STONE CRABS: Late rally falls short for Charlotte

By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports

A wild throw bounces off Stone Crabs catcher, Taylor Hawkins, as Palm Beach’s Luke Dykstra slides safely home during Monday’s game (Sun Photo by Kat Godina).

PORT CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Stone Crabs’ bats stayed silent for much of the night, but ran out of innings before they finally woke up.
In front of an announced crowd of 790 fans at Charlotte Sports Park Monday night, the Stone Crabs’ late rally fell short in a 4-3 loss against the Palm Beach Cardinals for their fifth straight loss to open the season.
“Anytime you have a little bit of a streak going where it’s not going your way, especially the first time in the league, I think they’re all questioning themselves a little bit,” manager Michael Johns said. “I don’t care what our record is, we have good players. If you get caught up in 0-5, you’re going to drive yourself crazy.”
Until reliever Ian McKinney allowed a one-out walk in the eighth inning, three Palm Beach (3-2) pitchers combined to record 12 consecutive outs against the previous 11 Charlotte (0-5) batters.
McKinney surrendered all three runs in the eighth inning thanks to back-to-back singles after the walk to Brandon Lowe, who then scored on a base hit by Jake Fraley for the first run.
Fraley and Peter Maris came around to score on a double for Dalton Kelly, which ended McKinney’s short outing, and brought the score to 4-3.
“We squared some balls up at guys, and that’s part of the game,” Johns said. “We get into the eighth and ninth inning, and we have a chance to win the game.”
Neither starter pitched long enough to qualify for a win, although Palm Beach’s pitcher Jake Woodford had the better evening. Woodford, the St. Louis Cardinals’ No. 17 prospect, tossed 4.2 scoreless inning while allowing just three hits in the outing.
Woodford threw just 69 pitches, but was removed one out shy of being eligible for the win.
Cardinals reliever Brennan Leitao picked up right where Woodford left off, retiring each of the seven batters he faced. Leitao was credited with the victory.
Stone Crabs starter Eduar Lopez equaled Woodford’s distance, but surrendered three runs in his outing. Lopez’s damage came on seven hits and a walk.
Two of those three runs came in the second inning, when Lopez gave up a double to Jeremy Martinez followed by a single for Luke Dykstra to begin the frame. A sacrifice fly from Randy Arozarena and a single for Magneuris Sierra plated the pair of runs.
Lopez was relieved in the fifth inning with a runner on first base by knuckleballer Taylor Hawkins, who immediately threw a wild pitch and gave up a walk before getting out of the runners-on-the-corners jam.
Hawkins would go on to allow just one run despite adding three more walks and three hits to his line. He also had a pair of strikeouts.


Palm Beach;AB;R;H;BI;BB;SO;Avg.
Siera CF;3;1;1;1;2;1;.200
Seferina DH;4;0;1;0;1;1;.294
Sosa SS;5;0;3;0;0;0;.313
Chinea 1B;3;0;2;1;2;0;.333
Diekroeger 3B;5;0;0;0;0;0;.143
Martinez C;4;2;2;0;1;2;.308
Dykstra 2B;5;1;1;0;0;0;.133
Arozarena LF;4;0;1;1;0;1;.067
Wilson RF;4;0;1;1;0;1;.067

Fraley CF;4;1;1;1;0;1;.333
Boldt RF;3;0;0;0;1;0;.167
Kelly 1B;4;0;2;2;0;0;.333
Padlo 3B;4;0;1;0;0;1;.133
Olmedo-Barrera DH;4;0;1;0;0;1;.214
Rodriguez C;4;0;1;0;0;0;.067
Sanchez LF;4;0;0;0;0;0;.000
Lowe 2B;2;1;0;0;1;0;.300
Maris SS;2;1;1;0;1;0;.333

Palm Beach;120;001;000 – 4;12;0
Charlotte;00;000;030 – 3;7;2

2B: Chinea (2), Martinez (2); Kelly (2). RBI: Chinea (3), Arozarena (2), Sierra (1), Wilson (2); Fraley (5), Kelly 2 (4). SF: Arozarena. LOB: Palm Beach 12, Charlotte 4. RISP: Palm Beach 5-for-18, Charlotte 2-for-7. SB: Padlo (2). CS: Sierra. PO: Arozarena (by Hawkins). E: Fraley (1, throw), Lowe (2, fielding).


Leitao (W, 1-0);2.1;0;0;0;0;1;0;1.69
Beck (S, 2);1.1;1;0;0;0;1;0;0.00


WP: Lopez, Hawkins. Umpires: HP: Greg Roemer. 1B: JC Velez. Time: 2:57. Att: 790.

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