Morgan Homers Twice; Welker Saves #4

St. Lucie Mets �6, �Bradenton Marauders �0 (box)

The Marauders were held to just 2 hits in this shutout — singles by C Tony Sanchez and 3B Adenson Chourio. Four other Bradenton batters reached base during the game: � two�batters, Sanchez and 1B Calvin Anderson, were hit by pitches, and Sanchez also reached base another time on a walk. �CF Austin McClune reached base on a throwing error. �None of the Bradenton runners reached any further than second base, and the Marauders never had more than one base runner on at a time. �One double play erased Anderson in the 7th, but the rest all were left on base.

Starter Casey Erickson pitched 4 innings, and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and 4 walks, though he did strike out 6 batters. �The first two Mets’ runs came in the 2nd inning, on a single, a walk, and a 2-RBI double. �A double, a walk, and a single brought in one run in the 4th. �The Mets pulled off a double steal, and when 3B Chourio missed the catch on the throw from C Sanchez, an unearned run came in.

Tom Boleska relieved Erickson, and he gave up two more runs in the 6th. �Two singles and a wild pitch put two runners into scoring position. �A grounder to first that should have been a fielder’s choice out at the plate turned into two runs on a throwing error by 1B Anderson. �Melkin Laureano pitched the last two innings, and allowed a walk in each but kept the Mets from scoring again.

Altoona Curve �8, �Trenton Thunder �4 (box)

Two late-inning RBI by LF Alex Presley and the ability to capitalize on the Thunders’ pitching mistakes gave the Curve the win over the Thunder in Trenton. �The Curve had built their lead in the early innings. �They posted one run in the top of the 1st, on a double by CF Gorkys Hernandez and an RBI single by 1B Matt Hague. 2B Jordy Mercer also doubled in the inning, but didn’t score.

The second inning began with a lead-off walk to�Alex Presley. Presley stole second, and then went to third on a fielding error off the bat of RF Miles Durham. SS Chase d’Arnaud’s sacrifice fly scored Presley. �Durham also stole second base, andh e scored on Hernandez’s line drive single into center field. �Hernandez stole second base — the third steal in the inning, and he advanced to third on the Thunder catcher’s throwing error, but he didn’t score. �Three singles, by 3B Josh Harrison, Hague, and C Hector Gimenez, added another run in the 5th, to give the Curve a 4-0 lead.

Starter Rudy Owens scattered two singles and a walk over his first 5 innings of work for the Curve. �He got the first two outs in the bottom of the 6th before getting into trouble — a double and two walks to load the bases. �Owens was relieved by Derek Hankins, who gave up a 3-run double to the first batter he faced. �A second double drove in the tying run, and gave Hankins the Blown Save.

The Curve were not done, though. �Josh Harrison began the 7th by being hit by a pitch. �Matt Hague walked, and the runners moved up to second and third bases on a sacrifice bunt by�Jordy Mercer. Hector Gimenez was intentionally walked to load the bases. �After a pitching change, Alex Presley grounded to short, for what might have been a double play — Gimenez was forced out at second, but Presley was safe at first, and Harrison came in to score the go-ahead run.

The Thunder pitchers lost all control in the 8th inning, and the Curve took advantage of their woes. �DH Shelby Ford walked, then stole second base. �After a strikeout, Gorkys Hernandez, Josh Harrison, Matt Hague, and Jordy Mercer all walked in succession, with Hague and Mercer forcing in a run each. �After a pitching change, Alex Presley singled up the middle, driving in Harrison with the third run of the inning.

Derek Hankins pitched the final 3 innings of the game. �He gave up a single in the 7th, but that runner was thrown out trying to steal second base. �Hankins retired the side in order in the 8th, then worked around a walk in the 9th. �He was the pitcher of record when the Curve took the lead, so he was credited with the win.

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