Cardinals Spoil Short Roadtrip with 13-9 Win
JUPITER, FL - The Stone Crabs have learned that they can hit with the best teams in the South Division. Yet that's not always enough, and manager Jared Sandberg emphasized that they key for his team heading into their second scheduled off day was a complete effort from start to finish. Another early offensive surge proved to be insufficient against the Cardinals, who rallied back from three separate deficits to take the three game series with a 13-9 win.
Both starting pitchers labored through the first inning after the Stone Crabs loaded them up against Cory Jones following three straight walks with one out. A pair of RBI single by Marty Gantt and Josh Sale, and a groundout by Justin O'Conner gave way to a quick 3-0 lead. But it wouldn't stick after Leonel Santiago loaded them up in the bottom of the inning with nobody out before Jacob Wilson's double brought in a pair of runs to make it 3-2.
Charlotte went right back to work in the second after Tyler Goeddel launched a deep two run home run over the left field wall for the second time in as many nights. However, Santiago was unable to protect another three run lead and allowed two out base hits to the top three hitters in the Cardinals order. Starling Rodriguez' RBI double and Breyvic Valera's RBI single made it a one run game once again at 5-4.
With the score tied in the fourth, the third time seemed to be a charm for the visitors, who got a two out walk by Tommy Coyle. Patrick Leonard then cracked a two run homer to left to break the 5-5 tie and put the Stone Crabs back ahead 7-5, which ended the evening abruptly for Jones. After struggling to get their offense going in a three game sweep against the Marauders to begin the homestand, the Cardinals chased Santiago after a pair of singles by Valera and Wilson to begin the fifth.
Marcus Jensen came in from the bullpen as one of the most valuable commodities on the entire pitching staff. After all, he was 2-0 and got a big save against the Cardinals just eight days prior at Charlotte Sports Park, nearly unhittable in his first four appearances to open the season. Palm Beach attacked immediately and got a game-tying two run triple from Nick Martini to even the score at seven. Another triple by Matt Williams put them ahead 8-7 before David Washington's sacrifice fly to right made it 9-7. The fireworks weren't over yet with runners at second and third and one out in the home seventh. Ildemaro Vargas, the number nine hitter, knocked a two run double for an 11-7 lead before Rodriguez added a two run home run to left later in the frame for a six run advantage.
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