KINSTON — For the second straight start, Tyler Phillips faced just one over the minimum, today holding the Pelicans to just four hits, and using his defense, to pick up his first victory of the season with seven shutout innings, in a 7-0 win Wednesday, in front of 2,670 at Grainger Stadium.
Phillips (win, 1-0) needed just 73 pitches to get through seven innings. He allowed just four hits, three of which were erased on the bases, and he did not walk a batter, while striking out three. He becomes the first Wood Ducks pitcher to work beyond the fifth inning this season, and first to record a quality start.
The Wood Ducks (5-2) gave Phillips all the support he would need with a four-run second inning. Tyreque Reed led off the inning with a double down the right field line, and then Yanio Perez worked a walk and Melvin Novoa was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Yonny Hernandez then drove in a run with an infield single to shortstop. Then Myrtle Beach (1-6) starter Alex Lange was ejected by field umpire Mike Snover, for having an illegal substance on his arm. Pelicans manager Steve Lerud was also ejected for arguing the decision. Myrtle Beach hitting coach Ty Wright was also ejected an inning later for arguing balls and strikes.
Lange (loss, 0-2) went 1.1 innings, giving up two hits and four earned runs, he walked two and did not record a strikeout.
Ryan Kellogg was then forced into action, and Eric Jenkins was the first to face him, dropping down a sacrifice bunt with the bases loaded to score Perez. Ryan Dorow then followed with a two run double to left to make it a 4-0 Down East advantage.
The Woodies were able to add on with insurance runs late. In the sixth, Diosbel Arias led off with a single, and scored two batters later on a Novoa single through the right side. Then in the eighth, Arias again began the inning with a hit, and two batters later Perez blasted a two-run home run to left to push the lead to 7-0. Perez also picked up two outfield assists in the ballgame, doubling off a runner at second, and throwing out a man at the plate.
The Woodies bullpen picked up right where Phillips left off. Francisco Villegas fired a scoreless eighth inning, working around a hit batter, while Joe Barlow worked a scoreless ninth inning, facing the minimum, despite a walk.
The Woodies have now run their winning streak to a season-long four games, and their sweep of the Pelicans is their first in a three-game set since they won three straight against the Mudcats, May 15-17 last season. Leody Taveras also extended his hitting streak to seven straight in the win.
The Wood Ducks are back in action tonight as they welcome in the Lynchburg Hillcats for a four-game series. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.