STONE CRABS: Charlotte begins homestand with a loss

By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports

Charlotte Stone Crabs starting pitcher Michael Velasquez (29) faces Dunedin during the first inning Tuesday at Charlotte Sports Park (Sun Photo by Tom O’Neill).

PORT CHARLOTTE — One play in baseball doesn’t define an entire game, but one error in a 10-3 loss for the Charlotte Stone Crabs drastically changed Tuesday’s outcome.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the second inning, Stone Crab third baseman Kevin Padlo bobbled a grounder from Dunedin Blue Jays’ Andrew Guillotte, and rather than settle for the one-run error, Padlo threw it away and allowed two runs to score.
“He’s playing really good defense all year,” manager Michael Johns said of Padlo. “Guys make errors. Guys make errors in the big leagues. He got a tricky hop and tried to get a handle on it and make a play against a guy who can really run.”
That two-out error turned into a six-run inning for the Blue Jays, as a Max Pentecost’s grand slam two batters later quickly put the game out of reach for the Stone Crabs. All six of those runs were unearned off pitcher Michael Velasquez, who threw into the sixth inning of Tuesday’s loss.
“Overall, Velasquez kept pitching. If he can get us into the sixth inning, we’re going to like our chances,” Johns said. “Especially with a thin bullpen right now, I thought he did a really good job.”
Velasquez had a strong outing if you take away those six unearned runs, even though he surrendered a total of nine runs – the other three in the sixth inning.
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Mallex Smith did Mallex Smith things Tuesday night in a rehab appearance with the Stone Crabs.
Smith, who injured his hamstring in a game against the New York Yankees on April 13, was able to flash his speed in his first rehab game by hitting a triple off the wall in right-centerfield.
“It felt good to just come out here, run around a little bit and get the legs moving,” Smith said. “That’s a rewarding feeling.”
The 23-year-old later came around to score on a ground out by Brett Sullivan.
It was the only time Smith reached base, as he grounded into a double play in at-bat No. 1 and popped out to the first baseman in his third at-bat on a bunt attempt.
Including Sullivan’s RBI groundout, all three Charlotte runs came around to score on an out. Ryan Boldt scored on a ground out by David Olmedo-Barrera in the seventh inning and Dalton Kelly scored on Angel Moreno’s sacrifice fly the next at-bat.
“If you have a runner on third and we get him in, we’re going to be happy no matter what the score is,” Johns said. “The more we can do that, the more we’re going to win. You’re not always going to get hits, but get the guy in somehow.”
Blue Jays pitcher Angel Perdomo was effective while earning the win, tossing six hits and surrendering just one run on three hits with six strikeouts and a walk.
Charlotte shortstop – in addition to making a pair of spectacular plays in the field – extended his hitting streak to 19 games, dating back to last season, with a single and a double in the loss.
Guillotte RF;3;2;1;1;0;0;.299
Biggio 2B;4;1;2;0;1;0;.284
Pentecost 1B;5;1;1;4;0;1;.298
Jansen DH;3;1;1;2;1;0;.414
Kelly 3B;5;0;2;1;0;0;.282
Loveless LF;3;1;1;0;1;0;.284
Thomas CF;4;2;3;1;0;0;.294
Reeves C;4;2;2;1;0;0;.143
Vicuna SS;5;0;0;0;0;1;.143
Cronenworth SS;4;0;2;0;1;1;.394
Smith LF;3;1;1;0;0;0;.333
1- Sanchez PH; 2;0;0;0;0;2;.000
Sullivan C;4;0;1;1;0;0;.281
Padlo 3B;2;0;1;0;2;1;.286
Lowe 2B;4;0;0;0;0;2;.358
Boldt CF;4;1;1;0;0;1;.300
Kelly 1B;4;1;1;0;0;2;.262
Olmedo-Barrera DH;4;0;1;1;0;0;.268
Moreno RF;2;0;0;1;1;1;.200
Dunedin;060;003;001 – 10;13;1
Charlotte;000;100;200 – 3;8;2
2B: Reeves (1), Thomas (3); Sullivan (7), Kelly (4), Cronenworth (3); 3B: Thomas (4); Smith (1). HR: Pentecost (4). RBI: Pentecost 4 (11), Thomas (13), Reeves (1), Guillotte (10), Janses (5); Sullivan (13), Olmedo-Barrera (4), Moreno (2). SF: Guillotte; Moreno. SB: Guillotte (5). LOB: Dunedin 4; Charlotte 8. RISP: Dunedin 5-for-13, Charlotte 0-for-7. E: Kelly (5, throw); Padlo 2 (5, fielding, throw).
WP: Velasquez. HBP: Guillotte (by Hawkins). Umpires: HP: Derek Thomas. 1B: Brandon Mooney. Time: 2:45. Att: 2,083.

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