Dunedin Blue Jays 13, Bradenton Marauders 3
A 5-run inning and a 4-run inning let the Blue Jays wallop the Marauders. Starter Nate Baker did not make it out of the 2nd inning, charged with 7 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits and a walk. A single, a walk, a double steal, and a 2-RBI single gave Dunedin 2 runs in the top of the 1st. The Marauders got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning, with a double by RF Robbie Grossman, a ground out, and an RBI single by 1B Aaron Baker.
Things got out of hand in the 2nd inning. A double and an infield single put runners on first and second with one out. A fielding error by 2B Jarek Cunningham loaded the bases. A grounder force out drove in one run, then back-to-back singles brought in a run each. A second fielding error by Cunningham added the fourth run of the inning. Nate Baker was relieved by Eliecer Navarro, who gave up another RBI single to make it five, for a 7-1 lead. Navarro worked around a fielding error by SS Kelson Brown to keep the Jays from scoring in the 3rd, but gave up a solo homer in the 4th.
The Marauders put runners on base in the 3rd and 4th innings, but fell victim to double plays in both innings. Navarro also used a double play to erase a base runner in the top of the 6th. Porfirio Lopez relieved Navarro to begin the 7th, and the first batter he faced smacked a solo home run. Lopez also allowed a walk and a single, but got out of the inning with a double play. The Jays rallied again in the 8th, to score 4 innings. With two outs, Lopez gave up two walks, a wild pitch, and a 2-RBI double. Then Lopez himself made a missed-catch error to put another runner on base. Another 2-run double made it 13 hits and 13 runs for Dunedin. Duke Welker pitched the top of the 9th, allowing only a walk.
The Marauders scored two more runs in the last two innings. Grossman walked to begin the 8th inning rally. Back-to-back singles by Cunningham and C Ramon Cabrera loaded the bases. Aaron Baker’s ground out plated Grossman. CF Evan Chambers doubled to lead off the bottom of the 9th. He moved to third base on a ground out, and scored on Brown’s sacrifice fly, but that was all the Marauders could get.
Akron Aeros 16, Altoona Curve 6
The Curve thought they were in good shape with 4 runs in the top of the 1st, but four big innings later in the game gave the win to Akron. 2B Brock Holt began the game by being hit by a pitch, then a single by CF Starling Marte and a walk to LF Quincy Latimore loaded the bases. Holt scores on a passed ball, and Marte and Latimore scored on SS Jordy Mercer’s double. RF Miles Durham also doubled, bringing in Mercer for a 4-0 lead. The Aeros got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning, with a single, two walks, and a sacrifice fly off Curve starter Jeff Locke. The Curve put their lead back to 5-1 with a run in the top of the 2nd. With two outs, Marte tripled, and scored on a wild pitch.
Locke gave up a walk, a single, and a 3-run homer in the 4th, which slashed the Curve’s lead to 5-4. Akron took the lead in the next inning. The first run scored on a single and a triple. A walk, and RBI ground out, a single, and a wild pitch scored the second run. After another walk, Locke was relieved by Matt McSwain, and he gave up another RBI single, to give the Aeros an 8-5 lead.
The Curve scored one more run in the 6th, on a single by Durham, an error to put 1B Shelby Ford on base, a single by DH Jose Hernandez, and an RBI ground out by Holt. But the Aeros just went wild after that. They scored 4 runs in the 6th off Brian Morris, who was just reinstated off the DL. A triple, three singles, a fielding error, a sacrifice fly, and an RBI ground out accounted for those 4 runs. Brian Leach took the mound to begin the 7th. A double, a wild pitch, and a RBI single scored the first run. A walk and a single loaded the bases. A hit batter forced in a run, and a 2-RBI single made it 4 runs in that inning too. Anthony Claggett finished that inning with a walk and a line out.
By the bottom of the 8th, things were completely crazy. DH Jose Hernandez took his turn pitching, saving the rest of the bullpen. Hernandez turned out to be the most effective pitcher the Curve had for the game — he struck out the side, all swinging.