Gomez Breaks Home Run Record in 7-0 Win
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Moises Gomez broke the Stone Crabs' single-season home run record Friday, extending Charlotte's lead in the division with a 7-0 win over the St. Lucie Mets at Charlotte Sports Park.
The Stone Crabs' (75-58, 40-17) win ties the franchise record for second half wins, matching their 2017 mark of 40 victories. They now lead the FSL South by 4.5 games with 15 to go.
With Charlotte leading 5-0 in the bottom of the seventh, Gomez demolished a two-run home run to left at an exit velocity of 109 mph and estimated distance of 459 feet. Gomez passed the 2013 duo of Jeff Malm and Alejandro Segovia, who each hit 14 homers that season.
In a scoreless game in the bottom of the first, Jake Palomaki and Wander Franco both laced singles against Mets (67-55, 35-21) starter Joe Cavallaro (6-4), putting men at the corners with nobody out. Two batters later, Kaleo Johnson lifted a sacrifice fly to right to score Palomaki and give Charlotte a 1-0 lead.
The Stone Crabs added another run on a Michael Smith sacrifice fly in the fourth before putting together a larger rally in the sixth.
Leading 2-0, Gomez walked and Smith singled to put two men on. That's when Garrett Whitley dumped a single into left. Mets left fielder Wagner Lagrange misplayed the ball, allowing both runs to score to make it 4-0. After an error and a hit by pitch loaded the bases, a fifth run came in on a double play.
Charlotte starter Tommy Romero (11-4) spun five scoreless innings to earn his league-leading 11th win. Romero struck out six and surrendered just two hits and two walks.
Relievers Trey Cumbie and Alex Valverde each worked two scoreless innings to notch the Stone Crabs' 17th shutout of the season.
Charlotte will continue their Summer of Love celebration at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Masquerading as the "Charlotte Harbor Hippies," they'll send Tobias Myers (6-1, 2.51) to the hill, opposed by Tylor Megill (3-2, 3.51) of St. Lucie. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on the Stone Crabs Baseball Network.
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