. The next batter, Royce Bolinger, opened the floodgates for the Pelicans with a double to left as Garcia and Williams came in to score. Another Baker wild pitch moved Bolinger to third before the righty hit Christopher Bostick.
David Lyon then chased Baker from the game, sending a three-run homer to right as Myrtle Beach jumped ahead 5-1.
Carolina turned to D.J. Brown to put out the fire in the bottom of the fourth. After answering the call, the right-handed reliever kept the Myrtle Beach offense at bay the rest of the evening. Brown hurled 4.1 innings of shutout relief to keep the Mudcats alive, if they could just find some more offense.
However, this was easier said than done with Faulkner (10-1, 2.07) in rhythm on the mound. He entered double digits in the win column allowing just one earned run on three hits in 5.0 innings. The lefty struck out seven without yielding a walk.
Josh McElwee and Cody Ege each provided 2.0 innings of scoreless relief to close out the victory for the Pelicans. The Carolina offense only managed two hits off the pair across their 4.0 innings of work.
With the loss, the Mudcats drop to 19-13 on the second half and are 48-51 overall. Myrtle Beach improves to 17-15 for the second half and 61-39 overall, while moving within two games of the first-place Mudcats in the Southern Division’s second half standings.
Carolina is scheduled to head home for a three-game set with the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Right-hander Adam Plutko (2-4, 3.83 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday’s opener for the Mudcats while the Blue Rocks are expected to counter with southpaw Sean Manaea (2-7, 4.48 ERA).
First pitch from Five County Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.