By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
PORT CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Stone Crabs struggled against a tough Palm Beach Cardinals as they dropped their third game in as many days Monday night.
In front of a season-high 6,427 fans at Charlotte Sports Park, the Stone Crabs couldn’t overcome an early deficit on the way to an 8-4 loss.
“Obviously the series wasn’t good because we lost three of four, but I thought we competed very well tonight,” manager Michael Johns said. “I thought we had a lot of good at-bats, but I think guys are pressing a lot both on the mound and at the plate.”
Starter Tyler Brashears was unable to make it out of the fifth inning, as he was tagged for four runs on eight hits through 4 1/3 innings of work. He also issued a pair of walks and had three strikeouts – all of which were looking.
Reece Karalus couldn’t keep the Cardinals off the board in his relief appearance. Karalus surrendered another three runs over two frames.
Thomas Spitz continued his hot series, reaching base another four times. The designated hitter safely reached base 10 times this series and also scored four runs.
Darren Seferina’s two-run double in the fifth inning gave the Cardinals a 6-2 lead at the time. Blake Drake extended the lead with a solo home run in the seventh inning. Andy Young went 2-for-5 with three RBI in the win.
Charlotte’s Brandon Lowe managed to get on base three times with a walk, single and double. He came around to score one run. Angel Moreno also scored once with a pair of singles in the loss.
“They’re trying to do too much, but they care,” Johns said. “I’m proud of the guys. I know it was a tough series. Everybody’s head and heart was in it, and that’s all we can ask for,”
The Stone Crabs will now head on a six-game game road trip, splitting the time between the St. Lucie Mets and Florida Fire Frogs. Following an off day on July 11, Charlotte will then return home the next day for a three-game set against Fort Myers.