Early Offense Leads Threshers to Win over Cardinals
JUPITER, Fla. - The Clearwater Threshers jumped all over the Palm Beach Cardinals early in Saturday night's contest at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, as the visitors piled on nine runs through the first three innings of the 11-4 victory over the Palm Beach Cardinals. The offensive output was the most runs put up by the Philadelphia Phillies affiliate since totaling 12 against the Bradenton Marauders on June 19.
Raul Rivas started the show with a one-out single in the first, and advanced to second on a stolen base with Jhailyn Ortiz at the dish. After Ortiz walked, Matt Vierling was hit by a pitch from Griffin Roberts (1-7) to load the bases for Madison Stokes.
The right-handed hitter poked a single to right field to bring home Rivas and Ortiz for the early 2-0 advantage. Both Vierling and Stokes took the extra base on the throw home from Chase Pinder to put two in scoring position for Rafael Marchan. The switch hitter lined out to short for the second out of the inning.
Ben Aklinski followed with a two-run, ground-rule double to center to cap off the four-run opening half inning.
The lead would be plenty of room for Kyle Glogoski (2-1) to work with. The starter tied a career-high with six innings pitched, and did not allow a Cardinal to cross the plate on three hits, a walk and a strikeout. The New Zealand worked his first quality start of his career.
The scoring parade continued in the second for Clearwater (60-58, 24-28). Matt Kroon continued his hot series with a leadoff triple, and stayed put after Simon Muzziotti reached on an error to put men on the corners with nobody out.
Rivas hit a soft liner to right, scoring Kroon to extend the lead to 3-0, and move Muzziotti up the third in the process.
Ortiz bounced into an RBI fielder's choice to score Muzziotti to push the lead out to four.
Kroon delivered another big blow in the third, whacking a three-run shot over the wall in right for his third home run of the season.
Palm Beach (42-62, 17-33) did all of its scoring against Clearwater's bullpen, putting up solo runs in the seventh and ninth innings, while adding two more in the eighth.
The Threshers added two more runs on in the eighth inning with RBI doubles from Stokes and Guthrie.
The combination of Guthrie and Kroon had monster nights in the bottom two spots in the order for Marty Malloy's club. The duo finished the contest 7-for-9 with three runs scored, a double, a triple, and a long ball to go along with four RBIs.
With a three-hit night, Kroon is 6-for-9 through the first three games of the series against the Cardinals, and finished Saturday night a double shy of the cycle.
Clearwater takes aim at the series victory on Sunday afternoon in the finale of the four-game series at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. RHP Jack Perkins (0-1, 6.00) gets the call for the Threshers against the Cardinals' LHP Diego Cordero (1-4, 4.17). First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m., with coverage starting at 12:45 p.m. with Threshers Live! The Pregame Show on threshersbaseball.com.
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