Hit-Fest In Bradenton; Curve Pitchers Throw A Shutout
Dunedin Blue Jays 11, Bradenton Marauders 10
These two teams combined for 32 hits and 21 runs, but the Marauders came up short when Dunedin took the lead in the 8th. A single and two doubles started the scoring for Dunedin with 2 runs in the top of the 1st. SS Benji Gonzalez, who led the Marauders by going 4-for-5 at the plate, led off the bottom of the 1st with a single. 2B Jarek Cunningham, who had 3 hits on the night, also singled, then both moved up a base on RF Robbie Grossman’s sacrifice bunt. Gonzalez scored on 1B Aaron Baker’s RBI ground out. The Marauders tied the game at 2-2 in the 3rd, on another pair of singles by Gonzalez and Cunningham, a ground out by Grossman, and a wild pitch to bring in Gonzalez.
Dunedin broke the tie with a run on a double and a single in the top of the 4th. The Marauders answered with 4 runs in the bottom of the inning — a single by LF David Rubinstein, a walk to DH Calvin Anderson, a 2-run triple by C Carlos Paulino, and a 2-run homer by Gonzalez (his first of the season). Bradenton up, 6-3.
A homer and a pair of doubles got two of the runs back for Dunedin in the top of the 5th. The Marauders came back with 3 runs in the bottom of the frame. Baker walked, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on 3B Elevys Gonzalez’s single, CF Adalberto Santos also singled, and a double by Rubinstein drove in both Elevys Gonzalez and Santos, to give the Marauders a 9-5 lead. The Blue Jays countered with 3 runs in the top of the 6th, on two singles and two doubles, to raise the score to 9-8.
Dunedin tied the score in the 7th on two singles, a bunt, and a wild pitch by reliever Jhonathan Ramos. The Marauders came right back to tie the score again on a walk by Santos and a double by Rubinstein to bring the speedy Santos around from first base. Then Dunedin took the ultimate lead with 2 runs in the top of the 8th. A single, a fielding error by Benji Gonzalez put a runner on third, and an RBI ground out drove in the go-ahead run. A second wild pitch by Ramos and an RBI single gave the Blue Jays an insurance run. The Marauders threatened in the bottom of the 8th, when Cunningham singled, then moved to third base on two wild pitches, but Cunningham was stranded there at third.
Ramos was charged with both the Blown Save and the loss, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and 2 walks in his 3 innings of work. Kyle McPherson gave up 5 runs on 10 hits and a walk in 5 innings. Brett Sinkbeil, who just joined the team from extended spring training, pitched the 6th inning and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits.
Lakewood Blue Claws 3, West Virginia Power 2
A 9th inning Power rally was cut short, and the Power was unable to catch up to the Blue Claws. The Power scored first, with a run in the 1st inning. With two outs, RF Dan Grovatt doubled, then scored on 1B Matt Curry’s RBI single. Starter Colton Cain set the Claws down in order in the first two innings, then gave up the tying run in the 3rd on a single, a stolen base, a throwing error by C Elias Diaz on the steal attempt, and a sacrifice fly. Cain allowed only a walk over the next two innings, but then gave up back-to-back solo homers in the 6th to give Lakewood a 3-1 lead.
Casey Sadler finished the 6th for Cain, then pitched 2 scoreless innings. Sadler did not allow a hit, but he walked 3 batters, hit one, and struck out 4. Zach Foster pitched a scoreless 9th, giving up just a single.
The Power batters were not getting on base much after the 1st inning. DH Justin Howard walked in the 4th, and 3B Andy Vasquez doubled in the 5th. The Power had two runners on in the 7th, when Curry walked and LF Rogelios Noris singled, but both were left on base. They rallied one more time in the 9th, when Grovatt and Curry led off with back-to-back singles. Two strikeouts followed, then Grovatt scored from third on a balk. A ground out ended the inning, though, with the tying run still on base.