St. Lucie Mets 9, Bradenton Marauders 4
Five runs in the top of the 9th broke a 4-4 tie to give the Mets the win. With Ryan Beckman on the mound, the inning began with a single, A throwing error by Beckman put the next batter on base, and a ground out gave the Mets two runners in scoring position. A sacrifice fly plated one run, and a fielding error by 3B Elevys Gonzalez brought in a second run. A single and a walk loaded the bases, then another single, a hit batter, and a single all brought in one run each. On the last single, RF Robbie Grossman’s throw in from right field let C Carlos Paulino tag out the next runner at the plate to end the inning. The Marauders could not get anything going in the bottom of the 9th, and the Mets had the win.
Both teams began their scoring in the 3rd inning. Bradenton starter Kyle McPherson allowed only a walk over the first two innings. Then he gave up a double, a single, and a 3-run homer in the 3rd to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. The Marauders got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning, when SS Benji Gonzalez led off with a double lined into center field, and 2B Jarek Cunningham brought him in with a ground rule double into left field.
McPherson gave up a pair of singles in the 4th, but did not allow a run to score. In the top of the 5th, he gave up a pair of doubles, and the Mets had a 4-1 lead. McPherson retired the side in the 6th, and finished his outing with 4 runs on 7 hits and a walk, with 4 strikeouts in 6 innings.
The Marauders rallied for 3 runs in the 6th. Cunningham singled, 1B Aaron Baker doubled, moving Cunningham to third, then DH Calvin Anderson blasted a 3-run homer to tie the game. Benji Gonzalez walked and Grossman singled in the 7th, but a double play ended that threat. The Marauders went down in the 8th.
Diego Moreno relieved McPherson to begin the 7th. He gave up a two-out double in the 7th and a single in the 8th, but kept the Mets from scoring. That set up the top of the 9th, and the loss to the Mets.
Altoona Curve 6, Harrisburg Senators 5 (11 innings)
A throwing error and two hit batters led to a run for the Curve in the top of the 11th, and they hung on for the win. CF Starling Marte led off with a single, and when the Senators tried to pick him off first, a throwing error let him advance to third base. SS Jordy Mercer was hit by a pitch, and C Tony Sanchez’s single through the hole and into left field brought in Marte with the go-ahead run. 1B Miles Durham bunted, but the Senators’ pitcher turned it into a force out at third, leaving Sanchez on second and Durham on first. After a strikeout by LF Quincy Latimore, 3B Jeremy Farrell was also hit by a pitch. That led to the ejection of the Senators’ pitcher as well as former Pirate coach, now the Harrisburg manager, Tony Beasley. A pop out ended the inning, but the Curve had the one critical run. Anthony Claggett walked one batter in the bottom of the inning, but ended the inning without a run scoring, for the Curve win.
The Curve put at least one runner on base in every inning, but did not push any of them around to score until the 5th. In that inning, RF Brad Chalk was hit by a pitch. 2B Brock Holt singled into right field, moving Chalk to third base. He scored on Marte’s RBI ground out.
Altoona added 3 more runs on three big hits in the 6th. With two outs, Latimore and Farrell lined back-to-back singles into left field, scoring Latimore. Chalk tripled, and Farrell scored. Then pinch-hitter Jose Hernandez brought Chalk in with a single grounded up the middle, to give the Curve a 4-0 lead. One more run came in during the 7th inning, when Mercer reached on a fielding error, stole second base, then scored on Durham’s double.
Starter Jared Hughes pitched 5 scoreless innings, scattering 5 hits, a walk, and a hit batter. He also struck out 4 batters. Tom Boleska pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th. Mike Dubee came on to pitch in the top of the 7th. He gave up a single in the 7th, but did not allow a run. Then a single, a walk, and a double brought in one run in for Harrisburg in the 8th, making the score 5-1. But in the 8th, Dubee gave up a double, a single, an RNI double, and a 2-RBI single, for 3 runs. Noah Krol relieved Dubee, and got a ground out, then gave up an RBI single to tie the score before ending the inning on a fly out.
The Curve threatened in the 10th, when Farrell doubled, moved to third on a bunt, then tried to score on a grounder to short — but was thrown out at the plate. Claggett retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning. Then the Curve scored in the top of the 11th, for the win.