STONE CRABS: 9th-inning meltdown leads to loss

By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports


PORT CHARLOTTE — It wasn’t the season’s first loss for the Charlotte Stone Crabs, and there will be more, but the way Thursday’s game ended will sting for a while.

The Stone Crabs’ bullpen blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning on the way to an 8-7 loss to the Dunedin Blue Jays.

“That’s a tough loss,” Manager Michael Johns said. “We had four or five base running mistakes that you just had a feeling would haunt us, and they did. Four run lead in the ninth, you expect to win the game, but that’s baseball.”

Noel Ramirez and Bryan Bonnell combined to surrender five runs in the final frame as the Blue Jays collected six hits, including a two-run home run by Matt Dean.

“He’s been good all year,” Johns said of Bonnell, who entered the game after Ramirez allowed three runs. “I think he went a little off-speed heavy. He probably should’ve used the fastball more, but it’s a learning thing. Bonnell didn’t lose us that game, it was a combined team effort to lose that one.”

It was the first time Bonnell was used on back-to-back nights after recording a save Wednesday night with a perfect three-strikeout inning.

Stone Crabs starter Genesis Cabrera pitched well enough to earn the victory, allowing three runs – two on solo homers – over six strong innings of work.

“I thought he was really good,” Johns said. “He’s a tough kid. He wanted the ball. He wanted to keep pitching. He was outstanding. Anytime you can get the starter into the sixth inning, that’s all we need out of him.”

The Charlotte half of the seventh inning ended with a controversial double play. Kevin Padlo appeared to beat the throw to first, but was called out by the umpire. Despite protest by Johns, the call remained an out.

It may not have appeared to be significant at the time, but a runner at third base would’ve scored an additional run on that play.

Before the ninth-inning meltdown , the story of the game would’ve been the bat of Ryan Boldt. He reached base five times in the loss, including a single in the ninth inning as he started an attempt at a comeback. The Stone Crabs’ RBI leader added three more for team-best 18 on the season.

“He’s been great. He’s been as advertised,” Johns said. “He’s supposed to be a really good hitter and he’s shown that. Especially the way he got off to the season with the slow start.”

Manny Sanchez had three singles and two runs scored. Angel Moreno had a pair of singles, a double and one run scored. Jake Cronenworth brought his hit streak to 21 games with a single in the fifth inning.

It was the first time the Stone Crabs lost when their pitcher made a quality start (six or more innings with three or fewer runs).


Guillotte RF;5;2;2;0;0;0;.307
Biggio 2B;4;0;1;0;1;1;.278
Pentecost DH;4;1;2;3;0;0;.315
Jansen C;5;1;2;2;0;0;.388
Kelly 3B;4;0;0;0;0;1;.267
Loveless LF;4;1;1;0;0;1;.282
Thomas CF;2;1;1;2;0;0;.284
Dean 1B;4;1;1;2;0;0;.3254
Vicuna SS;3;0;2;0;0;0;.385
1- Davis PR;0;1;0;0;0;0;.222

Cronenworth SS;4;1;1;0;1;0;.397
Moreno CF;4;1;3;0;0;1;.256
Boldt LF;4;1;3;3;1;0;.313
Padlo 3B;5;1;1;1;0;2;.266
Kelly 1B;4;0;1;0;0;0;.250
Rodriguez C;3;0;0;1;0;0;.192
Maris 2B;4;1;1;1;0;0;.323
Rapacz DH;3;0;0;0;1;0;.300
Sanchez RF;4;2;3;0;0;0;.103

Dunedin;101;010;005 – 8;12;1
Charlotte;300;020;110 – 7;13;0

2B: Loveless (10); Moreno (2), Kelly (5). 3B: Vicuna (1), Thomas (5); Boldt (1). HR: Pentecost (5), Dean (1); Maris (1). RBI: Pentecost 3 (14), Janses 2 (7), Thomas (14), Dean 2 (12); Padlo (15), Rodriguez (4), Boldt 3 (18), Maris (5). SF: Pentecost, Rodriguez. SAC: Moreno. CS: Thomas. LOB: Dunedin 5; Charlotte 6. RISP: Dunedin 4-for-7, Charlotte 4-for-11. E: Vicuna (1, throw).


Villegas (W, 1-1);2.0;3;1;1;1;2;1;8.22

Maisto (H, 1);1.1;0;0;0;1;0;0;5.40
Ramirez (H, 1);1.0;3;3;3;0;0;1;9.00
Bonnell (BS, 2)(L, 0-2);0.2;3;2;2;1;0;0;5.19

HBP: Vicuno (by Maisto); Cronenworth (by Young). Umpires: HP: Brandon Mooney. 1B: Derek Thomas. Time: 2:50. Att: 1,316

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