Hernandez Has Big Night in 6-4 Loss to Tarpons
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Ronaldo Hernandez homered and reached base four times, but the Tampa Tarpons ended the Stone Crabs' longest winning streak ever in a 6-4 game at Charlotte Sports Park.
Hernandez delivered a 420-foot game-tying homer to left in the first and finished 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBI. The Rays top catching prospect is 9-for-19 in his last five games.
With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the fifth, Tampa (40-51, 12-13) got the bats going in what proved to be the fateful inning. Oswaldo Cabrera led off the frame with a solo home run to right against Charlotte (54-36, 18-5) reliever Alex Valverde (2-4). With one out, Diego Castillo and Wilkerman Garcia notched back-to-back singles. With men at the corners, Steven Sensley cranked a sacrifice fly to right to score Castillo and make it 4-2. After an infield single, Omar Carrizales lined a base hit into right to score Garcia and bring the score to 5-2. Carl Chester then sailed a throw over third baseman Kaleo Johnson that went out of play, allowing Jason Lopez to come across and cap the rally at 6-2 Tampa.
The Stone Crabs added runs in the fifth and eighth on sacrifice flies from Wander Franco and Moises Gomez, but fell two runs short.
Jack Labosky turned in the best pitching performance on a bullpen day for Charlotte, fanning three batters over three hitless innings.
The Stone Crabs' 10-game winning streak was the longest in franchise history, one greater than the nine-game streak they put together from July 2-12 over 2010.
Charlotte will look to win the series on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Stephen Woods Jr. (7-1, 2.05) will make the start for the Stone Crabs. Coverage begins at 12:15 p.m. on the Stone Crabs Baseball Network.
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